Capoeira Angola

Values respect for space

From 1889 to 1937 the practice of capoeira was illegal in Brazil. It only began to be practiced legally again thanks to the influence that Master Bimba had over the then president Getulio Vargas. The Bahian Regional Fight was born. This new style of defence incorporated the original capoeira moves with those of other types of fight such as jui-jitsu and boxing as well as the rope belt system as in judo.

The new martial art spread amongst Brazil’s middle classes. Meanwhile the original capoeira rituals, created by the slaves in the senzalas, continued to be taught from the year 1910 in the academy of Master Pastinha in Bahia and nowadays by his disciples, Master Joao Pequeno (Little John) in Bahia and Master Joao Grande (Big John) in New York, becoming known, in this century, as Angolan capoeira.

Differing from regional capoeira in which the fight, rivalry and the power of the violent encounter are valued, Angolan capoeira values respect for space (both your own and your opponents), having command of the movements, knowing how to fall and get up again and learning how to be flexible and malleable.

In the words of Master Pastinha “Capoeira is a dialogue between bodies which I win when my opponent has no more answers to my questions”..

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