Thursday, October 18, 2018


Capoeira is a uniquely Brazilian martial art with roots of ritual, dance, community and much more, practiced in its earliest forms by enslaved Africans hundreds of years ago in colonial Brazil. The evolution of capoeira is widely undocumented and therefore much debate exists around its history and original creation. Practitioners of capoeira- "capoeiristas"- generally practice one of two traditional, very distinct "styles": Capoeira Angola or Capoeira Regional. Outside of Brazil, others may practice a mixture of Capoeira (Angola &/or Regional styles) with other marital arts or a modernized offshoot of these styles, often called Capoeira Contemporanea, Anglo-Regional or any number of names. Although all may bare the name "Capoeira", it is important to know the difference and to study the history in deciding which art is right for you. Today capoeira has spread throughout the world and is highly respected for its unique combination of martial arts, dance, song, folklore, and philosophy.

Capoeira Regional

Created by the legendary capoeirista Mestre "Bimba" (Manuel dos Reis Machado), Capoeira Regional helped shape the future for capoeira in Brazil and opened the door for the art to spread all over the world. Bimba's Academia-escola de Cultura Regional became the first school of capoeira recognized by the Brazilian government, thus legitimizing and ending the ban imposed upon the practitioners of the heavily African-influenced art

Bimba developed a structured method of teaching and learning capoeira which included the practice of regular "sequencias" or sequences of defense and attack moves, "cintura desprezada", an advanced sequence of more acrobatic movements, the establishment of 7 regular "toques" or rythms on the berimbau (the guiding instrument of capoeira regional music which informs the game that is to be played) and many more standardized methods of training. These methods were designed to produce the best capoeiristas possible, both in skill and in character, flexible and capable of learning anything as well as teaching the art to beginning students.

By the time Bimba opened the first school of capoeira regional, strict rules and principles had been defined for capoeiristas including refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco as it interfered with training, maintaining good grades in school, and refraining from demonstrating one's progress outside the academy (for many reasons).

The methods that Bimba developed for training as well as the principles that capoeiristas were guided by then inform our classes today and give continuity to our practice of capoeira regional in the modern day. Whereas we do not enforce the strict moral codes and rules upon our students that Mestre Bimba did nor practice as intensely, capoeiristas training at the Bahia Brazil Art Center will experience the integrity and discipline of the traditional art now made accesible to any beginning student.

About Related Arts

Our parent non-profit, the Bahia Brazil Art Center, offers education in traditional arts of Brazil through classes, workshops, and special events.  It is our hope that the BBAC may one day educate and entertain the public with the most diverse offering of Brazilian arts in the U.S.

e developed on the sugar cane plantations during Brazil's colonial period of slavery.  This heavily African influenced art involves using a sugar cane stick and a machete in a rapidly rhythmic, combat-like, freestyle dance. It is often related with Capoeira Regional and included in Capoeira Regional performances.

A fast-paced, high energy, Brazilian, percussive music style using multiple drums, snares, musical bows, bells, whistles, and shakers. This style of music is often paired with Samba style dance and Brazilian celebrations/rituals.

Portuguese language
Instrument creation
Modern dance
Brazilian history
Culture studies