By 1941 there were schools teaching either Angola or Regional, or even both, all over Brazil. Then in 1974, Capoeira had become so popular that Brazil claimed it as its national sport. The image of Capoeira was restored to the art of liberation because of the impressive professionalism of Mestre Bimba in showcasing his style of Capoeira Regional. Regional is a more upright and acrobatic version of Capoeira, which is very performative when compared to the more cunning and ground based traditional style of Angola.
In the 1960s capoeira expanded throughout Brazil, achieving a status and a number of pupils that allowed its "mestres" (masters) to be "economically independent"--yet another victory. In the 1970s women entered capoeira, and capoeira went overseas, and in the 1980s children of only three or four years of age started practicing capoeira in some of Rio's most expensive private schools.
During the 1930's Capoeira was to under go several notable changes. In 1937, Mestre Bimba, one of the most important masters of Capoeira (see below), received an invitation from the president to demonstrate his art in the capital . It was then that the first Capoeira academy was set up in Salvador, where Capoeira Regional (pronounced 'heh-shon-al') was taught.
In 1892, in the Republic's first penal code, capoeira was outlawed: To practice, in the streets of public squares, agility or body skill exercises known by the name of "capoeiragem" would lead to two to six months in prison. To belong to a "malta" (gang) or capoeira group was an aggravating circumstance. A double sentence would be inflicted 'to the chiefs or heads' of these groups. Those caught a second time could get up to three years. If the capoeira player was a foreigner he would be deported after doing time.
From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Portugal shipped slaves into South America from Western Africa. Brazil was the largest contributor to slave migration with 42% of all slaves shipped across the Atlantic...The homogenization of the African people under the oppression of slavery was the catalyst for Capoeira. Capoeira was developed by the slaves of Brazil as a way to resist their oppressors, secretly practice their art, transmit their culture, and lift their spirits.
"The Slavery Period": Capoeira, a fighting technique, disguised itself as a dance in order to deceive the slave owners and their plantation foremen.
"The Underground Period": After the abolition of slavery (in 1888), capoeira players who had been slaves did not find a place in society and became criminals, taking capoeira underground, resulting in capoeira's prohibition by law in 1892.
"The Academy Period": In the 1930s the prohibition law was abolished by Dictator Vargas. Mestre Bimba opened the first capoeira academy in the city of Salvador, in the state of Bahia.
the outlooks, symbols, and rituals of the three major cultures that inspired capoeira—Kongolese, Yoruban, and Catholic Portuguese. It also discusses the depth, wealth, and differences of the various capoeira languages, which arise from their different social and cultural heritages and from encounters, collisions, and fusion.
Although Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art, it does not originate from the Tupi people native to Brazil, but instead has its roots firmly in African culture. There is no question as to the African roots of the art, but there is much debate as to whether or not it was imported wholesale to Brazil or developed within the senzalas (the slaves' quarters) on Brazilian soil. The argument tends to favour the theory that Capoeira was developed by African slaves within Brazil, and not brought with them as part of the cultural heritage of their homelands.
Each capoeira battle takes place inside the roda (pronounced ho-da) in which a group of capoeiristas encircle the two players. Each player has his or her own style which is expressed in the encounters. Some capoeira players are aggressive while others look for openings and counterattacks. Balance, mobility and flexibility are necessary characteristics for a good capoeira player.
Capoeira can be likened to a chess match between two players with the objective being to fool your opponent to expose him or herself to a defenseless position to deliver a strike or blow. Beautiful sequences can be likened to a chess combination that is several moves deep. To the uninitiated, this Afro-Brazilian art of capoeira appears to resemble the art of "breakdancing," an African form of dance popularized in the 70s hip-hop era. In fact, many breakdancers practice capoeira to gain more definition in the moves and better technique.