In the early twentieth century, capoeira began to take on its modern form. Two famous Capoeiristas are considered to be the fathers of each style: Mestre Pastinha with Capoeira Angola and Mestre Bimba with his ‘Luta Regional Baiana’ (regional fight of Bahia), later known as Capoeira Regional. Kadara Capoeira focuses mainly on the Capoeira Regional style in its modern form. In recent years practitioners of Capoeira Regional have also adopted and refined the practice of Benguela: a modern (and more technical) adaptation of Mestre Bimba’s Banguela), a more strategic game of capoeira where the player’s priorities are less combative. Game play is focused on the control of space and the movement options of one’s opponents, in a more chess like (or strategic) expression. Once Kadara students have learned the fundamentals of safe and smart Regional game play, they are encouraged to train, practice and learn to play the Benguela game as well. Advanced students are also encouraged to learn the rituals and nuances associated with the Capoeira Angola system/philosophy also.
Capoeira Regional was developed by Manoel dos Reis Machado (Mestre Bimba) in the early 1900’s. Mestre Bimba combined the traditional capoeira with Batuque (an African fighting style his father practiced) and transformed capoeira to a more upright and combative system. He started the first Capoeira Academy in Salvadore da Bahia and worked to give capoeira a better image as the public opinion at the time was that capoeira was associated with the criminal elements of Brazil. The Capoeira Regional System is known for faster and more athletic play than Capoeira Angola.
Capoeira Angola is considered to be the more dance-like system of capoeira . Angola is often characterized as being slower and lower to the ground, although in actual practice, the speed varies in accordance with the music. Capoeira Angola is also known for the chamada (“sha-maa-da”), a physical call-and-response where players break the pace of the game by moving together forwards and backward before re-initiating the game. This is a particularly treacherous moment because, although the action seems to have halted, the game is still on and the strategy of misdirection is often used as a means of catching one’s opponent off guard with a sneaky kick or head butt. Anything can happen and can be used to challenge an opponent or to change the style in the roda. Mestre Pastinha, who lives in Salvador, Bahia, is widely considered to be the “Father of Capoeira Angola,” bringing this style of capoeira into the modern setting of an academy.