Capoeira is a Martial art initially developed by African slaves in Brazil during the colonial period. Around 1500, Portugal shipped slaves into south America from Western Africa. Brazil was the largest contributor to slave migration with at least 42% of all slaves shipped across the Atlantic. The following people were the most commonly sold into Brazil: The sudanese group, composed largely of Yorubaa and Dahomean People. The Islamised Guinea-Sudanese group of Malasian and Hausa people and the Bantu group (among them Kongos, Kimbundas and Kasanjes)from Angola, Congo and Mozambique. These People brought their cultural traditions and religion with them to the new world. 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 of resisting their oppressors, secretly practicing their art,transmiting their culture and lifting their spirits.
After slavery was abolished, the slaves moved to the cities of Brazil and with no employment to be found.They continued to practice Capoeira, and it became associated with anti-government or criminal activities. As a result, Capoeira was outlawed in Brazil in 1892. The punishment for practicing it was extreme (practitioners would have the tendons on the backs of their feet cut), and the police were vicious in their attempt to stamp out the art. Capoeira continued to be practiced, but it moved further underground. Rodas were often held in areas with plenty of escape routes. To avoid being persecuted, Capoeira practitioners (capoeiristas) also gave themselves an apelido (nicknames) often more than one. This made it much harder for the police to discover their true identities. This tradition continues to this day. Persecution of the art petered out eventually, and was entirely gone by 1918. In 1937, Mestre Bimba was invited to demonstrate his art in front of president Getúlio Vargas. After this performance, he was given permission to open the first Capoeira school in Brazil. Since that time, Capoeira has been officially recognized as a national sport, and has spread around the world. In 1942, Mestre Pastinha opened the first Capoeira Angola school, the Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola, located in Bahia.
There are two main distinct styles of capoeira. ANGOLA, which is characterized by slower and lower movements with particular attention to the rituals and tradition of capoeira. The other style is REGIONAL which is known for its acrobatic play where technique and strategy are the keypoints. Both styles are marked by the use of feints and subterfuge, use of groundwork extensively as well as sweeps kicks and headbutts. Capoeira Angola is the closest form to the capoeira played amongst the slaves.