Modern capoeira, in the form in which it was presented to a wide audience, consists of two main styles: Angola and regional. Angola is characterized by slow, “viscous” movements that flow smoothly into one another. Regional – high-speed, power style, replete with somersaults, inflicted in the jump strokes and other complex acrobatic elements. Despite the fact that now there are schools (including outside of Brazil) that profess one of the varieties of capoeira, its division into styles is conditional. During the match, capoeirista can move from one style to another. The preference given by a fighter to one or another style is very individual and depends on many factors (for example, on his age: older athletes tend to prefer a calmer Angola, and young ones prefer a more dynamic and aggressive region).
Both capoeira styles are characterized by a very low stance: the fighter almost touches the ground with his hands. The main type of movement is called “jingo”, a kind of dancing in a fighting stance. Defense against enemy attacks is carried out, first of all, by withdrawing from the line of attack. The main attacking actions are carried out by the feet, handwork is assigned a secondary role: the blows are “smeared out”, not accented, basically these are slaps with the palms of the hands. Kicks are performed both in jumps and with support on the hands, and at all levels: to the head, to the body and to the legs. Acrobatic elements (such as back and forth somersaults) can be used both to evade enemy strikes and to conduct one’s own attack.
Before the start of the battle, its participants become in a circle into which pairs of fighters take turns to enter. After some time, the couple changes, but the change can occur one by one. The sequence is not specified by anyone, each fighter himself feels when he needs to enter the circle and when – to exit. The duel is called “kind” (Portuguese. “Roda” – lit. “wheel”, “circle”) and can last several hours without stopping. The time of the fight is not limited, because everything happens only for your own pleasure. Capoeirista often convey the essence of childbirth with the word “game”, and they themselves call themselves, respectively, “players”. The game is played by special, magical songs, accompanied by traditional instruments: berimbau, atabaki, cereals. Berimbau is a string instrument resembling a bow. It is attached to a pumpkin dried and peeled from the inside, and the sound is extracted by hitting the stick with a string. (According to legend, once the berimbaus were made like real bows, but an arrow was used instead of a stick, and at the right moment the musical instrument turned into a formidable weapon.) Atabaki is a percussion instrument like a tom-tom. Kashishi is a small basket with stones that makes a sound that resembles the rustling of rain. Musical accompaniment sets the necessary rhythm and pace, and also creates a special psychological mood for all participants of the birth. From the side of the family it looks like a very beautiful and complex dance, and the masters of capoeira are indispensable participants in the traditional Brazilian carnivals at which they give demonstrations.
Fights in capoeira are held in both full and limited contact. There are also fights without rules. They are attended mainly by professionals.
In addition to sports, in the technique of capoeira there is also a combat section. In the combat section are studied: the struggle of one person against several opponents, the struggle of an unarmed against an armed person, the struggle with bound hands. Weapons are also cultivated in capoeira. The traditional weapon of capoeira is the machete. A duel with him is called a “mokele.” It takes place, like a kind, in a circle, under the singing and musical accompaniment. As a traditional weapon in capoeira, special small knives with a curved blade without a handle that are held by the toes are also used. Clutching the blades with their toes, the fighters stripped each other on the back and chest, leaving deep bleeding wounds. However, in this way, the slaves fought only among themselves, it was not quite a battle, because its participants did not try to kill each other. According to experts, this is a kind of ritual, the purpose of which is not entirely clear. Perhaps in this way the psychological training of the fighters was carried out.
Magic is another facet of capoeira, its dark side, hidden from prying eyes. Little is known about the “magical basis” of capoeira. Black slaves brought with them their religion, their beliefs, rituals and rituals. And although the Portuguese forced Christianity, Afro-Brazilians, joining the new faith, were in no hurry to forget the old. To this day, Brazil has preserved magical rituals that came from the distant past, such as Umbada and Condomble. The genus itself is not just a sporting duel, but also a magical process in which not only the fighters directly involved in the game participate, but also those who form a circle and sing magic songs while clapping their hands, and musicians who extract magical sounds from their instruments .