Shrewd game: Capoeira Angola

" Every capoeirista is cabalist himself, for good and for evil."

Mestre Pastinha


The Capoeira Angola is the style of capoeira which preserves the basic roots of the art, linking it to the ancient times of slavery in Brazil.

The figure behind this strong and traditional style of capoeira was Vicente Ferreira Pastinha, a.k.a. Mestre Pastinha. He was the first and major master of Capoeira Angola, improving the centenary art inharited from the slaves and establishing a strict code of conduct for his disciples in order to preserve the rituals and the good standard of the art.

He opened his training center in 1941, after Mestre Bimba's one, but he was the first to write a book on the genre, where he exposed his philosophical conceptions based on the Capoeira Angola. He also was known as a sage on the art of capoeira and the master of the majority of the old masters that are still alive today. It was an inspiration for those who wanted to know the real capoeira.

In those times the black slaves brought from Africa to the new continent had to disguise each and every action, be it of religiousness, of self-preservation, of desire for freedom, in order to not contradict their owners.

This style of capoeira is full of small rituals, the pace in slow; there is more contemplation of ones actions and the actions of one's peer with which one is performing the game.

Therefore, it is not strange that Capoeira Angola has a set of seven passages in its basic standard game where the capoeiristas put both hands palm to palm with of their peers and dance a very slow sequence of steps back and force, going in circles and crouched down low on the ground to then go back to the game.

The illustration of Carybe on the top right portrays exactly the beginning of a "Chamada de bencao", which can be translated as "Call for Blessing".

This then may evolve to the situation portrayed in the top left illustration where one of the players guards himself by crossing his arms in front of the opponent's legs in order to avoid any unexpected attack. Capoeira Angola is a shrewd ritual.


Masters formed by Mestre Pastinha

Antônio Carlos Moraes

Mestre Caiçara

Antônio Carlos Moraes

Mestre João Grande

João Pereira dos Santos

Mestre João Pequeno.