One of the most common questions I get from new students who start to research Capoeira is: "What style do we train here?" And the truth is, that isn't a simple question to answer!
For some background, Capoeira today can be divided into three main categories: Angola, Regional, and Contemporanea. Capoeira Angola is seen as the older style of Capoeira, paying more attention to specific rituals, musical traditions, and putting more emphasis on the African roots of the art. Capoeira Angola as we know it today was largely pioneered by Mestre Pastinha in the 1940's.
Capoeira Regional is a style that was developed by Mestre Bimba in the 1920's and 1930's which heavily influenced modern Capoeira styles and methods. It is known for a specific set of training sequences as well as certain martial training and partner throws.
The rest of modern Capoeira groups that don't fit strictly under the Angola or Regional definitions are known as Contemporanea. This represents a broad swath of styles that combine elements of the two previous styles and often have more acrobatics or even elements from other martial arts mixed in.
The goal of Mão Pelo Pê Capoeira is to foster Capoeira Fluency in all students. Capoeira Fluency is the ability to be comfortable in any style of Capoeira class or roda, and we achieve that by spending time training all these major style categories in a cyclical, yearly basis.
You can see in this cycle diagram we cover the three major styles I talked about earlier, but we also add a fourth, Miudinho. Miudinho is a style popularized by the group Cordão de Ouro which emphasizes the closeness and connection of the players. These games are characterized by being very small, fast, and acrobatic, and contain many characteristic sequences that structure the style.
So every year, we spend 3 months on each style, focusing in on the important aspects, learning and relearning various sequences, and trying to apply it in the roda. This both allows us to build up a wide foundational base across styles and gives enough time to dig in deep on aspects students are particularly interested in. And no matter what time of year you start, you know we will be cycling back around to cover things you may have missed!
This is only a brief, high-level overview on how we create Capoeira Fluent students, if you have additional questions, always feel free to put them in the comments below! -Mike