The Game of Capoeira Angola
Capoeira Angola is an art form that combines and draws elements from dance, martial arts, acrobatics, ritual, and music. It is ultimately a game where a "Capoeirista" or "Angoleiro" uses agility and technique to maneuver a fellow player into a defenseless position, making them open to a headbutt, kick or sweep. Players can only place hands, head and feet on the floor. Usually there is no contact from strikes as it is understood that an implied strike is more admirable especially if an opponent has been obviously manipulated into a position that is not defensible. The strikes, evasions, and counter-strikes are woven together with acrobatic and dance maneuvers during the course of a game, and the freedom to improvise and create openings keeps Capoeira Angola fluid and often unpredictable.
Capoeira Angola is practiced in what we call the "Roda" (circle) where all the people in presence are participating in some shape or form. There are the two players who are engaging in the game, there are the eight music players who hold and play the different instruments, and there are the people in the circle who watch the game, sing, and at times clap. People in the roda exchange roles frequently and fluidly so everyone has to practice all the elements of the art. You may be playing an instrument at a given moment but five minutes later you may be engaging an opponent in the middle of the circle. And some time right after you may become a spectator and/or an instrument player once again.