Capoeira Angola has been recognized as a cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO; it is a cultural expression of several dimensions. At once a martial art, a dance and a game, it is so intimately connected with Afro-Brazilian history and society that it becomes part of the Brazilian identity.
Brought to life through the struggle of enslaved Africans, marginalized indigenous Americans, and ostracized colonists, Capoeira Angola is a ritualized game of the body, mind, and spirit that is played to foster the development of character, the building of community, and the transformation of society-at-large.
Within this game, rules of conduct are established and broken with style and grace, conflict is engaged in with cunning and wit, and the playful movements are harmonized with the sounds and songs of historic tradition. By combining the fluidity of dance, the strategy of battle, and the creativity of rhythm, the ritual of Capoeira Angola works to establish a cooperative collaboration between oneself, one's community, and the world-at-large. As a result, the tradition of Capoeira Angola is a natural microcosm of the real world, making the skills of Capoeira Angola easily transferable to the macrocosm of everyday life.
That said, the way one lives in the world is the way one expresses themselves in the training, practice, and play of Capoeira Angola. The natural interaction between ones style of life and ones style of play elevates the manner of Capoeira Angola to a trans-personal dimension. To a place where the rhythms and sounds of the ancestors come and teach not only the movements of the game, but the movement of life itself. Capoeira Angola may appear to be an entertaining combination of dancing and fighting with a musical performance thrown in to keep the audience interested, but Capoeira Angola is a ritual and all ritual calls for a result. For those that engaged Capoeira Angola, the result of this ritual is the way in which one lives their life for the benefit of all.
It is in the spirit of benefit that the ritual of Capoeira Angola is played, yet what is beneficial in the grand scheme of events may be uncomfortable in the present moment. However, the discomfort of remaining in the present moment has the potential to transform every aspect of one’s life. As a result, to live each moment as if it were the only is to live a life as an Angoleiro.