Mainly two Mestres have influenced Capoeira as it exists nowadays:
Mestre Bimba
Mestre Bimba
Manuel dos Reis Machado alias Mestre Bimba was a brazilian capoeirista and is referred to as the founder of the modern Capoeira Regional.

He was born in Salvador de Bahia on 23 november 1900. Back then he already received his nickname, Bimba. His mother (Maria Martinha do Bomfim) was convinced to give birth to a girl. The midwife though bet against the mother's conviction. When the child was born and it was obvious that it was a boy the midwife shouted out "Bimba" as in Bahia the male genital is called.

The still young Manoel learned the wild and violent African fight from his father (Luiz Cândido Machado), a master of this art called batuque. Here the objective is to knock down the opponent only with the help of your legs.

By the age of 12 years Mestre Bimba had his first contact with Capoeira. As a student of Bentinho, a captain of the shipping company of Bahia, learned the historical dance/fight for four years. Afterwards he began to teach this style for ten years at the harbour authority in Bahia.

By the time got the impression that Capoeira might evolve. According to his opinion Capoeira offered too little combat operation and served only anymore for shows in places and markets. This made him worry that Capoeira within the shadows of other martial arts such as Judo or Karate could be extinct. Therefore he connected Capoeira with Batuque to emphasize the movements with more agility and to create a more motivated dynamic and acrobatic game.

During the days in which Mestre Bimba had grown up Capoeira was an outlawed streetfight and the execution was prohibited by law. Those who did it anyway where hunted down and often punished heavily. Therefore Capoeira was not taught in schools. Mestre Bimba skirted this prohibition by teaching his "new" Capoeira und the cover name „Luta Regional Baiana“ (regional fight of Bahia) in his studio. By consequence he founded the the first Capoeira studio in Bahia in 1932.

During these days Brazil went through a phase of many changes on a political, cultural and social level. Within the modernisation Bimba was finally able to bring his Capoeira style to public and therefore in the year 1936 there was the first public performance. One year after he was invited to the governmental palace to perform in front of various personalities from state, administration and society. Mestre Bimba convinced his audience of this Capoeira Regional so that finally it was nominated Brazil's national sport. After these events his school was recognized by law the 23, june 1937, as the first one in Brazil.

By the year 1942 he founded his second Capoeira school (academia) in Terreiro de Jesus, which until today under the direction of his former student Mestre Vermelho (nowadays Mestre Bamba).

Mestre Bimba taught many students as well as numerous personalities of Bahia's social and political life if they passed the entrance examinations. Although he did not nominate any Mestre during his whole lifetime.

1972 Mestre Bimba participated in his last „Batizado“ and died in 15, february 1974 from a cerebral haemorrhage at a hospital in Goiânia. Disappointed by deceptive promises of the government, lack of support and financial problems unfortunately he was not anymore able to see how Capoeira developed and how much it is appreciated today.
Mestre Pastinha
Mestre Pastinha
"My friend, I was made from ashes, destined from nature to being a Capoeirista. I learned willpower through joy not with sadness."

Vicente Ferreira Pastinha, was born on April 15, 1889, son of a Spanish man and a metis with african roots. His father was a merchant within the historical center of Salvador da Bahia, his mother lived from selling "aracajé" and washing for various families. For the first time as a small boy Pastinha got to know the art of Capoeira. The story for this is the following: an older and stronger boy from the neighborhood had often beaten him up. One day Benedito saw this and asked Pastinha to come to his house where he would teach him a few things. He inculcated him not to provoke his opponent but to hide his fighting knowledge as good as possible. During the next encounter with the older boy Pastinha defeated him so fast that the older one became his admirer.

During his youth he took painting classes in the mornings at the art school Liceu de Artes e Ofício; in the afternoons he played with paper kites and learned Capoeira. He continued his training with Benedito for three years. Since his father did not agree with his Capoeira fights he sent him to a naval academy. Therefore he could not further pursue his own training but he taught his friends at school how to do Capoeira. At the age of 21 years he left the school in order to become a painter. In his spare time though he still secretly trained Capoeira which was still illegal in Brazil by that time.

In 1941 Mestre Pastinha followed the invitation of Aberrè, one of his former students, and participated in a Sunday roda at the "Ladeira do Gengibirra" in the quarter of "Liberdade". Many of the best masters were present here.

Aberrê had been famous for a long time in those rodas and when Pastinha spent one afternoon there, Mestre Amorzinho, one of the best masters of Bahia, asked him if he wouldn't teach Capoeira Angola. By consequence in 1942 Pastinha founde the first school for Capoeira Angola, the „Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola“ in the Pelourinho quarter. His students wore black pants and yellow t-shirts, the colors of Pastinhas favourite soccer club "Ypiranga Futebol Clube".

He was part of the brazilian delegation at the „First International Festival de Artes Negras“ in Dakar (Senegal). Other popular masters in this festival were Mestre João Grande, Mestre Gato Preto, Mestre Gildo Alfinete, Mestre Roberto Satanás and Camafeu de Oxossi.

Pastinha has travelled a lot through the world in order to represent Brazil throughout Capoeira. He used all his talents in order to promote the art. He wrote a book, he painted and wrote poems in order to show the basis of defense and attack. He organised public presentations for those who did not yet know the beauty of Capoeira. He incentivated men, children and even the wives of his students to train Capoeira because he was convinced that this art would be good for anybody.

At the age of 84 his sport center was closed down by the administration and he had to continue living in a small room with his second wife, Dona Maria Romélia, alias Dona Nice, as they called her endearingly. They only lived from the selling of "aracajé" that his wife prepared and from the help of his friends.

On april, 12, 1981, he participated for the last time in a roda. He finally had to move into a doss house in Salvador. On friday, 13, november 1981 Pastinha died at the age of 92 years as a broken man in bitterness about his treatment.

Only two of his best students are still alive, Mestre João Grande and Mestre João Pequeno, who are still disseminating Pastinhas legacy in this world.

"Capoeira is the most popular among the fighting arts, god designed is pure and beautiful."
Professor Jorge Linguado
Jorge Linguado was the first teacher of the two brothers Edivanilson Amaro (Toupeira) and José Elenildo da Silva (Fominha), nowadays Contra Mestre and Professor. He taught them at the Academia Arte Viva in Boa Viagem, a quarter of Recife.
As for any Capoeirista the first teacher has a very distinct impact for the further evolution of this person in this sport: he teaches the basics concerning the movements and the game and ignites the enthusiasm for the elements of this rich culture!
In the case of Toupeira and Fominha they have lost their first teacher early when he died unexpectedly in a travel to Brasilia. In order to honor him they named their own group Linguado Capoeira München when they founded it in 2007.