Styles

Capoeira has two main styles:
 
Capoeira Angola
Capoeira Angola is the older one of the two main styles and it is referred to as the original version of Capoeira. Earlier it was just called Capoeira but after the emerging of Capoeira Regional it was renamed Capoeira Angola. This was meant to emphasize the fact that this is the original version of Capoeira (most of the slaves who developed Capoeira were from Angola).

It is Mestre Pastinha (Vicente Ferreira Pastinha) who is considered its originator since it was him who opened one of the first schools of Capoeira Angola after the abolition of the prohibition in 1937.
Within the game of Capoeira Angola it is attached high importance to the perception of the opponent, therefore it is played slowly and concentrated. It is essential to create a harmonical interaction by playing beautifully with flowing movements, hits and escape movements. 
At a first glance the players in the roda with their slow movements seem uncoordinated and lethargic. This impression is immediately corrected when quick attacks follow a move sequence.
Capoeira Angola is known for the fact that it is tried to outwit the opponent with craftiness (malicia) and deceit (fintas).

There is also a lot of emphasize on style. It frequently happens that in the rodas in Bahia people play with hat and suit! It is trained usually with black pants and a yellow t-shirt, often accompanied by a belt. Frequently players are wearing flat shoes but it is never played without wearing anything on your upper body.
Songs of Capoeira Angola are often very wistful and are sung calmly and slowly. Usually they tell stories from the times of the slavery.
 
Capoeira Regional (consisting in Sao Bento Grande and Benguela)
Capoeira Regional is the younger and more impulsive kind of both Capoeira styles. Its founder is Mestre Bimba (Manuel dos Reis Machado) who did not appreciate the image of Capoeira at that time (street fight). Therefore his intention was to develop a modern and respected fighting art.
He enriched it by elements from Jiu Jitsu and Batuque. By the year 1930 still during the prohibition he founded the first offical Capoeira school. Before that Capoeira could only be learnt on the streets and during the times of slavery on the plantations and slave markets, by simple watching. 
Capoeira Regional itself is subdivided in two styles: Sao Bento Grande and Benguela. Both of them are usually taught together in Capoeira Regional schools. After a certain graduation (cord color) even Capoeira Angola is taught. Though in Capoeira Angola academies it is not possible to learn Capoeira Regional.

Sao Bento Grande features a fast technique, high and direct kicks as well as acrobatic moves. Also the knocking over of the partner is allowed. 
The intention to impair or even to hurt other players is not desired in most of all Capoeira associations and groups!
The game is accompanied musically by a choir singing. Though it is relinquished to long melancholic strophes and melodies. Instead the louder music is supposed to heat up the players in Sao Bento Grande.

Benguela by the other hand is the slower style of Sao Bento Grande which contains more elements of Capoeira Angola. Therefore it is that Benguela is played close to the ground like Angola. The kicks hits and acrobatics as well as the choir singing remain characteristics from Sao Bento Grande.

Considering the optics Regional players differ strongly from Angoleiros who are wearing many different colors and are very concerned about their style. The clothing requirements of Regional players are rather referring to asian martial arts. White pants and white t-Shirts (usually with the club's logo) and colored cords (cordas) are their signs. Capoeira Regional is played barefoot (and sometimes also with bare upper body).