At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Capoeirista was a rouge and a criminal – an expert in the use of kicks (golpes), sweeps (rasteiras) and head-butts (cabeçadas), as well as in the use of blade weapons. In Recife, during carnival time, tough Capoeira fighters would lead the music bands, fighting with any other bands they met with. In Bahia, the Capoeirista was also often seen as a criminal.
The persecution and the confrontations with the police continued. The art form was slowly extinguished in Rio and Recife, leaving Capoeira only in Bahia. It was during this period that legendary figures, such as Besouro Cordao-de-Ouro in Bahia, Nascimento Grande in Recife and Manduca da Praia in Rio, who are celebrated to this day in Capoeira, made their appearances.