"Luta Reginal Baiana" (Regional fight from Bahia) was the original name given by Mestre Bimba to his style of Capoeira, which eventually evolved into Capoeira Regional. Mestre Bimba, born and raised in Bahia, Salvador, sought to create a structured and recognized form of Capoeira that could be practiced openly. However, at that time, Capoeira was still considered illegal.
By naming his style "Luta Reginal Baiana," Mestre Bimba aimed to downplay its association with Capoeira, which was seen as a disreputable activity associated with criminal behavior. The term "luta" means fight, emphasizing the martial nature of the art, while "Reginal Baiana" highlighted its regional origin in Bahia, a state known for its rich Afro-Brazilian culture.
Mestre Bimba's intention was to present Capoeira in a different light, promoting it as a legitimate and respected martial art form with its own unique regional characteristics. Over time, as Capoeira gained recognition and its practice became legalized, the style came to be known as Capoeira Regional, representing Mestre Bimba's innovative approach to the art and his efforts to establish a formalized structure for its training and practice.