Capoeira Cord System
As in other martial arts, Capoeira uses a ranking system for recognition of the capoeira students’ knowledge. The capoeira ranking is presented in a form of belt (cordão) based on the colors of the Brazilian flag and/or nickname (apelido). The ranking system appeared for the first time in Capoeira Regional and it has never been usedin Capoeira Angola. A student can get his degree only at the so-called Capoeira Ceremony – Batizado (baptism) where everyone is considered as individual demonstrating his knowledge in Capoeira fight and everything related to it.
The capoeira ranking system is not standardized and every capoeira group may use different set of colored belts. Regardless of the colors of the belts, there are 5 capoeira ranks valid for every capoeira fighter:
Every capoeira student is called Aluno. It might be beginner or advanced and according to the knowledge of the student in capoeira fight, history and philosophy, his belt may have the following set of colors – green, green and yellow, yellow, yellow and blue.
Once a capoeira fighter become excellent in the capoeira style he is learning, he is called a Graduated Student. This kind of student may start teaching and give other capoeira students his skills and abilities. A Graduated Capoeira Student usually gets blue belt.
After a graduated student forms his own capoeira, he is called Formed Capoeira Student. Still, the Formado can only assist the head capoeira instructor. He himself may not be the main instructor. The color of the belt a formado wears is green.
The next level in the capoeira ranking system is professor. In some capoeira schools a professor may be called Contra-Mestre. The main difference between the formed student and the professor is that the second can be the head capoeira instructor in a capoeira school. The Professor is given yellow and blue, yellow, white and green colored capoeira belts.
A capoeirista can be recognized as Mestre only by a capoeira community. As this is the highest rank in capoeira, nobody can call one a Mestre and only the Mestre can assign the rank a capoeirista can get. There are 4 degrees of Capoeira Mestres – 1st degree Mestre gets white and green colored belt; 2nd degree mestre – white and yellow; 3rd degree Mestre – white and blue; Grand Mestre – white.