As do many other martial arts, capoeira uses a ranking system to provide visual recognition of a student’s knowledge, length of practice, and dedication to the art. Specific to capoeira is the cord system, which is here based upon the colors of the Brazilian flag (green, yellow, blue, white). A student will receive the cord to their next level at an event known as the Batizado, or baptism into the art and culture of capoeira.
Note that the cord system used here is not the standard system used for every capoeira group. What may signal a “beginner” with Capoeira Angola de Palmares may mean “6-year student” in another group, and vice versa. Always be aware of the people that you are practicing/playing with when wearing your cord amongst strangers, and only wear your cord with your Capoeira Angola de Palmares abadás.
While each ranking carries with it an expected time commitment, having practiced for these time frames does not guarantee a cord. These are more general guidelines than a rigid structure, and apply mostly to students that consistently practice in and out of class. Seattle Capoeira Angola de Palmares uses a system that seeks to cultivate the 3 basic components of a masterful capoeirista: Base, Technique, and Equilibrium. The cord system used is as follows:
Light Green: Initiates | 6 months – 1 year |Consistent attendance and performance in practice
Dark Green: Base | 1 – 1½ years | Can proficiently exhibit the base of the school: Ginga, Esquiva, Negativa, Rolê, Aú, Resistençia.
Green-Yellow Braided: 2 – 4 years | Developing technique and understanding of the 10 basic sequences; Can demonstrate a fair understanding of all of the instruments of the bateria
Yellow: Technique | 4 – 6 years | Title: Assistant Instructor | Can demonstrate full basic technique of the school, as well as all of the Palmares rhythms of the berimbau
Yellow-Blue Braided: 6 – 8 years | Title: Instructor | Able to lead a level 1 class without assistance
Blue: Equilibrium | 8 – 10+ years | Title: Professor | Has a sophisticated game, and demonstrates a strong knowledge not only of the music of capoeira, but also of the history. Certified to lead a branch of the Palmares organization.
White + Green/Yellow/Blue: Title: Assistant Master
1st degree – White + Green
2nd degree – White + Yellow
3rd degree – White + Blue
4th degree – White: Title: Grand Master