Foot Tracks on Sand



Capoeira originally only had two ranks, student and Mestre. Mestre Bimba was one of the first Capoeira teachers to use a graduation system in the 1930s. Mestre Bimba used colored lençoes (Scarves) to signify progress in the art of Capoeira. As time went on future groups abandoned scarves and began to use colored ropes to be recognized a modern grading system more similar to modern martial arts practices.


This practice is called a batizado(Baptism) and troca de cordao(Switching of the chord/Belt). The practice originates from Mestre Bimbas Capoeira Regional, it was the first time a student played to the berimbau with either their teacher or a graduated student. In todays Capoeira batizados are small to large events, it is the point of th year where new members will be baptized. (Graduated) officially into the capoeira school and receive their first cords in this same event current members also graduate from other levels at these events.

Another form of graduation is the Formatura. This is when a student transitions into the teacher ranks Instructor, Professor, Contramestre and Mestre.



Attendance is classified as :

A student paying monthly fees and attending at least 4 classes a month. Having good attendance/training regularly and meeting level requirements make students eligible for graduation

- Attendance

- know how to recognize and do the following moves:

Ginga, Esquiva de Frente, Esquiva para tras, Esquiva Baixa, Au,negativa, Role, Queda de quatro, Tesoura de angola, cocorinha, cocorinha solta, bananeira, passagem

- Know how to recognize and execute the following kicks: Martelo, armada, Bencao, Meia lua de frente, Meia lua de compasso, chapa

-begin learning pandeiro and atabaque

- Learning anatomy of berimbau

-Learn 3 songs Pararane, lalaue, Tim Tim Tim la vai viola(See Student section for song lyrics)

The very first chord usually takes six months to a year to receive and is unique because Capoeiristas refer to this event as the batizado. Your batizado is your introduction into the world of Capoeira. It’s a symbolic transition to being a capoeirista and starting on the path to exploring Capoeira.



- Attendance
-4 Sequencia de Bimba (Regional)
- Ability to play at least one instrument (atabaque or Pandeiro)
- basic understanding/exhibition of game play
- Ability to name the basic kicks and escapes and movements
- can Start self defense training
- Introduction to capoeira belt making

-Learn and Execute these moves:

Rasteira, au rasteira,escala, passa falso, cocoroinha lateral, troca de pe, role dos tempo, finta armada, finta meia lua de compasso, finta meia lua de frente, finta martelo, finta queixada, negativa lateral, negativa de frente, macaco, corta capim

-Learn and Execute these kicks:

Esoparao/Gauncho, martelo no chao, troca martelo,chapa de costa,parafuso, pisao

-Intro to takedowns and take down care and safety-learn how to properly fall

-Begin learning what game the berimbau calls to play

-Learn 3 songs: Beira mar ioio, eu pisei na folha seca, deixa o nego vadiar.

-This level usually takes 2 to 3 years this level is considered to be the entry level of understanding Roda ettiequte and what it means to be in capoeira.



- Attendance
- 8 Sequencia de bimba (regional)
- Ability to play at least two instruments (one being the berimbau)
- Begin learning Ladainha

- Knows ,understands,and enforces school rules
- A more advanced understanding/exhibition of game play which includes entradas for take downs and be able to recognize the different rhythms of the berimbau and which game is being called to play

- Self defense training level 1
- Ability to string a berimbau
- Ability to make capoeira cords

- Learn 5 songs: A bananeria Caiu, bate no batuque, area do mar,a mare ta cheia, a hora Essa.

-Know schools bateria arrangement

- Sing and play berimbau(Toques) Dandara, Angola, Sao bento Grande de Angola, São Bento Pequeno, Jejé, Benguela

This level takes around 3 to 5 years it is the level that you really start to begin to understand the game and structure of capoeira class at this level you will know a small amount of Portuguese, you will know at least 11 songs and their meanings and you will know basic movements names and meanings



- Attendance
- Sequencia de Bimba (regional)
- Introduction to Jogo De Navalha
- Ability to play at least three instruments (Pandeiro, Atabaque/Conga, Berimbau)
- Ability to play Dandara, Angola, Sao Bento Grande Anogola, Iuna, sao bento pequeno, benguela , bangüela, bangüela solta, jejé, São Bento grande do mestre Bimba on the berimbau, and begin learning Estandarte, Idalina and Tico Tico
- A more advanced understanding/exhibition of game play which includes entradas for take downs and a basic understanding of strategy manuevers that control your opponents movement.
- Ability to sing at least 1 Ladainhas, 1 Quadras, and 11 Corridos

- for instructor availability must have a total of 100 hours of monitored teaching approved by teacher&Mestre

-CPR certification

-8 week School Etiquette Course(must be completed before graduating to Instructor)

This level can take up to 4 to 7 years as this level is both a students level and transition level into the teacher belts, at this level you will begin your Monitored teaching and begin to have some larger responsibilities in knowing certain information to aid upcoming students as an advanced students.


Each Cord Level has its own requirements on





- Must be able to teach a structured class without supervision up to the Aluno Graduado level

- Has a complete understanding of capoeira teacher and student etiquette and enforces these principles in a professional manner

- CPR certification up to date

- Must attend 5 events a year

- If permitted to Teach Must have insurance

- Must Be able to Teach Bimba Sequence

- Must know toque de Idalina/Santa Maria de angola and how to play jogo de navalha

- Ability to play Dandara, Angola, Sao Bento Grande Anogola, Iuna, sao bento pequeno, benguela , bangüela, bangüela solta, jejé, São Bento grande do mestre Bimba , Estandarte, Idalina, Tico Tico, Santa Maria de angola on berimbau

- Must Know Maculele Rhythm and at least 1 songs/Must know samba de Roda rhythm and at least 1 song(On conga/Atabaque & Pandeiro)

- Will have completed 100 hours of monitored teaching

- Self Defense level 2 training

- Ability to sing at least 2 Ladainhas, 2 Quadras, and 15+ Corridos

- Know the different Games played to the standard berimbau rhythms (Angola, Sao bento Grande de angola, Iuna, Idalina, Sao bento Grande Do Mestre Bimba)

This level is received around 8 to 12 years

Receiving this chord is a big deal and a sign that you’re ready to start teaching others the art of Capoeira. One could argue the receiving the Instructors belt is the equivalent to a tradition black belt in other Martial arts. This is why even though you might start teaching, it’s more important than ever to stay close to your Mestre and continue learning from them. Once you receive this rank and start teaching you’ll likely have more questions that you thought possible. Keep you teacher close and learn from them all the little things about Capoeira that you forgot to ask about when you were a student.


- Attendance is still necessary so that you as teachers continue to still grow

- At this level you have the authority to have your own regular class or classes, you'll be developing your own style and might supervise instructors. at this level you are able to teach classes and training courses up to the Instructor level Requirements. To reach this level, Capoeiristas must have proven themselves to be skilled martial artists in the roda and outside their Group. They are proficient teachers and trusted to be a representative of Capoeira savana. Professors are regarded very highly, as they have come very far and have devoted their lives to being part of Capoeira. Their malicia, music, and history knowledge and skill continue to increase, since they now have the ability to apply the knowledge they've gained within capoeira as leaders to their dealings in the outside world.

- Professors must attend a minimum of 5 events a year

- This level takes 12 to 16+ years of experience


- The title Contramestre wasn’t invented in capoeira, it actually is a naval term which was adopted by capoeira. Somewhere between the mid 19th and early 20th century, a lot of the capoeiras in Salvador used to work on the docks or on ships. Also, a lot of Navy officials were capoeira players during that time. At some point, capoeira was even part of the training program of the Brazilian Navy. There have always been strong ties between capoeira and life at sea, which is very clear in the amount of capoeira songs touching on the subject. It is therefore logical that the capoeira players adopted some naval terms and introduced them in capoeira. Before the emergence of Capoeira Contemporânea, the title of Contramestre didn’t hold the same value as it does now. The Contramestre was the Mestre’s right hand man and assistant. He would help organize the classes, receive and welcome new students and take care of more practical things. It was not as much a title as it was a position you held in your academy. Of course, the Contramestre was most often one of the most experienced disciples and was quicker to be recognized as a Mestre himself.

- This level take 18 to 20+ years of experience