One similarity between Capoeira and other martial arts is the use of a ranking system. "Cords" were introduced in the academy era of Capoeira (late 1900's) and so are a relatively new phenomenon in the art. Because of this, there is no unified cord system so every group has their own way of doing ranks. This post is just meant to explain what we do here at Mao Pelo Pe Capoeira.
The colors in the cords are based on the colors of the Brazilian flag: green, yellow, blue, and white. The order of the colors is related to how much of each color is in the flag; so green is found in the earlier ranks, yellow is found in the intermediate and advanced ranks, blue signifies leadership/teaching ranks, and white is reserved for the highest title of Mestre.
The image below shows the different ranks from beginner up to Instrutor:
These are the first three cords in our system. The curriculum for these ranks is focused on building up Capoeira fundamentals. This includes the foundational movements, sequences, and concepts of each style that we study, along with introductory music practices. Through our yearly cycles, the student will be exposed to each of the primary styles our group focuses on. This stage of training will last the first 2-3 years depending on the pace of the student.
In this next stage of training, the intermediate student expands on their fundamental skills developed in the first stage, and begins to focus more on the development of the game. This will include developing more advanced movements and sequences, and also improving the sense of how to integrate those learnings into the context of a Capoeira game. Here we delve deeper into music with the goal of proficiency across all instruments. This stage represents another 3-4 years of training.
The Graduado/a rank represents a major milestone in the Capoeirista's growth and is also the first rank that comes with a title. At this stage, the student has very strong foundations, a deep understanding of the game, and is starting to develop their own style. The goal for this rank is to produce students that can go to any roda and feel comfortable in their ability to play, both inside the roda and in the bateria. We also focus on developing the independence of the student at this rank, encouraging their ability to learn outside our school as well. A student will typically have been training for a total of 6-7 years before receiving the rank of Graduado/a. The Monitor/a and Instrutor/a ranks represent leadership and teaching roles, and we will talk about those as well as the ranks above in a future post! Our curriculum continues to involve as we keep trying to improve it, so feel free to ask any questions you may have! -Instrutor Mike