Welcome to the virtual roda. As in a real roda the games are controlled by the soul of capoeira - listen to the music, and play that kind of game. If you have any complaints about material on this forum please contact Brabo at [email protected].

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  Topic: Gradeing and excelling
  2006-05-02 22:51:14
Just wondering about getting graded and advancing?Do we need to take certain classes to excell?We are only new to capoeira,but I was told you are given a Belt/rope that shows your level of skill?Just wanted to know as I think the belts or what ever,are quite cool! How do we get/earn one of them??
Is there a students/begginers "CORDAO"?
  viola from Waikato
  2006-05-03 04:10:42
Hey Lateef.

I'm keen/brave to give this one a shot, but I am asked this by people often so why not...?
This is a broad subject, and may inspire a few others to add their piece into the discussion. (my apologies if this goes on a bit or if there is anything I have said that is not quite specific as to how this question could or should be answered...perhaps editing is what it really needs) :-P

Cordao's are something we do have in our academy, however there are certain approaches that are taken that may slightly differ to most other academy's. Firstly, to give a bit of background to the whole grading system and it's context to capoeira.
The cordao/ranking system was introduced by Mestre Bimba as a means of perhaps applying to his stylised form of capoeira (capoeira regional) to the way that many Asian martial arts held some form of system to determine the level of skill and technique of a practitioner.(although the actuall coloured belt system itself was said to also have come from the western culture... But that's going on to yet, another topic there)
However Capoeira Angola has never held any such system and as Mestre Joao Grande said at the encounter (After Cabello translated it for us) " there are only 2 kinds in the Academy's, The students, and the Mestre".
Of course our school is not a completely Angoleiro school, and being a part of Capoeira mandinga (Of mestre Marcello Caverinha) Our cordao system follows close to the same structure of his academy.
However, The approaches that I mentioned earlier in this reply that were referred as being different, is that our structure is not seen in the same context as the Asian martial arts or other capoeira schools for that matter. Cordao's in main aspect are merely a representation of the effort and attitude that you have maintained throughout the time you have trained capoeira. More of a representation of the work you have put in to the group and contribution to make things happen. A Mestre once said that you can tell how good a capoeirista is by seeing just his ginga. Which goes without saying "you don't need to see the colour around someone's waist to determine that persons- skill".(Brabo,2005).
In saying this... We do have a system and there are usually requirements which are not set in stone or marked as a "test" or grading,but these are great incentives to keep training and learning. we don't wear these cordao's in class, rather we keep them only on special occasions.
Usually through getting to know our teacher Brabo, and allowing him to see what you have been learning and how your capoeira has developed (His workshops are great way for this) After training for a while, eventually you come to what is known as a "Batisado" and "troca De Cordao"/"change of Belt". You usually recieve your first cordao (colour: verde) at the same time as your batisado.
As I was saying, none of these events are a grading or test as such, and are a celebration more than anything. The Mestre will see over time when you are ready to move up and where your capoeira is at.
So my advice... Train hard! Try to focus as much as you can on the different aspects of capoeira at classes (physical movements and the names in portuguese, the sequences we train at classes, the music and singing, some of the history and the game of capoeira itself)
A good opportunity for this could be at Ax'e weekend in Auckland (12th-14th May)
I hope this helps answer what you were wondering.
  2006-05-09 17:59:15
yeah, maybe like some others I have mixed feelings about cordaos in our group. I do feel proud to have one, and when I got it it felt great, but then I wonder if they have much point. Mine is gathering dust, used it once for a performance last year. And when Lobao was here I had to wear it.

Otherwise the level standards we have is useful to see what is expected of us at different levels. Do we need cordaos to do that though? I like our kids system - they just have one funky cordao whatever level they are

"Of course our school is not a completely Angoleiro school" - is it possible to be a bit angola? mostly angola except a bit something else? ha!

by the way feiteceiro-mandingeiro, your use of apostrophe's really annoys me - it's the english teacher in me... can you get the Hamilton secretary to edit your stuff before you send it?

  2006-05-10 00:30:07
Cordao are very useful - they make sure our new funky Cabello angola pants don't fall down :)
  2006-05-10 10:15:18
Hmm, I think they look cool when people are playing games at demos and stuff, but I guess they are a little functionally redundant, other than for holding up pants :). I guess maybe it goes along the lines of the symbolism that brabo has been talking about, since the colors of ours and the kids' were chosen to represent us in NZ and our link to Capoeira Mandinga or something right? Oh, but making cordoes at camp is great for getting to know people, bonding and the like, whilst singing songs and getting sunburnt :). Also for creeping out the other campers that have no idea what this crazy bunch of people that keep playing these weird games and singing in a foreign language are doing, but now they've taken over the campsite with some weird wool-weaving ritual... Heh, good times.

  2006-05-11 14:53:16
Cordao are made of wool to keep you warm :0)
  2006-06-30 20:02:21
Tucano said, "by [sic] the way feiteceiro-mandingeiro, your use of apostrophe's really annoys me - it's the english teacher in me... can you get the Hamilton secretary to edit your stuff before you send it?"

Tucano: Was your use of the apostrophe (in "apostrophe's") intended to be ironic?
  2006-06-30 23:08:12
May-b I cld jst type all my posts in txt 4mat instead, & dat way I cld fit more wrds in2 here & ramble on evn more. LOL :-P

But as for spelling and grammar...
Is the focus on the order of letters and symbols in the sentences... Or the meaning behind all the words?
  2006-07-05 17:39:35
ys, i lk tht y sy wht y mn nd mn wht y sy. myb jst frgt bt th pstrphs ltgthr.
  2006-07-06 19:10:35
Ummm.... Can I buy a vowel?
  2006-07-07 14:51:21
Bah hah ha :)
  2007-11-26 22:37:16
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