Some capoeira groups have a ranking system (cords – cordas or cordões in Portuguese – are used rather than belts). Capoeira regional and capoeira contemporânea groups tend to use cords, whereas capoeira angola groups do not.
The cord system in capoeira is not standardized; every group has a different order of colors. Some follow the colors of the Brazilian flag – green, yellow, blue, and white – and others introduce other colors, such as red, orange, purple, and brown. Many have mixed-color belts that are in between the main color levels.
Different groups also have different requirements for advancement to the next cord level. During the year, each Capoeira Camara instructor will test their students in fitness, movements, game, music, and knowledge of the art’s history and philosophy. Each instructor will decide when each student is ready to receive the next cord. Students receive their first cords at an event called a batizado (baptism) and move up in cords at the troca de cordões (changing of cords).
The cord ranking system did not exist in capoeira until the 20th century. Mestre Bimba, the creator of capoeira regional, used to give out colored handkerchiefs in order to distinguish the graduated students from the novices. Mestre Carlos Senna of the group Senavox created the first colored cord ranking system in 1955.
The Cordão System of Capoeira Camará:
|Crua||Crua e Amarela||Amarela||Amarela e Laranja||Laranja|
|Laranja e Azul||Azul (Graduado)||
Azul e Verde
Verde e Roxa
|Roxa (Instrutor)||Roxa e Marrom (Estag. Professor)||Marrom (Professor)||Marrom e Vermelha (Contra Mestre)||Vermelha (Mestre)|