In the world of Capoeira, each academy has its own system for ranking its students. Being the case, we always teach our students to never underestimate any capoeirista based on the cord s/he has around his or her waist. However, we also teach that our students should fear no one, but respect everyone. We pride ourselves in giving all of our students the equal opportunity to learn Capoeira. We have a fully equipped academy ideal for training and offer several classes in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings throughout the week. We provide the tools and the instruction on how to use them, but it is up to the student to do the rest! In Mestre Delei’s words, “Não e a arte o que faz o lutador, e o lutador que faz a arte marcial”. In other words, “It is not the martial art that makes the fighter, it is the fighter that trains the martial art”. Besides the motivation, determination, and dedication needed to become a great capoeirista, a student must believe in the art they are learning. If not, they will never reach their full potential!
Mestre Delei requires that all students put in the required training time and effort as well as show dedication to the academy in order to advance to the next cord. He wants students to be well rounded and learn all aspects of Capoeira including learning to play the instruments, to speak Portuguese, and to learn about Capoeira’s history as well as the history of our group, among other things. It is also important that students who are currently enrolled in school keep up their grades and help out at home so as to learn
to be disciplined not only in Capoeira, but also in life in general. Students will soon find that it takes hard work and lots of effort to earn each new cord in Capoeira. Therefore, it is very important that students always show respect to all instructors at all times. Being humble is also very important so the respect is mutual, and all higher cords are expected to treat every student with respect as well.
The following is an outline of our cord systems for our Adult and Little/Junior Mandrill students. Our kids’ graduation for our Little/Junior Mandrills is especially unique because of its emphasis on educating kids on all aspects of Capoeira and on Brazilian culture. For example, each student is required to research the animal that pertains to the cord that they are testing for and present their project to their classmates and teachers. They are also asked to learn about general Capoeira information (such as on basic rhythms and instruments that are used in the roda), as well as information more specific to our group (such as the colors, motto, and symbol that represent our group). Lastly, the kids also get the opportunity to learn Portuguese through having their classes conducted in a mixed Portuguese/English format and learning and practicing Capoeira songs that are in Portuguese.
Please note that Mestre Delei chose the following colors for a reason, and other groups may have a completely different system.