Author: Christopher Calado Rodriguez. Before the introduction of a belt system, Capoeira had only two ranks, student and mestre. Mestre Bimba was one of the first Capoeira teachers to use a graduation system in the s. Future groups abandoned the scarves for chords, which are still used today in the majority of Capoeira groups.
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Grupo Capoeira Brasil is an organization that practices, teaches, and demonstrates the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. This style is derived from movements and sequences developed and systematized by Mestre Bimba 's Luta Regional Baiana , the adapted techniques of Grupo Senzala , as well as influences from the founding Mestres of Grupo Capoeira Brasil, each of whom brought personal contributions specific to their ideology, stylistic methodology and personality. Grupo Capoeira Brasil uses eight different colors in their graduation system.
Titles commonly used are Contramestre and Mestrando. What is the difference? And how do you spell Contramestre? 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. If you are just like me absolutely not familiar with naval jargon, it can be a bit confusing figuring out what a contramestre is.
The ranking system appeared for the first time in Capoeira Regional and it has never been usedin Capoeira Angola. A student can get his degree only at the so-called Capoeira Ceremony — Batizado baptism where everyone is considered as individual demonstrating his knowledge in Capoeira fight and everything related to it. The capoeira ranking system is not standardized and every capoeira group may use different set of colored belts.