Our System

Cabecao e Barron
Cabecao e Barron

It is our belief that a well-rounded capoeirista must not only master all aspects of the art—movements, sequences, songs, instruments, jôgos—but must also demonstrate a solid understanding of the historical and philosophical contexts through which capoeira has evolved and is evolving. With this in mind, we have established an examination system which tests the individual on all of these qualities. An examination consists of the following components:

  • Stamina (running, swimming, or biking)
  • Strength (push-ups, sit-ups, handstand push-ups)
  • Movements (attacks, defenses, fundamentals)
  • Sequências (adapted versions of Mestre Bimba’s sequences)
  • Jôgos (each testing different aspects of the game: harmony, plasticity, rhythm, diversity of movement, control of movement, control of the domain of the roda, combativity)
  • Music (berimbau [various toques], pandeiro, atabaque, agogô, reco-reco, songs)
  • Philosophy and History (written papers on various subjects, such as quilombos, Candomblê, capoeira politics)

Our system is based on the first system of classification that was developed for capoeira. It was created by our mestre, Carlos Senna, in 1955. Individuals that successfully pass an examination receive a fita (tape-like string that is tied around one’s waist). The level of advancement is determined by the color of the fita:

  • Fita Cinza (grey)
  • Fita Lilás (lilac)
  • Fita Abobora (peach)
  • Fita Vermelho (red)
  • Fita Azul (blue)
  • Fita Amarelo (yellow)
  • Fita Verde (green)

Upon reaching the level of Fita Verde one is given the title of professor. A professor is considered to have mastered all elements of capoeira and is free to further its cause by opening his or her school, introducing the art to new parts of the world, and playing other active roles in the preservation of the art.