Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The ZambiaCongo Grading System

Dear fellow Capoeiristas,

This is quoted off the ZambiaCongo Webpage, I hope this information helps you all understand better about the belts and please do not worry, YOU WILL GET A BELT ( the beginners belt of course )

"Official Grading System
The capoeira grading system was first introduced by Master Bimba. In his academy, the students had to learn 8 basic sequences of attack and defense before they could play capoeira in the roda. Students also had to learn a sequence of throws called 'Balao' or 'Cintura desprezada', designed for the students to gain skill, agility and control over their movement. Once the student had learnt all the sequences and passed the 'exam', Master Bimba would organise a ceremony he called Batizado (Baptism) which symbolized the first time the student would play in the roda. On that special day they would receive the blue scarf, the first grading step, becoming 'aluno formado' (graduated student).

The tradition and style of Capoeira that Master Bimba created in the late1920's are the fundaments of today's Capoeira regional. Over the years, Capoeira has developed a lot, respected Masters who were students of Master Bimba and others who were followers of his teachings have adapted the techniques to further improve its efficiency and flow. The grading system has also changed to suit the ever increasing number of Capoeiristas and to ensure the level of competency and experience necessary to become a Aluno Formado, Professor or Mestre.


Beginner belt
1. Light Green

Single colour belts - beginner levels
2. Dark Green
3. Yellow
4. Blue

Binded colour belts - advanced students
5. Green and Yellow
6. Green and Blue
7. Yellow and Blue

Aluno Formado
8. Green, Yellow and Blue

9. White and Green

10. White and Yellow

11. White and Blue

12. White with blue tip

13. White

The first beginner belt (light green) represents the first time the student plays in a official group roda. The next 3 levels of beginner belts are awarded according to the improvement and experience gained throughout the year of training. Students are assessed on their individual development on all areas of Capoeira as well as keeping up with the standard of each level within the group. At this stage students may go up a level once a year or once every two years, depending on their development and involvement with the Capoeira group.

Intermediate belts (i.e. green with yellow tip, Yellow with blue tip, etc.) are awarded to students who might be exceeding at a particular level but are not experienced enough to go into the next belt.

The binded colour belts require a minimum of 3 years experience and significant improvement on technique, knowledge of the fundaments of Capoeira, music skills as well as experienced gained by visiting rodas from different groups and involvement in the Capoeira culture. Students must keep up with the standard of Zambiacongo group in Brazil and higher level students are expected to train visit Brazil and experience Capoeira over there as well.

The requirements for each belt are not as specific as learning a certain move or knowing a number of kicks. There are lot of different aspects in Capoeira which need time to be developed and that varies from person to person. During the week leading up to the grading day there will be many workshops hosted by guest masters and teachers. We encourage everyone to participate in the week of the grading regardless of what level experience you have. The most important thing when learning Capoeira is to be involved with the art and absorb as much as you can, everything else will follow naturally. There will be more about the grading on the newsletters to come. If you have any questions about Capoeira please don't hesitate to ask you teacher or email it to us. Asking questions is also a great learning tool!

See you in the roda,
Professor Caracol"

Love Love

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