What is a corda?
Belts or “cordas” are an important part of contemporary or “contemporãnea” capoeira. Mestre Bimba was the first master to introduce cordas and a ranking system in the 20th century when he created the style of Capoeira Regional. Other Capoeira Regional and contemporãnea groups have adapted and created their own unique belt systems. Some corda systems are based on the colors of the Brazilian flag while others are based upon colors of the Orixás, or gods and goddesses, of Candomblé. A corda is received on the day of a Batizado (baptism) or Troca de Corda (changing of the belt) ceremony, and confirmed by the Mestres of the group. Students train throughout the year to meet the particular requirements of their group to receive their next corda. Requirements typically consist of the demonstration of proficiency in the martial art, knowledge of movements and the history of capoeira, a dedication to learning the language and culture, knowlegde of capoeira music and instrumentation, and embodiment of the group philosophy. Each new belt requires that these are met to an increasing level, and as a student begins the path of a teacher, additional qualities are carefully considered for promotion.