This feature is designed to spark your interest in researching the world of capoeira's vocabulary, history, and philosophy.

Our Capoeira Wiki-Word series invites you to research the word of the week and post your definition(s) and translations. At the end of each week, the entries will be reviewed and then summarized into a translation and a definition of the Capoeira Wiki-Word of the week.

Submit your entries in the comments section below!

This week's Capoeira Wiki-Word is:





Don't forget to cite your sources!




The word cordão translates to a large cord or rope.  However that is a rudimentary understanding of what cordão is when it comes to capoeira.

Cordão System

Since the early seventies, the majority of capoeira schools in Brazil follow some sort of standard levels of development for their students. 

By no means is there a single or universal cordão system in the universe of capoeira.  Each group may very in color scheme, or the significance behind each color.

This cordão system below is in accordance with the guidelines established by the the United Capoeira Association.


Calouro, Level I has no cordão, up 6 months of training

Rather than being seen as inexperienced, the capoeirista at this level is seen as being full of growth potential.

Verde, Level II, approximately 6 months to 1.0 years of training

Verde is the official first cordão given to the student when initiated or baptised into the world of Capoeira. Verde is expected to know basic foundations of capoeira.

Verde/Amarelo, Level III, approximately 2 years to 3 years of training

Verde/Amarelo begins to gain an understanding of the game and is expected to have a understand for most basic movements of capoeira, along with how to sing some songs and play instruments

Amarelo, Level IV, approximately 3 years to 4.5 years of training

Amarelo is continuing to appreciate more about Capoeira, the game and themselves. Amarelo should demonstrate a basic understanding of the capoeira game and capoeirista is expected to know all basic and some advanced movements.

Azul/Verde, Level V, approximately 5 years to 5.5 years of training

Azul/Verde is considered Intermediate/advanced level capoeiristas, and this capoeirista is expected to have a deeper understanding of the capoeira game. Capoeiristas now are expected to utilize from the basic to advanced kick and acrobatic, ground moves combinations along with take downs. At this level, capoeiristas should also be capable of singing solos during a roda and playing all instruments. Azul/Verde is confident and ready; undoubtedly, he/she has earned the title ‘Capoeirista’. The student’s commitment begins to extend beyond that of simply training for themselves as he/she looks for ways to contribute to the group

Azul/Amarelo,Level VI, approximately 6 years to 7years of training

dAzul/Amarelo's focus is on refining their technique, game skills and in obtaining total musical confidence. When this status is reached, capoeirista assessments expand to include their devotion to the group and their ability to help other capoeiristas and help teach class. The Capoeirista, by this stage, has shown enough dedication, commitment, understanding and skill within the world of Capoeira, that he/she begins to embark on a new phase; that of an instructor.

When a capeiristas reaches Cordao Azul and higher, a capoeirista assessments expand to include their devotion to the group and their ability to help other capoeiristas and help teach class. For this reason, it is difficult to surmise the amount of time it will take capoeristas to move from one level to the next."

*Students at this level are required to assist in teaching classes.

*Azul, Level VII (Monitor)

*Azul earn the title of monitor at this level and begin learning how to teach to the lower levels.  Azul is expected to fully incorporate a large variety of advanced movements, combinations and take downs in the capoeira game.  They have a large repertoire of songs and can play any instrument.  The student has had some experience teaching under supervision and has shown improvement in his/her game and teaching style.  In order to gain teaching experience, he/she assists their own mestre in conducting classes, teaching music etc.   


*Azul com pouco Verde /Amarelo , Level VII (Formando)
Azul com pouco Verde /Amarelo
The level is just for graduate candidates--the graduating, it's the stage of growth in between Monitor and Formado.  Students enter a new stage of capoeira as they are assessed more on their teaching ability.  A Formando who begins teaching class earns the title and respect of an instructor.  Instructor at this level, capoeristas continue to improve their skills, which now include teaching.  They are very strong in the roda, and are equally strong in their instruction.  Before graduating, the formando should be acknowledged and respected throughout the larger capoeira community, to develop relationships with Mestres of the capoeira world, and to be able to speak Portuguese.  

**Students at this level and are authorized to teach and to have its own school under the guidance of his or her Mestre.

Professor/a (Formado/a)
**Level VIII, Cordão Trançado(3 colors)

Professor/a signifyies the experience and commitment of the student and all the levels that have been surpassed. The capoeirstas at this level have proven themselves as skilled martial artists and proficient teachers. They are regarded very highly because of their progress and devotion to capoeria. Their macilia skills continue to increase, as they now apply the knowledge they've gained within the roda to their dealings with the outside world, and vice-versa.

**Level VIIII, Cordão Trançado (4 colors) 

Contramestre are not only some of the most important figures in their group, but in the world of capoeria itself. They are the right hand of their masters, and are so esteemed and honored that, even at this level, they are respected as masters. Formidable players in the roda, contramestre can seamlessly combine all of their skills into a fierce and relentless game.

Cordão System : Mestres

Mestre is a traditional and valued title attributed to some capoeira teachers. To become a mestre, the capoeirista must have a long career teaching capoeira and satisfy the following requirements:


Mestre de Primeiro Grau (First degree master)

Level IX,Cordão Verde/Branco approximately 10 to 15 years in capoeira

Mestre de Segundo Gras(Second degree master)

Level X,Cordão Amarelo/Branco approximately 15 to 20 years in capoeira

Mestre de Terceiro Gras(Third degree master)

Level XI,Cordão Azul/Branco approximately 20 to 30 years in capoeira

Mestre (also called Grão Mestre - Mestrissimo - Mestre Cordão Branco)

Level XII,Cordão Branco more than 30 years in capoeira
It grants the Capoerista the maximum respect and admiration in the world of CAPOEIRA.