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Traditions & Etiquette

1.  If you arrive late to class.  Wait at the side of the room to be acknowledged by the teacher.  Say "salve" when entering the floor.
2.  Line up in size order and cordel order when saying the Saudação.
3.  Train in class with higher Cordels in front of the room and going first for drills.
4.  The most experienced person in the batteria is the one in control of the roda.
5.  You must sing and clap with energy in the roda  
6.  You must learn the history of the art and how to play instruments in order to advance to the next cord.
7.  Never put down an instrument while the roda is in progress. It must be passed to another person.
8.  Take care with the instruments, a cracked Cabaça will never sound the same.
9.  Do not change instruments or buy the game during an Angola game, wait until the players change.
10. Always be aware in the roda and maintain the shape of the roda.
11. Never walk through the roda while the game is being played.
12. Always keep your eyes on your partner while playing Capoeira.
13. Always Squat at the Pe do Berimbau (foot of the Berimbau) before entering the roda, and ask permission from the leader to enter the roda.
14. If you are not smiling during the game, chances are you are playing badly.
15. Shake hands whenever possible after a game with the other capoeirista
16. Never buy out a teacher, buy the game with them to allow them to play until they stop.
17. If you just played a game in the roda, now is a good time to play an instrument.
18. Do not wear street shoes in the Academy, an Au on a piece of glass is bad.
19. Questions can be asked at any time during class or after the roda and there should be no talking to other students during the roda.
20. Never be afraid to ask the teacher for help with a move or an evaluation of your progress.
21. You should wear a clean uniform to class (Abada, Corda, and group t-shirt).  This is a requirement for events and workshops.
22. Look before you flip or jump.  Make sure the landing area is clear.
23. Any escape is better than getting kicked in the head.
24. Everyone falls, good players get right back up.
25. Make every effort not to hurt yourself or your partner.
26. You cannot learn everything about Capoeira in the Academy.  You need to go to workshops, events and rodas; read books and articles; watch videos and DVD’s; listen to the teacher and always ask questions.
27. Remember that this is our Academy.  If you see something wrong and you cannot fix it, tell someone who can.
28. A true Capoeirista does not just play in the roda, learn songs, instruments & history.

To Be A Mestre In The Words Of A Mestre

Mestre Suassuna: "A Capoeira Mestre must be a special person, it can't be just anyone who gives Capoeira classes that becomes a Mestre. Mestre must be a person who is consecrated by the people, both the people in Capoeira and the people in general because of the work he does. The Mestre is someone who represents the father or mother of the student, the teacher of the student. The student trusts him a lot. It's the guy who coordinates a social life and has a very great influence in the maturing process of a boy, of a young person. There's no established time for a capoeirista to become Mestre. But if I had to describe a profile, a Mestre should be at least 50 years old, and have participated actively in Capoeira and in its problems."

Mestre Ananias: "To be a Capoeira Mestre you have to have many years in Capoeira. One can be called Mestre when one is at least 40 or 50 years old. It's not overnight that you become a Capoeira Mestre. Today we see a ton of young kids who don't even know how to tune a berimbau, or even respond to the berimbau's call and they're said to be Mestres, they don't know how to play instruments at all! It's a shame, so I say that these people should return to the academy and re-learn everything that they forgot! You only see bravery inside them, trickery and nothing else. One must also have clean work with Capoeira."

Mestre Nenel: In my opinion, this happens because in recent years becoming a "Mestre" has become a result of graduation. In the academy, the student rises through the cord system until he reaches the Mestre cord. In the old days, it wasn't like this. The old mestres didn't have the custom of "graduating" to Mestre. They would train until they naturally received the recognition of their work. I sincerely think that changing this situation is unlikely, because the cord system is one of the sources of income for Capoeira groups.

Mestre Burguês: The main reason, in my point of view, is the lack of humility and patience on the part of these capoeiristas; they can't wait for the right time to be Mestre. Their hurry is usually due to the seeking of status and the commercial side, where they imagine that they will be more successful if they are mestres. In the old days, capoeiristas had to have the recognition of the community in order to be Mestre. Today, in the big groups, there are other criteria besides this such as recognition, work developed, conduct, performance, etc. However, many capoeiristas don't agree and leave their groups, forming another group without the least preparation - and, what's worse, with the support of certain recognized mestres in our community. This problem could be resolved by the unity of the true mestres, even though they have their differences of opinion, but united around the same ideal: loyalty and ethics for our art - Capoeira.

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