Most Martial arts schools hold regular Gradings in order to evaluate, rank and Reward their students. In a not too dissimilar fashion Capoeira schools hold Annual Batizado Festivals.
A Batizado festival is a celebration of one’s training, an acknowledgement of the individual’s improvement and personal achievement over the Year. There is no formal evaluation during
the festival as the students progress has been monitored by the instructors and mestres over the whole year.
The word “Batizado” literally translates to “baptism” (into the art of Capoeira). It is a rite of passage in which new students to the art are initiated by playing a game or 2 with a visiting instructor or master and given their first Corda (rope/belt). Older students will participate in a “Troca de Corda” (Change of rope/belts) where they are individually awarded with higher ranking cordas after playing with some of the visiting masters.
As students progress higher through the ranks of capoeira, they will be required to stay for longer periods of time on their corda. A first degree Mestre will spend 10 years as a Mestre
before being evaluated for his next corda.
Batizado festivals generally run over a few days, it is the major event of the year with a number of instructors and Masters from near and far being invited to attend. Students participate in a variety of Workshops and demonstrations held in the days leading up to the actual batizado day when Parents, Friends and Families are invited to come and watch.
These events are a great opportunity to see a variety of different styles and interpretations of capoeira, to watch the professional play and witness some of the best of the game. The batizado isn't just a time of individual grading, but is also a festival to celebrate the progress of our group “Sinha Bahia de Capoeira”. Every passing batizado signifies our continuous improvement as a group, growing in strength, numbers and ability.
Naturally, some students will advance quicker and further than others. No two students are alike and when a student is evaluated, that student will be evaluated on a broad range of subjects relating to his/her capoeira skit, knowledge and education, not purely by the time the student has spent in training.