Capoeira's General Code Of Ethics

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Capoeira's General Code Of Ethics

The Rules

The uniqueness of Capoeira has made it as one of UNESCO's cultural heritage. Therefore, before anyone would like to enter the game, it is important for you to know the basic rules and ethics of Capoeira. Even though the rules and ethics may differ in every capoeira group, the basic concepts pretty much remain the same. So, this article will discuss on the general code of ethics, the rules of capoeira and also safety precautions of the game.

General Code of Ethics


Introducing yourself to the highest ranked capoeirista in the group is highly recommended especially when you are a newbie.


In most occasions, as long the dress code is practical, safe and respectful of the game, it is permissible. However, the traditional attire is a white t-shirt, white abadas and cord.

Positive Energy

Always maintain a positive energy. Even though Capoeira is a form of martial arts, the main purpose is to have fun and enjoy the game by sharing skills and abilities. Unlike other forms of martial arts, capoeira is not meant to hurt the opponent.

Rules of Capoeira


The circle where a capoeira game takes place. The roda consists of the orchestra and other capoeiristas. The orchestra and other capoeiristas, will sing and play the instruments. The berimbau will usually be played by the highest ranked capoeirista in the roda. Players should play the game according to the capoeira song and rhythm from the roda.


If you are in the roda and you are not playing the game, you are expected to participate in singing and clapping along to the songs. Furthermore, if you are playing instruments, you may also rotate them with the other players in the orchestra.


There are two methods to enter the game:

First Method

Involves getting handpicked by the Mestre. Once you are chosen, both players kneel in front of the lead berimbau, shake hands and wait for the signal from the Mestre (through the song) to au to the center.

Second Method

You enter the game by "buying" the game. This is when the capoeirista in the roda gives a signal to the current players to enter the game.

Note: Normally, players would buy the game from the person who is the same cord level as him. To show respect to the senior capoeirista, it is not advisable to buy a game from players who are higher ranked than you. Especially from the instructor or a celebrated capoeirista. Lastly, it is recommended to buy the game from the one who has played longer.

Ending the Game

Players may end the game when the Mestre has played a certain note of the berimbau as a signal to call out the players. Alternatively, players may also end the game when they have been bought out by other players in the roda.

Safety precautions

Health check

Make sure that you get proper medical advice before starting the game. This is important especially if you are pregnant or have any current health issues.

Warm up

Never miss your warm ups and stretching. The correct warm up routine could help you to reduce the risk of injury and help you to perform better.


Always face the center of the roda even when you are leaving the game to avoid being kicked from the back. You should also plant your eyes on the opponent at all times to avoid being attacked from your blind side.

Having said all that, the above rules and code of ethics are not exhaustive. Nevertheless, these are the core values that differentiate capoeira with other cultures. Hence, it is important for you to at least know the main pillars that makes up the capoeira culture.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the most important rule of all... HAVE FUN!

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