During the weekend of Pentecost a big capoeira workshop will take place in our city, and on the first evening (Friday) there will be a Batizado. A Batizado is the annual event for a group where new capoeiristas get their first cords, and advanced students get new ones (Troca de Corda) if their teacher thinks they deserve them. Unlike some other martial arts traditions there is no real “examination” in capoeira, because it is decided in advance who will get what cord and when. So the playing before getting the cord is mostly a ritual where the student just shows their skill and in the end will be taken down by the high graded capoeirista against whom they play.
I’ve never been to such an event, but as I’ve been to class for two years (with some longer breaks in between due to travelling or illness) the trainer of Friday class asked me if I wanted to get my first cord this year. Sure I want to!!!
It costs a lot of money – at least in the dimensions of a university student’s budget – to take part in the Batizado and the workshop (and in addition I’ll have to get my first pair of abadás, the white trousers typically worn, which is pretty expensive as well), but if not now, when will I ever do it? Right now I’m earning some extra money in addition to the student loan, I’m able to pay my rent and my food, and I can save some money by not buying any new henna for a while. Who cares about some early grey hairs when they can spend the money on being shouted at in Portuguese to move faster and lower? I don’t know where I’ll be next year at this time. I just know that this year I’ll have the opportunity to have a great time, boost my self-confidence, get some serious extra exercise, and have fun with a bunch of friendly, supporting people.
Less than one month from now I’ll wear white, at least if nothing goes wrong. I really, really hope I won’t be ill that weekend – I’ve been struck by a multiple week long nasty cold twice already this year, and I haven’t made a full recovery yet. Even if I probably won’t get higher cords it will be nice to have something to remind me that I’m strong and that my body is worth taking good care of it.