What is a Batizado?
In one week Omulu Capoeira San Francisco will be holding their 2017 Batizado and Troca de Cordas celebration at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
A batizado is a ceremony in which new students are initiated into the world of Capoeira and are officially welcomed to whatever group they train under. It is often paired and associated with another event called the "troca de cordas" (exchanging of strands). During the troca de cordas, students who have trained for a certain amount of time get promoted to a new belt level should they demonstrate development, and understanding of movement, etiquette, and music as it relates to their current level.
A batizado, literally translated means “baptism” and during this rite of passage, a student is "baptized" by playing with a Mestre or Instructor in the roda at the event. Granted, a student may have played with their own teacher in class, but there is a greater meaning when this is performed during the batizado as it signifies recognition from the Capoeira community. During play, students are usually swept or given a "benção" which is a push kick that translate to the word "blessed."
Moreover, a batizado is a celebration of the school. Instructors present their students to the Capoeira community and show all the work they have been putting into class. A promotion in Capoeira is not like another martial art in which you perform a certain set of moves every few months and move up in rank. Students are “tested” the entire year and regardless of getting a belt or not, one’s skill is always recognized.