History of Capoeira Barro Vermelho
The Associacão Cultural e Recreativa de Capoeira Barro Vermelho (Cultural and Recreational Association of Capoeira Barro Vermelho) is a not for profit entity that was founded on May 12, 1993, by Mestre Benivaldo at the Faculdade de Medicina (Medical School) of Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. The group’s objective is the transmission of Brazilian culture through capoeira and other cultural manifestations. The group has a vast team of Mestres, Contra Mestres, Professores and Alunos Formados that work in various neighborhoods in Salvador and throughout the state of Bahia, in Rio de Janeiro, and in various countries such as the United States, Spain, France, Turkey and Norway. Capoeira Barro Vermelho USA was founded in January 2010 in Washington, DC by Mestre Bomba, and was officially recognized as a U.S, tax-exempt organization in February 2018.
Benivaldo Possidonio, known as Mestre Benivaldo, was born in 1966 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He started capoeira in 1977, at the age of 11 years old as a result of his efforts to find a way to defend himself in the streets of Salvador. A friend took him to the Faculdade de Medicina in Salvador where he met Mestre Dedé who taught him the art of capoeira. In 1981 he received his first cord and began to teach classes for Mestre Dedé’s Grupo Kilombolas. In 1985 his capoeira evolved as he initiated a project in the community of Garcia in Salvador, and in 1990 he took over the space Mestre Dedé left at the Faculdade de Medicina. In 1993 Mestre Benivaldo founded Capoeira Barro Vermelho, where he was responsible for the formation of a new generation of capoeiristas in Salvador. In 1998 he received the last cord of Mestre from the hands of Mestre Dedé himself. In2002 Capoeira Barro Vermelho became a part of the leadership of the Liga Baina de Capoeira (Bahian League of Capoeira). Currently Mestre Benivaldo oversees classes in Spain and the Canary Islands, and Norway, and also participates in various capoeira events worldwide.
Mestre Benivaldo places higher level cord on student at graduation
Barro Vermelho Cord System – Adults
As is the case with most martial arts, capoeiristas are required to wear a uniform, which consists of white pants, or abada, and a t-shirt, typically white with the capoeira academy’s logo. The pants are secured by a cordão, or belt, which is a specific color based on the capoeirista’s level of experience. The beginning student receives a green cordão and receives subsequent belts after demonstrating her/his skills at an annual batizado and troca de graduações (graduation).
Students of Barro Vermelho follow the Brazilian tradition of making their own cords, rather than buying and dying them. It is tedious, fun and festive work and helps build community with the group!
Cord System: Level of Proficiency
Each Group has its own cord system. Here is level of proficiency from beginners to Mestre in Barro Vermelho:
Green and Yellow
Blue and Yellow (Monitor)
Green, Yellow, Blue (Professor)
Green, Yellow, Blue, White (Professor)
Green and White (Contra Mestre)
Yellow and White (Contra Mestre)
Blue and White (First Degree Mestre)
Capoeira Barro Vermelho is one of the only groups that make their cords by hand.