Grupo Capoeira Brasil was founded by three men dedicated to both preserving the art of capoeira and sharing the art and culture of the sport with the world. These three men, Mestre Paulinho Sabiá, Mestre Boneco and Mestre Paulão, inaugarated the existence of Grupo Capoeira Brasil in a ceremony overseen by a group of legendary mestres on January 14, 1989 in Rio de Janeiro. This date commemorates the 100th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Brazil.
Since its initiation in Rio 27 years ago, the group has evolved and grown to be one of the largest in the entire world with groups in Brazil, the USA, Europe, Africa, Australia, China and beyond. In addition, the group has since graduated twenty other black cords, of whom three have received the title of Mestre, including Cabeça, Girino and Indio. The black cord does not indicate that one is a “Mestre.” A black cord is known as “Formado” within Grupo Capoeira Brasil. A black cord or “Formado” only becomes a Mestre after being officially awarded the title, which occurs eight to ten years after receiving the black cord.
The graduations implemented by Grupo Capoeira Brasil are based on color, proceeding from the most light to the most dark. The black cord was created as an homage to Zumbi dos Palmares, a legendary figure in the story of the abolition of slavery. The heirarchy within the graduation system functions in the following form: purple cords are awarded the title “Professor,” brown cords are awarded the title of “Formando,” and black cords utilize the title “Formado.”