There is a lot to learn about capoeira: its movements, music, instruments, and even its language. But don’t worry. Everybody was a beginner at some time so don’t feel intimidated. Just try your best and remember to have fun. Before you know it you will be doing things you never imagined.

For New Students

What kind of workout am I getting?

Capoeira provides cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training, all of which are essential for overall health. When training capoeira you will use muscle groups that you may never have trained before so after training for the first time you can expect to be sore. After training try to keep stretching your muscles, drink plenty of water and take a hot shower or bath. And when you are sore tomorrow remember that it means you were really working something.

What can I expect to do in class?

Each 90 minute class consists of a warm up, group calisthenics, and training in individual movements and partnered sequences. Each class concludes with a roda (pronounced ho-duh) where capoeiristas apply the skills they have learned in class.

Is there a class for beginners?

At CDO Atlanta students of all skill levels train together in order to foster a sense of community, respect and humility. Beginners can learn a lot from partnering with more experienced players who push beginner’s limits encouraging faster learning. More advanced students benefit by learning increased control over their own game, humbling themselves by helping beginners, as well as gaining skills in instructing others.

What do I wear?

Wear clothing that you feel comfortable moving around and sweating in such as workout clothes (track or yoga pants and a t-shirt).

Do I have to get a uniform?

When you come to class you will notice that most students are wearing a uniform that consists of CDO Atlanta pants and t-shirt. As a beginner you are welcome to train capoeira in your own clothing, however if you decide to train regularly we encourage you to purchase a uniform.

How do I get one of those cords?

When you come to class you may notice that some students have colored cords around their waists. CDO Atlanta holds an annual event each year, known as a batizado where cords are awarded based on achievement after adequate training and sufficient knowledge of the sport.

Do I have to wear shoes or can I go barefoot?

Some people prefer to do capoeira barefoot while others wear shoes. If you train capoeira in bare feet your feet will need to grow accustomed to the movements and “toughen up.” If you wear shoes it is best to wear indoor athletic shoes with a smooth bottom/no tread shoes that you can easily turn in.

What do I call the teacher?

Contra Mestre Muriel received his capoeira training directly from Cordão de Ouro founder Mestre Suassuna. In 2004 he graduated and received the title of Contra Mestre. It is a rare privilege to receive capoeira training from someone of his caliber therefore as a sign of respect for his accomplishments we refer to him as Mestre Muriel or more simply Mestre (pronounced mess-tray).

What do I do in the roda?

The roda is the community circle where capoeira is played. In the roda you should try to apply the training and movements we have practiced in class such as kicks and escapes. If you can’t think of anything else to do just keep moving by doing basic movement of the ginga!

I don’t know the words to the songs-what should I do when I am sitting in the roda?

The songs that accompany capoeira are sung in Portuguese. As a beginner you are not expected to be fluent in the language, so as a start just clap along with the music and try to mimic the sound of the music. Gradually you will learn the words to songs we sing frequently and you will gain some cross-cultural communication skills as well! In addition, CDO Atlanta offers Portuguese language class if you do want to learn how to fala Portugues (speak Portuguese).

What are the instruments that are played during the roda?

The songs and musical instruments of capoeira are an integral part of its practice. Together these instruments form the bateria, or ensemble played during a roda. The instruments of the bateria include:
The berimbau, a single-stringed bow-shaped instrument that is the primary instrument of capoeira and which sets the tone and rhythm of the game;
The pandeiro, a hand-held drum similar to the tambourine;
The atabaque, a tall wooden frame drum similar to a conga;
and The agogô, a double gong bell made of wrought iron.

How do I learn to play the instruments of capoeira?

CDO Atlanta offers music lessons that teach capoeiristas how to play these instruments as well as the rhythms and lyrics of traditional capoeira songs.

We are happy to help…

At CDO Atlanta we are a family with a shared love of capoeira. Feel free to ask questions of any CDO Atlanta member, we would be happy to help.

For more Capoeira Frequently Asked Questions and Answers see