Our motto at Capoeira Mandinga is to provide an environment where everyone can feel supported in communicating openly. Capoeira Mandinga promotes, encourages, and enforces respect for everyone.
We honor and value the history and cultural heritage from which Capoeira is born, including the diversity of cultural backgrounds of its participants. We honor it in as much as it does not conflict with the below listed values that make up our Code of Conduct. We consider these values as absolute, to supersede those of cultural backgrounds if there is any conflict thereof. We expect these values to be upheld by all associated masters, teachers, instructors, and students, as well as visiting masters, visiting teachers and visiting students.
All participants will treat one another with equal dignity and respect. Every participant deserves a chance to express themselves, no matter their race, sexual orientation, or socio-political background. It does not mean one has to agree. Respect means that participants will make an effort to listen respectfully, communicate respectfully, and otherwise act respectfully towards other participants. Participants will strive to use respectful communication and avoid gossip when possible. Amplification of information whether rooted in fact or unfounded can be a powerful force with unintended consequences. We expect participants to be aware of the power of spoken word and use it judiciously.
In a martial art, we must acknowledge that safety does not come first. But, we can expect self control. All participants will strive towards knowing one’s own weaknesses and vulnerabilities. We cannot always control our emotions, but our participants must strive to achieve sufficient self knowledge to avoid violence, and keep themselves and those around them from undue harm.
Harassment Free Culture
It is essential to provide a culture that does not tolerate harassment of any kind, sexual, physical or emotional. In capoeira, as in many community oriented activities, behaviors can be misinterpreted and misrepresented. Behaviors don’t always reflect intent. Determining what constitutes harassment can be challenging and not always black and white. The most important part of establishing a harassment free culture is allowing open and flexible options of communication. This means if one perceives harassment is occurring, we support open communication to confront and resolve the issue. Sometimes direct communication is not possible, thus there needs to be other options available to report and resolve the issue. Capoeira Mandinga is committed to forming well trained participants, we are calling “ambassadors”, who can provide support and actionable steps to help resolve an issue. The ambassador program is described in more detail here (link). The intent is to help each other feel respected and heard. We absolutely condemn any retaliatory actions. Sometimes, there will be need for anonymity. Although we hope to provide a supportive enough culture where participants feel safe to communicate their grievances either directly to the offender, or to a third party ambassador, we understand this is not always achievable. We therefore are developing an anonymous grievance policy.
Teachers must act above and beyond
Leading a class is an honor and a responsibility. As soon as a participant steps into the teacher role, they must have an understanding of this responsibility. The teacher must not only obey the Code of Conduct, but must enforce it.