If we asked you to think of karate or judo, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? For many, it’s the infamous black belt.
The black belt is considered somewhat of a gold standard in martial arts. It can take years to achieve, and once you’ve got it, you’ve reached a significant milestone in your martial arts journey.
In truth, though, the black belt is just the beginning of your martial arts experience!
If you’ve been lucky enough to get your black belt – congratulations! Are you ready to show the world your achievements?
Keep reading to find out how to tie your black belt the right way and complete your uniform with this well-deserved badge of honor.
What Is A Black Belt?
A belt is worn by an expert in martial arts such as karate and judo. In most East Asian martial arts, the black belt is symbolic of your expertise in the sport; however, for some, it may only be indicative of competence.
In most cases, the black belt is worn by a participant who has reached a very high level in martial arts.
Black belts usually represent the highest level you can achieve in martial arts, and it’s extremely hard to achieve in any of the martial arts.
It can take as long as ten years to achieve a black belt, depending on your proficiency and dedication to the martial arts.
In karate, the black belt is often misunderstood. Achieving a black belt in karate means you’ve learned all of the basic skills and concepts associated with the martial art, you have the ability to use them, and you’ve taken a test to prove it.
Although it can take years to achieve a black belt in karate, it’s often considered just the start of a student’s journey. Think of it as a major milestone in a long journey.
How To Tie A Black Belt
Have you achieved your black belt? Congratulations! Now it’s time to wear it with pride. We’ll show you how to tie a black belt, the right way.
Start in the middle of the belt. Keep the name on the left side, and the Korean on the right (if applicable).
Now, place the center of the belt in the middle of your body. The left side should wrap the whole way around your body while the left side goes over it. Now, pull it all the way to the front.
At this point, the belt should be wrapped around your body, with two loose bits hanging at the front of your body.
The left side should be the Korean one (if applicable), and the left should be the side with your name on it. The Korean side should be slipped beneath both layers of the belt. Once you’re here, tighten the belt.
Once you’ve tightened in this position, the bottom side of the belt should come up, then down, and through the loop that’s been created. Tighten your belt once again to finish the process.
That’s it! Your black belt is now tied up and ready to be worn.
Alternative Method – Starting With A Longer Left Side
If you’re starting with a longer left side, this method shows you how to tie your belt effectively and with the same knot.
Start by holding the belt around the back of your body, just where your belly button would be. In this position, you should be able to see the right side of the belt from your back (ignore the part behind your back).
The visible right side should be around two-thirds of the length of the belt, and the left side should be the final third.
Cross the right side of your belt over the left side.
Now, start to wrap the right side (or top side) of your belt around your body once. When you do this, the belt should be positioned at your waist, directly above your hip bones.
When you wrap the belt around, make sure you keep holding the shorter side of the belt just below the belly button.
Now, adjust the belt so that both sides are equal. They should be at equal lengths and sitting at a forty-five-degree angle.
If the belt has shifted out of position, ensure you adjust the placement of your belt, so it sits below your navel and tighten it again so it fits comfortably.
Once you’ve completed step four, cross the right side of the belt over the left side, right at the center of your stomach. Now, the left side of the belt should sit under the first loop and cross-over you’ve just created.
Now, take the right side of your belt and tuck it underneath the left side and the loop you’ve created. Once you’ve done this, take the right side out and pull both ends to tighten.
Ensure you’re not pulling your belt too tight – it should be tight enough to stay on, while also allowing you to breathe comfortably.
Look at your belt from above, and check to see if the sides are even. If they’re not equal lengths, adjust them now. Then, cross the left side over the right, and pull the left side through the knot.
There are several ways to tie a black belt, but these methods are often the most effective. Did you know you can also use these methods to tie other colored belts, too?
So, even if you’re still far off your black belt, you can practice these methods with your existing belt, whatever the color!
The black belt is a huge achievement, and it’s certainly something to be proud of (Find out Who Is The Youngest Blackbelt?).
So before you take to the gym or your next lesson with your belt on, follow the steps above to learn how to tie your black belt correctly, so you can look (and feel) the part in your next session!
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