How To Tie A Karate Belt – Guide for Beginners

If you’re a keen enthusiast of karate, and you regularly like to practice this popular martial art, then you probably know how important it is to have the correct outfit.

This uniform is called a “Gi”, and a crucial part of it is the belt that ties around the waist of the person. But how do you properly tie a karate belt? And why does it matter?

How To Tie A Karate Belt

Well, we’ve got the answers for you. In our handy guide below, you’ll find detailed instructions on two different ways that you can tie your karate belt, as well as a note on its importance. Read on!

What Is A Karate Belt And Why Is It Important?

The karate uniform, also known as the Gi, consists of white robes. Around the waist, the martial artist wears a belt. They come in a variety of different colors, all of which stand against the white of the uniform.

In fact, the only belt that doesn’t stand out is the white belt, and that is the one that is worn by beginners – so it’s rather fitting. 

You may have just guessed, then, that each color represents the skill level of the person wearing it. There are six colors that you can get, with different versions of each, and dashes to denote further progress.

The colors, in order of increasing skill, are: orange, blue, yellow, green, brown, and black. 

If you’ve gone to the effort of getting these high ranks, then you’ll want to display the belt proudly. This is why it matters that you tie your karate belt the correct way.

How To Tie A Karate Belt

There are two different ways in which you can tie your karate belt, and both ways are broken down below! 

Using The Left Side For Knotting

Step 1

First, take your belt and place it on your stomach, lining up with your belly button.

Now make it so that the left side is kept longer than the right side (unlike the next method), which will mean that the right side is quite a bit tighter and doesn’t have very much slack or looseness to it. 

Step 2

Now take the right side in your hand, then wrap the left side around you twice. If you have a shorter belt, you may only be able to wrap the left side around you once, and that’s okay.

As you’re wrapping, tuck the right side of the belt underneath the left side. This will help hold it in place, making it easier for you, as well as being much neater. 

Step 3

Once you’ve done that, take a belt side in each hand and pull them over until they’re both centered over your belly button. The sides should be equal at this point.

If they are not even, then slide the belt around yourself again until the sides are the same length – don’t remove the belt, just shuffle it around carefully until you get your result.

Step 4

Now you want to take hold of the long end of the belt. Push it up, going underneath all of the belt layers that are wound around your stomach, until it comes out the other end.

Once it has, grip it tightly and pull – which should make a loose knot.

Step 5

Finally, you want to grab the right side of the belt, and take it underneath the top end that’s in front of your stomach. Pull that right side up through the center, then further still to make a knot.

The end of each side, right and left, should not be hanging at equal length and looking very neat. If the knot is too tight, you can always pull at the center to loosen it a bit.

Be careful not to fully undo it!

How To Tie A Karate Belt

Using Both Sides For Knotting

Now you know how to use the left side to knot, this other method involves both sides. 

Step 1

Take your karate belt and hold it out in front of you. While you’re doing this, match the ends up so that each one is even in length, with the belt bent directly in the center.

Then run your hands over the belt a few times, in order to make sure that it’s going to be smooth. 

Step 2

Now unfold the belt, but keep your hands on the center so that you know exactly where it is. Then wrap the belt around your stomach, making sure that your marked center point is lying over your belly button.

Both sides of the belt should now be even, if you kept the center. If they aren’t, though, make sure that they are before you continue. Looking in a mirror will help you to tell.

Step 3

Then take both ends in your hands and bring them around to your back, swapping hands to take the opposite ends. While they’re behind you, cross the ends over, then take them back around to your front. 

Step 4

Now take one of the sides and fold it over the center point, before doing the same for the other side. Both ends should be crossed over one another, laying over your navel. 

Step 5

Then take the end that’s on top, and pull it underneath all the belt layers, taking it as it comes out the other end. Now pull it up against your stomach, which will turn it into a knot.

After that, take the end that’s hanging out from under the layers, and cross it under the top. Then take the bottom end up through the center of that cross, and up further to tighten.

Each end should now be resting evenly – and you’re done!

Final Thoughts

You’ll want to show off your karate belt level, so tie it right with our guide!

Christopher Anderson
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