The practice of karate is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and is a practice of rituals, respect, and honor. One of the biggest rituals associated with karate is wearing a belt. Students and instructors wear a belt that signifies their rank in that system. Typically, the belts go from lighter colors worn by more novice students to darker colors worn by more advanced students, to black belts worn by instructors.
The karate belt has a very specific way it is tied. When tied correctly, it has a neat, clean look and honors the system and instructor from which it was given. When you don’t tie it correctly, not only does it look sloppy, but it also reflects poorly on you, and it dishonors the system from which you achieved that rank. Furthermore, if you don’t tie it correctly, there is a good chance it will come untied and fall off while fighting, and that is obviously not a desired outcome.
Although you might not think it is a big deal, it is very distracting and disrespectful to your instructors, and as a marital artist, it is your responsibility to learn to tie and wear it properly. Your instructors do a lot to help you on your journey towards blackbelt, and you should honor them by treating the belt (rank) they have given you with honor and respect.
If you already learned to tie your belt correctly and always do so, then you have my thanks and regards. If, on the other hand, you never bothered to learn to tie it correctly or just don’t think it is important to do so, then please come talk to one of your instructors and ask them for help. At Kaizen Karate, we expect all students by the time they achieve purple belt and higher to correctly tie their belt. It is a very small thing but an important one in the practice of karate. Here is an excellent video by our own Coach V. on exactly how to tie your karate belt:
Although in reality your belt is a relatively cheap piece of cloth, it should hold tremendous value to you! I hold my belt in the highest regard and it means a great deal to me. I have put huge quantities of sweat, time and effort into obtaining my rank, and its symbolic representation is priceless to me. Treat your belt like it is made of gold. Learn to tie it properly, and enjoy wearing it.
-Coach David Matusow-