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How to Tie a Karate Belt in 5 Easy Steps (with GIFs)



You may think that the practice of Karate begins once you step foot on the dojo mat, however, you’ll be surprised to learn that it actually begins when you’re getting dressed, particularly when you’re tying your belt.

We’ll discuss the proper way to tie a Karate belt and why it’s an essential aspect of your practice.

The act of tying a Karate belt (“obi”) may seem trivial, but it’s actually an art form that should be performed with great pride and taken as serious as the practice of Karate itself.

To help you out, Bushido Martial Arts Supplies has created an easy-to-follow video for you to watch in tandem as you carry out the steps below and master the art of tying a Karate belt.

Step #1: The Jacket

First and foremost, ensure that your jacket has the left side wrapped over or on top of the right side, because wearing your jacket the opposite way symbolizes death.

Step #2: The Middle

With your gi jacket wrapped with left over right, hold your Karate belt out in front of you and find the middle of the belt.

Place the middle point of your belt just below or at your navel (whichever is most comfortable) and wrap the belt behind your back.


Step #3: The Criss-Cross

Criss-cross the belt behind your back, ensuring that the striped end (the side with the ranking tape) lies underneath the un-striped side of the belt.


Step #4: The Under & Over

Bring the two ends to the front of your body again and criss-cross the left side over the right and tuck the right side under and over both layers of the belt.


Step #5: The Knot

Flip the other end (the end of the belt that is now on your left side) backwards to make a small loop, then wrap the other end (the side coming up and out the top of the knot) forward, over the small loop.

Stick your left hand through the small loop and grab the other end of the belt that is draping over.

Pull tight on the belt ends to secure the knot, which should resemble a fortune cookie, if done correctly.


If you don’t get it on the first try, don’t worry — practice makes perfect.

Also, when trying to master the art of belt-tying, remember to practice the same patience, mindfulness, and discipline as you do when practicing the martial art itself.