How to Tie a Martial Arts Belt?

How to Tie a Martial Arts Belt?

Martial arts of all kinds have their preferred uniforms. Most of the time, these uniforms require a belt of some sort to tie the uniform together. In some instances, these belts are purely functional. In others, they are a matter of showing off talent or level. No matter the reasoning behind your belt, knowing how to tie your belt appropriately is an important part of your craft. In this post, we will explore martial arts belts and how to tie them the right way.

What Is A Martial Arts Belt?

A martial arts belt is a part of a martial arts uniform. In most cases, martial arts require athletes to wear a specific uniform, or GI, for optimum performance, as well as to keep any ego out of a fight. Belts are a common part of any uniform and can play many different roles in a uniform from one person to the next. These belts are a functional addition and can tell an onlooker a lot about a fighter. 

What Is The Significance of A Martial Arts Belt?

The significance of a martial arts belt can vary depending on the style of martial arts involved, as well as the rest of their uniform. In many cases, martial arts belts are used to signify the skill-level of a fighter. It is a common practice to denote certain accomplishments by the color of a fighter’s belt. Most people know the phrase “black-belt” because a black belt is commonly used to demonstrate an incredibly skilled fighter.

Every fighting style has different requirements to earn a certain belt. Different martial arts have differently colored belts, as well as different numbers of belts to denote rank. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are five primary belt colors. However, each belt also shows off sub-levels or rank in the form of “degrees” which are shown with stripes on the belt. Some exceptions are also made for belts when it comes to competitions to allow for easy discretion between two fighters of the same rank. 

Why Does Tying It A Certain Way Matter?

There are a couple of reasons that tying a belt in the appropriate way matters for a fighter. First, there is the technical reason. Tying a belt the right way is important because it should be able to remain tied during a fight. In most cases, the approach to tying a belt is fairly simple. However, in jiu-jitsu, it can be a bit more complicated. This is because of the grappling element that jiu-jitsu introduces to the fighting space. In jiu-jitsu, your belt is a lot more likely to come undone, so tying it appropriately matters to keep your GI closed during a fight.

Beyond simply keeping your GI in good order, tying your belt appropriately is a matter of having a good presentation. Regardless of your preferred martial art, having your uniform in good order is one way to demonstrate that you are a serious fighter who is committed to your craft. A fighter should never look messy, particularly during a competition. You always want to look your best before you kick someone’s butt!

How To Tie A Jiu-Jitsu Belt

There are several different ways to tie a belt in jiu-jitsu, but one of the more basic options is focused on keeping the belt appropriately wrapped around the body. To do this, you will begin by wrapping the belt around your waist and bringing it to the center just below the belly button. After this, you will cross the straps around behind the back and bring them to the front once again. When both sides of the belt are centered, you will then proceed to tie a knot, looping the belt ends around the double-layer of the belt at the mid-section for a nice and tight knot.

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there is a focus on creating a knot that is competition-ready at all times. We prefer belts that stay tied regardless of a player’s fighting style or the severity of the fight, which is why the most widely accepted style is designed to never come undone during a fight. With this method, after looping the belt around your body, you will pull the left side of the strap under both belt straps, then press the right side of the belt through the first layer and knot the belt in the front. With this method, it is nearly impossible for a belt to come loose without significant effort, which is why it is used in most competitions. Having the correct GI sizing and fitting is also important.

How To Tie A Karate Belt

Karate is less focused on grappling and more focused on calculated strikes, so the method of tying a karate belt is less intense and more about presentation. To tie a karate belt, you will begin by placing one side of the belt across the front, then looping the other side around your back two times in a row. You will then take the same end and place it beneath both layers of the belt, then tie a basic knot in front. This method places a special emphasis on keeping both sides of the belt even to help with the overall presentation. It is less secure than some other knots, but it is generally a good fit for those who practice karate and want to stay presentable during combat. 


The way that a knot is tied can vary quite a bit. Some gyms prefer to teach one method over another. It is simply a matter of knowing what is appropriate for your specific style of martial arts under certain circumstances. Tying a knot the right way can be an excellent lesson in discipline for people of all ages because it empowers the wearer to learn a methodical approach and compels them to evaluate their performance every step of the way in order to yield good results. In the same way that a knight might shine their armor, a fighter must always strive to look their best and be ready for anything that a fight might bring.  If you’re searching for karate classes near me, check out our free week of instruction to see if GBJJ is a good fit for you.