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How to tie your belt (obi)
Below are step by step instructions on how to tie your belt. Please note this is just one possible way of doing it. There are many different methods, each of which surely has merit.

First thing's first, the dogi pants are worn with the knee patches in front! The dogi top is worn with the left side overlapping the right side.


Taking the belt, hold it just bellow your bellybutton with one end, usually the end with the tag, pointing to your left (depicted in orange). The length of this end should be about 1-2 feet, depending on the length of your belt, or approximatly the length of one side of the belt when you've completed all steps.


Take the other end of the belt (depicted in yellow), and wrap it around your body one time. Make sure it stays flat to your body all the way around and that there are no twists. The orange end should not change length.


The yellow end is now on your left. Wrap it once more around your body, crossing in the front in the same spot where you started in STEP 1, just below the bellybutton. Again, make sure that it stays flat to your body and does not twist. In addition make sure that this second layer is directly over the first layer of the previous step, so that it appears to be one single belt all the way around (see STEP 3b).


This is the rear view of STEP 3. Notice the second layer of the belt overlaps the first layer of the belt perfectly, with no twists.


Take the yellow end from your left and cross it over the orange end, directly over the cross point where you started in STEP 1. Tug both ends tight, this is very important or your belt will end up being loose. It is also very important to adjust the ends so that they are both approximately the same length (doesn't have to be perfect, however).


Take the yellow end and tuck it under all layers of your belt and bring it straight up. Make sure not to twist the end, instead fold it towards yourself and pull it through.


With the yellow end in hand, let it drop over itself and down towards your left side.


Take the orange end and pull it straight down so that it's hanging directly below the center cross point.


Now take the orange end and pull it straight UP and slightly towards your left side.
(the * is for STEP 9)


This is the key step, and the most difficult to illustrate. Take the orange end and pass it through the loop created by the yellow end, (indicated by an * in STEP 8). Tug both ends tight. If you have trouble getting it tight, get two classmates to play tug-a-war! Note, for a new belt you'll have to keep tightening while training as it will get loose until the belt is broken in.


Here is the desired final result. The knot should be lined up directly in the center of your body, just below the bellybutton. The knot will form an arrow shape that points to your left.

The tricky part is having both ends be the same length. If they're way off, take the belt off and try again. STEP 4 is the key step for getting even lengths.

STEP 10b

Here is a rear view.

Student Resources
Grading System
Dojo Etiquette
Belt Tying
Japanese Pronunciation Guide
Aikido Glossary of Terms

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