Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Beginners' guide - how to tie your belt

Another post for new people in aikido: beginners of our dojo sometimes have some martial arts experience, these people often come to do aikido because they had an injury before and don't want to risk their health again. Indeed, injuries are not so frequent in aikido, although you still need to be careful to avoid injuring others or hurting yourself. To get back to the point, these people usually know how to tie a belt, there is only one difference, as I can see, between how we do it and how others do it: when finishing the 'knot', we tuck the end of the belt (also called obi) in between the gi and the belt itself.

One problem beginners find at first is "the knot is not as flat and nice-looking as yours advanced students". There might be two reasons for this: 1) you really didn't do it properly, or 2) you just need to give it some time until it almost automatically goes into place.
I'm addressing the first option here so you can be calm and patient, and focus on the second point and, obviously, the training (hopefully instead of your belt).

The following video shows how to tie your belt.

You may notice that this belt is quite hard while yours might be softer. You should still apply the same steps though if your belt is softer, it shouldn't make any difference at all.

There is another version of putting the belt on, I'm using that. I find the middle of the belt, put it where the knot will be, cross the belt at my back and tie the knot in front exactly the same way as shown in the video. Some say this version is not ideal as the crossed belt might hurt your back during the (incorrect) execution of some techniques. I haven't experienced any problems with the crossed version but I might change the way of tying my belt when I need to change my belt to a black one :).

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