How To Tie A Karate Belt

Seven step directions to tying your karate belt (obi). Click on the pictures to view larger sizes.

In each of the following steps, “tag” refers to the piece of material sewn onto the end of a White belt (on one side) by the manufacturer. As you (or your child) progress in belt rank, the karate belts will not have a tag. Instead, your karate belt will be “striped” with colored tape. Stripes of red tape (for P.T. week) and Black tape (for attendance) will be added to the left side of the belt (same side the tag was located). Colored (rank) tape indicating the next belt level will be added to the right side of the belt. Just remember, “Rank on Right” — when your karate belt is tied, the colored “rank” tape should be on your right side.

For future reference, download a PDF of this page.

How to tie your Obi

Step 1

Find the middle of your obi by folding it in half. With the belt hanging in front of you, and the tag of the belt on your right side, place the middle of the belt on the middle of your stomach (your belly button).
(tag on your right)

Step 2

Wrap the belt around you, crossing over in the back, and bringing the ends around to your front. Make sure ends are even length.
(tag is now on your left)

Step 3

Overlap the ends (left over right) keeping the end with the tag on top.
(tag is now on your right)

Step 4

Without twisting the belt, tuck the top (tag end) under the belt and pull both ends tight.
(tag on your right)

Step 5

Bend the left end up and make a loop, then flip the tag end over the top
(tag on your left)

Step 6

Tuck the tag end through the loop you just made with the other and pull tight.
(tag on your left)

Step 7

The finished knot should look like a fortune cookie.
(tag on your left)

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