How to tie your Karate belt

Find out how to tie your karate belt ready for class.

  1. Halve your belt and make sure that the ends are perfectly even.
  2. Place the centre at the level of your navel. Pass the ends around the back and cross them over. Pull it firmly.
  3. Bring the ends back around to the front and check that they are still perfectly even.
  4. Take the right hand end and pass it over the top of the left. Pass that end up under both strands of the belt and pull it through. Pull the ends firmly.
  5. Check the ends are still even.
  6. Now take the left hand end and pass it back over the right. Pass it through and form a simple knot.
  7. Take a moment to check that the strands are sitting flat and untwisted.
  8. Pull the knot tight and make a final check that the ends are even.
  9. The knot should have two folds coming together that face off to the right.
  10. On advanced belts your will see the name of the student on  the left and the name of the style on the right.


When tying the belt you must first make certain that it hangs evenly from the middle. This symbolizes the balance between the physical and mental aspects of our training. The belt is first wrapped around the waist by placing the middle of it just below your umbilicus.

This reminds the student that we are both giver and receiver of life and therefore, we must embrace both respect and compassion with all peoples.

When we cross the belt behind our back the ‘X’ reminds us to be prepared for what can go on behind our backs. Bringing the belt around the front reminds us that what goes around comes around and thus gives an emphasis upon morality and ‘right thinking’.

Crossing the belt again in front shows the fact that what goes on behind ones back can go on under our nose as well, and that we must be prepared for adversity where it comes from.

Bringing one end of the belt up under the waist and the other down serves to remind the student of the two directions in which we can travel and the importance of continuing on and upwards in an effort to improve ourselves.

Every time we tie a knot we should be reminded of how our lives are intertwined with the lives of those around us and how we should let empathy for others be a primary driving force for our actions. Pulling the knot tight should prompt one to tighten their resolve.

Finally, we should make sure that the ends of the belt are perfectly even. We should pay attention to the details at the beginning and at the finish of all things.