The Belt (Obi)

Karate BeltsThe belt is designed to show the current standard of a karate student. The belt must, of course, reflect a level no higher than the assessed grade of the karate student, as recorded in the licence and Membership Booklet. Once tied around the waist there should be at least 15 cm free on either side of the knot.

Occasionally, a student is unable to train for a period, whether through injury or other circumstances. Upon returning to the dojo, if there has been a gap of three or more months, a white belt must be worn (whatever the student’s recorded grade) until the student’s instructor permits him to return to his former belt.

Where the period of absence has been much longer than three months, the instructor may permit the student to regain his original belt in stages, by progressing through lower grades. In these circumstances it will be in the instructor’s discretion whether or not to insist that the student takes another grading examination.

It should be noted that not wearing a white belt after a prolonged absence shows a lack of respect, and is a breach of etiquette.

Belts correspond to grade as follows:

Grade Colour of Belt
9th kyu White
8th kyu Orange
7th kyu Yellow
6th kyu Green
5th kyu Purple
4th kyu Blue
3rd kyu Brown with one white stripe
2nd kyu Brown with two white stripes
1st kyu Solid Brown
1st dan and above Black