- THE FIRST
- Shiro obi
- When you
are accepted into a dojo one of the first things that
will be asked of you is that you dress in an appropriate
manner for all of your classes.
- While there
are a wide variety of styles within the world of martial
arts traditionally in a Shotokan karate dojo all of the
students and instructors wear a white gi that is tied at
the waist with a coloured belt or "obi" in
keeping with their present rank.
- These belts
start with the colour white, or as it is referred to in
the dojo, tenth kyu. Progressing upwards in rank the
belts can vary in colour from dojo to dojo but often you
will have yellow, orange, red, green, violet, blue, and
then three different levels of brown. These three levels
of brown belt are most often distinguished from each
other by a horizontal stripe at one end of the belt. One
stripe is for the rank of 3rd kyu, two stripes for the
rank of 2nd kyu, and three stripes for the rank of 1st
- On the
surface it may appear odd that the 1st kyu rank has three
stripes, and the 3rd kyu rank only has one stripe but, in
karate the kyu, or junior ranks, count down from ten
which is the lowest kyu rank, to one, which is the
highest kyu rank thus with the rank of 1st kyu brown belt
will have the most stripes.
- After 1st
kyu the next rank is Sho Dan, or 1st level of black belt.
Once you reach the Dan ranks the count reverses and you
start counting upward from one to ten, with 10th Dan
being the highest level you can obtain within the
traditional Shotokan karate system.
dressing in your new gi the next thing to do is to learn
how to tie on your new white belt. Below you will find a
diagram that illustrates how this should be done.
- Start in
the upper left hand corner and read down that column
first, then go to the upper right hand corner and read
down that column.
- Your belt
should now be neatly tied around your waist, but if in
doubt about the way it looks be sure and ask one of the
other students for confirmation.
- So pay
attention in class, follow instructions, be observant,
and always train with a positive attitude. If you do then
before you know it you will find yourself grading for a
new rank and that next coloured belt that comes with it.
But remember, once you have learned to tie your belt
properly, the manner in which you do so will not change
despite any future change in rank.
- One way
truly fits all in this case.
- Your belt
is a visual symbol of your past
- effort and
dedication, so wear it with pride.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."