Direction of Knot on Belt

Gwai Lo Dan

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Is the knot direction on the belt an individual/school preference?

I had tied my daughter's white belt with the knot facing the left, and the KJM (who is Korean) said it should be open to the right.

Interestingly, this video at 4:05 says explicitly it should be open at the left .

Is this a school preference? Is it an "old way" vs "new way" issue?

 

skribs

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Short answer: Your Master is correct for your school, so do it the way they say to do it.

Long answer: The way I've always done it (in two TKD schools and my BJJ school), the triangle points left, which means the knot is open to the right. However, I don't know that in any of those schools, there is a "correct" and "incorrect" way of pointing the knot, so long as the knot itself is done right. Much more important were that the belt isn't crooked or twisted in the back, that it properly overlaps in the back to make one line, the belt isn't too tight or too loose, and the tails are the same length.

If you have stripes or other embroidery on your belt, then I think it's more common for which side is which to matter. For example, in BJJ, your stripes (or empty stripe bar) are always on the left. In my TKD school, the stripes ran along the belt, and we didn't pay much attention to which side had the label. However, for the embroidered black belts, the school name went on the right, your name on the left.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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Short answer: Your Master is correct for your school, so do it the way they say to do it.

Long answer: The way I've always done it (in two TKD schools and my BJJ school), the triangle points left, which means the knot is open to the right. However, I don't know that in any of those schools, there is a "correct" and "incorrect" way of pointing the knot, so long as the knot itself is done right. Much more important were that the belt isn't crooked or twisted in the back, that it properly overlaps in the back to make one line, the belt isn't too tight or too loose, and the tails are the same length.

If you have stripes or other embroidery on your belt, then I think it's more common for which side is which to matter. For example, in BJJ, your stripes (or empty stripe bar) are always on the left. In my TKD school, the stripes ran along the belt, and we didn't pay much attention to which side had the label. However, for the embroidered black belts, the school name went on the right, your name on the left.
Thanks!
 

MadMartigan

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As Skribs said. What matters is doing it the way your school does it.

It varies Place to place. I've seen both sides for the stripes on BJJ belts (on the right for the Gracies, on the left for Behrings and others). In my TKD school, we always put our stripes and names on the right with the school name on the left on our embroidered black belts.

I've always seen the knot's 'fortune cookie' to be pointing the open side (the legs of the fortune cookie) to the right... but clearly there ar3 schools that do it the other way (as your video shows).
 

Tony Dismukes

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In BJJ there is no standard direction for the stripes on the belts. There may be individual schools which have a set way to do it, but its not at all consistent and in plenty of schools its down to preference of the person wearing the belt.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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I my gym nobody cares how is the belt knotted. During the sparring it will unknot eventually :)
Is that is TKD? I ask because a few people have posted about BJJ,and I see their belts coming off all the time.
 

Michele123

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Interesting. I always assumed it was the same everywhere. In my karate gym from the 90s and both TKD gyms Ive been in, the knot always got tied the same way and stripes on the belt always go on the right. I wonder how a gym or school decides which way they want the knot to go?
 

skribs

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Interesting. I always assumed it was the same everywhere. In my karate gym from the 90s and both TKD gyms Ive been in, the knot always got tied the same way and stripes on the belt always go on the right. I wonder how a gym or school decides which way they want the knot to go?
I'm guessing a lot of times it's uniform because that's the way the Master teaches all the white belts to tie their belt. For example, here's how I teach it (while demonstrating it):
  1. Start with about 2 feet on your left, wrap the other side to the right.
  2. One more loop around the right, be sure to trace it so it's a single line.
  3. The tail you just wrapped around passes over the start, then comes up through the back of both loops.
  4. Pull the tails up and down until snug.
  5. The other tail flips over to the right.
  6. The first tail goes down over the other, then through the knot.
  7. Pull side to side until the knot is tight.
If you follow these directions, the knot will always open to the same side. But for me it was never about getting the knot on the same side. It was about doing monkey-see monkey-do to teach the knot.
 

Dirty Dog

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It doesn't matter at all which direction the knot goes. But if your school has a rule or tradition, it's probably best to comply.

I prefer the ends of the belt to be even. There's no reason other than cosmetics and maybe some OCD, but I just think an badly uneven belt looks sloppy, and I encourage students to take pride in their appearance.

I start with by placing the middle of the belt on your midline, then wrap both ends around, with them crossing in the back. Once the ends are back out front, you can grab them both and some some jiggling or tugging to get the ends perfectly even. My habit is for the right hand section to cross over the left. If you do it the same way, your knot will look like mine. If you do left over right, it will look backwards to mine.

Which way their knot opens isn't a big issue. It isn't even a small issue. Not an issue at all would be about right.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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I prefer the ends of the belt to be even. There's no reason other than cosmetics
A Master I know once said that she attached a seminar in Korea, and the Master there has a thing against belts being too long.

He would cut off belts he felt were too long....I thought that was over the top.
 

skribs

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It doesn't matter at all which direction the knot goes. But if your school has a rule or tradition, it's probably best to comply.

I prefer the ends of the belt to be even. There's no reason other than cosmetics and maybe some OCD, but I just think an badly uneven belt looks sloppy, and I encourage students to take pride in their appearance.

I start with by placing the middle of the belt on your midline, then wrap both ends around, with them crossing in the back. Once the ends are back out front, you can grab them both and some some jiggling or tugging to get the ends perfectly even. My habit is for the right hand section to cross over the left. If you do it the same way, your knot will look like mine. If you do left over right, it will look backwards to mine.

Which way their knot opens isn't a big issue. It isn't even a small issue. Not an issue at all would be about right.
I think most people notice if the tails are uneven (except maybe an inch or two) or if they belt is twisted or not overlapped in the back. I think barely anyone would notice if the knots are pointed the other direction.

It's the difference between something you'll notice without trying, vs. something you have to pay attention to in order to notice.
 

Dirty Dog

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A Master I know once said that she attached a seminar in Korea, and the Master there has a thing against belts being too long.

He would cut off belts he felt were too long....I thought that was over the top.
I would agree. Belts that are too short or too long look sloppy. A really long belt has the potential to flip up with movement (especially kicks) and slap the wearer in the face. I've seen that countless times. I've also seen it slap their eyeball. Quite painful. And although that's not likely to cause anything worse than a corneal abrasion, that still means a day or two of discomfort.

If a student has a really long belt, I will mention this. But I'm not going to start cutting.
 

skribs

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I would agree. Belts that are too short or too long look sloppy. A really long belt has the potential to flip up with movement (especially kicks) and slap the wearer in the face. I've seen that countless times. I've also seen it slap their eyeball. Quite painful. And although that's not likely to cause anything worse than a corneal abrasion, that still means a day or two of discomfort.

If a student has a really long belt, I will mention this. But I'm not going to start cutting.
We've sometimes gotten the wrong order. There was one time that me and a fellow student got 6s instead of 4s. There was another time when a girl got a belt that mislabeled. It was labeled as her size, but was two sizes too large.
 

Gyakuto

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A Master I know once said that she attached a seminar in Korea, and the Master there has a thing against belts being too long.

He would cut off belts he felt were too long....I thought that was over the top.
My other half once sustained a corneal abrasion when the overly long ends of the black belt she was wearing, flicked up during a jumping kick, and whacked her in the eye! I had to take her to A&E. I bought her the belt

Quite a few high grade Wado Ryu Karateka (including the founder, Hironori Ohtsuka) tucked the loose ends of the obi into their waist. A good thing to do since those dangling portions are a great thing grap and pull your opponent around by their centre of mass!

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2A914EA6-227A-4BCD-9E22-3E8370B06A59.jpeg
 

Dirty Dog

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I can't imagine a belt that long!
I've seen it on multiple occasions.
We've sometimes gotten the wrong order. There was one time that me and a fellow student got 6s instead of 4s. There was another time when a girl got a belt that mislabeled. It was labeled as her size, but was two sizes too large.
Sure. Things like that happen. I'd send it back, most likely. Or wrap it around their waist an extra time, especially if it was a low rank belt that likely wouldn't be worn for long.
 

skribs

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I've seen it on multiple occasions.

Sure. Things like that happen. I'd send it back, most likely. Or wrap it around their waist an extra time, especially if it was a low rank belt that likely wouldn't be worn for long.
This was years ago. I think we (the students) kept the belts until the new ones came in, and then they (the Master and his wife) kept the wrong belts as spares.
 
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