How to Tie a BJJ Belt the Right Way, a Detailed Guide
When you first start Brazilian jiu-jitsu, how to tie a BJJ belt may be the last thing on your mind. You're just ready to start fighting, learning holds and throws that will let you dominate your opponents. But you shouldn't be so hasty when it comes to the centerpiece of your gear.
A BJJ belt keeps your gi together and demonstrates your rank. It can show your attention to detail and preferred style of fighting as well. If you want a knot that will hold, it's essential to learn how to tie a BJJ belt the right way — even if there's more than one way.
How to Tie a BJJ Belt: Why You Should Learn
The parts of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu outfit, or gi, are pretty simple. They comprise of a loose tunic, pants, and a belt. The only part that takes any know-how to wear is the belt, which plays a few different roles in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Since jiu-jitsu takes a lot of cues from wrestling, you spend a lot of time grappling with your opponent. When you're rolling around on the ground, it's easy for your belt to come undone.
Rather than letting your gi come open and get in the way, making you constantly readjust your belt, it's better to learn how to tie a BJJ belt the right way.
What role does a belt play in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?
If you've practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu before, you probably know that the belt is primarily to hold your tunic closed. But, like most Japanese-influenced martial arts, the belt also determines rank.
Belts as ranking first came from judo, a form of martial arts that comes from the same origin as BJJ. Judo practitioners, or judoka, originally tied their gi with sashes called obi.
In the early 1900s, the creator of judo decided to use these obi as signifiers of rank. The progression of white to black belt is familiar to many martial artists around the world.
In BJJ, belts also denote rank, although with only five grades there are fewer than many other disciplines. There is some debate as to whether belts as ranking are needed at all. Either way, jiu-jitsuka will always need something to keep their gi in order.
Why does it matter how you tie your belt?
In a fight, you want as little to get in your way as possible, and you don't want anything your opponent can use against you. If the tails of your belt are flying around, they could get in your way. And, if your gi comes loose, it makes for a much easier handle to wrestle you down.
Different fighting styles and scenarios can require different methods of tying your belt. The way you fasten your belt for a day of training may be different than how you tie it for practice, with regards to comfort and ease.
Tying Your BJJ Belt
So, since there are so many reasons to wear a belt, it's time to learn how to tie yours. Of course, there's not just one way to go about it.
But why are there different ways to tie it?
Well, the easy answer is, there are as many ways for how to tie a BJJ belt as there are ways to tie a knot. But of course, only a few get the effect you want. Some of them are basic knots that are easy for beginners but come undone easily. Others come from karate or from old-school BJJ fighters.
Whatever you decide on how to tie a BJJ belt, make sure you learn a few different methods. You may find yourself needing to switch it up.
How to Tie Your BJJ Belt: The Different Techniques
So how do you go about learning how to tie a BJJ belt? Let's break down a couple of the most popular techniques.
Basic BJJ belt tie
Learning how to tie a BJJ belt like this will get you through pretty much any scenario. While it's not specialized, it's probably the one that most jiu-jitsuka use and will see you through practice, sparring, and competition. It's reasonably simple, but it won't fail you.
Start with your belt in one hand, holding it by the midpoint, and press it to your stomach around the belly button. Use a little pressure to keep the lapels of your tunic closed.
Take both hands on either side of the center and wrap the belt around your waist. When they meet in the back, cross over and bring the ends back around to the other side.
Adjust the ends so that they are the same length. Then, cross the left end over the right and pass it up behind the two layers of belt on your stomach.
At this point, you can take a moment to adjust everything and make sure it fits how you want it to. Using the section you just pulled under the belt, bring it down over the other end, then up and through the loop this creates to complete the knot.
When you tighten this knot, pull it straight to the sides instead of down. Then adjust it accordingly.
Of course, it can be hard to visualize all this, so here's a video to help:
How to tie a BJJ belt competition style
If you're ready for a tournament, you may consider tying your belt competition style. This method effectively locks in the end of your belt so it won't come undone during tough competition contests.
Start with the belt held off your left hip, with the majority of it in your right hand. Wrap the long end of the belt around your waist twice, until you have equal lengths of belt.
Using the same end that you just wrapped around, pass it under your whole belt. Then, fold it back toward your left hip and fit it between the two layers of your belt. Leave a bit of space in the loop as you do this, and tuck the other end through and down.
This is a highly secure method for how to tie a BJJ belt and will make sure it doesn't come loose. Of course, it looks much easier when you watch someone do it:
How to Tie a BJJ Belt for Success
Are there other methods for how to tie a BJJ belt? Of course! You can tie it like a karate belt, in a loose knot that you can adjust easily, or any other number of ways. What's important is that the knot is comfortable and it stays tied when you need it to.
The two we've mentioned here are just a couple of ways to do it, but they're also fairly simple and widespread in the BJJ community. If you just need an easy way of how to tie a BJJ belt, either of these will do the job perfectly.
How did you first learn to tie your BJJ belt? Has it changed since your first time? Let us know in the comments below!