If you are shopping online for the first time, you may not know what belt to buy.
At first, it may not sound that hard.
Oh, I’ll just jump on the internet and order a belt, how hard can it be?
However, as soon as you start shopping you are surprised by how many types of belts there are. You find belts with different materials, belts with different widths and belts that are thicker than others.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s going to be very hard to choose the right belt.
In this post, I am going to run through the different belt materials, widths and thicknesses, to make your shopping a lot easier.
The first thing you need to consider when buying a belt, is what material you want on the outside.
If you are buying from a good supplier, you will find that the outside of their belts will be made out of three main materials, cotton, satin and silk.
Cotton belts are the choice of most karate practitioners around the word. This is due to a few reasons.
One reason why people love cotton belts is simply because they don’t come undone that easy. This is because cotton has more friction, meaning it can grip onto itself much better.
Cotton is also the most traditional option, as cotton belts have been used by karatekas for hundreds of years.
Another reason why cotton is so popular, is because it ages. Most karateka’s want to have a faded belt, because it gives an “experienced” look, which shows you have been doing karate for a significant period of time.
However, you may not want a belt that fades, so if this is the case, satin may be a better option for you.
Satin has a shiny outer surface, and it also doesn’t fray as easy. Because of this, it will keep its color for a longer period of time.
A disadvantage with satin belts, is that they come untied really easy. Because of this, if you are looking for a competition belt, satin may not be the best option (since you get disqualified in competition if your belt comes off).
Silk has features of both cotton and satin belts.
Silk has a nice shine, but it isn’t as reflective as satin. This means it will not stand out as much as a satin belt, but it will still have the same smooth and luxurious surface.
Like cotton, silk also fades and frays, so this may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preference.
Because of this, it means that the belt will not be that durable.
The silk also means that the belt won’t be very stiff, so it will sit the nicely.
Width and Thickness
All belts have a core, which is in the center of the belt.
While a belt may have an outer material like silk or satin, most belts have a core made of cotton.
Belts will have either a single core, or a double core.
Less expensive belts will generally have a single core, which means they will be easier to tie and have a “flaccid” look.
Belts with single cores are usually thinner than belts with double cores (they are usually around 3.5cm to 4cm wide).
These belts are widely used by kumite competitors, as they are more lightweight.
Belts with double cores are generally more expensive, and are usually 4cm to 4.5cm wide. These belts are quite stiff, which means they will be harder to tie.
These wider belts are commonly used in kata, as it is trending nowadays to have bigger knots.
Hopefully this has helped you decide which belt is right for you.
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