How to: Tie Your BJJ Belt (Now with the Power of GIFs!)
Who knew belt tying was such a hot button topic? I shot this picture for 10 Things to Stop Doing at BJJ (A Picture Guide):
And boy was I surprised by the rage it drew. "If belt rank doesn't matter, it shouldn't matter how you tie it! As long as it stays tied, who cares how you do it!? So what if I'm a purple belt who never learned to tie my belt!"
Belts only cover two inches of your ass and [insert all the usual cliches about belt rank not mattering] but I still felt people out there could benefit from being shown two ways to tie the belt, one quick and easy, and the other deluxe way for special occasions.
The Usual Way
Close your jacket, left of right (the logo at the bottom of the lapel will be visible). Put the middle of your belt on your stomach and wrap it around behind you and pass each end off to the opposite hand.
With both belt ends coming around from behind you, lay one end across your stomach and then the other over that.
Take the length that's in front and loop under it and around everything from below. You will end up with one end hanging down and the other going up. Take the "down" end and fold it over in front.
Take the "up" end and loop it over and back up through the "down" end that's folded in front of you. This is the step that gets reversed most often and gives you the funny knot.
When you tie your belt this way, it will crisscross in the back, which doesn't really affect anything other than aesthetics.
The Deluxe Way
Start by placing one end of your belt in the middle of your lower back.
Wrap the length of it around yourself a few times until you have a shorter length sticking out from one hip. The other end will be underneath this, still at your lower back.
Take this end and loop it under the belt that's wrapped around your waist.
Now reach back and untuck the end of the belt and pull it out so you have each end in your hands, with one going up and the other going down from where they cross.
Here's where we get fancy. Take the "down" end and loop it over and thread it between the layers wrapped around your waist, leaving it loose. Take the tip of the "up" end and put it through the loop and the layers of your belt. Give it a little adjustment and pull it tight.
This knot lays flat to the stomach and both ends hang downwards instead of pointing up like bunny ears (like the other knot tends to do with new stiff belts). It also stays tied for much longer since the ends are not free to flop around. You also don't get the crisscross in the back since you wrapped it around in one direction:
So while we can all agree belts don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, it can't hurt to know how to tie a tight, clean knot! If you use another method (or none at all) let me know in the comments!