A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belt is a sign of achievement for a practitioner that’s worn around the gi. To optimally signal your rank in the martial art of BJJ, you need to properly tie this belt. There’s numerous different ways to tie your gi belt in BJJ, all with their own advantages. In this article you learn how to tie your jiu jitsu belt in a few different ways.
How to tie your gi belt
To tie your gi belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu you follow the following three steps, regardless of which knot you’re going to tie.
1. Take the belt in your hands with the correct side facing up
If you have logos or embroidery on your belt it’s important that you tie your gi belt with the correct side facing up. Make sure you do this because it makes you look more professional on the mat.
2. Loop the belt around your waist twice
For every method to tie your gi belt you have to wrap the belt around your waist twice to make sure that it stays on during rolling. If you cannot do this it’s a sign that your jiu jitsu belt is too small for you.
3. Tie the belt with the knot that you prefer (see knot options below)
After wrapping the belt around your waist you need to lock it into position with a knot. There’s different knots that you can use to tie your gi belt, which we explain in more detail below.
4 Different ways to tie your gi belt for jiu jitsu
There’s many different ways to tie your gi belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu that all have their own advantages and disadvantages. I’ll now tell you about the 4 most common ways to tie your gi belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and other martial arts.
The classic way to tie your gi belt in BJJ is to create one knot that interlinks all parts of the belt around your waist. You can see Rener Gracie explain this method in the video below.
The advantage of this knot is that it stays on very well during sparring. It’s the most common way to tie your gi belt in jiu jitsu, karate, and Judo. It’s also how I tie my belt.
Quick and dirty tie
If you’re in a hurry you can also tie your gi belt with the quick and dirty method. This method is basically the same as putting a double knot in your shoe laces.
The advantage of this method is that it let’s you tie your gi belt quickly. The disadvantage is that it comes loose easier and it looks bad.
I usually do this when we line up at the end of the class when I’m the last guy that still needs to tie his belt.
Superlock Hollywood Knot
The superlock hollywood knot method to tie the belt is similar to the classic method but you make sure that when you wrap the belt around your waist, the two belt layers are exactly on top of each other.
You do this by putting one end of the belt on your belly button, and then wrapping it around your waist twice. Make sure that during the second loop you wrap the belt exactly around itself.
As you can see in the video, if you tie the gi belt like this, the knot becomes much tighter.
Old School belt tie
The old school method to tie your gi belt in BJJ is different from how we tie our gi belts now. Nowadays we always wrap the 2 lines of belt together so that they stick together.
But as you can see in the image below, in the old days they put the knot only in 1 line of the belt, so that it’s loose from the other line.
You can see how to tie your gi belt in this way in the video below, where Relson Gracie explains it.
I personally like the look of the modern knots better, but I guess that fashion evolves, even when it comes to tying your gi belt.
Troubleshooting how to tie your jiu jitsu belt
If you still run into trouble with how to tie your Jiu-Jitsu belt after reading this article there are some common issues that may be making it difficult for you to tie your gi belt.
I will now address some of the most common issues for when you can’t tie your jiu jitsu belt.
Your gi belt is too long
If your belt is too long this will make it difficult to tie because the excess length of the belt falls towards the floor. The easiest fix to this problem is to shorten your belt by shrinking it in the wash.
If the belt is really long, you may be able to wrap it around you three times instead of two when you tie your belt. This will be less comfortable, but it could work.
If the belt is too long but not long enough to tie three times, you can either accept that or purchase a new gi belt in a smaller size.
Your gi belt is too short
If you find that your belt is too short, there are a few things you can do to fix this. If the length of the belt is shorter by an inch or two, you can just tie it in any normal way and have shorter ends coming out of your belt knot.
If the belt is really short, you have to wrap it around your body once instead of twice when you tie it. You’ll find that it comes off easily then and doesn’t look good, so you should probably buy a new gi belt that’s in your size.
The gi belt is too too tough
If you find that your belt is too tough, you will need to loosen the belt by folding the excess belt over itself.
You can also purchase a belt that is less thick. Just keep in mind that a brand new gi belt is usually still tough and therefore harder to tie right.