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How to tie an obi belt?

An obi (literally 'sash') is a Japanese accessory which forms part of traditional Japanese kimono dress, and is usually encountered in the West as part of a martial arts outfit.


Step one
These obis are usually made of thick cotton and are about five cm wide.
In many martial arts, the colour of a student's obi signifies the level of attainment which they have reached. Firstly, find the centre of the obi belt by folding it in half, then centre the belt on your stomach with the label on your left.
Next, place the centre of the belt across your abdomen with both ends hanging down towards the floor.


Step two
Next, wrap the obi belt around your waist, keeping the centre of the belt flat against your abdomen.
It is important to keep the two ends of the belt at equal lengths.


Step three
Cross the belt behind your back.
Keeping the obi flat and free from twists, wrap the two ends to the opposite sides once they have crossed on your back.


Step four
Wrap both sides of the obi around your waist and return to the front.
Smooth the belt out so that it lies flat against your sides like a belt made of two layers.


Step five
Cross the obi round at the front, wrapping it over so that it remains flat and doubled up. The left side of the belt will now be the inside layer, which should be lying flat against your abdomen.
The right side will be the outside layer, which should now be lying flat against the layer beneath it.


Step six
Now wrap the outer layer of the belt under the others.
Wrap the end which originates on the right side of your body under the other two layers, against your abdomen. Now pull it straight up and out of the top of your obi.


Step seven
Pull the two ends of the belt diagonally apart.


Step eight
Next, take the end of the sash which is coming out of the top left and bend it down over the right side. Then, take the end which is coming out of the top right and pull it over to the centre.


Step nine
Loop the bottom end around the top end.
Then, take the end at the bottom and loop it through the other end.
Continue the loop under the other end, then up, over and back down through the loop that it has formed with the rest of the obi against your waist.


Step ten
To complete the process, adjust the two ends so that they are the same length before pulling the ends to tighten the knot.

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