Last Friday my husband went to open mat with me, then afterward he changed into his karate gi to teach the kid’s class, and I was leaving the dojo.  When he tried to give me a kiss goodbye, I told him “No PDA while wearing your belt”.  You never saw a man take a belt off so fast!

I was really just giving Joe a hard time, because he is “The Etiquette Police”, and he likes to remind me of what a sorry excuse for a martial artist I am when I have occasional lapses in etiquette memory.  Shihan was standing there when this incident happened, and he said if there was such an etiquette, then he was in big trouble!

We do have a few belt rules in our dojo, but I guess tasteful displays of affection are acceptable.  However, if you asked the students from the kid’s class, they might disagree.  I have a feeling they would probably think it was icky, belt or not!

Roseberry’s Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan belt etiquette:

Never let your belt touch the floor.
Never throw your belt.
Never slap or choke other students with your belt.
Do not carry your belt around your neck.
Do not wash your belt.
Do not wear your belt outside of the dojo. 

Remove your belt before eating, cleaning, etc.

(Obviously the first one doesn’t apply to when your belt touches the floor while training, and I’m not sure what “etc” is, but I thought it was “kissing” ;)
“Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential.” -Will Cuppy

9 comments on “Beltiquette

  1. Eyeew- I submit that "never wash your belt" is an outdated custom that needs to go bye-bye, especially in today's age of ringworm and MRSA. Not to mention they get stinky and gross.

  2. I agree with you (and I almost wrote it in the post). It's not such big deal in karate because people aren't usually touching our belts and we're not rolling around on the floor with them, but in jiu-jitsu I think you should wash them. My jj belt got blood on it, and you better believe I washed it!

  3. If I was still training Kung fu in a class (which I'm not) and if I actually ever WORE my rank sash (which I never did), it'd be going on seven years now with the same white sash. YUCK. Even not doing much ground work in there, that thing would've been hella filthy by now. Certainly no longer white!

  4. I guess that's one benefit of having a black belt, no one can tell how disgusting it is! Seriously, I'm not a germaphobe, but I do think you should wash dirty things. This whole notion of "you're washing all of your knowledge away" is silly, and potentially harmful.

  5. I think I attend the most laid back gym ever. The only rule I've ever heard about belts.. and it wasn't even so much a rule as something Fabio said.It's not uncommon for belts to come off while rolling. Once Fabio's did, and someone started kind of just playing with it. When the grapple was over, he took his belt back and said, "Don't touch my belt."He didn't yell, or seem angry or upset. He just said it matter of factly. No one has touched it since.We generally all have respect for our belts and the belts of others though… but they go on the floor, they get washed, balled up, stuffed in bags up and we choke each other with them from time to time. =) The laid back nature of my gym does concern me a little… at least in the regard of my future visits to other gyms. A lot of normal stuff we do would be major faux pas elsewhere.

  6. Since our school is a traditional Japanese dojo, we have a lot more etiquette than most places, but we're actually pretty relaxed about it, and no one will yell if someone breaks the rules. We don't expect new or visiting students to know all the etiquette, and Jiu-Jitsu class is one of the least formal.Another belt rule I forgot to mention is "don't forget your belt". If you do, in some classes they will make you do pushups, but usually they will just ridicule you mercilessly. ;)

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