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04-25-2004, 10:04 PM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of April 25, 2004:

Do you wash your aikido belt?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No, it's against tradition
No, it doesn't get dirty


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=217).

stuartjvnorton
04-26-2004, 01:38 AM
Can I have a "none of the above"?

I don't wash it, but not because of tradition.
I see a worn belt as a sign of dedication to training over a long period of time and presumably a certain level of skill/knowledge/wisdom.
To wash a belt (& prematurely fade/wear it out) seems wrong, like I would be cheating myself.

So I don't do it.
:freaky:

PeterR
04-26-2004, 01:58 AM
That's also why I don't drag my belt behind my car. ;)

stuartjvnorton
04-26-2004, 02:37 AM
That's also why I don't drag my belt behind my car. ;)

lol I don't do that because I don't have a towball to tie it to. ;-)

ze'ev erlich
04-26-2004, 03:05 AM
I want all my bodogu (budo equipment) to be clean. I ask my students to wash their white belt if it gets dirty.
An old and worn black belt does show your years-long training but I don't like it when people who are too proud about it... Last time I saw Doshu - Moriteru Ueshiba, he was wearing a simple white belt !

rcoit
04-26-2004, 11:48 AM
I don't wash it but ...chiefly not for the options listed, though the best response was 'because it doesn't get dirty'. I don't wash it because it would shrink and ...I....ah....well it wouldn't fit me anymore :o

PeaceHeather
04-26-2004, 01:38 PM
When I owned one, years ago, I don't remember if I washed it or not. I might have just because it was so stiff I could hardly get it around my waist... but I also might not have because it never got too dirty.

I do remember being taught the tradition of not letting your belt touch the floor -- not during workout, since you're training, obviously common sense is a factor here -- as a sign of respect to the art. *shrug*

Whatever.
Heather

Doka
04-26-2004, 04:43 PM
When I owned one, years ago

Jeez!

Have you hit hard times? Maybe we could have a whip 'round?

:D

Goye
04-26-2004, 04:49 PM
I don’t think is very healthy for your partners to have a belt with a lot of dirt and sweat on it,.. I have seen extreme dirt and sweat on some people obi ,.. and it’s not nice at all ,.... they talk about the tradition, loosing ki and some other things,.. but they still don’t convince me. I wash my obi when it needs to be done,....

PeaceHeather
04-26-2004, 05:07 PM
No Mark... I was in a martial art many years ago; I'm pretty sure I still have that belt, but I'm not sure where. In any case, the gi was black and not suitable for the aikido dojo, where we all wear white except for sensei. *shrug*

Heather

kironin
04-26-2004, 05:38 PM
I wash as needed. The more sweaty classes, the more often I wash.

As for those who don't wash
:yuck:
:crazy:


Since it was given to me, I suppose when it gets faded and the stuffing starts coming out, I'll buy a new one to look presentable, and put it away.
If someone needs to look at my clothing to tell if I have been at it a long time, then I need to rethink how I am training.

Craig

Chris Birke
04-26-2004, 08:15 PM
I wash it. It reeks otherwise.

Largo
04-27-2004, 12:41 AM
:rolleyes: I was wondering when this would come up. For those that wash their belts, I have a question. Do you wash normal (i.e. non martial arts) belts?

stuartjvnorton
04-27-2004, 01:40 AM
I want all my bodogu (budo equipment) to be clean. I ask my students to wash their white belt if it gets dirty.
An old and worn black belt does show your years-long training but I don't like it when people who are too proud about it... Last time I saw Doshu - Moriteru Ueshiba, he was wearing a simple white belt !

You can take anything and twist it to prove anything you want.
I could suggest that doshu's wearing a white belt is a symbol of pride, saying that he thinks he has attained a beginner's mind. I could called that too proud or falsely modest.
Not that I do, because he's enttiled to do what he wants for his own reasons. As am I.
The only difference is that I don't have people bottling my every fart as if it were the elixir of life. :rolleyes:

willy_lee
04-27-2004, 02:55 AM
:rolleyes: I was wondering when this would come up. For those that wash their belts, I have a question. Do you wash normal (i.e. non martial arts) belts?
Most of my belts are leather. On occasion I have taken some saddle soap to them, but they don't get dirty enough to need this very often.

Then again, I am rarely rolling on the floor when wearing leather belts. Nor do I usually sweat through my everyday clothes enough to worry about salt stains on my leather belts.

=wl

SeiserL
04-27-2004, 08:07 AM
I am big and I sweat a lot. Smelly is not good manners. Every so often I throw it into the Wool lite along with my Hakama.

Doka
04-28-2004, 05:26 PM
I never wash my belt - never have and never will. It doesn't smell and I have turn my Gi black before now.

I dry clean my hakama!

FWIW! :)

Bronson
04-28-2004, 10:00 PM
Tozando (http://www.tozando.com/eng/sale/ag600s.html) now has a gi that has anti-bacterial and deodorizing properties built into the material. Maybe we should petition them to start making obi :rolleyes:

Bronson

Jepi
04-30-2004, 08:25 AM
Does anyone know what are doing in Japan?
I think Japan people are very worried about hygiene.
This is contradictory with "to not wash" tradition.

hambone
04-30-2004, 09:57 PM
I've been training for four years now and I've never washed my belt. Its simply tradition. I probably never will, and I have never had any problems whatsoever with it smelling bad, looking bad, etc.... Its all character. I'm also curious as to why the results of this poll clearly show that the majority of people don't wash their belts, and yet the majority of people that are posting are the ones that do. I'm calling for all the non-belt-washers out there to speak up and defend yourselves.

Peter Goldsbury
04-30-2004, 10:50 PM
Does anyone know what are doing in Japan?
I think Japan people are very worried about hygiene.
This is contradictory with "to not wash" tradition.

Here in Japan I wear a yukata in the summer. Of course it has a wrap-around belt, which on occasion is washed in the washing machine, along with the yukata. This obi does not have any special sancity or significance: it simply goes with the kimono.

My current aikido training wear includes 4 keikogi (2 judo-type; 2 karate-type), 4 hakama and several obi, all except one of which are black. Two of the obi are judo-obi, I use these as spares, or on the occasions when I train without a hakama, or if I visit a dojo where the hakama is not worn. These are washed as and when necessary. The other obi are wide wrap-around obi, which I prefer to the judo style belts. These, too, are washed as and when necessary. Again, they do not have any special sanctity or significance, but simply go with everything else.

My hakama are occasionally dry-cleaned, but there are many dry-cleaners who do not know how to pleat and fold hakama correctly, so I have to subject the hapless shop owner to some interrogation before I entrust my hakama to them. The last shop I used closed and I have not yet found another.

After training, the hakama are folded up on the tatami, and put away. There is a big difference between the tatami of the dojo and the ordinary floor, of the changing room, for example. This echoes the distinction between tatami and floor area beyond the genkan in a traditional Japanese-style house. Here the uchi-soto distinction operates and people leave their shoes in the genkan, the place where hito-gomi is left behind. Equally, the floor of the dojo changing room is a 'soto' area and I rarely see anyone drop any aikido training gear on the floor.

There is some discussion of this topic in Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney's "Illness and Culture in Contemporary Japan" (Cambridge, 1984), especially Chapter 2: "Japanese Germs".

Mark Uttech
05-01-2004, 04:03 AM
If I recall correctly , O'Senesei wore a white belt his whole life. Did he wash it? That is the question. In gassho,

Doka
05-01-2004, 04:53 AM
My hakama are occasionally dry-cleaned, but there are many dry-cleaners who do not know how to pleat and fold hakama correctly, so I have to subject the hapless shop owner to some interrogation before I entrust my hakama to them. The last shop I used closed and I have not yet found another.

I don't know if you can get them in Japan, but I have a special bag and disposable sheets that you put in the dryer, which means you can dry clean at home. That's what I do with my hakama.

PeterR
05-01-2004, 10:17 PM
Does anyone know what are doing in Japan?
I think Japan people are very worried about hygiene.
This is contradictory with "to not wash" tradition.
Several people who have written in this thread - do or have trained extensively in Japan. None of them hold to the don't wash theory.

rachmass
05-01-2004, 11:26 PM
I wash my obi when I wash my hakama (a couple of times a year, or more, depending on sweat factor). My hakama gets washed and folded by me, so I can keep the pleats in properly. Why wouldn't you wash your obi? It's going to get awfully yucky if you don't wash it every once in awhile, and yes, it has faded, but is far from threadbare.

Lucy Smith
04-20-2006, 12:07 AM
The belt represents your training. The marks in the belt are the marks of training. The hole process is somewhat "written" in your belt. My Sensei told us this, and told us it was tradition not to wash it. So we don't.

Lucy Smith
04-20-2006, 12:09 AM
ups!!!! my english is awful. I meant WHOLE not hole.
Sorry!!

Psufencer
04-20-2006, 01:36 PM
My sensei told me to wash and dry mine a few times, to get it good and pliable, so it would be easier to tie...so whenever I get a new belt, I wear it in a bit, and then I don't bother. But it's nothing to do with tradition for us.

Cheers!

brunotex
04-20-2006, 04:56 PM
Im still 2kyu, but we here use colored belts...

My wife just started Aikido (1 week ago!!!) and she is soooo happy because she is using the same white belt that I used when I started Aikido and I have never washed it...
She is always saying..."You see how dirty my belt is, it i because it was Brunos and it has his Ki and lalala...."

Dont wash your belt may not hold ki or may smell a little, but can make someone happy...lol

Jory Boling
04-20-2006, 07:41 PM
I wash mine when it gets excessively dojo and I wash my wife's obi just to break it in. When I first started training, I was curious to see if a white obi would one day turn black (per the story about the origins of the black belt). Since then, I haven't placed any special significance on it, other than it holds my dogi closed.

Pertaining to the "what do they do in Japan" aspect, I think the mudansha always wash their belts. They are always very clean. I don't know about all the yudansha. Their belts are hidden under their hakama. They have that clean yet lived in look.