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Old 04-06-2004, 11:29 PM   #1
*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
Dojo: Shudokan Australia (Glen Waverley Dojo)
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Tongue i got a funny question...

Hey i recently skipped 8th kyu and now im 7th kyu... It is red belt with a black stripe. Hey does anyone else's dojo have black stripes on belts? and if so, how do u wash the belt without soaking the stripe?

OSU!!
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Old 04-07-2004, 03:07 AM   #2
taras
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I haven't heard of black stripes on a belt, but why do you need to wash a belt in the first place?
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Old 04-07-2004, 03:48 AM   #3
drDalek
 
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Quote:
Taras Poltorak (taras) wrote:
<cut> why do you need to wash a belt in the first place?
I regularly manage to soak my belt with sweat and some mats are dirtier than others, the fact that the belt is a piece of canvas which is folded over many times then stitched means that there is a lot of layering that can trap dirt and give a place for bacteria to grow.

I know many people believe that its the accumulation of dirt on a belt which has historically been the reason for the different rank colors but I would rather not play with any dirt-dans due to health concerns.
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:33 AM   #4
Richard Cardwell
Dojo: Belfast Aikido Circle
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The dirt/belt thing is interesting- there was a debate here a while ago. The consensus seemed to be that while it was a nice enough story, it's unlikely that a culture so concerned with cleanliness would have encouraged it. Plus, the reliance on grading is something influenced more by the West as far as I've heard. I'm a newbie, so I'm open to correction!
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:01 AM   #5
GLWeeks
Dojo: Aikido Society of Memphis
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Hehehe... In my dojo, we all are a white belt until Shodan. We don't wash our belts and we joke about our belts turning black.

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Old 04-07-2004, 08:42 AM   #6
DarkShodan
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Our dojo has 4th kyu as a yellow belt with a black stripe. I think it is taken after Judo ranks, but I am not sure.

I have also heard the 'black' comes from years of training without washing your belt.

I was also told it's bad luck to wash your belt. It may be an urban myth, but it works in my dojo.

I've washed my white belt once, due to a certain bathroom incident it was necessary.

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:54 AM   #7
Ian Rogers
Dojo: Shudokan Aikido Honbu Dojo, Nottingham
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Belt Kami

Don't wash away the Kami of the Belt!

Nourish it and feed it with the Ki you produce in practice. Then, when you grade, pass it on to someone else - they will benefit from the hard work that you have put in.

Well, that's my view, wonky though it may be.

Best wishes

Ian

PS I don't think you can catch anything too life-threatening from a mucky belt.
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:57 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Put me, the former public health nurse, as solidly in the "of course you wash your belt" camp. We sweat, we roll around on mats that people walk on, we aim to get on the mat with clean hands and feet and keikogi so why is it ok to wear a filthy belt?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:56 AM   #9
willy_lee
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The only reason I don't wash my belt everytime I wash my gi is that I worry about it shrinking, and it doesn't seem to get nearly as sweaty/dirty as my gi.

The bit about the accumulation of dirt being the origin of colored belts has been well debunked, both here and other places. Please don't keep spreading this story around.

It's nice to have traditions regarding passing belts on, but please, wash them first. If "ki" can be washed out of a belt with soap and water, there can't be too much to it, can there?

=wl

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Old 04-07-2004, 05:29 PM   #10
p00kiethebear
 
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Our dojo has white and black.

I never wash my white belt. I let the dirt and sweat and blood build up on it. When the belt is black from all that. Then i will take my shodan test.
Quote:
The only reason I don't wash my belt everytime I wash my gi is that I worry about it shrinking, and it doesn't seem to get nearly as sweaty/dirty as my gi.
If you hand wash it in cold water it should be fine. Let it air dry though.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:29 PM   #11
thatoldfool
 
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I've had people from Japan tell me that the "myth" about belts turning dark from use isn't a myth. I believe them, and am not convinced that the belt colour story is something we made up.

Furthermore, in terms of "health" issues...i've been an avid camper for years, have spent numerous summers on farms, and once upon a time spent three years in cadets.

I live in the city at the moment, but all my country friends laugh at us city folk, who believe that all "dirt" is "dirty" - dirty, meaning somehow dangerous. If you've ever been camping, you know that you'll probably accidently have some dirt mixed in with your food sometimes - it's no big deal.

However:

Don't eat off your belt. Don't lick your belt. Wash your hands after training.

Voila, tradition is preserved, and you're just as clean (if not cleaner), than when you stepped onto the mat.

Exactly what health risks does a sweaty belt pose, anyway? Ok, bacteria - but what bacteria exactly?

"Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend."
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:52 PM   #12
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
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Quote:
Dainius Sileika (thatoldfool) wrote:
I've had people from Japan tell me that the "myth" about belts turning dark from use isn't a myth. I believe them, and am not convinced that the belt colour story is something we made up.
Arggh....

Let me just say that just because someone is from Japan doesn't mean that they know the first thing about the history of Japanese martial arts -- and I am sure that Japanese people get just as much exposure to urban legends as anyone else.

Look up the various discussions that have already taken place, here and many other places, and make the decision for yourself.

As for the health risks, are you seriously suggesting that a white cloth belt that has turned black from accumulated grime is something that you would feel comfortable training with?

=wl

Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
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Old 04-07-2004, 08:08 PM   #13
Noel
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I've heard enough stories from people who've trained in Japan about stinky belts. Mine is currently in the wash with the rest of my dogi.

If the darn thing shrinks too much, another 5 to 10 bucks isn't going to kill me. Besides, I worry more about my waist expanding than my belt shrinking, and with some reason, too
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:49 PM   #14
p00kiethebear
 
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Quote:
I've had people from Japan tell me that the "myth" about belts turning dark from use isn't a myth. I believe them, and am not convinced that the belt colour story is something we made up.
I think that claim is reasonable. After two years of training my belt is absolutely filthy with a few blood stains on it to go along with the sweat. It's definitely a few shades darker than the white that it came as.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:04 PM   #15
akiy
 
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Quote:
Willy Lee (willy_lee) wrote:
Let me just say that just because someone is from Japan doesn't mean that they know the first thing about the history of Japanese martial arts -- and I am sure that Japanese people get just as much exposure to urban legends as anyone else.
Yup. Just because we're Japanese doesn't mean some of us can believe some silly things at times.

I throw my belt into the wash. If it gets too ratty looking, I'll just get a new one -- just like the rest of my dogi. I don't have any attachments to the thing, I guess; it's just a piece of cloth, after all. It's not like my aikido is any better or worse for wearing or not wearing it.

-- Jun, who wore a white belt from "lost and found" tonight since my usual belt was forgotten at home...

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Old 04-07-2004, 10:24 PM   #16
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
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I don't wash my belt. When I was in Karate, I didn't have any purple clothes to wash it with. (and my gf accidentally washed it with my gi once, making my training hell).

However, I do know a certain shodan who, upon getting his black belt immeadiatly washed it about 20 times to give it a "worn" look.

Personally, I'm with the guy who says that if you don't eat off it or lick it, you'll be fine.
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:43 PM   #17
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
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Quote:
Nathan Gidney (p00kiethebear) wrote:
I think that claim is reasonable. After two years of training my belt is absolutely filthy with a few blood stains on it to go along with the sweat. It's definitely a few shades darker than the white that it came as.
*throws hands up in despair*

Nathan, just because you plan to keep a grungy, filthy belt all the way to shodan, does not make the myth of the black belt being black from dirt a reasonable one. Just think about it for a minute and see if you can imagine Jigoro Kano or Morihei Ueshiba encouraging their students to wear the same filthy, ratty belt to class each day. Remember, Ueshiba was the guy who yelled at Saotome (IIRC) for daring to get on the mat in just his keikogi, without hakama.

=wl

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Old 04-08-2004, 12:10 AM   #18
*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
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so.. back to the subject... will the black stipe soak if i wash it?

OSU!!
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:23 AM   #19
Largo
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It should depend on the quality of the dye job. Some belts leave stains on gis and run. some don't. It could also depend on your washer setting and detergent. (I'd just leave it alone if I was you.)
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:25 AM   #20
*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
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um... the black stripe is a piece of very very very strong sticky tap hehe

OSU!!
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:27 AM   #21
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
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What! I thought it was dyed. If it is tape then it will either come off or lose it's stickiness in the machine.

Think about it like this. Do you wash a normal belt? (I don't)
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:16 AM   #22
Ian Upstone
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Hey Jimmy!

Unless you plan on wearing this same belt for the long term, washing it shouldn't be an issue, as by the time it gets too skanky, you should be onto another belt by then!

If you want or indeed need to wash the belt before you replace it, then perhaps you could hand wash only the middle section as that's the bit that gets sweaty? (I'm assuming the stripes are on the ends)

For the record I'm a non-belt washer, but after reading a few of these posts now, I'm starting to look at my belt with uneasy suspicion...
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:35 AM   #23
PeterR
 
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I've never washed my belt - I've had it for five years.

Oh sure - we've had the odd wrestling match - but its never won.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:53 AM   #24
p00kiethebear
 
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Quote:
Just think about it for a minute and see if you can imagine Jigoro Kano or Morihei Ueshiba encouraging their students to wear the same filthy, ratty belt to class each day. Remember, Ueshiba was the guy who yelled at Saotome (IIRC) for daring to get on the mat in just his keikogi, without hakama.
They way i heard it, it was only like that for karatedoka in okinawa O.o
Quote:
um... the black stripe is a piece of very very very strong sticky tap hehe
If it comes off, then can't you just tape another one on or over it? Honestly ask yourself if it NEEDS to be washed.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 04-08-2004, 07:53 AM   #25
Magma
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You don't wash your belt.

That's like taking your academic records home and burning them because eventually they might be a place for insects to nest otherwise.

*rolls eyes*

So long as the belt can dry out after a workout, there really isn't a problem/worry of bacteria, IMO.

Rather, for these places where the mats are described as "less clean than others," leading to the dirt and grime on the belt... um, I'd say that those dojo have *bigger* problems than what to do with their belts. The mats should be clean.

Anyway, I put washing one's belt right up there with putting one's belt on the floor. You just don't do those sorts of things.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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