Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Obi

I have an embroidered Shureido black belt. I received this obi when I tested for black belt in 1996. After class on Monday, I took off my belt and looked at it. It is worn …but not worn out. In my humble biased opinion, it is perfect. As I was commiserating to another black belt, he said “You should start wearing your other belt”. I said “What other belt? This is the only one that I have.” You see, I should have bought another belt a few years ago. Our belt requirements for Renshi are to add one gold stripe to the belt or buy a new belt with the stripe. My confession is that I have done neither. Please know that I do not mean to be disrespectful by not following the recommended uniform suggestions of the Federation. My instructor knows that I still wear my original stripe-free obi.

It took me twelve years of belt wearing to get my obi to the condition it is today. I thought that I would only ever need one belt. I know I am just complaining, but a new belt is so stiff. I remember when I first got my black belt. I was working on kata Chinto and during the jump kick; my belt flew up and the corner almost poked my eye out. Ok, I am exaggerating but it did hit me in the eye. My belt is long and was sized by my instructor with the statement that “You will grow into it”. I hope that I have grown into my belt figuratively not literally.

I do not want my obi to wear out any further. I think it is time to order my Renshi belt so that in another twelve years it will be perfect.


Anupam said...
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Hack Shaft said...

I think there's nothing more beautiful than seeing well-worn, well earned belts wrapped around the black belts in my school.

But if the white uniform has gone grey, yeah, time to update!

Steve said...

The way my crazy mind works, when I get a new belt, it "forces" me to practice when I may be feeling lazy - to break it in faster. Whatever it takes to motivate!