What is it?
Obi is the Japanese term for the belt that is worn along with your Gi.
What Are the Colors and What Do They Represent?
When you begin your Martial Arts journey with us here at Annarino’s Martial Arts your Obi will be white. As you progress through your training your Obi color will change based on your rank as follows:
White – Hachikyu – 8th Kyu
Yellow – Shichikyu – 7th Kyu
Blue – Rokkyu – 6th Kyu
Green – Gokyu – 5th Kyu
Purple – Yonkyu – 4th Kyu
Brown – Sankyu – 3rd Kyu
Brown w/ 1 Black Tip – Nikyu – 2nd Kyu
Brown w/ 2 Black Tips – Ichkyu – 1st Kyu
These are the Kyu ranks. In addition to the Kyu ranks there are also the Dan ranks which are the black belt ranks. Typically, all Dan ranks wear the same black belt throughout their journey but depending on the style and/or school you may see some 6th through 8th Dan ranks wearing white/red and 9th through 10th Dan ranks wearing a larger red obi. The Dan ranks are as follows:
Black – Shodan – 1st Dan
Black – Nidan – 2nd Dan
Black – Sandan – 3rd Dan
Black – Yodan – 4th Dan
Black – Godan – 5th Dan
Black or Red/White – Rokudan – 6th Dan
Black or Red/White – Shichidan – 7th Dan
Black or Red/White – Hachidan – 8th Dan
Black or Red – Kudan – 9th Dan
Black or Red = Judan – 10th Dan
How do I wash my Obi?
The short answer… You Don’t!
The long answer. You do not wash your obi for a couple very important reasons. Firstly, the belief is that your obi contains all the hard work you have done at that rank and to wash your obi would be to wash all that hard work away. Now from a more scientific perspective, the main reason why you do not want to wash your obi is that doing so may make the color fade and if you wash your obi with your white gi you run the risk of turning your gi the same color as your obi.