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How to tie a BJJ belt securely

May 8, 2024

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), as with many martial arts styles, practitioners wear colored belts to mark their rank and experience level. The belt colors, in ascending order of rank, are white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each belt color represents a different level of BJJ skill, with a black belt being the highest achievable rank. For many, it’s a symbol of their journey as a student. An emblem of their hard work and dedication to their craft. With each new level reached, a feeling of pride accompanied by the reminder that persistence and consistency are crucial to success on the mat.

As meaningful as the BJJ belt is, it’s also a practical part of a fighter’s attire because it holds your uniform, known as the “gi” or kimono, together. A gi includes heavy cotton drawstring pants with reinforced knees and a heavy cotton jacket. Underneath, fighters often wear a rash guard and compression shorts. Fighters lay one jacket lapel over the other and fasten the uniform with their belt to keep it closed. If not tied properly, your belt can come undone during training or competition and cause distractions and discomfort. 

Some people will note that fighters who practice “no-gi” BJJ don’t need to worry about a belt while rolling. This is true! In no-gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, martial artists shed the traditional garb and typically just wear a rash guard and compression shorts. But for those who do train and compete with a gi, this article will show you a few ways to tie your Jiu-Jitsu belt so you can keep your uniform tidy.  

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Techniques for Tying a BJJ Belt

Here are step-by-step instructions for different types of BJJ belt ties: 

Traditional Jiu-Jitsu Tie

This quick, basic tie is a standard method for BJJ fighters. It’s often the first belt-tying technique BJJ fighters learn, as it has existed in the world of jiu-jitsu for ages. 

  1. Hold your belt in both hands and place its center flat against your lower stomach, just below your navel. Make sure the label is facing away from you.
  2. Both sides should be the same length, adjust as needed, and then wrap the belt tight around your body, crossing the sides in the back and bringing the ends back to the front. Check that the belt is lying flat against your gi and hasn’t twisted.
  3. Bring both ends of the belt back in front of you so they overlay the center of the belt against your stomach. Cross the right end over the left end, pulling both ends so that they are snug but comfortable around your waist.
  4. The side of the belt that was on the right should now be in your left hand, and the side that was on the left should now be in your right hand. Take both ends and tuck them under all the layers of the belt at your waist, pulling them all the way through from underneath.
  5. Loop the bottom belt in your right hand around the other belt. As you loop, thread the bottom belt through the gap created by the two belts crossing. 
  6. Secure the knot by pulling both ends to tighten. 

Superlock Style

This is an increasingly popular knot style as it can stand up to multiple rounds of rolling. The method can be a little tricky at first, so make sure you practice this before hitting the mat. 

  1. Take both lapels of your gi in your hands and fold the right side underneath the left side.
  2. Wrap your belt around your waist until the ends are in front of you in either hand. 
  3. Place them in the center of your waist, take the part of the belt with the stripes, and fold it under the two loops you’ve just created. 
  4. Adjust for tightness, and take the tail end of your belt and stuff it in under the two loops.
  5. Finally, take the part of the belt with the stripes, fold it under the loop you just created, and tuck it inside the first loop. 

Taekwondo/Karate Knot

  1. Find the center of your belt and hold it out in front of you, matching the ends to locate the middle. Place the center of the belt on your stomach, just below your navel. 
  2. Make sure the belt lays flat against your gi and wrap the ends around your waist, bringing them to the back. Cross the ends over each other in the back (left over right or right over left, and then bring them back around to the front. Check and smooth out any twisting. 
  3. Once the ends are back in front, lay one end over the other (whichever side was on top when crossed in the back, stays on top in the front).
  4. Take both ends and tuck them underneath both layers of the belt wrapped around your waist. Pull them through until snug, making sure the belt is tight enough to stay in place but comfortable enough not to restrict your breathing or movements.
  5. Take the end that’s now on top (it will be the one that was underneath initially) and fold it over the other end, then pull it up through the gap created near your waist, forming a loop. Pull both ends tightly to secure the knot. If done right, the ends of the belt should hang down evenly on each side.

Double Knot

  1. Center and place your belt on your stomach, wrap both ends around your waist, and bring them back to the front. 
  2. Cross the right end over the left in front of your body and wrap both ends around your waist once again, bringing them back to the front. Now, the right end should come out from underneath the left.
  3. Cross the end that is now on top (which should be the left end) over the right end. Tuck it under both layers of the belt and pull it through. Tighten the first knot by pulling both ends firmly to ensure the belt is snug around your waist.
  4. Tie a second knot by crossing the end that is now on top over the other end. Again, tuck it under and pull through just like the first knot.
  5. Tighten the second knot by pulling both ends firmly, ensuring the belt is centered, the knots are tight, and the ends are even.

 Tips for Maintaining a Properly Tied BJJ Belt

Knowing how to tie your belt properly isn’t just about making your uniform look nice and neat. A poorly tied belt can cause distractions and discomfort while training. Success in BJJ requires intense focus on your movements and strategy during the match, and the last thing you want is an incorrectly tied BJJ belt shaking your confidence and focus while you’re rolling.

It’s common for fighters to see their belt loosen during intense training sessions, so you want to secure a tight knot that doesn’t come undone easily. At the same time, you don’t want to sacrifice comfort either; get a belt that’s not big enough or tie a knot that’s too tight, and you will be distracted while fighting. It’s important to find the right balance between a secure knot and a comfortable fit.

  • Regularly check the tightness of your knots, especially leading up to a competition. 
  • Proper belt length! People of all body types practice BJJ, so there is no one-size-fits-all here. Always take your measurements so you get the correct belt size.
  • While tying, you always want to ensure the length is even on both sides of the belt. If one side is longer, you won’t be able to fasten the knot(s) properly. 
  • Frayed belts are harder to tie and more likely to come loose while fighting. Take care of your gear, and you will prolong the lifespan of the BJJ belt. 


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a belt doesn’t just denote your rank; it keeps your gi functional during the intense physicality of rolling and ensures you adhere to the strict regulations of competition. A well-tied belt keeps the gi jacket securely fastened, preventing it from becoming a hindrance or causing exposure that might distract or disadvantage you on the mat. Learning how to properly tie your BJJ belt is not just a ritual but a practicality that can improve your safety and focus during training and competition.