Uniform Guide

Be sure the legs of your pants are the right length. You need to be able to move freely without stepping on the ends of your pants. If your gi pants are too long, you'll need to hem them to keep them out of the way. If your pants have a traditional drawstring waist, you'll use a shoestring knot to tie them. Be sure the knot is tight enough! You don't want it coming undone in the middle of class! The "Shoestring Knot - Traditional Drawstring" video demonstrates one way to tie a traditional drawstring.

If you like, you can also use the "Ian knot" method -- search YouTube for that one, if you're interested. It's a little trickier to get the hang of, but also much quicker to tie. The knot itself is actually the same as a shoestring knot, just the steps to tie it are a little different.

Some gi pants come instead with an elastic waistband. If you have an elastic waistband on your pants, you'll also have a different type of drawstring. Instead of a shoestring knot, you'll tie your pants with a slip knot. See the "Slip Knot - Elastic Waist" video for the demonstration. This knot can be tied quickly and easily, stays tight until you're ready to untie it, and pulls undone with little effort.

Don't rely on the elastic waistband alone! Tie your drawstring using a slip knot!

ISKF patch placement

Once you have the sleeves on your uniform top properly hemmed (so they don't cover your fists), make sure that the ISKF patch is sewn on properly. It goes on the left side of your chest, well below your shoulder. The ends of the wrap-around text should be level when you're wearing the jacket, and the red circle (the rising sun) should be centered at the top of the white circle.

Your gi jacket has four individual ties on it: Two on the left, and two on the right. Tie these together in pairs, using a shoestring knot on each side. The tie at the corner of the right-side lapel gets tied to the one below the left sleeve; then the tie at the corner of the left-side lapel gets tied to the one below the right sleeve, so that the patch side covers the other side. Have a look at the "Shoestring Knot - Jacket" video demo for details.

Your belt is the most visible knot on your uniform, and also the most important to have tied correctly. The belt should be double-wrapped around your waist -- find the middle of the belt, and center that over your stomach, then wrap the ends around behind your back, then around front again, and tie the knot in front of your stomach. Make sure to tie the whole belt together at the front. Proper belt tying for white belt and color belt level students is demonstrated in the "Square Knot - Belt" video. When you earn your black belt, you'll have to learn how to tie your belt a little differently... but that's a discussion for another time.

The following videos demonstrate the knots you'll need to properly tie your uniform:

Shoestring Knot - Traditional Drawstring

Slip Knot - Elastic Waist

Shoestring Knot - Jacket

Square Knot - Belt