American Shotokan Karate Federation
American Shotokan
Karate Federation

Student Attire

Attire and Belt Tying

Traditional Karate Gi
Traditional Karate Gi

Class attire

Traditional karate attire is a white cotton uniform called a gi. The gi consists of loose drawstring pants and a loose fitting double breasted jacket. A long belt is tied around the waist. The color of the belt identifies the rank of the karateka.

A gi is not required to be worn until the student has passed their first rank exam. Beginning students can train in standard athletic clothing. The apparel should be loose fitting. Male students may also choose to wear an athletic supporter. Female students should consider wearing a sports bra.

Belt tying

There are many ways to tie the belt you wear with your gi, most schools have a traditional way their students tie a belt. Here are the 8 steps to successfully tying your belt the ASKF way:


Belt Step 1
Step 1: Start by folding the belt in two, making sure the ends are even.


Belt Step 2
Step 2: Center the middle of the belt around your waist, and pass the ends behind your back.


Belt Step 3:
Step 3: Cross the belt over in the back and bring the ends around to the front again.


Belt Step 4
Step 4: Pull the belt tight, bringing the left end over the top of the right end.


Belt Step 5
Step 5: Pass the left end of the belt under the other layers of the belt from the bottom, coming out the top as shown.


Belt Step 6
Step 6: Take the end you passed under to the top and make a loop as shown.


Belt Step 7
Step 7: Pass the hanging end through the loop as shown.


Belt Step 8
Step 8: Pull the knot tight and rotate it until it looks like the example above.