The belt is perhaps one of the most important elementsin the life and growth of a Shorinji Kempo practitioner.
Obviously new practitioners are looking forward to seeing changing the colour, getting closer and closer to black, but apart from this aspect, when you take the belt before a workout and when you put it back at the end of it, it is always a moment that has its own importance: you’re not taking a piece of cloth to keep the jacket closed, but you are, somehow, putting the seal of knowledge on yourself, the belt is a bit of a catalyst for our practice, that object that symbolically encloses and stores all the efforts we have made.
Perhaps also for this reason, the kenshi don’t like the belt hanging inanimate and swinging left and right at every hip rotation, but they want it to reflect the attitude of the budoka, that is always awake and ready, reactive and with a good posture.
So everyone wants a hard belt, whose ends don’t dangle lazily overcome by the force of gravity, but which is as alert as the kenshi who wears it.
Of course, people are different, so there are those who would like it to be as hard as steel, which should be knotted using pincers, and there are those who would like it to be just a little stiffer than those used in other disciplines, just enough to “keep it up”.
To meet these opinion differences, while producing high quality belts that reflect the needs of Shorinji Kempo, Martis Do has introduced the stiffness coefficient.
In fact, the assortment of our belts consists of 4 stiffness levels: from level 1 of the coloured belts to level 4 of the very hard Optimum and Magnum, the flagships of our range, so stiff that when folded they can be used in place of the nyoi bo.
In between these two extremes we find the Simplex black belt, of excellent quality but with a stiffness level 2, and the Superior black belt, level 3, which represents the middle way of our range.
Obviously, stiffness also affects the thicknessand, in cascade, the overall cost of the belt, since sewing them is a more demanding process (you would be surprised to know how many needles break when making the 12 stitching that sew them and affixing the labels) which is why the stiffest belts are also the thickest and most finished and therefore, the most expensive.
Always talking about the Optimum and Magnum, we must keep in mind that due to the very high coefficient of stiffness, at the time of purchase you have to choose one size more than you normally use, because the knot is bigger and it “eats” a few inches of belt.
All of them, on the other hand, regardless of the stiffness coefficient, can be embroidered according to the well-known WSKO guidelines, which means with your name, surname, branch or one of the philosophical principles authorised by the WSKO (you will find detailed information on customisation on the specific belt page).
Finally, a few tips!
As you are well aware,it is no longer possible to wear belts worn out or in bad condition, precisely because the belt reflects the attitude and the martiality of the wearer, the WSKO guidelines are to wear ONLY ORIGINAL belts in good condition.
To make this happen there are therefore some tips we can provide you with.
1. The first and most obvious is never wash your belt. Hot or cold water, with soaking or spinning, washes ruin the belts and it would be good to avoid them for the entire duration of their life.
2. When you store it, fold it in half three times and do not roll it up. Rolling up the belt leads to a greater opening of the fibres and thus to a more softening of the belt.
3. After training, always take it out of the bag and keep it laid out overnight, preferably in the open air, using the natural folds to hang it.
4. Finally, use a belt holder for carrying in your bag, a little attention to your trusty training partner that will make itlast longer and always in excellent condition.
Now that you know a bit more about our belts and how to take care of them, no matter what stiffness level you prefer, you are ready to go and buy your first Martis Do belt, so click here and find out the difference with the ones used before!