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I have been doing karate for around 8 years now and over this time have earned a 1st Dan Black Belt, I therefore have much experience with these belts after having wearing them for 5 or 6 hours a week for the first years of my training. These belts are pretty much universal for most martial arts and these types of belts can be used for Karate, Judo, Ju Jitsu and any other martial art which uses the belt grading system.
My club used to use this brand of belts for all of its students. We didn't buy them ourselves, the club would get them from their suppliers and we would pay alongside our grading cost so were never certain of the price but from what we can gather they were pretty cheap. The cheap price shows in the quality of these belts.
I did have one of these belts back in the days where I was a yellow belt but I also had this brand for many belts since this - the colour makes no difference to the quality and therefore my experiences of this brand of belts is the same regardless of the colour.
This belt is made of cardboard inside covered in dyed fabric. The cardboard used in these entry-level belts is very thin and the cotton fabric covering is often thin too which leads to it easily wearing out and fraying in the case of people who have it for long periods of time. My belts never frayed at this low level due to the frequency of changing belts but you could tell how long people had been on a belt based on how degraded their belt was.
Degradion of the belt happened far quicker if the owner tried the knot at the front of the belt too tightly causing the cardboard to tear inside. This permanently deformed them. This was surprisingly easy to do and if I look back at my belts which were made by this brand, many of them are actually deformed.
My club eventually changed brands of belt and we didn't notice any rise of prices for them either - therefore I assume they cost pretty much the same. The new brand are far better, they do not deform, they don't fray and they seem much thicker. When we first got them, they seemed like luxury but I have since came to realise that the old brand was just awful quality.
I now use a premium black belt which cost significantly more than these entry-level junior belts and I definitely would not be able to cope with using the brand again (but this time using their senior size) due to its poor quality.
When my son was awarded his first real belt, he was absolutely over the moon. It may just look like a bit of cloth to anyone else, but this is the rewards of a years work for my son. He did earn a white belt before this, but as they start out wearing a white belt - it doesn't really feel like an accomplishment. But what my son actually won was the right to wear a yellow belt. Whenever possible, I do refer to buy from his club - as this helps support the club's other activities - but they did not have any belts on this occasion, and even the local sports shop was out. So I went straight onto Amazon.
I took a look around and found belts in Junior an adult sizes. I did assume Junior meant child's but I think now there must be a smaller size as well. You see the length on this belt was 8 ft. My son is only 7, and has always been built like a bean pole. I'm afraid trying to wrap this around his waist - it looked like we were trying to make a Mummy. We ended up having to cut this in half and stitch up the end. I have ended up wondering if we could have been sent an adult belt by mistake? I simply can not imagine many children needing such a large one.
Other than the length though, this belt is of a very high quality. Thee have been a few stitches that have come loose, but this at the end we cut, so I don't feel it was the fault of the manufacturer. I haven't been as careful with this as I should have - in large part because I have another end just like it so it wouldn't be any great loss if something happened to this, and his been washed with a limited amount of bleach on one occasion. But it has held up well to washing and maintained it's colour very well. I was also worried it might dry terribly stiff as we don't have dryer, and it is often dried indoors but it as nice and soft as the day we bought it.
Grading will be coming up again soon, and as much as my son loved this belt - he will be delighted if he is able to ditch it for another colour soon. But he says he wants to keep all his old belts, and I may make a display for them above his Samurai swords. (Yes - I know he is too young for these, but he loves them and they stay on a high shelf, serving only as decorations. They were my husbands and are never taken down without an adult). As he does want to display this, I'm glad it has held it's colour so well, and I won't hesitate to buy another from the same company - but I will trying to find a smaller one first.
I paid just over £3 for this including postage, but current prices are slightly higher at just over £5. It's well worth it though as it did make for one very happy little boy. I have taken one star for the size issue, but other than that I can not find any fault in this product.