One word, "poppy-cock!" This, in my personal view, is pure egoistic prideful display that is just the opposite of what I strive for in the dojo. Not to say that I didn't fall for this one in the beginning but I can tell you after all that I have come to the conclusion that the obi MUST be properly maintained.
Proper maintenance means to wash it in cold water to remove dirt, stains and STINK. Wash it in cold water and let it hang dry. Do not subject it to hot water, bleach or dragging it behind your truck to get that "experienced bad ass" look many like.
Now, I realize some folks like their first black belt. It has significance and meaning to that person. It was a great achievement and sometimes it is a personal item from that Sensei but ... once it gets to a stage that the fading starts even after maintaining it as I state in the last paragraph then take it off, hang it up and use it for special occasions. Buy a new obi and keep it clean and neat along with the uniform.
I have gone through the well worn faded black belt period of my time in karate. It was my Sensei's older faded obi so I wore it with a bit of pride and did so for a long time but realized that it had to go. Thankfully, a move lost it before I could finally decide to let it go and since then I used a new, clean and black belt.
I also went to the red/white paneled belt and even had a gift of an all white belt with the last seven inches of only the ends in red with Kanji on it but I wear them only for/on special occasions. For instance the custom white belt was worn only once, when I awarded a karate-ka his San-dan.
Now, I don't got to wear no cotton pickin obi; black, white, red and white or red. I just practice and train .... nuff said don't you think.
|If your uniform doesn't look like this while in the dojo, fix that!|