Obi Belt Usage
by Valery Serezhkin
Some kendokas in Russia use obi belt. Some of them say that it is traditional and also keeps the gi look neat, and others use it to "fix the back".
What is your opinion, Masahiro San?
It is really personal preference. I am sure that the obi was worn traditionally because that was a part of Japanese clothing. Also samurai slid down their swords in the obi wrapped around their body. In iaido, that is how we keep our swords around our body.
Many kendoists do wear an obi and others don’t. Before I started iai, I did not wear an obi at all in kendo but now I prefer wearing an obi in kendo too. Even so, I sometimes wear an obi and sometimes I don’t. No particular reasons. It does make the appearance look better, if it is worn properly.
It feels weird first but you will get used to. Try it on and do kendo. See how you feel.