While competitively priced, these are not by any means low quality belts but the very best of their type on the market. The materials we use are high quality and the stitching accurate and evenly spaced. They are made to such high a quality that many students chose to have us embroider their name and/or style on them, and these belts take embroidery beautifully! (Please see the example of the embroidered blue belt here.)
A Short History of Belt Colors
According to the Kodokan Judo Academy in Tokyo, the history of coloured belts for different grades or ability levels was started by Jigoro Kano (1860 -1938) Sensei, the founder of modern Judo.
Kano Sensei, in his youth, studied Kito-Ryu jujutsu. Later, by absorbing techniques from other schools such as Yoshin Ryu, he created Judo (柔道) as a physical activity for all people, from Yawara, the ancient samurai unarmed method of violently subduing an enemy.
When he was a student, instructors wore strong jackets decorated with diagonal lines of stitching similar to a modern kendo jacket. The colour and sometimes the degree of elaboration of the stitching would distinguish the instructors rank and experience.
Kanos idea was to create an art that everyone could practise regardless of income, social status, or gender. Buying expensive new training jackets at every promotion was beyond many people, so he substituted a coloured belt to denote the wearers ability.