Years ago, I decided that if/when I got my purple belt, it was going to have to be something fancy. I remember seeing Meerkatsu get a custom made belt, and even toyed with the idea of going the same route myself (until I realised that with shipping, it costs a bloody fortune).
For the most part, I try to be a realist. I’m grounded enough to know that my purple belt isn’t going to be equal to that of some World Championship/Mundial winning purple belt. I’m a hobbyist, not a competitor, but a student of the sport nonetheless. I’ll never be a world destroying phenom, unless someone wants to pay me to train full-time in the hope that I’ll turn into the next destroyer of worlds. That’s not going to happen though. With that, I’m well aware that I will be wearing this belt for a fucking long time. I’m cool with that.
When I was initially promoted, I bought a Scramble belt in A1. It’s a nice belt, and after a few washes has started to loosen up and fade, the way all belts do. It’s a great looking belt for it though. My only real problem with it is that I’m a super-knot guy, and either I’m too fat or the belt is too small, the knot just doesn’t hold well, even after loosening up the material. I almost bought another in A2 before I realised that I could get wild and wacky and buy something else.
I started reading up on different types of BJJ belts, and my world exploded. Who knew that Gi belts existed? I started pricing up different brands, and the costs to ship it the UK, and it left a pretty bitter taste in my mouth. I decided to consult a BJJ Forum. That same very night, I found myself buying a Valor Elite BJJ belt. Same principle entirely, a belt made out of Gi material, but a third of the price.
I bought two (one for me, and one for a pal). The first arrived no bother, and the second got lost in the mail, but their customer service was so abso-bloody-lutely brilliant, the other belt arrived a day or so after. It’s at this point I’d like to give a shout out to Kevin for his great customer service in getting my issue sorted out.
The first thing you notice when you take it out of the packet is the deep rich colour. It’s really dark and moody. The sort of purple that Prince would be afraid of. The kind of purple that The Joker’s pants would be. This belt means business. The material at first feels a lot more coarse than one of those normal peasant belts, but it’s still a thousand times more pliable. When you put it on for the first time, it doesn’t feel like you’ve tried to tie a plank around your waist. The Gi material feels tightly woven, and when you tie a knot, it’s not coming apart. This is the first belt I’ve ever worn that actually stayed tied the whole bloody class!
I’ve been wearing it for weeks now, to get a proper impression of it, and the verdict is simply that I love it. It’s comfortable, the colour has held well even after several washes, and I don’t think I’ll be going back to normal belts. What Valor have delivered here is a very simple product, but a great one. It rarely comes undone, what more can you wish for?
If you’re looking for a new belt, I thorough recommend giving Valor Fightwear a look. The belt was only £15 (excluding postage). Their customer service is top notch, and the quality of their products is clearly to a very high standard. Do it, treat yourself and you’ll be able to roll 20% more than you used to, because you won’t have to re-tie your belt ever again.
This message was in no way sponsored, and the opinions are entirely my own.