Best Martial Arts & Karate Belt Displays Reviewed

It is hard to describe the thrill a martial artist feels when they receive a belt to denote their new rank within their chosen tradition. Hours upon hours of hard work, training, and learning go into every advancement and many traditions require students to compete in competitions to earn their next belt. If the student does not perform well enough, they have to continue their training and then try again with no guarantee that they will advance a rank the next time either. All of this work only serves to make it that much sweeter when the new belt is finally placed in their hands. The question then becomes what to do with the belts for previous ranks. For many martial artists, the answer is to display them on the best belt display they can find.

Featured Recommendations

KidKraft Belt Holder
  • KidKraft Belt Holder
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Customizable
  • Holds 8 Belts
  • Price: See Here
AWMA Belt Display
  • AWMA Belt Display
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Solid Wood
  • Holds 10 Belts
  • Price: See Here
Star Belt Display
  • Star Belt Display
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to Mount
  • Easy to Use
  • Price: See Here

Most martial arts belt displays specify that they are karate belt displays. Depending on where a student’s tradition originated, however, the same displays can be used for a range of martial arts styles. Many displays on the market today are even capable of displaying sashes rather than belts alone. It all depends on the student, their preferences, and their willingness to experiment. Belt displays come in a variety of styles and colors and many of them have space for customized names, images, and phrases. Each display can be a work of art so long as the right canvas is chosen.

 

10 Best Karate Belt Displays

 

1. KidKraft Belt Holder

KidKraft is mostly known for their toys. Namely their large wooden structures such as action figure forts, play kitchens, and doll houses. Their inventory does have a few outliers and one such product is their karate belt display.
Expand to see more
Customizable
Like most KidKraft projects, their belt display is highly customizable. It is very plain and very lightweight with large spaces of blank wood. This makes it easily customizable with paint, wood burners, stickers, or any other sort of decoration that is not too heavy for the wood to bear.

Holds 8 Belts
It shouldn't surprise most people to find that this belt display, made by a toy company, is somewhat smaller than the rest. It is ideal for the student who is young or just starting out and may not have as many belts to display or may not be certain of how many belts they will ultimately have within their chosen practice.

Cost and Value
KidKraft has produced the most affordable display on this list. The only reason that it was not named "Best Value" is that it took the top spot on our list. Its potential for customization, the high ratio of happy users, and affordability earned it a place of honor among the belt displays listed here.
Pros
  • Honey Finish
  • Customizable
  • Holds 8 Belts
Cons
  • Some Units Shipped Damaged

2. AWMA Belt Display

AWMA might not be a household name but that hasn't deterred them from cultivating an inventory that touches nearly every need a martial artist might have. Patches, displays, uniforms, and patches are only the beginning of AWMA's offerings. They have several display options for sale, but their slatted vertical design is the most popular by far. It has an overwhelming number of positive reviews from all levels of students, praising the display's quality and style.
Expand to see more
Solid Wood
AWMA does not deal in fakes. Their belt display is genuine solid wood rather than composite materials or laminates. Despite this dedication to authentic materials, the display is lightweight and is easily mounted to a wall without fear of it tearing itself down.

Holds 10 Belts
AWMA tries to serve as many branches of martial arts as possible. This means that their display is sized to accommodate those branches whose belt ranks exceed simply one color per rank but go instead into stripes or bands to denote additional training.

Cost and Value
AWMA's belt display is towards the high end of low as far as this list's price range is concerned. Its light weight is sometimes criticized as being flimsy but most buyers like how easy it is to mount and move, even once the belts are in place.
Pros
  • Solid Wood
  • Elastic Strap Securement Method
  • Holds 10 Belts
Cons
  • Flimsy Construction

3. DisplayGifts Belt Case

DisplayGifts is quite possibly one of the most straight-forward company names one could imagine. They have one or two items in their inventory that aren't displays. The several hundred other items, however, are displays in nearly every shape and size. Most of them are specialized to one particular type of thing and all of them are absolutely beautiful. Their belt display is an excellent example of the quality that such dedication to their market has produced.
Expand to see more
Solid wood Frame
The display's frame is solid wood, making it one of the most durable and enduring displays on this list. DisplayGifts has several finishes that customers can choose from, giving the display a more customized and personal appearance that could be made to fit nearly any decorating style.

Acrylic Door
Most of the displays on this list are open-faced which leaves the belts vulnerable to dust, oils, and any other particulates floating in the air. DisplayGifts opted to put a clear acrylic door on their display cabinet. They state that the choice to use acrylic and not glass is so that the door is child-safe without obstructing the view of the belts inside.

Cost and Value
DisplayGifts' offering is, understandably, one of the most expensive on this list. A solid wood frame and protective door add immense value to the display as does the option of several different finishes and the felt interior. This is not a simple display but more like the kind of display that a collector would choose to put their prized pieces in.
Pros
  • Solid Wood Frame
  • Acrylic Door
  • Felt Interior
Cons
  • High Price Point

4. KarateSupply Personalized

4. KarateSupply Personalized
As the name implies, KarateSupply is a company with a very tight focus. They have less than a dozen items listed online. This tight focus does not seem to bother them, however, as they all have positive reviews and very high ratings. Their belt holder is one of their most popular items and it is easy to see why.
Expand to see more
Customizable
KarateSupply can customize the belt display prior to shipping or, if the customer chooses, it would be very easy to customize it upon arrival. The top portion of the display is a flat representation of a torii gate and it is on this flat piece that the student's name - or any other desired thing - could be painted or engraved.

Includes Mounting Brackets
There is a certain amount of dread that comes with the idea that something must be mounted to a wall. Most people do not mount things often enough to have found a method that works for them and the process often causes at least a moderate amount of stress. KarateSupply attempts to take some of the stress out by including the brackets necessary to mount their display along with the purchase of the display itself.

Cost and Value
The display itself is very affordable and the added value of included mounting brackets and customization potential only make the price more reasonable for most budgets. It is important to note, however, that the company does not offer free shipping and the shipping costs must be added on top of the display's cost to get a true idea of the final price.
Pros
  • Customizable
  • Includes Mounting Brackets
  • Holds Up to 8 Belts
Cons
  • Added Shipping Cost

5. Star Belt Display

5. Star Belt Display
Star is a rather enigmatic company with little else listed online, but that does not detract from the minimalistic beauty of their belt display. It is one of the most intuitive displays on this list. And, with an incredibly affordable price tag, one of the most accessible to nearly any budget.
Expand to see more
Easy to Mount
Star's belt display is mounted in one of the most straight-forward ways to be found on this list. A groove along the back runs the entire length of the board. This groove then rests on a few screw heads placed evenly along the wall. That's it! It is hard to imagine a more straight-forward and time-saving mounting method.

Easy to Use
Not only is this display easy to mount but it is easy to use as well. The belts are folded to fit the length of the backing board and then held in place with elastic bands. The bands will be visible against most belts, but they will ensure that the belts stay in place once they are mounted on the backing boards.

Cost and Value
There is a good reason that this display was labeled the Best Value on this list. It might not be the least expensive but the price tag is still incredibly low. The ease with which it can be hung and used will appeal to most buyers. And its minimalist appearance means it will fit well into nearly any decor.
Pros
  • Unique Dark Stain Finish
  • Easy to Mount
  • Easy to Use
Cons
  • No Customization Offered

6. Pro Force Belt Display

6. Pro Force Belt Display
If someone is looking for martial arts supplies, there is a good chance that Pro Force - also sometimes billed as ProForce - has what they want. The company offers everything from mouth guards to decorative patches to their gorgeous belt display fashioned after the famed torii gates of Japan. All of their products rise to a high standard but their belt display blows all their other items away with its beautiful design and sturdy construction.
Expand to see more
Solid Wood
Some displays may opt for lightweight synthetic wood, but not this one. It is made of solid wood from top to bottom. The display's general shape is taken from the torii gates of Japan, making it ideal for any of the Japanese martial arts styles. Gorgeous contrasting colors raise the aesthetic bar even higher, creating a dramatic stage on which to display a student's achievements.

Hand-Painted Symbols
Unlike plain displays, Pro Force's belt display comes decorated with symbols along the central vertical post beneath the arch of the gate top. The symbols are hand-painted, making each display a unique piece of art in its own right.

Cost and Value
Pro Force is a company that can be relied on for affordable martial arts supplies. That said, the price tag for their belt display falls towards the high end of this list's price range but for good reason. Solid wood, hand-painted symbols, and an eye-catching design set this display apart from the crowd and will make the belts on display appear even more distinctive.
Pros
  • Solid Wood
  • Two-Tone Glossy Finish
  • Hand-Painted Symbols
Cons
  • High Price Point

7. Dutch Touch Creations

7. Dutch Touch Creations
Dutch Touch Creations offers one thing and one thing only: belt displays. They have a few versions available, but the majority of their inventory consists of expansion packs and nameplates so their customers can customize their displays. With such a narrow focus, quality is absolutely essential and Dutch Touch provides quality in droves. Every version of their belt display bears reviews from happy customers and their expansions serve to open them up for every martial arts branch, no matter how many belts it has.
Expand to see more
Highly Customizable
This particular version of the Dutch Touch belt display features several points for customization. There is a small trophy figurine that could like be substituted for other similar figurines. Dutch Touch also offers nameplates and expansion packs, giving no limit to the number of belts it can hold. There is even a space for a photo of the student, allowing them to showcase a kata or particular proud moment in their practice.

Easy to use
The Dutch Touch belt display is easy to use and the belts are almost guaranteed not to fall off. The belts are simply wrapped around the base plates and then zip-tied in places along the back, leaving the front unmarred and perfectly on display while the belts are completely secure on their backing.

Cost and Value
This display is an amazing value given the level of customization and versatility it offers. The workmanship is absolutely beautiful and it is a piece that can grow with the student as they progress in their studies.
Pros
  • Includes Trophy Figure
  • Highly Customizable
  • Easy to Use
Cons
  • Only Holds 8 Belts

8. Tiger Claw Round Display

8. Tiger Claw Round Display
Tiger Claw makes frequent appearances on buying guides and for good reason. They are a company dedicated to providing quality martial arts supplies at affordable prices. Their products routinely receive positive reviews and their inventory is exemplary in both its diversity and its dedication to its chosen market. Their belt display is also a testament to their creativity as it is wholly unique from any other display on this list.
Expand to see more
Reputable Company
Tiger Claw's reputation has become well established for frequent readers. Their products live up to the promises the company makes and often exceeds them. Customers routinely leave positive reviews for Tiger Claw products and a close look at products such as this display make the company's effort and dedication clear.

Solid Construction
This is no flimsy display. The bases and dowels are all solid, sturdy wood with a beautiful natural oak colored finish. Belts can simply be coiled and then slipped into the display without any hassle or stress. And customers can rest assured that their display will hold up to the weight of the belts until there simply is no room for another.

Cost and Value
As this is a well-known brand you are getting fantastic value with this purchase. Mid-range price wise, this is a display that will look great without breaking the bank.
Pros
  • Reputable Company
  • Solid Construction
  • Easy to Use
Cons
  • May Be Too Simple

9. Victory Belt Displays

9. Victory Belt Displays
Victory Belt Displays is very clearly a company that prides itself on quality craftsmanship. Their 12 belt display may be a study in simple lines and plain, light-hued wood but it is also a study in durability and practicality. Straightforward and direct, this is a no-nonsense display for the student who wants to showcase the practicality and hard work that is both a cost and a reward of martial arts.
Expand to see more
Guaranteed Not to Break
A quick glance at the display might fool someone into thinking it is made of flimsy wood. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that the wood used in this display is dense and durable. The company claims it is guaranteed not to break, though they do not specify under what conditions the claim will hold true.

Holds 12 Belts
Most of the displays on this list have room for ten belts, at most. This is enough for many traditions but some traditions have more ranks. This display is ideal for students of those martial arts branches. It easily has room for twelve belts or for spaces between the belts for visual effect.

Cost and Value
This display's cost falls right on the midline for this list. It is much more durable than other displays of a similar price point, however, and holds several more belts which provides more bang for the customer's buck.
Pros
  • Guaranteed Not to Break
  • Holds 12 Belts
  • Customizable
Cons
  • Can Only be Customized Locally

10. Art of KIME

10. Art of KIME
Art of KIME has relatively few offerings online at the moment. Whether they are a new company or simply a company with extreme focus is hard to tell, but one thing is certain. They are a company that is good at what they do. Their Tori Gate belt display is a stunning creation based on the form of a traditional Japanese torii gate, one typically found at the entrance to a Shinto shrine to mark the transition from the mundane to the spiritual.
Expand to see more
Highly Unique
Some people think that there are only one of two ways to display rank belts. Those people would be wrong. While most of the displays on this list use elastic bands and wooden slats to put belts on display, the Tori Gate display has a single rod over which the belts are hung in order of achievement. The "Tori Gate" design is, in and of itself, fairly unique in that it is not a flat cutout but a three-dimensional form much like an authentic tori gate.

Easy to Use
Fussing with elastic bands or coiling the belts might be a bit frustrating for some people. The Tori Gate, on the other hand, features a single rod over which the belts are hung. So long as the weight of the belts is balanced on either side, the displayed items should stay right where they are with little risk of them falling off as elastic wears out or slips out of place.

Cost and Value
This is one of the most expensive displays on the list but it is also one of the most unique, intuitive, and gorgeously made. The display is made of high-quality wood and is an eye-catching design that will last the test of time and house nearly an entire discipline's array of belts. These factors make it an ideal investment piece for the lifelong student who wants to proudly display all they have accomplished through their hard work and dedication.
Pros
  • Highly Unique
  • Easy to Fill
  • High-Quality Wood
Cons
  • Limited Buying Options

Whether a martial arts student is just starting out or they have been involved in their practice for decades, a belt display is a thoughtful and meaningful way to honor their dedication, hard work, and achievements. They can stand alone as a single testament to the student’s passion or they can be incorporated into a collection of images and items that collectively display the full range of the student’s achievements and community. And this is not only true of current students. Retired practitioners, students on hiatus, or simply those for whom life has taken some strange turns will all find the appreciation of the hard work a touching gesture and lasting reminder of what they have achieved.

 

Criteria For Evaluating the Best Karate Belt Displays

Style

  • Slatted

This is the most common style of belt display. These displays often feature mounting brackets on the back of a top bar. Two strips of fabric or wood hang down from the top bar and vertical slats are mounted between them. Rank belts are then held to the slats with elastic bands or zip ties. It is a classic and minimalist approach to displaying rank belts but it does come with a few drawbacks. Elastic bands can slip and send the belts to the floor while zip ties must be cut off if the belt needs to be removed. The belts are also exposed to the elements such as dust and oil in the air.

  • Hanging

Another common display style is a single rod with a decorative top bar. Belts are displayed by folding them in half and hanging them along the rod in color order. It is a more visually compact method of displaying rank belts but it is subject to the same drawbacks as slatted displays. Dust and oil can damage the belts and the belts may fall if they become unbalanced.

  • Coiled

Some displays require the belts to be coiled and store then either stacked in a cylinder or placed into compartments. Closed containers have fewer drawbacks than open containers such as exposure to particulates in the air.

  • Cabinet

Cabinets are the most expensive display style but they are also the most reliable and do the best job of preserving belts in a clean and controlled environment. They are often visually stunning and give the impression of a serious collector which may or may not suit a martial artist’s tastes.

 

Customization

  • Local

Most of the displays on this list have the potential to be customized and many must be customized locally. Such customizations could include having a name added by wood-burning or the use of paint, adding stickers or labels, or adding hanging decorations. Non-customized displays generally cost less initially than pre-customized displays. They do require an additional investment of time, money, skill, and materials after the display have been delivered, however.

  • Pre-Shipment

A few of the displays listed above are sold by companies that offer to apply various types of customization before the item is shipped. Such customizations include trophy pieces, name plates, photos, or the use of specific colors and finishes in the construction of the display. Pre-customized displays often cost more than options that are customized at home but they do not require the additional time and money investment once the display has arrived.

 

Included Hardware

Every display on the market requires some kind of mounting hardware with the exception of free-standing coiled displays. A select number of companies include the mounting hardware with the purchase of their display. This may raise the cost of their product slightly, but it cuts material and time costs on the buyer’s end when they go to mount their purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Will the display hold all of my belts?
A: Different branches of martial arts have different ranking systems, so it is hard to give an exact answer. Most of the displays listed above have their belt capacity noted in the description and it is important to get the size that best fits the number of belts you eventually intend to display. A few of the offerings also have expansion kits available, which is also important to take into consideration.

Q: What if I have too many belts?
A: Most of the displays have a fixed number of belts that they can handle. Others have room for the belts to overlap which will create more room. If this option does not appeal, the next best option is to purchase an expansion kit or a second display or to find a creative DIY option for the remaining belts that can be incorporated into the initially purchased display.

Q: Where can I get my display locally personalized?
A: Some craft stores or art supply shops may offer customization services. Ads in local classifieds can also locate talented freelance artists, as can fliers at local art class locations. Other options include woodworking shops, engraving studios, or trophy supply locations.

 

Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torii