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Guide to Martial Arts Belt Displays
A very popular item we sell at Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply are martial arts belt displays.
Many people who train in various styles of martial arts want a display to proudly showcase the hard work they've put in to achieving each belt. Most of our customers purchase martial arts belt displays
from us as a gift for someone else. It is a unique gift because it's an item you can't pick up at your local convenience store. They want the display they choose to be the "right" gift
that their family member or friend will love. However, with these displays coming in a variety of styles, brands and prices ranging from $6.95 to over $91.95 plus shipping...it can be a difficult decision. Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply has created this guide to
help our customers know their options as well as the pros and cons of each style of display. Below we have grouped the displays in
various styles they come in.
Wood Slats - Basic Design
Wood slat belt displays are the best selling style we sell at Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply. They are the most popular because of the lower prices that range from $20.95 to $24.95. The wood material makes them relatively durable so they are appropriate for both adults as well as in a child's bedroom. The belts connect to each slat with a velcro strip on each end that is included with the display. The displays weigh approximately 2 to 3 pounds...so they won't cost
you a fortune in shipping fees. The come in six and ten levels. These "no frills" displays are sized just big enough to hold the belts with a little space on top for the option of custom engraving. This is a good if you don't want to use up a lot of space when you hang it on a wall. Down the road, if you are no longer using the display they are easy to resell to another martial arts student or on an auction site like eBay (especially during the holidays) because of the popularity of the item as well as its low price compared to other styles of belt displays.
The downside to this style is the wood has an unfinished surface, which some customers don't like when they receive it. This isn't as much of an issue if you already have earned a belt for each level since the belts will cover the wood, only exposing the top part of the display. However, if you are still moving up the ranks the unused slats will be exposed. These displays are one-piece which means you can't detach the unused slats or add more slats like the acrylic style belt displays (discussed further down in this guide). This can also be an issue if you train in a style of martial arts that has more or less than six or ten belt levels. A common question we receive is if this style of display comes in a different number of levels besides six and ten. As far as we know, the answer is no. However, you can find a business that will custom make one for you but this means the price will go up dramatically. These displays are not freestanding and must be hung on a wall. Finally, the belts are not protected from dust accumulation. Keeping the belts dust free can be a hassle.
Wood slats - basic design style displays currently available through Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply:
Wood Slats - Finished Design
These displays include many of the same features as explained above but with a more sophisticated look. They have different finishes such as semi-gloss, natural, walnut and cherry. This gives you the option to choose a finish color you like and have the ability to accessorize it with other similar colored furniture or items. The designs are more elegant such as the pagoda style tops (pictured to the left)...which is a popular choice for adults. The Century® Six and Ten Level Belt Displays include a top area to place stickers and a sticker sheet (some people use their own stickers) for customization...
a popular option with children and younger adults. These displays are sturdier and heavier than their basic design counterparts, ranging in weight from five to eight pounds.
The downside to these displays compared to their basic design counterparts are that they are more expensive. Prices on this website range from $35.95 to $59.95 and the shipping costs are more due to the heavier weight of the displays. These displays require more wall space compared to the basic designs due to their larger size. These displays may not be suitable for younger children as the finishes are more prone to noticeable scratches and dents compared to the basic designs.
Wood slats - finished design style displays currently available through Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply:
Wood Slats - Freestanding Design
This design has many of the same features as the wood slats - finished designed mentioned above but is freestanding and doesn't need to be hung on a wall. They are the largest displays in both size and weight. These are some of the most elegant looking displays being sold for those who want to make a statement when showcasing their belts and achievements.
These are some of the nicest displays being sold on the market but are also the most expensive. Prices on our website range from $84.95 to $91.95. The shipping rates are very expensive compared to other belt displays due to the weight that is well over 10 lbs. as well as the large dimensions. The large dimensions require the displays to be shipped in an "oversized" package according to shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx. The oversized packages will double the shipping rate on average compared to regular sized but similar weighted boxes. Also, the oversized dimensions eliminates the option to ship overseas for our international customers because the measurements exceed the maximum allowable lengths for a package according to a shipping carrier like USPS.
Wood slats - freestanding design style displays currently available through Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply:
Acrylic/Plastic Slats Design
These displays have acrylic or plastic slats to hold each belt. They normally include six or ten slats. Each slat has two holes on each side so they can connect together with small hooks. The belts connect to the slats with a strip of clear tape on each side that is included with the display. The nice option is you can choose not to use all the slats if you do not have ten belts. This is good for those who train in martial arts styles that do not have six or ten levels like the other belt displays come in. You can also combine these slats from another display or purchase the slats separately if you require more than ten levels. This option is becoming more desirable because more and more martial arts schools, especially those with children's programs, now have more that ten belt levels in their curriculum. Several martial arts manufacturers used to sell the slats separately but do not at this time, as far as we know. If you do not want to purchase two displays you could have a local business make the extra slats you need. The cost should be reasonable since the size and design of the slats is very simple. These displays have a variety of tops and accessories that other belt display designs do not have. This includes photo frames, certificate holders, engraveable plate plaques, flag stickers, etc. Shipping costs are less than most other belt displays as these usually weigh about two to three pounds.
These displays are little more expensive then their wood slats - basic design counterparts. Prices range from $23.95 to $43.95 on this website. These displays require a little bit of assembly and are not "ready to go" out of the package like the wood slats - basic design displays. These displays are popular choices for children due to the reasonable cost and many accessories mentioned above. However, these displays if bumped are notorious for falling off walls or having slats come off and having to be re-attached. This might not be ideal if placed in a room with a lot of activity like a child's bedroom or a training/practice area. Also, the belts are exposed to dust in the air. Keeping the belts free of dust can be a problem.
Acrylic/plastic slats design displays currently available through Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply:
Acrylic Belt Display Cases
Acrylic belt display cases have many features that are not available with other belt display designs. The case surrounds the entire belt. Unlike other belt display designs, this protects the belt from such things as unwanted finger touches and dust accumulation. The clear acrylic makes the belt the focal point instead of the display itself...a nice feature for those who have a special and beautiful belt they want to showcase. On the opposite end of the spectrum...if you want your display to have a similar look as other styles of displays but still have the benefit of your belts being protected in a case...the AWMA® Belt Master Display Case System features an optional certificate display case that be attached to the top of the display.
These cases can be stacked on top of each with interlocking clips to display multiple belts. The buyer can choose the quantity of cases to purchase. This is nice for those who train in martial arts styles that have a belt system that is not six or ten level. This also gives you the freedom to purchase an individual case each time you earn a new belt. This is great if don't like open slots in your display or you're on a financial budget. These cases range from $10.95 to $12.95 on this website. For those who want to showcase only one belt...a single acrylic belt display case is much cheaper than other styles of individual cases. You have the flexibility of hanging the cases on a wall or display on your desk individually.
Like all the display styles...there are some downsides. The acrylic case is more fragile then other belt display styles. They are more prone to crack and break if not handled carefully. You would not want this in a room where you train or children play. If you plan on moving or shipping it as a gift be sure to pack them with lots of padding. Even when packed carefully they still can break. Smudges and finger prints are more noticeable on the acrylic compared to wood displays. An individual case is reasonable priced but if you plan on purchasing enough cases to hold your entire belt collection then the costs can add up very fast. Acrylic belt display cases currently available through Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply:
Individual Belt Display Cases
An individual belt display case is perfect if you want to showcase only one belt. This is the popular choice for those who want to display that hard earned black belt.
Besides the acrylic belt display cases described above, here are some other individual belt display cases:
The AWMA® Karate Belt Display Wood Rack - 1 Belt allows you to hang the display on the wall. It is very reasonably priced at only $6.95 on this website.
For a classy look, the Century® Hinged Shadowbox Display and Century® Sliding Shadowbox Display are a great choice. These displays look great in any office, on a desk or on a shelf.
Cylinder Belt Displays
The Century® Cylinder Display - 10 Level
and Century® Cylinder Display - 6 Level
first came out in the fall of 2009 and quickly became one of the most popular selling belt displays. The cylinder design showcases the belts in a unique way. The design is compact and requires less space than other displays. The display is freestanding and only costs $16.95 (six level) and $22.95 (ten level) on this website. This is a fraction of the cost of the wood slats - freestanding belt displays. In addition, the displays only weigh between two to three pounds which keeps the shipping costs reasonable for our customers. The belts are completely enclosed with a flexible plastic type material keeping them protected and dust free. The top and bottom of the displays have a nice looking wood finish. Assembly is fairly easy. These displays will look great in a child's bedroom or an executive's office.
One reason you might not like this display is if you want to showcase a belt with embroidered lettering, like many black belts have. The cylinder design forces the belt to wrap around itself which means you might only show a portion of the embroidery work. Some customers might not like the plastic casing because it is flexible and thin. It isn't rigid and as thick as the acrylic belt displays.
We think this is great product and praise Century for producing an innovative display at a fair price!
Kung Fu Sash Display
The AWMA® 9 Level Kung Fu Sash Display - Wall Mount came out in 2009 finally giving Kung Fu students a display designed to hold sashes. It has many of the same pros and cons as the wood slats design belt displays explained towards the top of this guide. The wider wood slats are large enough to hold the sashes. We compliment Asian World of Martial Arts for creating a display for Kung Fu students. Now they finally have a way of showcasing their sashes and achievements!
Custom Work on Martial Arts Belt Displays
Many suppliers, such as Century Martial Arts, offer custom work on belt displays such as name engraving. There is an additional fee for this service and a longer waiting time for delivery. Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply does not offer custom work at this time. We used to have our suppliers do custom work for our customers who purchased belt displays through us. However, we decided to discontinue this option because many customers complained of the waiting time, which sometimes took up to 4-6 weeks. Some of our customers still want custom work but do not want to pay full retail price for the belt display by purchasing through these companies. We suggest that our customers order a belt display from us so they can get our discount prices and then have the custom work done locally. Many local businesses will offer the same price, if not cheaper, as the belt display manufacturers will charge. If your local business wants a higher fee for custom work we suggest getting a price quote from a belt display manufactuer and then ask the local business if they will price match. Finally, a local business may have more available for custom work such as more fonts, sizes and options to choose from.
This guide was written by Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply. If you have questions or need additional information about martial arts belt display racks please email us at email@example.com.
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