How to - Fire tape!

In this post I will show you how to make a super adhesive patch using the fire tape method. This can be used to cover a blister or cut on your foot to help you continue to train. 

I learned this method in my first year in Japan from a high school student in the first town I lived in. 
He practiced twice a day, at his school and in the local Budokan, and as a result was well used to taping up blisters and other kendo related wounds.

I have had a problem on my right foot since that first year in Japan, I have a small re-occurring cut on the ball of my foot caused by dry feet and fumikomi. In order to continue training I usually keep a bit of this elastic adhesive tape around.

Johnson & Johnson ELASTIKON tape. You can use any brand of tape, but it must be stretchy, bandage like and adhesive.  
Close up of the tape fabric

Below I'll show you how to make fire tape patch. Continue reading after the break!

To make your fire tape patch, you will need some suitable tape, a lighter and a scissors. For the longest lasting patch, apply it before keiko. If you don't have time or need to apply during practice the same method will give you a solid patch that may have to be redone before your next session. If done well this patch will stay on even after a shower. So you can use it for multiple practices. 

If you are covering a cut or blister, please make sure to take care of it first, make sure it's clean and disinfected before you cover it up with a burnt bit of tape! 

Equipment, tape, lighter, scissors

  Start off by cleaning and drying your foot. Examine the area to be covered, decide on the size of the patch and cut a strip of tape to fit. Trim the frilly edges and corners so that you are left with a rounded piece of tape. This will stop the tape from peeling while you move around the dojo. 
My piece of tape. It needs to be trimmed to remove the sharp corners.
Cutting with the glue side up stops the tape from sticking to the scissors.

Cut so that you remove the frilly edges of the tape and the corners. leaving a rounded patch.

Applying this patch as it is now will probably do in the short term. However we will take it a step further to make it really stick. 

Next we need to heat the glue on the tape with a cigarette lighter. Open you scissors enough so that you can put your patch, glue side down, on the tips of the blades. Use your own scissors and not the family one, as its going to get blackened by the flames.

Using your scissors (not your mothers) place the tape glue side down on the tips of the blades. 

Key point, set the tape so that the tips are not on the edge of the tape. This ensures a solid seal around the edge of the tape when it is on your foot.

And now for the fun part. Take your lighter and run the flame around the bottom of the tape, don't worry about smoke, that's good, but also don't set your tape on fire. 
Heat the glue thoroughly, especially around the sides. You will know its good to go when the glue is turning black. 

Quickly take the patch and stick it onto your foot, it might sting a tiny bit, but not that much. Press the patch into your foot, spreading it out. Take extra time to push the edges of the patch down.  

And there you go! Your all ready to get back into the action. 

Depending on where the patch is it should last for at least one or two practices. The patch that I have applied is in a bad spot, and will probably need to go after two practices. But I know some folks leave theirs for up to a week or more. 

 The student who thought me this trick gave me one last piece of advice. After applying the patch, wait about an hour to give the glue a chance to stick. Then take a hot shower. This will heat the glue again and make it re-stick. after the shower, wear a sock over the patch while you sleep.

 He claims that this will help the patch stay on for a longer time. 

Your mileage may vary!


Thanks for taking the time to read this post, if you like the contents please share with your club mates. 



  1. Dude I am so totally going to use this!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I hope it works well for you too!

  2. Hello! I came back to check this post again, but I'm unable to see the images. Can you please upload them again?

    1. Hi León, I've re-uploaded the photos. They were originally hosted on facebook, and due to my privacy settings they were not displaying correctly.

      Thank you for the comment! I really appreciate the support!

  3. Anyone tried this on the hands?? i have a really bad open blister right where the shinai goes :(

  4. Searched all the web for some explaining, and there you go. Now I know how to apply fire tape (it was a gift and I forgot the instructions :)) )