The new Suspension Frame

So, to days ago, we finally got the suspension frame set up at the studio, and it is a glorious beast!

But being the silly bugger that I am, I’m overly concerned as to what to call it…

hidatorii
Torii gate at Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village

The things that inspired it was a combination, of the Japanese-styled Torii, European-styled gallows, and classical illustrations of what was used in Japanese suspension torture.

Initially, I was going to simply call it a Torii (鳥居), but the design itself eventually shifted towards something more like gallows, and being endlessly inclined towards the Japanese language, I turned to the dictionary, for which I found the term Kōshudai (絞首台).

tombstone_courthouse_gallows
Gallows in Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Tombstone, AZ.

The problem with Kōshudai, however, is that it literally refers to gallows and the activities therein:

  • “Kō” (絞) means to strangle;  constrict;  wring.
  • “Shu” (also read kubi; 首) refers to the anatomical neck.
  • “Dai” (Tai or several other pronunciations; 台), is a pedestal; or a stand.

So this specifically refers to a pedestal for hanging or strangling the neck – not quite what we do or want to encourage.

There is also the late Yukimura Haruki’s term kamoi (鴨居)[1], however, this is specifically the frame for sliding doors in classical Japanese houses, for which he made considerable use of in his work. Thus, this term is further away from what we are looking for than even the gallows.

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A photo of a kamoi over a sliding door.

Notes:

[1] Kamoi (鴨居) Means lintel. In traditional Japanese house it’s the beam where the top of sliding doors (fusuma; 襖) or paper windows (shoji; 障子) can be inserted and slide. it’s really easy to find pictures of person tied up to the kamoi.

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Atemi self-suspending off the new suspension frame!
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Stretching For Bondage HANDOUT!

An excellent introduction to stretching and flexibility!

Klawdya Rothschild's Vortex

Stretching… for Bondage                                                                    with Klawdya Rothschild

Why Stretch?

  • Stretching prevents injury in activities demanding a high and varied range of motion. The reaches in tennis, sprints in basketball, quick bursts in martial arts demand high range of motion.
  • Activities that consist of low intensity muscle contraction cycles, like biking and swimming need less flexibility, but stretching reduces the stiffness & soreness these activities cause.
  • Flexibility decreases with age; stretching can help keep activities enjoyable with less discomfort..

musclesWhat is Flexibility?

–A joint’s ability to move freely through a normal range of motion—not just do the splits.

Things that Affect Flexibility:

  • the type of joint (some joints simply aren’t meant to be flexible)
  • the elasticity of muscle tissue (scar tissue from previous injury is not very elastic)
  • elasticity of tendons and ligaments (ligaments don’t stretch much and tendons shouldn’t)
  • the elasticity of skin (skin has some degree of elasticity, but…

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Labor Day Sale at the Shibari Dojo!

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Hey folks, we’re just announcing (a bit late I know) a special seasonal sale!

We know that many of you kinksters and artists have plans for labor Day weekend (I certainly do – should have some nice additions to the gallery from that), and as such, we would be honored to offer everyone a 10% discount on all items from our Etsy Shop! No coupon required, this discount is available for all orders!

If you get your order in within the next week or so, it should arrive at latest the Friday before the holiday!

So come see what we have and get ‘er done!

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What a Class at the Shibari Dojo Looks Like

For those who are concerned about what the class might be like, tonight we have live streamed publicly on Facebook (and backed up on YouTube) the class.

As you can see here, it’s a fairly casual experiance; clothing is mandatory, I (Atemi – the instructor) work with my own partner, usually CutieTie, and everything is in n academic and respectful manner.

For those interested and not in a position where they may be able to attend in person, we will be live-streaming classes going forward, and for the nominal fee of $30 (CAD) a class, or $100 a month for unlimited (usually 8) Classes, you can sit in on the live-stream and follow along from the comfort of your own home.

Though it’s not as idea as coming to class in person where it is easier to correct mistakes and answer questions more easily, we’ll certainly do our best to accommodate everyone’s needs in regards to this!

AND if you are more of a private sort, we do host private classes for $40 an hour for you and a partner. depending on your location we will even travel to you (additional cost to accommodate travel can be negotiated)!

Keep an eye out for our classes on any of the following pages:

To sign up for this, simply fill out the following form so that we can get in touch and make sure you have access to the class, and then the payment for the class can be sorted out below that:


Paypal-livestream

Atemi’s Rope Resources

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Because it’s always a challenge to find resources on learning rope bondage, this is my collection and recommendations:

Publications

Douglas Kent‘s Complete Shibari

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An example from the book

What I consider a must for beginners. Has a great section on safety, and tons of step-by-step photos for the fundamental forms of ties and great advice throughout. Currently a two book set “Land” and “Sky”, with land being focused on tying from the ground, and Sky focused on suspensions.

Master_K‘s Beauty of Kinbaku 

master-k-beauty-of-kinbaku
The book cover.

The most comprehensive publication on the history and influences of shibari, kinbaku, and Sadomasochism in Japan. Includes biographies of the 30 most influential people in the practice, one of the most comprehensive glossaries on the subject, and a short step-by-step guide on two forms of classical chest ties. I recommend this for the enthusiast and the obsessed, not so much use for the casual and the curious.

Fujita Seiko‘s Zukai Hojojutsu 

fujita-seiko-zukai-hojojutsu-torinawa
The book cover

The book that started it for many people, the largest publication on the subject of the Science of rope arresting techniques found in the classical martial arts (and a few modern ones). 328 pages, 864 illustrations, and some rather hard to find explanations about the usage of rope on the battlefield and in other situations. I’m personally translating this publication, and it’s not yet complete, but will be rather through!

Video Platforms

Esinem‘s Online Shibari Classes

A wonderfully put-together online learning site providing excellent video and transcribed learning content for monthly fees (price varying with each module). His research on nerve damage is second to none, the safety course is free, and the courses specifically on box ties are quite thorough and provide a very acceptable learning curve.

Yukinaga Max‘s Kinbaku Videos

Yukinaga Max, a student of both Yukimura Haruki and Osada Steve of Yukimura-ryu and Osada-ryu. His content is focused on defining various difficult to understand Japanese concepts found in Kinbaku. the thing I emphasize in his videos is his great energy and how he handles rope.

CMARA‘s Online Hojojutsu courses

Though not launched yet, the Classical Martial Arts Research Academy (CMARA) is planning to host online course in Hojojutsu (rope arresting techniques) through their site. They also currently publish research and articles on the subject as well HERE.

Acquiring Products

Other sources

On Yugen in Kinbaku

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“Kinbaku is, in a word, the extraordinary. More accurately, it is the dissimulation of the ordinary. While it neighbors the everyday, it is different from the everyday; an act that draws out a separate reality. That is why it must be done here, where we all enjoyed supper together not long ago, but also why it cannot be the same as it was then. An expression of Yūgen.”
(from a lecture of mine in a advanced kinbaku workshop)

Yūgen (幽玄) itself is very difficult to explain in Japanese let alone in English. Yū (幽) generally means something dim or subtle, or “hazily perceived”. Gen (玄) infers “something hidden deeply in principles” or “mysteries not easily understood”. In Taoism, it expresses things that are profound, unfathomable, and subtle. In my own experience in the art of kinbaku (tying deeply; 緊縛), the sense that best fits the aesthetic of Yūgen is like observing the gentle drifting of incense smoke in a dimply lit room. There is a sense of things moving slowly and subtly, yet with a certain profound weight about it, not physical, but insubstantial.
In the act of rope bondage, and it’s many facets, there are times when you are simply tying someone like a parcel, sometimes decorative, sometimes sadistic, and that’s all very good, they are facets that make up the art. For myself however, I am deeply drawn to the presence of a scene.

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CutieTie wearing a lovely black kimono and bound in the Yukimura-ryu Gote (雪村流後手)

When the lights are out, and the room is dimly lit by candles,
her hair is disheveled, and clothing ruffled, the rope being the only thing to hold it in place.
When the only sounds in the room is the creaking of the jute and the rasp of her breathing.
When the very air is heavy, and you dread swallowing your tea in fear of making too much noise and shattering the moment.
This is an expression of Yūgen in Kinbaku.

When you strive for what can be called kinbaku, one must bind deeply (binding the mind; 心緊), and to do that, the senses must be coerced, simple force is not enough, subtlety and elegance are requisites. Seduce the senses, light incense, burn candles, lower the lights, touch and caress, smell the rope, have the model take in the whole experience; build the illusion, for once they are in the illusion you can shape it fully.
All the same, “There is nothing to attain. … The imagined world is seen through.” (The Heart Sutra)

ShibariChallenge June 2017

shibari-challenge
shibari-challenge-chair
An example of using inanimate objects as practice tools.

Whenever I feel stuck in my practice, uninspired, have issues discouraging me from my pursuit of Kinbaku, or otherwise, don’t feel like tying for a prolonged period of time, I like challenging myself. In the case of bondage, I find that doing it for 30 days straight is a great amount of time: it’s very doable, while at the same time long enough that you will have challenging days where you don’t feel like it.

As I am in one of those right now, I proclaim that June is a perfect time to do exactly this!

And as I like involving the community, I post my efforts to the internet! In the past I posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, FetLife, and a bunch of others. This time I think I’ll narrow it down to Instagram and Twitter, as this is going to be a busy summer I won’t have time to play with all the platforms as before.

So as before, if you want to participate, show the world what cool things you can do with rope! You don’t even need a partner, just practice on something, anything! And post it to your favorite social media network with the hashtag: #ShibariChallenge!

Schedule Updates and Memberships!

shibari-class-memberships

Classes are on a brief hiatus at the moment but should be starting up again in June! And because Atemi’s day job is changing hours, we’re going to have better availability! That being said, we need to decide what nights and times works best for everyone, so please consider filling out this poll so that we can get classes lined up to best suit everyone’s needs!

As a sort of bonus, we are expecting to have two classes or more a week, and as such, the value of our monthly membership option has improved! That is to say more classes for the same price: so that’s an average of 8 classes for $100* – a pretty sweet deal I think!

If that sounds like your cup of java, then come sign up by clicking clicking HERE and we’ll see you next class!

shibari-class-memberships

* Yes, this membership applies to you and your partner: If the Top is the account holder, whomever hey bring to class is covered by their membership, and if the Bottom is the account holder, whatever Top they bring is covered!

     Oh, and being a member gets you product discounts on rope, accessories, and more! Just, saying…