Wow, what can I say about this night or this venue. Wonderful place and a wonderful crowd. Exodus is truly a club with a great atmosphere. We'd been asked to go and do a rope demo. We were happy to do a little performance showing one of the kinds of rope bondage we like. I must say how kind people have been in getting in touch with us about the show. Here are a 'few' images from the night.
It seems a long time ago now but as I go back through old pictures I came across this shoot with Jonny Blaze. Normally you don't often seem to get much good stuff from group shoots but this one had a few good images mostly from Jonny and led to us working together again. I hope you enjoy this gallery.
During the London festival of the Art of Japanese bondage this year I had the rare pleasure of interviewing some great people from all around the world. The festival was great this year again and had such a great atmosphere of sharing, mutual support and warmth and included people from all kinds of rope backgrounds. This is the very first interview I've conducted so I hope it's not too bad. Whatever I fell short on, Scott more than made up for. This first interview is with Scott Smith. I really enjoyed doing this interview and I hope you enjoy hearing it just as much. It was a real pleasure to get Scott's thoughts on the Festival, bondage performances and more. (I don't have an image of Scott I can use with this post at the moment so I'm going to use one of his play partner Serene Chaos from a shoot we did some time ago.)
A friend today made a very good point about when he found things most likely to go wrong in rope bondage. And I absolutely agree with him on this. Often its when you’re doing the routine things, the small things, the things you’ve done a thousand times before. It’s in those moments when you’re running on automatic pilot rather than when you’re working on something on the edge where you’re focused and paying complete attention. You should be able to do some parts of your bondage completely without thought, you should know what you’re doing so well. The mistakes in things you have done a thousand times before happen not because you don’t know how to do it but because you are not focused. It is absence from the moment. It is something unregarded and considered unimportant. All things in rope bondage are important, from the first detail, especially from the first detail. Those brings me to the main point of this article. The need to be present in the moment. Now there is an apparent dichotomy in the concepts that you should know what you’re doing so well that you can do it without conscious thought and the idea that you must be present and focused in the moment. This dichotomy is however only apparent. There is a very big difference between having practised things so well that you can do them automatically i.e. that you have developed muscle memory for an action and by contrast, simply not paying attention to what you’re doing. When you are focused in the moment you are paying attention to all things including those things that you do automatically.
I've been asked a lot of times if Ichinawa is right for the one rope technique I teach or if it should be Ipponnawa. So rather then keep explaining it I'm going to write out my answer here and point people at it in future. The term comes straight from the Japanese language. Confusion has arisen because some people have been getting confused between naming and counting. Some have told me that Ichinawa is wrong and it should be Ipponnawa. It would be Ipponnawa if you were counting ropes. Or slightly more accurately Ippon me no nawa. Japanese counting is a nightmare so I checked this with a Japanese born professional translator who also agrees that it's a nightmare and a minefield. Ippon = one as in one two three... for long cylindrical things, The 'hon' category! Yes I know it's written 'pon' but it's still in the hon category. Ichi = one in a general sense can also mean best. (Ichiban is worth a mention as it's what you also might use for best or first as in first, second third.) There are also Japanese counting variants for flat thin objects, small compact objects, liquid in cups, bound objects (i.e. you count things like books differently to everything else), machines, the floors of buildings, pairs of things (i.e. socks), time, large animals, small animals, birds, people (formal), people (informal) and age. To be honest I've probably missed a few in that list. Nightmare right? Which is why I asked a professional translator who's a Japanese national and also into rope to make sure. Ichinawa definitely (in the opinion of a professional native Japanese translator) a correct usage for the naming of this technique. Now [...]
Part 1 Well apart from wishing that the event had a shorthand name that was less of a mouthful than "The London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage" or LFAOJB for short. I'm really looking forward to it again. Last year it has to be said was amazing. 10 performers over from Japan plus a few good home grown talents. This year there's more of a European flavour and even a few Americans and Canadians. There is still Kazami Ranki from Japan headlining, this is his second London festival. I'm specially looking forward to seeing Riccardo Wildties from Italy and Bob Ropemarks (not to mention Dutch Dame) from the Netherlands. Amy Morgan from America and.... Oh it's 02:30 here and I'm blogging. Knackered and forgetting lots of people. So I'll just put - others too numerous to mention right now. There are a couple of people we wish had come that we're going to miss too. This year will we hope be a bit relaxed for us. Aside from performing on the Friday I'm not teaching except for a few private sessions and we're not concretely booked into any of the other goings on. We really hope to spend a good amount of time socialising and getting to talk to some of the people that have been in the same place as us all over the world but we never got the time to sit down with. There looks to be a steller line up of shows though I have to say I'm a bit sad that John Murakawa will not be performing this year. He's a real artist and he puts a tremendous amount of energy into the festival and his artistic input [...]