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Learning

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Tokyo Shibari Osada Steve, Otonawa, Kinoko & Naka Akira, Iroha Shizuki, Shigonawa Bingo, Yoi Yoshida March 2016

By | 2017-08-03T22:57:38+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Learning, Travel|Tags: |

Tokyo Japan in March 2016. The weather find, the cherry blossoms beginning to bloom. My memory of these events is at one and the same time vivid but probably incomplete due to the time elapsed since the trip and the killer jet lag that plagued me on the trip. If one thing all our travelling has taught me it's new strategies for dealing with jet lag and the importance of scheduling to account for it. I can't even begin to say how excited we were for this trip. We were going to see Yukimura Sensei and learn his style of kinbaku a little more. It was therefore with great sadness we learned of his passing the week before we were due to arrive. Yukimura Haruki is irreplaceable. So we didn't even think of getting time with an alternative teacher. Fortunately for us Osada Steve who's been a student of Yukimura Haruki for many years offered to teach Yukimura Ryu in the time we had booked with Yukimura Sensei himself. In spite of the obvious sadness this caused we had a remarkable trip. As we left from our home in the UK we had mixed feelings about this trip. We had been looking forward to going for a long time. We were going to have a good time and yet it was overlayed with sadness that lent a melancholic feeling to the trip. It was going to be great, but we would miss seeing Yukimura Haruki, he was a tremendous old gentleman when he wasn't tying and we were looking forward to seeing him. It was not pleasant to know that we would in fact never see him again. The flight to Tokyo was a mixed one. [...]

LA Shibari intensive 2016

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:55+00:00 September 6th, 2016|Categories: Events, Learning, Teaching|Tags: , , , , , |

It's always interesting starting a new shibari intensive, you never know what people are going to need to improve their rope bondage and it's a fascinating moment of discovery. Lots of hard work to follow and people were showing real improvement by the end of the first day.

Youtube videos

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:55+00:00 February 16th, 2016|Categories: Learning, Random|

OK so as an experiment I've started making some Youtube videos that aren't tutorials as such but discussions about things that come up or answers to questions from you guys. I can't guarantee that I'll answer everything but if you make a good suggestion I'll have a good go at making a video about it. Here's the channel. If you have suggestions please let me know here or on social media. Twitter Facebook Fetlife

BED 2014 Good times shibari Bar-b-q rope jamming cook-out!

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:55+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Categories: Festivals, Learning, Performance, Teaching, Workshops|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I don't even know where to begin with this blog. BED was a complete blast from start to finish. The people of Dallas were great to us and the people of BED especially. This event really has a special atmosphere and has won a special place in our hearts. I'd like to say right off that this event treats presenters better than any conference I've been to in the USA. The team really made an effort to make us welcome and at home. I can't tell you how much we appreciate this kind of effort. It really made a difference to our stay. Highlights of the event include our first show in 6 months. Dinners with friends and seeing people improve in classes. I honestly do love it when you see someone make real progress right there in a class and take away things that can help them improve for a long time to come. It's a cool thing and I never grow tired of it.  My sincere thanks to everyone that came. Next of course seeing Kinoko Hajime san perform again for the first time in a couple of years. BED has a really personal atmosphere, while there's quite a few people there and you cannot of course spend a lot of time with everyone but  many people became familiar and more familiar to us. When we left we were really aware that we were leaving friends behind.  The after party! The after party at TheChurchDallas was an amazing blast. We really had a fun time performing. Thanks to everyone who came and gave such amazing reactions, you really contributed to the atmosphere and our own experience on stage. I can't tell you what it's like to [...]

Luck, self awareness, responsibility & rope bondage injuries.

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:56+00:00 November 30th, 2013|Categories: Learning|Tags: , , , , , |

This article is one of those that you wish didn’t need to be written about. However here I am writing it anyway. So what is is that I’m going to write about here that I wish I wasn’t? Rope inflicted injuries! Rope isn’t safe, especially not suspension. However having said that it doesn’t mean that we should accept injuries as a matter of course, they should be few and far between. I am horrified when people shrug off injuries to models with an ‘oh well, these things happen’. Well once in a while maybe. When there are repeated injuries occurring it’s time to ask yourself some serious questions. When it comes to injuries some people are more ‘unlucky’ than others. Generally the better a rigger is the ‘luckier’ they tend to get. Bad riggers just tend to have more ‘accidents’ the more they rig. Now I would expect someone who has inflicted multiple injuries to stop rigging so much, to go and look at the common themes in these injuries, to work very hard to stop them occurring again. What I’m horrified to hear is ‘well these things happen’. Yeh, they happen to you don’t they? Can we guess why? When it happens to multiple models in multiple sessions you have to look for the factor that’s common to all the injuries. And that common factor is likely to be the person tying. In all the tying I’ve done, all the models, all the time, all the suspensions I’ve had 3 nerve injuries. Two of those I’ve identified the cause and can ensure that they won’t happen again. One I simply have no concrete idea, I’ve spoken to medical professionals, never had the same problem [...]

Shibaricon 2012 Favourite moments.

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:56+00:00 June 2nd, 2013|Categories: Events, Festivals, Learning, Performance, Teaching, Workshops|Tags: , , , , , |

Learning that a photographic hero and inspiration, Norio Sugiuar would be there. Getting nervous about meeting him. Being so pleased to meet him and having the chance to get a print in person.Takeshi Nagaike san's good humour, charm and old school tying style. It was very much a pleasure to meet him. Getting to go to the Andersen Japanese gardens for the first time, picking up some nice hashi. Visiting the Asian market on the way back and getting an Agatsuma CD I didn't have. Saki Kamijoo san just being so infectiously fun and instantly fitting into the mind as one of those people that you're just always glad to see. Having some time with Milla Reika san and discovering the sweet, un-egotistical, enthusiastic and grounded person behind the mistress image. Iambic9 for being one of the most unassumingly nice and generous people I can think of. Tying Indigozebra who is just such a sweetheart. Getting to perform again (I'm aware that we may have run just a fraction over time for which I apologise). MarkDV8's generosity of spirit truly catching me off guard and really touching me. Tying friends in the dungeon. Being only the third person to really tie Beemo, thanks for the trust. Giving Amy Morgan a stressfull old school experience on the bamboo frame. Somewhat more seriously getting into it with Clover and then having a great time tying sugrah! That was hot and hot again. Getting some M0co jute to try. I've never had a single specific rope for Ichinawa but couldn't resist getting a piece of Oniroku Nawa for that purpose and as yet another souvenir. Getting a new kimono for Clover from the lovely Japanese lady who was [...]

On certification

By | 2017-02-13T00:01:56+00:00 February 7th, 2013|Categories: Learning|Tags: , |

There has been some 'debate' recently about people being certified for their bondage skills. There are many arguments both for and against this idea... Individual certification Attendance Firstly it's important to remember that there are teaches already that have certificates of attendance for bondage courses. These do not make any promises about the quality of the student, how completely and not how well they learned the subject matter of the class. In short they say nothing about competence, they just confirm attendance. Competence Some systems do provide certificates once people reach a certain verifiable level and have obtained competence and required skills. A very few of these are credible because of the very high standards they maintain and because of the consistency of method they use to teach and to evaluate. Most importantly they also require a long term commitment to excellence. That is to say they are not just meaningless pieces of paper handed out to anyone that turned up and paid their money on one or two days. They spent weeks, months or even years obtaining serious skills. That then seems at the moment to be the outliers of certification, such as it is in rope bondage. My problem with general certification The reason there has not been a system of certification so far is that nobody really can agree on what basic competence consists of or how to satisfactorily measure it. This is why it has been the province so far of small, defined and dedicated schools. Certification, to be widely recognised needs acceptance by a large number of people and for that to happen you need standardisation. This is where the problem for me lies. People can, and do, argue to the end [...]

Newness and getting out into the kink community

By | 2016-10-28T16:39:56+00:00 November 3rd, 2012|Categories: Learning|Tags: , , |

For many people it's a nerve-wracking step going out into the community especially to the myriad of events, workshops, munches and parties. This is especially because of uncertainty about what to expect and how to behave. Also how should they react to how other people behave? Here are a few things you should always be able to expect no matter what the event. To be treated with respect Not to be touched, slapped, spanked, groped, played with or otherwise molested without consent Not to have your personal space disregarded Never to be told that you 'have' to submit Not to be told how you 'should' behave To not have anyone make you feel uncomfortable or scared Here are a few rights that you should never forget you have or be made to be feel uncomfortable exercising You have the right say NO You have the right to your own opinion You have the right to disagree You have the right to be new and learning without that being held against you You have the right not to like some kinks, not everything's for everyone You have the right to completely disregard anything ever said by anyone who tells you you're not a 'true'... submissive, dominant etc. Common sentences beginning with or containing... All submissives/dominants are... All submissives/dominants should... All true... All real... Oh you're a natural... Oh you're not a natural... ...should be carefully analysed to determine their bullshit content. Many people come to kink via fiction of one kind or another. There's nothing wrong with this. Very many people do. Often these routes will include books, films, stories or fantasies... These things are very often not really true to life and in some cases present a very skewed view [...]

Absent mindedness and routine cockups in rope bondage

By | 2012-10-15T23:27:48+00:00 October 15th, 2012|Categories: Learning|Tags: , , |

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.

Ichinawa, Ippon me no nawa and One rope

By | 2016-11-04T16:14:20+00:00 October 14th, 2012|Categories: Learning, Teaching, Workshops|Tags: , |

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 [...]