It's not often we teach in the UK but this year we're going to at London's Anatomie studio. We're really looking forward to it. This should be a great weekend of rope. Great though it is to be in demand around the world it's nice to be teaching at home once in a while. For those who don't know us we believe very much that rope bondage education is as much for the bottoms as the tops and as usual Clover will be there with me giving her invaluable insight on the rope bottoming side.
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.
This was our second visit to Memphis Tennessee USA and it was even hotter than the last time. That's saying something. Coming over from a wet and windy UK it was more than a little bit of a contrast in conditions for us. The first thing once we were at our hosts was to get some supplies, we looked on google maps and found a local Walgreens (I think it was a Walgreens) and headed off. Man it was hot! We noticed fairly quickly that we were getting some odd looks and that we were the only people walking. The walk was only 10 minutes but... Man you've got a lot of churches in Memphis! We must have gone past 7 in that 10 minute walk. Dudes! Insane! The walk was fairly uneventful but we did hear some gunfire! This is very unusual for UK people where guns are the exception not the rule. (Later that day when we our hosts got back we were told that that wasn't the best neighbourhood and walking that way was probably a bad idea. They did register some surprise that we'd heard such a small amount of gunfire and yes, there are a fuck-tone of churches in Memphis.) So anyway we'd gotten some sun block (Hey did you know that they aren't allowed the chemicals in the USA that we are in the UK and that therefore our sunblock is much more effective?) and bits and pieces. So suitably protected Clover decides to keep her training up and go for a run... and nearly dies of the heat and gets sunburned. Protip: People from Europe, take sun block with you. Happily our hosts had stuff for just such [...]
At the venue for the Prague shibari intensive (left to right) WykD Dave, Clover and Fuoco. Our first overseas trip of 2016 was to Prague in the Czech republic. We had a great time in the beautiful city of Prague and would like to thank everyone who made us so welcome, especially the organiser of the trip. First off it's always great to be taken care of when you're in an unfamiliar country and you don't speak the language. Being collected from the airport is such a huge help on any trip and we always appreciate the effort that people go to to make life easy. Also wow, we were put up in a really nice place, so nice to have that kind of space. Next to the teaching venue, normally a photographic studio but for this weekend a shibari teaching and performance venue. It was a really good space and we really appreciated having this opportunity to teach in the Czech republic for the first time. We arrived the day after Fuoco finished teaching a flexibility class that Clover was quite sorry to miss. I'm not sure what to say about the intensive other than it was a pleasure to teach such an enthusiastic group. We really did enjoy teaching in Prague and I hope that we made a difference to everyone's rope life there. The performance evening was a lot of fun too. It began with a self suspension performance by Fuoco followed by myself and Clover. Finally after the rope was over for the weekend we got to see some of Prague at night.
Well we had a great time in Charlottesville. We didn't get to see too much of the town but that's par for the course when we make these very short trips to teach and return home. In this intensive I added some things that I haven't been teaching before, my method TK, reverse prayer shibari and my version of the chest loading TK. I'd created the chest loading variant some years ago before going to Bound in Boston to teach and only showed it to one person while we were there (guess who). It was a little bit of a nervous moment for me, I've been working through various versions of my TK for several years refining it to make it do what I wanted aesthetically as well as structurally. It's been a big step for me to let it out in public officially. I'm really glad that people have received it so well. The next thing to be officially taught for the first time was my chest loading TK. I guess that some purists will have comments about this but I think it is something worth teaching. It's not something that's come up a lot but now that I've shown my solution to this problem which is quite different to the others so far seen it seems I should probably have been teaching it for a few years now. It got called a game changer from bottoms feeling the difference in it and I'm a bit mad at myself for not having taught it for the last few years. Feel free to ask for it in intensives from now on. The final new thing is my method reverse prayer shibari. Prior to deciding that [...]
Here's the long overdue second part to the blogging of the Viennese rope festival at long last. So after the great opening night and some wonderful shibari followed by some wonderful beer, there's more good stuff to come. In our case this includes some classes to teach, some time with good friends and another show before the festival proper is all over. Our class is on suspension transitions and I have to say that I was very pleased how seriously everyone who came took the class requirements. They were all capable of doing the class and that's a great relief to me. It isn't always the case that people have the ability to assess their skill level objectively. Particularly satisfying in a class like this is to help those who have troubles related to relative weight and strength, this applies in the main to female tops with male bottoms. It's really great to see them execute transitions that they previously thought impossible with the benefit of improved technique. One of the great joys of teaching for me is seeing a tangible improvement in someone's bondage and seeing the joy that brings. We hadn't planned on doing a second performance but well we did. This in a very industrial looking section of the old Ottakringer brewery. It was cavernous and wow that ceiling is high! Pre show memories include much of the unique Viennese lemonade (Almdudler), watching other shows and skipping through the venue hand in hand with Kamijoo Saki. We had a great night of shibari with friends. Finally the end of the festival for us included a wonderful night at the Vienna shibari dojo with all its organisers, the people who had come to [...]
Well we had a wonderful time in the Czech Republic again. This time in the city of Brno. Two days of teaching and a performance night. We had a great venue in a martial arts club on the outskirts of the city where the spacious wood floored rooms provided an excellent working and performance space. Instead of a two day intensive there was a series of subject focused sessions. Thanks to everyone who came to these sessions. We had a great time teaching and I hope that we made a positive contribution to rope in Brno. Here's a video of our performance in Brno. Thanks everyone who came to what was a wonderful evening of rope. On a personal note I wanted to write here about what a good time we've had on each occasion we've had the opportunity to teach and perform in the Czech Republic, the first time in Prague and this time in Brno. Both are beautiful cities with rich histories... and very good beer! As always we're blown away be the wonderful hospitality of our hosts. We really appreciate they way the efforts they make. We especially would like to thank our hosts in the Czech republic for showing us their beautiful cities too. On many occasions we don't get to see much of the places we visit so it was really great to get a local's view of the city and to learn some of its history.
Clover's Rope Bottom guide cover I think this was the first thing we did that was rope related beyond our front door in 2016 and the first time we'd returned to London since the success of the LFRA in 2015. One of the things that Clover cares very much about is information on rope bottoming. This has led to the creation of The Rope Bottom Guide inspired originally for models and those new to rope to give them some reliable information to help keep them safe when starting out with rope bondage. This has been updated over the last few years and is available in multiple languages. She's been asked to teach about rope bondage all over the world and despite really not liking teaching she has taught on rope bottoming around the world and always for free believing so strongly that this fundamental information about bottoming should be shared as far and wide as possible. I've always been very proud of her for doing this. Anatomie studio provided a great venue with an excellent atmosphere for the event. We stayed with the studios organisers Miss Bones and Fred Hatt over night and we thank them for their hospitality and having us to stay again. Often when we go to do workshops we're so busy with the event itself that we don't get time to tie. Happily this time we did some rope for ourselves in the corner of the studio before going home. We'd like to thank Anatomie studio, Fred Hatt & Miss Bones for inviting us and for their promotion & distribution of Clover's rope bottom guide & their commitment to rope bottom education as a whole. We were very glad [...]
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 [...]
This was our first trip to LA and we were really looking forward to it for a variety of reasons. First off this trip wouldn't have happened without the good offices and organisation of our friends in LA. We sincerely thank you all for your amazing hospitality and help. The classes Saturday, April 19 One Rope Tension Sunday, April 20 Rope control and movement Unthinking rope I want to say what a pleasure it was to teach in LA at the Bordello of Decadence. This is a great space and we enjoyed teaching and playing there very much. At the classes every person that came showed improvement and I hope took away lessons to help them continue to improve after the classes. It's a great pleasure for me to see a class have a positive effect on those attending. Shopping We had a really good time shopping in Downtown's 'Little Tokyo' region. Great shops and people. We were able to get some things that we usually have to order direct from Japan at very reasonable prices and without British customs scalping us for import duty on even the smallest items. The people and shop keepers of Little Tokyo were very nice and helpful, I'd really recommend visiting if you get the chance. Culture We had to visit the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Fortunately while we were in LA there was an exhibition on Japanese American tattoo artists. Tattoo Exhibition Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo Los Angeles, California The exhibition was only there for a limited time so sadly you can't visit this after September 2014. Beach Finally we got to be really tourists seeing Hollywood and the beach. [...]