First thing's first, it's not often we do workshops in the UK, usually we do most of our work in the US or mainland Europe. So it was a nice surprise to be asked to do a workshop at the BBB in Birmingham in the UK, it's the biggest fetish fair in the UK and in all the time we've been doing rope round the world we'd never been asked to do anything at the BBB so it was a real pleasure to be asked. Our thanks to Dragon George and Midstar for thinking of us. Dragon George and Midstar run Exodus UK in Birmingham and it's a really great club, not to mention that George does some of the most cracking dungeon furniture you could imagine. If you've been to the BBB after party and seen the equipment there or visited Exodus you'll know what I mean. So to the workshop itself... First the day was pretty hot and I'd like to say how good it was of everyone to get involved and tying in all that heat and in many cases in all that latex and pvc. I really loved that everyone got involved regardless of their experience and had a good time. Thanks to everyone who expressed their enjoyment. I'm really glad that you had a good time and hope you got something you're going to use for some good clean kinky fun.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Hi. This is Dave introducing a guest article here. Yin Yoga for Bondage is by BYG (Bendy Yoga Girl from Boston at the time of writing and just lately relocated to Seattle) I'm sure you'll enjoy it. As a yoga person, and a bondage person, I’m always happy to hear teachers talk about the importance of stretching as it relates to bondage. There are two main buckets of stretching, if you will: static and dynamic. Static stretching involves holding positions for at least 30 seconds, although I recommend 1.5 to 3 minutes (I’ll get into the why of this in a bit). Dynamic stretching involves using movement to take the body to (not beyond) its limit. Dynamic stretching increases blood flow to the areas that are being worked. The debate between the efficacy of dynamic vs. static stretching has resulted in a great deal of research on the matter. In a study by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, researchers found that athletes (runners) generated less force in their leg muscles after static stretching than after no stretching at all, indicating that performance (running, etc.) is enhanced by not doing slow stretches before working out. The inverse of this finding would state that static stretching inhibits athletic performance (running, etc.) Here are some effects of static stretching one it’s held for more than a minute or so: muscles relax fascia is stretched ligaments stretch mobility in the joint that is being stressed increases flexibility in the general area that is being stretched increases If one was to work the hips in such a way as to relax all of the muscles, and then ask the legs to do, say, a 5k run... well, yes. This [...]
It seems very late to be blogging about this. However I don't like to let events go past unrecorded and this one is no exception. First of all I have to say that this would never have happened without Greeneyedevil and AsianBella in Washington and TheHammer and Roxy in Baltimore. I'd like to thank all of you for the wonderful effort and hospitality you showed to us. I can't tell you all what it means to us. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home. Hard on the heels of Shibaricon it was quite something to be doing two days teaching. I really hope that people got something from the classes. I really want the classes that I do to change people's bondage for the better. If I gave you guys something useful then I'm good with that. I love that feeling when people in the room are really starting to get things together and clicking with the point of the class. Especially those classes where the main focus is on connection. People did great in Washington. It was a pleasure to visit with you and to have the pleasure of teaching there.
I am not Mr Nice. When it comes to teaching I am not. I do do my best to be Mr Patient, Mr Understanding & Mr Informative. But let's be honest, you, I hope, didn't hire me to be your friend, you hired me to improve your bondage. Bondage is serious and can be seriously dangerous so I take teaching bondage seriously. I also take very seriously the responsibility of teaching. If you have a good time in a lesson that's just great, I hope you do. But that is not my goal. My goal is that you go away doing better bondage than you were before the lesson. If you're making mistakes I'll do my best to be Mr Tactful about it. However I will not be Mr Flattery, I will not deceive you into thinking that you're doing better than you are. Nor will I fill you with a false sense of confidence or accomplishment because I'm not Mr Disingenuous. I will not teach you beyond your ability, because I am not Mr Irresponsible. If you are not serious about wanting to learn, do not come to me. There are plenty of teachers who will make you feel good about yourself regardless of your ability. Go to them by all means if that is what you're after. Personally in lessons I'm not trying to be Mr Likeable. I will not praise that which is not praiseworthy. I will do my best to improve your rope as much as I am able. I am I hope Mr Conciencious. I am and can be many people. But! I am not Mr Nice.
It was great to be a part of the first Sinsations, a new event in Derbyshire. I can't remember a better first night of any event. Firstly the venue was excellent. It was as clean and well done as any I've been to. Normally a swingers club they naturally enough did not have a lot of BDSM furniture but everyone knew that before the event so nobody had a reason disappointed by that, also there were large benches in every room that were put to good use by many kinksters during the evening. There was a really good crowd came to the event, it was busy and convivial and I have to congratulate the organisers for the way they put this together, publicised it and ran it. We were there to do a rope bondage demonstration and a BDSM 101 class. The rope bondage show was newaza or floor work. Some of the people had seen us doing suspension based shows before so it was nice to be able to show them something closer to the kind of bondage that we enjoy in private. We would like to thank everyone that gave us such kind comments after the show and those that have posted and blogged about it since. We are really blown away by all your kindness and generosity. The BDSM 101 class is something that we present together and changes every time we do it. We try to cover the basics for a BDSM newcomer in a reasonable time. Again we have to thank everyone that gave such positive feedback and told us that they found it informative. All in all it was a tremendous first night for a new event. We thoroughly [...]
While we were staying in Queens we had a teaching session with a local New York rope enthusiast Joey Red. There's not a lot I can say about this class except that Joey worked really hard and really took in a lot. It was a very good session and it was a pleasure to see him make progress. And also kind of fun to melt his brain a little.
Twisted Leprechaun was Irelands first fetish festival. There is a lot goes into a festival event and I can only congratulate all the people who worked behind the scenes to make it so memorable. There are always problems behind the scenes but it's a testament to those behind the scenes that pretty much nobody attending the event saw them.