Welp, it’s taken me over a month to sit down and write about this years Nuit des Cordes (NdC). It has mostly been because of my new job, which is as taxing as it is fulfilling, resulting in my spiral into debauchery every night after work.
All those excuses aside, here I am!
So this was my third NdC, and as always I was honored to be permitted to participate again, it’s always a great trip and seeing some of the friends that I have in Montreal is always joyous.
9:45pm with CutieTie
11:15pm with CutieTie
1:45am with Misticwonder
However Misticwonder wasn’t feeling well and had to back out, so I performed thrice with CutieTie.
(Above photos by DameTreck)
Our first session was involving a bamboo hard point, something that I hadn’t really used before and quit enjoyed. For this session we stuck mostly to partial suspensions, but went through some of my favorite ones. The audience seemed t quite like it, and the photographers were all over us (most of our photos of the night ere from that session).
This session also started off with one of my favorite songs to tie too, so that gave the whole thing a bit more bravado.
(above photos by aguacate)
Our second session involved more partial suspensions and a lovely inversion.
At the same time, there was someone next to us that was fully inverted and playing the violin!
(above photos by neo70)
By our third performance, we were starting to get burnt out and I was becoming reluctant to do anything redundant, as such my creativity started to dwindle by then.
Finally, we concluded the night by watching the remaining performances, which is always lovely. Sadly this is the last NdC as the hosts announced that they will be retiring from running this annual event. We lsot the Morpheus Bondage Extravaganza last year as well, so here’s to hoping that some awesome folks with rise up and host more of these exhibitions!
It is also a point of interest that this night on March 3rd, 2016, Yukimura Haruki a well known rope artist, known for his seemingly simple yet profound caressing style (aibunawa; 愛撫縄), had passed away. As such, the majority of my effort this night were an expression of my understanding and grasp of Yukimura’s style of bondage (though I know exceedingly little about it).
(above photos by SilverMaz)
(above photos by SirMasterMarc)
(above photos by KnotNice)
So, two 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…
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).
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), 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.
At this point, Kōshudai seems the closest to what were dealing with in regards to shibari and kinbaku, where the body is suspended by rope in various formations.
 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 people tied up to the kamoi.
An excellent introduction to stretching and flexibility!
Stretching… for Bondage with Klawdya Rothschild
- 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..
What 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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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!
Today I live streamed the whole process as to how I condition hemp rope for Shibari and Hojojutsu on Facebook! 130~ people came across it today!
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:
Because it’s always a challenge to find resources on learning rope bondage, this is my collection and recommendations:
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.
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.
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!
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, 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.
“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.
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)