Kihon Happo 基本八法

I often lecture that it is from the fundamentals that the infinite arises. The advanced ties are quite literally made up solely of the fundamentals.

Example of how just a few basics can make something a bit more extraordinary.

This tie (to the right) for example is made up of a simple Hishi Shibari (Diamond tie), two Futomomo Shibari (Thigh Ties), and a rope run around the models lower back to make the sitting position more comfortable to be maintained; all basic ties, that, in co-ordination, come together

“Kihon Happo” (基本八法) literally means the eight fundamental methods or principles. However, if you turn the number eight (8) on its side, it becomes the symbol for the infinite (∞). Thus, a way of reading this phrase is “from the fundamentals comes infinite methods.”

Or as it was written in the 17th century scroll of the jujutsu tradition, Takagi Yoshin-ryu Chugokui Mokuroku,


Takagi Yoshin-ryu Chugokui Mokuroku

Which means something like “Training is crucial; a thousand or ten thousand methods are linked to a single method.”

This idea of implementing several basics at a time also contributes to the “completeness” of the presentation, comparable to a similar principle that I often talk about in shibari, Shingyoso.

Takagi Yoshin-ryu Chugokui Mokuroku

The Eight Fundamentals

A sort of collection of fundamental ties that I like to make sure that my students are familiar with are as follows:

Kōte Shibari 後手縛Hands-Behind Tie
Kōtō Gōte Shibari後頭後手縛Hands Behind Head tie
Maete Hiji Shibari前手肘縛Hands Forward Elbow Tie
Futomomo Shibari太腿縛Thigh Tie
Teppō Shibari鉄砲縛Rifle tie
Mae Gote Shibari前小手縛Front Wrist Tie
Agura Shibari胡坐縛Cross-Legged Tie
Koshi Shibari腰縛Hip Tie

From these eight basic ties all other ties can be considered to be derived, so this makes for a groundwork with which to grow everything else. For ties on the ground, pretty much any iteration of these ties are suitable, and there are suspension-worthy versions of each of these. Even practicing extremely basic ties offer innumerable lessons.