Masthead Left
Masthead Right rope with scott
May 2010
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Japanese rope bondage (shibari/kinbaku) has generated a lot of interest in the West for its aesthetically beautiful ties. Whilst shibari ties appear complex and seem to use lots of knots, they are made up of only a few basic knots and simple “building blocks” that combine to create complex ties. But beyond the aesthetic considerations, shibari is also a powerful means of communication and interaction between the participants, the journey being as important as the final destination.

To quote Esinem (

In all of my years exploring rope, the most important thing that I have discovered about bondage is that it should not be like wrapping a parcel. It is not simply a matter of being able to tie a particular knot, or replicate a specific tie exactly, but also to do it with feeling and create an energy flow with your partner. I find that too often people become distracted by learning elaborate knots, discussing rope and other technicalities at the expense of this. Bondage is more about the way that you do it than what you do or what materials are used. However, this does not mean that safety, good technique and appropriate equipment are not vital.
I would compare a bondage scene to a passionate dance like the tango – you're in very close contact with your partner, one of you leads and the other follows, and together you produce something magical. If one were to merely follow the steps laid out in a dance instruction manual, the dance could be millimeter perfect but, without passion, it would be nothing more than a mechanical exercise and emotionally dead. Bondage is no different. Sadly, many people miss the point. They fail to make the emotional connection, end up becoming detached and merely 'wrap parcels'. Binding your lover should not be a destination to be reached, but a journey to be enjoyed and savored.

The course is broken up into 4 sessions,  tailored to the experience level and wishes of the participants.

Introduction to shibari/kinbaku

To understand shibari you have to understand the history and cultural context that it arose in. This will be an overview of the history, including the differences between western, Japanese and fusion bondage, and hopefully answer the question “Is this shibari?”. Also included in the introduction are rope types, rope care and safety information, including discussion of the potential for nerve injuries.

Ushiro takate kote

The ushiro takate kote (lit. behind high hand parallel hand), or as it is often known in the west, the “box tie”, is one of the fundamental katas (patterns) in shibari, being used for both floor work and suspensions. The takate kote being taught will be a 2-rope takate kote, with a focus on tying it efficiently.

Rope energy and connection

The most common way that rope is tied in the west follows the “tying parcels, not people” principle, with only a limited connection between the participants. Many of us have seen people being tied, standing there bored as if they were just a mannequin for the rigger to tie. This session will be attempting to break through that barrier and into using rope as a means of communication between the participants.

Creative tying

The last session will focus less on following a “paint by numbers” recreation of ties, and rather on tying variations of a single kata, with no two ties being exactly the same.

A limited number of ties are being taught so that you can forget about the mechanics of tying, and can concentrate on the interaction and energy.

About Scott

Scott is well known in the Melbourne kink scene, having done performances at Hellfire, Klub Kunst and Fetish Expo. His interest in rope bondage started with Midori’s workshop on rope bondage on her first visit to Australia back in 2003, although his journey into Japanese bondage really began after completing Satomi’s workshop later on in that year. In the past year he has gone to Japan twice and had tuition from one of the worlds leading kinbakushi, Osada Steve. He is intending to return to Tokyo later this year to continue his studies.

(C) Tawse Manor, 2011-17