Suspension techniques: Part IX

An advanced shibari suspension tutorial which transitions from face-down to double ankle to sideways

This tutorial introduces a more advanced suspension with multiple transitions with many options for variations. As this one moves up a skill level, it is all the more important have studied the earlier parts in the series and developed competence. The various positions are iconic so you may well have seen some of them combined in shows by the likes of Kinoko Hajime and Osada Steve. Given its spectacular nature, it makes an ideal routine upon which to base performances.

The routine begins with a symmetrical face down suspension transitions to a double ankle hang and ends with a elegantly twisted side suspension. Of course, the positions can be modified, elements omitted or the order can be changed. Some of the positions are tough so not everyone will be able to endure the suspension as demonstrated but masochists will love it. However, as not everyone wants a hard suspension, we show you several ways in which the ankle hang can be made easier by transferring some of the load and you can pick and choose which elements of the suspension suit your and your partner's comfort zone.

In addition to the main tutorial, we have a very comprehensive section showing an alternative method of sharing the ankle load with the lower leg. The technique is easy and very fast whilst overcoming some of the challenges presented by the original version.

As with our other tutorials, this is not intended as a 'paint by numbers' recipe for you to follow by rote. We point out how other 'ingredients' can be employed to achieve a similar result to help your understanding of how to use them creatively to achieve your purpose. With this knowledge, you will tie more intuitively and safely. Ultimately, this frees you to express yourself and connect with your partner without the distraction of trying to remember a complex set of steps.

Your Instructor

Esinem & Nina Russ
Esinem & Nina Russ

Esinem is a shibari artist who has regularly appeared at UK and international events such as Pride, Torture Garden, Erotica, Rubber Ball, Wasteland, Boundcon, Nuit Demonia and recently represented the UK at Japan's first international kinbaku event, Toubaku. He is also known for his teaching both in the UK and internationally and was co-organiser of the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage and BOUND, Europe's premier monthly shibari event.

Over the last few years, he has been improving his skills in Japan with the help some of their best known and respected kinbakushi, Arisue Go, Osada Steve, Kinoko Hajime, Kazami Ranki and, grand master of newaza, Yukimura Haruki. Whilst drawing from classical methods, his style is distinctive and epitomizes the art of communicating with rope, often departing from the typical serenity of shibari shows and flying in the face of tradition to produce some striking and unusual performances.

In addition, he has worked on various videos, e.g. Primal Scream's 2013, artistic collaborations and photo shoots both on and off camera. He has been involved in projects providing inspiration for Tom Ford's 2013 collection and, Raqib Shaw, an acclaimed artist who has exhibited at the Tate, Metropolitan and White Cube galleries.

He contributed to Rope, Bondage & Power, edited by Lee Harrington and is currently involved with a number of documentaries on kinbaku. He is also author of the first English language tutorial DVDs: 'Japanese Rope Bondage: Tying people, not parcels'.

Nina Russ is a London based, shibari performer, rope artist and educator. She became student of Esinem in 2011 and their collaboration gave birth to BOUND shibari night (2012) and ShibariClasses (2015). She had also the fortune to participate at workshops with different Japanese shibari masters, like: Kazami Ranki, Yukimura Haruki, Kinoko Hajime.

She has performed internationally, most notably at the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage and RopeFest in St.Petersburg. In addition, she participates in numerous artistic, fashion collaborations and local performances. Her passion for rope has lead her on a route of discovery of concepts, philosophy, aesthetics and benefits behind this Japanese discipline.

She sees shibari as an art form which creates deep connection between the participants and also aids personal development. Due to its martial arts roots, it brings self-discipline, efficiency, effectiveness and, thus, growth in confidence and awareness. She believes these skills allow a greater focus on the most important aspects: you, your partner and your shared experience.

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