It's been a long journey from the dark ages of shibari when the internet was in its infancy. I certainly learned the hard way since knowledge was hard to come by and sketchy at best in those days. Fortunately, since then, I have had a lot of contact with some of Japan's most respected masters and spent thousands of hours tying and teaching.
Of course, information is much more readily available now. Excellent teachers and reliable information are now accessible. It has also meant that everyone who is a page ahead of you in the book is offering to be your teacher. This can result in very superficial teaching or, worse, downright misinformation. The end result can be poorly executed 'painting by numbers' rather than expressive trying.
My path has had many false steps, stumbles and obstacles. As a result, I learned a lot. More recently, Nina Russ has added to this knowledge with both her experience inside the rope but also as a very intuitive rope artist. I can honestly say, although she is technically my student, that I have learned a lot from her. Our skills are very complementary. This series is intended to highlight some of the "Now, I wish I'd know that!" moments. We think we can save you having to re-invent wheels and, hopefully, also present you with the design that worked best for us.
Please give us your feedback and suggestions for future editions in the Q& A forum at the bottom of the curriculum.
Esinem is a Japanese style bondage (shibari/kinbaku) artist who regularly appears 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 as 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 SteveKinoko, HajimeKazami 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.
Rope is simply a means of communication. She wants you to discover through her tying, the language of rope, which speaks directly to the mind and body.