For a Master Class in Kinbaku
Two Exciting Presentations
Since the last several posts in this series on Kinbaku and Art have focused on media related events (art gallery openings, film and book cover creation, etc.) I thought it was high time to shift gears and do a post on the mainstay of our activities in Los Angeles, education.
The first was an afternoon celebrating the art and skill of legendary Western rope master, publisher and artist John Willie (creator of the legendary “Sweet Gwendolyn” bondage cartoon) and his links to Japanese Kinbaku. This was a fascinating topic I first came across when researching my book, “The Beauty of Kinbaku” and I always thought it would make for an interesting stand-alone presentation.
The second recent event was of a completely different nature being the latest edition in our long running series of “mod classes” or modular classes devoted to exploring specific, somewhat unusual subjects related to Japanese rope bondage. The topic for this specific event was “Rope and Bamboo” and once again we had a lot of fun with an enthusiastic audience.
For the complete original article with more photographs please visit my publisher's website:
Poster for the John Willie event.
John Willie inspired by legendary Japanese bondage master Minomura Kou circa 1952.
Top: John Willie imitates the master circa 1960.
Bottom: The green caterpillar tie circa 1952.
In our Beverly Hills dojo it’s been my pleasure over the years to teach the techniques of Kinbaku to many private students and small groups. That said, quite often throughout the year private instruction will give way to group events that focus on the fascinating history of Kinbaku as well as on specialized techniques that folks who have a sophisticated interest in rope play want to know more about.
Such was the case recently when, in conjunction with Spring Tiger Ryu, an organization which I co-founded with my good friend and student Zelement, two different types of programs were offered to sold out audiences.
John Willie (real name, John Alexander Scott Coutts) is generally considered the father of Western rope bondage and its greatest early practitioner. What few people realize is that, due to an extraordinary set of circumstances, a fair bit of his inspiration came from Japan!
Our event was dynamic, well organized by Zelement and a lot of fun. Our sold-out audience included graphic artists, photographers and those just curious about the history of John Willie, western rope and JW’s amazing connection to Japan.
Our goal for the event was to re-create a number of John Willie’s more famous compositions, replete with corsets, long gloves, high heels and beautiful models, as well as to explain some of the techniques he attempted to adapt from Japanese Kinbaku.
A recreation of the famous "Sweet Gwendoline Ball Tie."
The original and some wonderful art from one of our gifted attendees.
Poster for the modular class on Kinbaku and bamboo.
In Japan the combination of bamboo and rope is a time-honored tradition and many traditionalists refuse to incorporate any other materials into their play. Our presentation was devoted to how to use bamboo creatively and safely and this meant how to tie your partner, what poses were both attractive and stimulating and what not to do with bamboo in order to avoid injury. We were even able to give all of our participating couples their own lengths of bamboo to work with during class!
Kinbaku & Bamboo--the "water carrier" pose.
Bamboo version of the classic "momo shibari."
Where all the toys come from!