Rope bondage and transferable skills

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Rope bondage and transferable skills

One phrase that tends to set my nerves a little on edge is when people say I’ve done X therefore I’m good at Y.

  1. I’ve done sailing; therefore I’m good at rope bondage
    (because they both involve rope)
  2. I’ve done climbing; therefore I’m good at rope bondage
    (because they both involve rope)
  3. I’ve done engineering; therefore I’m good at rope bondage
    (because bondage is just engineering)
  4. I’ve done knife fighting; therefore I’m good at cookery
    (because they both involve knives)

1, What this assumes is that… because bondage involves knots being good at knots is the same as being good at bondage. While you do need to be able to tie the odd knot for bondage the majority of the skills that make you good at bondage are not tying knots.

2, This is often quoted when it comes to suspension. What I’ll say here is that climbers can have a lot of good knowledge where it comes to equipment and creating secure points to work from. The knowledge is good for that reason and purpose but does not translate into bondage. Climbing has very little to do with binding the human body.

3, While having the kind of mind that can understand engineering aspects it doesn’t teach much about binding the human body. Purely technical knowledge has it’s place very much so above the suspension point for instance. An engineers knowledge of structure and material properties can be very useful in informing you if a point is likely to be robust enough to hang your suspension point.

4, This one was kind of a joke to make a point about about not assuming that “It involves rope therefore I’m good at bondage” isn’t always a valid statement.

Personally I can say that I’ve climbed, sailed competitively in my youth, have an engineering degree (no I’ve not been a knife fighter). I have years of practical engineering experience and design experience. However I don’t for a second believe that they in any way make me automatically good at rope bondage. Only learning and perusing bondage itself has done that. None of this is saying that these things are not useful or beneficial to know. I always use climbing rated biners and slings for my hanging hard points from beams needs; because I know damn well that they’re more than man enough for the job I’m asking them to do. I benefit from my engineering knowledge and experience in judging the strength of beams or in designing suspension frames.

So don’t think I’m devaluing this knowledge it is valuable, just remember that it’s not bondage knowledge, you’re working with a human not just an engineering project. Medical knowledge is also very useful, it’s not bondage knowledge in and of itself but it is invaluable in informing your bondage in many ways.

After all you wouldn’t apply it the other way, “I’m good at bondage therefore I’m good at mountaineering” or “I’m good at bondage therefore I’m a good sailor” You might well be able to tie off a line but sailing requires you to know other sailing specific things.

The connections between many skills is only peripheral.

I know some people say things like “But they give you general dexterity and rope handling skills, surely that’s a help“. Yes I agree, rope handling skills and dexterity are very useful. They are however not specifically sailing, climbing, engineering or even cooking specific skills. They are useful to all of the mentioned pursuits but are not skills unique to that pursuit if you follow the meaning. They could have been learned in any of the mentioned pursuits or any one of many more, they could have been learned in isolation, they can be learned in bondage itself. They are if you like baseline human skills that are useful in many fields but not specific to any.

The only real point I want to make is that I actually see people saying in so many words, I’m good at X and therefore will be good at bondage. This is a misconception. They may have some knowledge that’s peripherally useful but that doesn’t make them automatically good at bondage any more than knife fighters are automatically good chefs.

By | 2012-09-01T17:22:49+00:00 September 1st, 2012|Categories: Bondage, Education|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. StrangeLove September 2, 2012 at 10:19 am

    My usual reply is that having experience with sailing/climbing/scouting means you’re perfectly qualified to tie up ships/rocks/trees. 🙂

  2. Mike Drago October 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Awesome post! I’ve edited a couple of high school papers so I’m qualified to give this opinion 😉

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