To the left or to the right starting TakateKote shibari

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To the left or to the right starting TakateKote shibari

So which way should you start?

This has come up a few times in recent times and for me it’s a bit of a puzzle as to why it does. Akechi Deneki started to the left, so does Osada Steve (長田スティーブ) and so do I. Akechi Deneki was left handed which will be a contributing factor, Osada Steve learned from Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) and I learned from Osada Steve. (Just as a side note I used to start to the right until I had a lesson from Osada Steve). Kinoko Hajime (一鬼のこ) starts to the right and is right handed.

So the first question becomes, does is the preference the result of chance, the handedness of the person teaching? Did they consider this question and decide on some other criteria?

Personally I am not in any position to speak about any of these masters motivations and sadly the person who’s opinion is probably most relevant to this question Akechi Denki  has passed away.

So that being the case, what is this post about?

I’ve thought about this a few times but not really in huge depth. I started to the right when I began tying because that felt natural. I changed to the left because Steve taught it that way. At first it felt strange but soon it became very natural. I don’t notice any more unless I’m thinking specifically about it. The reason this resurfaced for me particularly was that recently I had the opportunity to learn from Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹). On that day I had to again start to the right.

For me it brought up interesting questions about physical physical habits and comfort. Questions that, if you will forgive the expression… make you think about what you do without thinking. Do you do what’s best or what happens anyway. Sometimes it becomes necessary to break existing habits and form new ones. Which way is best and why. Are both equally good? Does one hand have an advantage over the other, if not does using one hand leave you in an advantageous position after this movement?

When applied to the start of the non-reversing style of TK my original instinct was to start to the right. I have learned to start to the left. Having tried both ways, thought about it, analyzed the outcomes and feelings I personally feel that starting to the left is better for me.

So why is it better for me? Because I feel that feeding from my left I feed into my dominant hand for the longest contact whilst handling the rope in contact with the models skin. OK so the effect of this is marginal, but when it comes down to making a difference between good and great bondage every tiny margin makes a difference.

It’s certainly worth thinking about these things and not making assumptions.

 

NOTE: All of the above pertains to the ‘non-reversing’ style of TK. I was tempted to consider looking at those that use other styles of TK or Gote Shibari like Naka Akira (奈加あきら) who appears to be right handed but starts left or Nureki Chimuo (濡木痴夢男) himself who appears to be left handed and starts left. There are many others but as they use ‘reversing’ ties at all times I don’t think this question exercises people so much given that half the tying is in either direction.

Please also note that where I have mentioned specific people’s tying it is for illustrative purposes and because their work is so often cited as the source or learning or inspiration for others. I’m talking about the subject in general and it would be wrong to make any assumption about anyone else’s reasoning. Where I have said that X person appears to be Y handed this is because this is the appearance of handedness from observation and not stated as a fact.

By | 2017-03-17T09:57:07+00:00 October 2nd, 2012|Categories: Bondage, Japanese, Rope|Tags: , , |8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Tatu October 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Actually I cover this in my Gote / chest harness classes, and my answer is, “it just depends.” It depends on which forearm is on the bottom. I employ the same principle as in Hojo ties. For example if the right forearm is on the bottom then I go to the left. If the left forearm is on the bottom, then I go to the right. The effect is that since the bottom forearm carries the initial weight if you will, I want to head in the direction as if to pull it toward the center of the back. If you go back toward itself, the tension is faulty and does not hold the box position is firmly.

  2. Osada Steve October 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Technically speaking the functionality and integrity of a TK should be identical regardless of whether starting out left or right.
    At last count the 3TK had 62 steps and I would get confused if I had to differentiate between a left-starter and a right-starter. So, when dealing with half a dozen students in a WS situation, I kindly insist that everybody starts on one side only — which happens to be the left side in Osada-ryu.

    Compare this to the roughly 10 steps in a Yukimura-ryu Gote, and the amount of possible confusion is next to nil. I have talked with Yukimura Sensei about this, and he does NOT insist that his Gote starts on the right.

    I have doubts whether the position(ing) of the forearms is a factor in this issue, as I have come across a fair amount of people who keep switching the position of their forearms — even while suspended.

  3. wykd October 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Regarding the forearms I can’t see how one or the other being on top would influence the structure of a tie. Models often do swap hands top for bottom and indeed I ensure that there is enough space in the wrist tie so that they can do just that.

  4. Osada Steve October 17, 2012 at 5:08 am

    While-we-are-at-it Department:
    “Wrist tie” is actually a misnomer, because you want to stay away from the wrists and do your wraps around the “Kote” instead. Another topic for another post, perhaps. 🙂

    • wykd October 17, 2012 at 6:32 am

      Yes and a good one as we do habitually refer to it as the ‘writs tie’ whilst pointing out to tie away from the wrists themselves.

  5. wykd January 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I don’t believe that makes any significant difference.

    • wykd January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      If the knot is done right and solid it doesn’t make the slightest difference. A more likely cause for the knot to loosen when pulled one way is that the knot was not tied well enough, in which case it’s a problem all on it’s own. People who have the problem of the knot loosening because they start one way rather than the other should probably address the issue of not being able to tie the knot properly rather than tying in a certain direction just to favour a badly tied knot before moving on to more abstract issues.

  6. Edward February 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I am happy to hear these different views. And it inspires me to keep an open mind and that there are no real steadfast rules. ( except to keep safety a priority and to have the knots well tied ) However in my mind, of the body and rope flowing together as one, like the new branches forming on a fast growing tree, and me being the one to decide the flow and direction. I refer back to Tatu, and his thoughts on this topic and see the logic of this organic flow using the function of the anatomy as an artistic direction to follow. It is also comforting as a humble student to know that there is no wrong direction to follow. There are certainly some funny looking trees out there sometimes,,, 🙂

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