At LA Rope, we teach the majority of our classes in a particular style, drawn largely from the school and philosophy of the late Grand Master Yukimura Haruki. Zetsu, the instructor at LA Rope, studied with Yukimura sensei from 2010 until Yukimura’s death in 2016. He was admitted to his school of rope, as Haru Yutaka (春豊）and certified and licensed as an instructor in Yukimura Ryuu in 2013, the 5th person in the world to be given such a designation.
Yukimura’s style of rope was distinct from other styles of rope taught in Japan. In contrast to the other rope masters of his generation (such as Akechi Denki and Nureki Chimuo) who focused on a style of rope known as semenawa (torment or torture rope), Yukmiura developed a style that focused on a “caressing style” or aibu no nawa.
Our focus at LA Rope is on carrying on and developing the tradition of Yukimura’s style of rope and accordingly, we focus on three primary things:
Rope as communication
The style of rope we teach focuses on the process of using rope as a medium of communication between partners. Our primary goal is to see shibari as a means to communicate feeling, emotion, and intention through the use of tying and control of the the rope (particularly the rope ends or nawajiri).
The techniques we teach are both minimalist in technique (no complicated knots or patterns) and the use of rope (usually requiring only a single rope).
While the patterns are easy to learn, the ability to use them to develop a sophisticated and individual style of communication can take a lifetime to master.
Shibari as Erotic Play
There are many style of rope that may focus on the artistic dimension of tying, the performative aspects of rope play, or other psychological or physical effects.
Our style of rope is at its heart erotic. It is grounded in a desire for partners to learn and express elements of desire, fantasy, communication, and pleasure. While it need not be explicitly sexual, this style of rope is best suited to partners who are involved in an intimate relationship and will enjoy physical caress, touch, and sensuality as part of their rope experience.
Safety and Trust
This style of rope is focused almost exclusively on the pleasure of the person being tied and the ways in which the person tying can explore, control, and play with those elements. It is always done within a context of consent and emotional and psychological safety. We strive to promote a philosophy that embodies the idea that how rope feels is more important than how it looks.
The goal is always to create a sense of feeling and emotion in your partner that builds your relationship and engenders deeper feelings of safety and trust between the two of you.
In order to accomplish these goals, our rope classes focus on skills to develop communication and erotic restraint. Rarely will this include style of rope that are often seen in performances, rope shows, or elaborate photo shoots. Most of the ties we teach and work with use very few ropes and focus on floor play and partial suspensions.
Advanced classes may include more decorative ties for photography or ties for semenawa, but most of what we do and the philosophy we promote, generally does not include tying styles that focus on suspension or performance.