One of the most common questions we get asked is what level do you need to be to join the workshops? We try to make most of our workshops accessible to all skills, but we do give some guidance so that you can get the most out of the experience.
Kinbaku Alba defines the workshop levels as follows:
At beginner level you would be attending for the first time or may have taken an Intro class. You will require guidance to tie the basics correctly and the majority of ties you know use only one rope. You probably have had less than 6 hours tutorial time with a teacher.
Beginners who tie should focus on limb ties, making hitches, rope handling and building rapport with their partner.
Beginners being tied should focus on being able to identify a correct limb tie, observing how their body feels in rope and building rapport with their partner.
An Improver can confidently tie the basics without the need for instruction. You can build ties using multiple ropes and understand how to use hitches to change direction and add stability. You will be spending the majority of your time on floor work but may be starting to explore the use of suspension lines under direct instruction.
Improvers who tie should be confident tying safe limb ties and understand how to build the first two ropes of a Takatekote / Gote Shibari in any style. You should also be able to construct at least one Futomomo / Bent leg tie variant and one hip harness. You should also be confident that your rope work does not slip out of place during movement. You will be working towards combining elements and should be confident in rope handling. Improvers should be able to tie emotively with basic elements and establish rapport easily with their partner.
Improvers being tied should be able to define the difference between normal pressure and signs of danger. You should similarly be able to communicate in a positive manner to your partner when rope placement is causing discomfort. Improvers should focus on “listening” for gestures and right moments that invite them to influence the course of the tie and feel confident that they are part of a dynamic partnership.
Those tying at the intermediate level have built a solid repertoire of ties and spend much more time tying outside of direct tuition. You will start to improvise more and understand the construction of common elements between ties. If you are working towards suspensions then you will start taking your first flights under direction.
Those tying at an Intermediate level can easily construct several variants of chest, limb and hip ties with adaptations to suit different body shapes. If choosing to engage in suspension you are confident in line management and can undertake partial suspensions from previous workshops without correction and can engage safely in more advanced ties in a classroom setting.
Those being tied at the intermediate level will be confident in their body knowledge and be able to communicate during ties without verbal language with at least one regular partner. You should focus on understanding the demands of particular ties on your body and be able to highlight difficulties for constructive discussion.
Advanced students have undertaken significant tuition and private practice and are confident tying a wide range of ties. You can adapt your existing knowledge easily to particular challenges and rarely need correction in your technique and safety. If you have chosen to undertake suspensions you have confident knowledge of line management, load dynamics and have an appreciation for the dangers involved. You are confident improvising new ties based on your existing knowledge.
Those who tie at the Advanced level have undertaken several private lessons, workshops or masterclasses with recognised experts in any style of Kinbaku. We do not consider any method of self learning to be adequate due to the lack of appraisal and feedback from an expert, particularly when it comes to suspension technique. You can safely tie with new partners and establish rapport with verbal and non-verbal techniques.
Those being tied at the Advanced level are able to engage in discussion and feedback about the particulars of the ties being used and the suitability for their body. You will know which kinds of ties you are most comfortable with and be able to offer suggestions on how to make modifications. If you are engaging in suspensions you have a confident knowledge regarding the dangers and possible injuries and how to communicate problems. If you tie with a new partner you can easily establish rapport with both verbal and non-verbal communication and are rarely misunderstood.