Workshop Levels

Posted on Updated on

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:


logomakr_132lxqAt 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.


logomakr_5ogweuAn 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.


logomakr_8m7hpzThose 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.


logomakr_5xpbklAdvanced 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.


28th May 2016 – Introduction to Osada-ryu with Barkas

Posted on Updated on

Eventbrite - Introduction to Osada-ryu with Barkas

Introduction to Osada-ryu

Osada Ryu is one of the few schools of Japanese Rope Bondage. It is in some senses comparable with schools in martial arts. The focus herein lies on the partner though and how to take care of this person. The Osada Ryu consists of a system of numberless bondage patterns on one side and on a philosophical approach on the other side. The latter one can be described as a way of how to behave in a rope scene to a beloved person. The class gives a first insight into the principles of Osada Ryu and offers a few rope techniques, which are crucial for the school.


  • The 9 gates of Osada Ryu
  • The Osada Ryu Takate Kote
  • Ipponnawa (one rope techniques)
  • Armbinder

If the class is running smoothly there may also be time to cover other topics at Barkas’ discretion

Entry level class, although knowledge of rope basics is essential!

If you need basic instruction come along to any of our “Intro to Rope” sessions and one of our tutors will let you know if you have the skills to join this class.

About Osada Ryu

Osada Steve(長田スティーブ)is recognised within the worldwide Shibari community as an undisputed Master. In his work he emphasises the spiritual and emotional connection with the model, while giving absolute priority to the model’s well-being and safety. He also emphasises discernment of the values of Japanese culture, which are embodied in the rope work.

In 1998 he met the legendary Shibari Grandmaster, the late Osada Eikichi (長田英吉), and became his deshi (disciple). He studied his style of Shibari until Osada Eikichi’s retirement in 2001, when he became his designated successor. He subsequently studied under the late Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) , Grandmaster Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹) , and Nawashi Kanna (縄師神凪).

About Barkas

Currently living in Vancouver, Canada, I am a bondage educator, performance artist, writer and event organizer.

I became an Osada Ryu instructor in 2011 when I opened the Shibari Dojo Vienna. Since then I am one of the 4 licenced Osada Ryu instructors of the world. In 2015 I got a „given name“ by Yukimura Haruki Sensei. Harutsuyu. This honour allows me to teach Yukimura Ryu as well. Another huge influence is the friendship with Nawashi Kanna Sensei and Kagura San, which started I co-organized their first tour outside of Japan in 2013. As a product of this high level education, I developed my own, very specific style called “Ranboo”, which is a highly dynamical and stormy way of doing and thinking Kinbaku.

I co-organized the annual Viennese Rope Festival and other events such as the “A night full of Kinbaku”. Within my work as a Kinbaku teacher and performer, I cooperate with different artists and arts institutions, such as the Zafraan ensemble, the Viennese Tanzquartier, the photographer Tom Hofmann and others.

A special focus of me is the implementation of various philosophical, sociological, physical, mathematical and historical ideas into my approach. A recent development of me is the metaphor of tying as an interview – a certain mind-set that can help to perfect one’s own style. Intellectuality and emotionality don’t contradict each other. „To fill the techniques with life and personality“. I don’t tie people, I tie with them.

Performances and Workshops all over the world, such as at Shibaricon (‘14 & ‘15) in Chicago, at Moscow knot, at Kannawa Kai in Tokyo, at West Coast Bound in Vancouver and many other events and occasions made has made me a well-known and demanded Kinbaku artist.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 from 11:00 to 17:00 (BST) Add to Calendar
Venue TBC – Central Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom – View Map

5 Day Masterclass with Hajime Kinoko – 28th January to 1st February

Posted on Updated on

STORE is delighted to present an intensive 5 day Masterclass with Hajime Kinoko.

Weds January 28th 2015 to Sunday February 1st.

Eventbrite - Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange: 5 day Masterclass with Hajime Kinoko
Hajime Kinoko is a young and extremely talented rigger from Tokyo who excels in the traditional style of kinbaku, but also raises attention through innovative ideas and contemporary interpretations. He masters not only an excellent technique but also has a reputation for dramatic live acts. Notwithstanding a distinct feel for form and aesthetics, for Kinoko the rope is only a means to an end: for him the essence of Shibari is revealed in the elegance and beauty of suffering.

Hajime Kinoko‘s web site:


  • The exact topics for each day will be announced in advance and should be available 01/10/14.
  • This class will be for intermediate to advanced students only. 
  • Floorwork, partial and full suspension will be taught. You should have your own rope and hardware for this.
  • The venue location will be confirmed and passed on to attendees. It will be in Glasgow City Centre within easy walking distance of major train stations and bus routes.
  • Tickets will be sold as Part One and Part Two to allow the payment to be split. The tickets are £600 in total.It is not possible to buy single day tickets. All attendees must purchase Part One and Part Two by 31/12/14 at the very latest.If you do not purchase both tickets by this time your order will be cancelled and the class place released to another person.

Eventbrite - Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange: 5 day Masterclass with Hajime Kinoko

As usual, STORE is running the workshop in a non-profit model. All monies received are going towards the cost of Mr Hajime’s time and travel, an interpreter and a venue able to take a class of this size and still allow for suspension points. If any money is gained it remains within STORE and is re-invested into other educational events.

If you think the charge is excessive it is worth considering that the only other way to get this level of closely supervised tuition from a Japanese Kinbaku Expert is to fly to Japan and book lessons. When we researched it, it was approx £2000 to get to Japan either with your partner, or fly alone and hire a local model, get somewhere to stay and have meals for 5 days. The cost of hiring the teacher is not included in this sum either. This would be £100+ph 

We anticipate people considering travelling from areas other than Strathclyde to attend the class. We welcome visitors! You may wish to slightly delay booking accomodation however as if we get a lot of “out of town” people we will try and billet people with local attendees or arrange a group holiday apartment to keep the costs down.

If you would be interested in either group accomodation or staying with one of our local team please get in touch by email.

Do you have questions about Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange: 5 day Masterclass with Hajime Kinoko? Contact Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange

Foundation of the Box Tie

Posted on Updated on

This is the first layer of several different chest ties. It can be tied with the hands in any position. We have shown it with the hands behind the back as this is the most common usage. This is a memory aide only. To learn this tie properly you should be shown it “hands on”. This is the first step of the Ushiro Takatekote (後ろ高手小手) which is one of the most well known of the Japanese style ties


1. Anchor your rope with a single column tie or similar. Wrap the standing end around the chest.
2. Wrap a second time passing the rope over the diagonal rope coming from the anchor knot
3. pass the rope under the diagonal rope and pull up
4. put one finger up under the chest wraps as shown. Loop the standing end over your finger and then pull it through
5. Repeat the finger hook a second time as shown
6. Repeat the finger hook one last time to complete

Rope from the Bottom’s Perspective: An Afternoon with Gestalta – December 14th

Posted on Updated on

Rope from the Bottom’s Perspective

aka Tying your partner, not a partner

Order tickets via Eventbrite:

Eventbrite - Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange: The Bottom's perspective

Style: Any
Level: All levels
Capacity: No limits
Venue: Luke & Jack’s
Cost: £7.50 per person (Note this is a slightly higher price than normal sessions as our expert facilitator has been brought in specially)

This workshop is aimed at both bottoms AND riggers. Practical exercises with a partner are involved (although there is no minimum experience level). I’d encourage anyone attending alone to pair off with another member of the group at random, though you’re welcome just to watch if you’re more comfortable with that.

Description: A lot of the emphasis of rope workshops is placed on the act of tying, rather than that of being tied. Being a rope bottom is not a passive experience and there are skills that bottoms learn over time too. Bottoms are not interchangeable bodies for practicing rope on and a good understanding of the complexities of what it is to be bound is essential for bottoms and riggers alike. With that in mind STORE has sought out the experience of the internationally admired Gestalta to offer her unique perspective of what it is to be a rope bottom.

Facilitators for this session: Gestalta was introduced to kinbaku for the first time whilst working as a photographic model in 2007, and it remains one of her main passions to this day. In 2009 (ish?) she first started modelling for Esinem, and did (and still does) various performances / workshops with him around London.

From 2011 to 2014 she modelled for Kazami Ranki for many workshops and performances around Europe and Australia.
Gestalta has also attended more workshops than she can count as a model for a wide variety of both teachers and students.

She has been tying for almost as long as she has been modelling, beginning with self suspension and later tying other people, and has picked up most of her knowledge of this from watching and experiencing rope, rather than formal tuition. She also has such a broad experience of being a rope bottom and model that she is able to teach about rope from both sides of the dynamic and place emphasis on the importance of the experience of the person being tied as well as the one doing the tying.

Please register your interest in attending using the RSVP function so that we can plan logistics.

Eventbrite - Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange: The Bottom's perspective

Learning via workshops with Jakara – Edinburgh – 14/06/14

Posted on Updated on


Last weekend I attended a small group workshop led by Jakara at the Get Down Dog Studios in Edinburgh. As a lot of people tend to wonder what happens at workshops like this I thought I would write up my experience.

The Location

Get Down Dog Studio  is a yoga studio in the North of Edinburgh. It is a bright and airy space which is spacious and clean. This really does rate as one of the best places I have attended a rope workshop. Getting there was easy, parking was free and it’s close to quite a few transport options. The fact that the studio is also set up for aerial yoga meant that there were more suspension points than people attending!

The Teacher

Jakara is a well known educator based in Leeds, England. I have attended some teaching of his before at Peer Rope London but this was the…

View original post 450 more words

Introduction to Ichinawa/One rope techniques – 30th March 2014

Posted on Updated on


Style(s ): Japanese/Eastern. Connective.
Level : Beginner and up
Capacity : 8 attendees
Venue : Private venue in North Lanarkshire

Description: Small hands on group session on one rope/ichinawa techniques. Due to venue constraints there will be only 8 places available. This is an introductory session and will be repeated again in the future.

Required knowledge/equipment: Competence in any variant of the single column tie is essential. You should aim to bring your own rope although some can be borrowed on the day. This session will presume the use of traditional length kinkbaku rope (7-8m ropes, natural fibre, 4-6mm diameter)

Please register your interest in attending using the RSVP function or by mailing directly. Please only reserve a place if you know you can attend.

Planned ties:
片手首縛り – Katate kubi shibari- Single wrist binding
変形前手縄 – Henkei Mae Te Nawa – Variation on tied hands in…

View original post 43 more words