Swissbound

Im November ist es soweit: Die Swissbound startet!

Die dreitägige Shibari-Messe, organisiert von Atrim Namor und L|M, bietet wird am Freitag abend mit einem Fesselabend eröffnet. Am Samstag folgen dann Workshops, abends mit Live-Performances von Atrim Namor und Ropu Nawa.

Am Sonntag gibt es weitere Workshops, unter anderem werde ich dort auch zwei Kurse zum Yukimura-Ryû anbieten, und um 22 Uhr endet die Veranstaltung.

Ich bin sehr gespannt und froh, dass ich dabei sein kann und auch einen inhaltlichen Beitrag liefern darf.

Das Konzept sieht vor, dass man ein Ticket für einen Tag oder gleich Samstag und Sonntag kauft und dann an diversen Workshops teilnehmen kann, so lange es freie Plätze hat.

Eine spannende Idee, die es erlaubt, das man verschiedene Dinge anschauen kann… ich bin jedenfalls sehr gespannt!

Sehen wir uns da?

Schüler-Rückmeldungen

Es gibt Momente, da geht einem als Lehrer das Herz auf. Nämlich in jeder Lektion mit meinen wundervollen Lernenden. Während der Lektionen darf ich als Lehrer in die Intimität meiner Lernenden eintreten, und das ist für mich ein grosses Geschenk.

Natürlich habe ich auch grosses Vertrauen in meine Arbeit und bin überzeugt, dass meine Lernenden auch was mitnehmen, wenn sie hierher kommen. Welcher Lehrer wäre das nicht? Umso wichtiger ist das Feedback der Lernenden, um einschätzen zu können, ob das auch von aussen so gesehen wird.

Also habe ich Sora Tenkai und Ena mal um eine kurze Reflektion ihrer Erfahrungen bei mir gebeten… und das hier bekommen:

Die Privatlektionen bei Harukumo sind für uns jedes Mal wie ein Kurzurlaub: Wir kehren gut gelaunt und voller Energie nach Hause; im Reisegepäck eine Vielzahl an intensiven Erlebnissen, neuen Einsichten und bereichernden Gesprächen.

Harukumos Unterricht ist sehr strukturiert – nicht zuletzt wegen des durchdachten Aufbaus des Yukimura-Ryû. Gleichzeitig bietet er viel Freiraum, um die gelernten Techniken spielerisch auszuprobieren und zu vertiefen. Mit seiner achtsamen Präsenz schafft Harukumo genau den Rahmen, den es für uns beim Fesseln braucht, um tiefe Emotionen entstehen und zulassen zu können. 

Zu Harukumos grossen Stärken zählt ausserdem die Fähigkeit, Beobachtungen präzise und verständlich in Worte zu fassen. Ihm gelingt es ausgezeichnet sowohl auf Feinheiten aufmerksam zu machen als auch die einzelnen Elemente in ihren Kontext einzuorden. Seine differenzierten Rückmeldungen haben uns beide in unserer Entwicklung stark weitergebracht, vor allem was unser Zusammenspiel und den emotionalen Ausdruck betrifft. 

Wir freuen uns schon jetzt auf die nächste Lesson. 

Sora Tenkai & Ena, Juni 2022

Vielen Dank für Euer Vertrauen und das wunderbare Feedback!

Machiya: Tradition in der Moderne

Japanische Architektur und Baukunst sind einzigartig. Im Shibari begegnet uns das ebenfalls, und wir haben in der Juku versucht, das Innere eines traditionellen japanischen Hauses, einer Machiya, ein bisschen nachzuempfinden.

Die höchste Kunst dieser Baukunst ist in den Machiya noch erhalten, und Arte hat dazu eine tolle Doku gemacht:

Man spürt nicht direkt, was das alles mit Shibari zu tun hat. Aber denkt einfach mal an die Balken und Säulen, mit denen wir so oft arbeiten. Diese Elemente liegen im Inneren der Häuser frei, und bieten sich natürlich für Shibari an.

Ausserdem werden „innen“ und „aussen“ in diesen Häusern anders gedacht als bei uns. Das heisst, das, was „innen“ passiert, dringt immer auch nach „aussen“. Die beiden Welten, physisch, emotional, psychologisch, berühren sich dabei.

Dabei kann man sich im Inneren eines Hauses exponiert fühlen, weil man das Wetter und die Geräusche von der Strasse deutlich miterlebt. Dadurch fühlt man sich weniger abgeschlossen von der Aussenwelt und spürt diese Präsenz deutlich. Das verändert das Verhalten, genau, wie die Präsenz der Zuschauer/Blicke im Shibari das Erleben verändert.

Die Macht der sanften Berührung

Shibari hat eine sehr sinnliche, sensible Seite. Das ist mir besonders wichtig, weil das auch meiner persönlichen Vorliebe am meisten entspricht. Gerade im Yukimura-Ryû steht zärtlicher Austausch im Vordergrund, Stichwort: Aibunawa.

Im Unterricht weise ich auch immer darauf hin, wie wichtig diese Feinheiten sind… und es freut mich besonders, wenn ich merke, dass da etwas dran ist. Nicht nur, weil es für die Lernenden offensichtlich funktioniert, sondern auch, wenn ich Dokumentationen wie diese hier sehe:

Also… denkt immer daran: Nie die Macht der sanften Berührung unterschätzen!

Shibari performance at Extasia 2015

My partner Yoko Sumii and I will do our first Shibari performance together at Extasia in Basel next weekend (28-29.11.). We are already very excited how it will be and are this week still intensively rehearsing.

If you want to watch us, we’ll be on the main stage on Saturday at 5:30pm and maybe a second time on Sunday at 3pm.

Addendum: It all went well, although a little more experience certainly can’t hurt me, and I’m already looking forward to the next time!

By the way, this was also a nice example of „Engi“ on the part of Yoko, if you’re interested in the theory behind the performances… and here’s another report on Extasia as a whole.

It certainly won’t be our last Shibari performance!

Extasia 2016

In 2016 we were again at Extasia, but this time only on Saturday and not on both days. The Extasia took place from December 2 to 12, Friday to Sunday. Star guest this time were Micaela Schäfer and also Lena Nitro was again part of the party.

The Extasia the year was unfortunately not quite as nice as in previous years. Previously, it was always in the ice hockey stadium, on thick rubber mats directly on the ice. That made for cold feet for several hours, but the location was bigger than this time in the exhibition hall. A lot of booths were accordingly no longer represented there and there also seemed to be fewer visitors than in previous years.

After we had already performed successfully at the Porny Days at the end of November, the greatest pressure had naturally already given way to a certain routine, so that we could concentrate more on the joy of the performance.

Yoko and I were nevertheless excited, because unlike the previous year, this time we had the time slot in the evening at 9 pm. Primetime, so to speak, and only our second joint performance, or rather the second joint choreography.

Bühnenelement Extasia 2016
Stage element, Extasia 2016

Also this year the stage held some surprises. As usual, there was a smaller structure on the stage, on which the red interview sofa stood. This structure provided a step that was about 50cm high… and exactly above this edge was the hanging point! Shocked, Jack the Rigger got to work and in cooperation with the organizer, a stage element was fitted with matching feet literally overnight from Thursday to Friday.

Without this we would not have been able to perform, because otherwise the people who were tied up would have had to work permanently with one leg over the abyss and the suspended models would have been lowered back down to the ground directly over the edge. Unfortunately, this was really not well prepared, which was also due to the fact that the organizer was not really clear what our performances would look like.

Futomomo
Extasia 2016 by Elena

For the second time we had Elena with us to photograph our show. Her second assignment at the edge of the stage, surrounded by all the professional photographers (and those who think they are). At the beginning, the others were still magnanimous and let her have a comfortable place right in front with the hint that they would anyway photograph „rather other things“ than what was to be expected from a bondage perfo. The performance went well, much better and looser than in 2015.

Back then, Yoko had to keep hissing to me in the middle of it, what comes next now, because I was so nervous that I somehow could not keep part of the flow right. But with the extra experience behind me, this time it really went with a lot of commitment and passion.

Extasia 2016 by Elena
Extasia 2016 by Elena

But as soon as Yoko and I got going, the generosity was quickly over and Elena had to keep the camera steady despite bumping elbows and pushing snaps. Well, it looks like we have met the taste of the majority. Well, that’s not surprising, Yoko is a gifted performer and you can always count on her to captivate the crowd.

In general, I found the experience completely different, standing on the big stage. It was satisfying and stimulating, not just a „sporting“ challenge, but real shibari. The difference to the more intimate sessions in the Juku was of course there and clearly noticeable, but it was simply a shift in emphasis, not something qualitatively completely different.

In this respect we are looking forward to the next opportunity to show our Shibari to an interested group!

Review: Osada-Workshops 2018

Yoko während der Live-Performance mit Osada Steve in der Harukumo-Juku

In August we had Steve as our guest for the first time. After Yoko and I had been working towards this for almost two years, the time had finally come for Steve to visit us in Switzerland and finally bring the famous Osada workshops directly to us.

At the Juku we were able to accommodate him and this is also where the one-on-one lessons took place. Yoko and I supported the lessons by taking photos for the learners and videos if requested, so that the learners and their models could fully concentrate on the lessons.

In terms of content, the focus was on the interaction between the captivator and the model. Subtlety, restraint and the understanding of his counterpart were the important contents. Mostly they were tied on the floor, with only two to three ropes, and numerous techniques were inspired by Yukimura-ryû.

It was a great honor for me not only to have Steve with us for so long, but also to witness how the learners engaged in these challenges full of curiosity and openness.

Osada workshops are a great opportunity to get familiar with the style in a small group. In addition, ide group dynamics play a big role in these workshops, so that the experience is even more intense.

It also allows us to give access to Osada-Ryû to more people than if we only organize individual lessons.

In addition to the individual lessons, we also had the workshops, of course. We were able to offer two one-day workshops and one two-day workshop, so that there were enough opportunities for our Swiss friends and acquaintances as well as for our friends abroad to learn from Steve.

In addition to the workshops at the Juku, Steve also taught two day workshops at Secret56 on a third weekend. We have been close friends with the makers of the Secret for a long time, and when we had the confirmation in early 2018 that Steve would come, we of course immediately sought contact. By networking, we were able to offer an even larger group the opportunity to learn directly from Steve without having to go to Japan.

The workshops at Secret were designed for larger groups than at Juku, so that during the two days, in addition to Yoko and myself, Vinciens and Kenyade from Vienna were invited as co-instructors. In this way we were able to maintain the high quality of care and ensure that all participants were ideally looked after.

We all learned a lot in these three, almost four, very intense weeks. It was the biggest project of the Juku so far, and even if we had to improvise a little here and there, everything went very well. In any case, we are already excited about what the still young year 2019 will bring us!

Yukimura-Workshop in Helsinki

In July 2018, I gave the first Yukimura workshop of my career. And that still abroad, in the far north of Europe! How it came about and what happened there

Poetry in Ropes – Introduction to Yukimura-Ryû

In spring 2018 we met Nagor from Finland at Studio SIX. We were immediately sympathetic, and the intensive, joint work in the main dôjô of Osada-Ryû quickly brought us even closer together. Since then, we have been in regular contact.

During one of his visits to Juku in 2018, the idea came up to organize a Yukimura workshop in Helsinki. The shibari scene there is small but dedicated and dynamic, and Nagor plays an important role in the organization. As an organizer, teacher and contact person, he is doing pioneering work and is still an outstanding performer and teacher.

Preparation of the workshops

While Nagor and his Shibari partner Feline started to advertise in the community and to put together a group of participants, I developed a workshop program. On the one hand I wanted to teach essential basic elements of Yukimura-Ryû, but on the other hand I wanted to leave enough room for the participants to make the techniques their own.

Teilnehmer Yukimura-workshop in Helsinki 2018

I then coordinated the program with Nagor again, and off we went. All in all, we were practicing for seven hours (!) on a Sunday in Helsinki at the old Club X. It was an exciting experience to see how differently the individual couples handled the techniques. The essential aspects were quickly internalized by all, which was facilitated by the fact that Nagor and Feline supported me excellently.

Originally, the workshop was designed for five couples, but because the demand was so great (and Nagor and Feline assured me that they knew the group well and they would support me) we ended up with seven couples on site. Wow!

What we learned

Club X isn’t really designed for larger shibari events, so we had to improvise a few hanging points, but in the end we had enough room for everyone.

Yukimura-Ryû we also immediately began with the first practical exercises. I was impressed by the seriousness and conscientiousness with which the participants dealt with the techniques.

The dynamics were incredible and what started as a practical exercise quickly developed a momentum of its own and after a short time you could already see how the new learning content and the participants‘ own experience and knowledge complemented each other.

It was a wonderful experience and I hope to be back in Helsinki very soon!

Osada-Workshops Review

In September, Osada Steve visited us in Switzerland. In workshops and private lessons, some new techniques were taught and existing knowledge was deepened. These Osada workshops were really special and we are especially proud to have done this twice in a row.

First of all, we would like to thank all the participants. It was great to work with you. Above all, it was great to see how you experimented with the techniques. Much of what was discussed was primarily a question of correct application.

Teilnehmer des Osada-Workshops 2019
Participants of the OS-workshop on 07th September 2019

The range of experience that you brought with you was quite wide, so it was not always easy to maintain the pace within the group. This is one of the reasons why we like to work with smaller groups, so that there is always a contact person available to help. We hope that we were able to implement this accordingly.

The main focus was on communication with the other person, which is always a particular challenge when the pattern becomes more complex or even goes into suspension. It is exciting every time to see how the individual couples approach the exercises with their own experiences and goals, and what comes out of it when that combines with each other.

Content of the Osada-Workshops

What did we actually do during the workshops and what was the idea behind it? Basically, there were two blocks in the workshops. The first 3 hours we spent with floor techniques.

Harukumo beobachtet Osada Steve beim nterricht

Intensive watching and observation are an important part of the work in Shibari. This is called „Minarai“, learning by watching. Only those who watch the teacher intensively can hope to eventually recognize and understand the subtle hidden techniques.

Osada Steve, 2019

Floor techniques

One part of the floor techniques were intensive greeting-shibari-patterns. These help to understand the mood of the partner as well as the way your partner communicates. In this way, you tune into each other, like two instruments that have to be brought to the same pitch. In addition, the flexibility of the partner as well as one’s own dexterity are trained. The smooth transition between the individual forms also allows for a gentle start to the Shibari encounter, so that one can better leave everyday life behind.

Die Händes des Meisters. Osada Steve betrachtet die Lernenden

In preparation for the suspensions that followed later, upper body restraints were then practiced, which had one thing in particular in common: The arms were fixed to the side next to or in front of the body. There are always situations in which it is not so easy to keep the arms behind the back for a longer time, and through the shown patterns (among others the praying mantis pattern („Kamakiri-shibari“) not only new images but also much gentler patterns can be unfolded.

Another trend that has been making its way from Japan to the West for some time now is the use of pulleys. Pulleys allow to prepare complex patterns already completely, and then to bring the body gently into the air with reduced effort. A classic example would be the Ebi-zuri, but this is also an interesting variation in many other moments. Especially if at the beginning of the encounter no suspension was planned, but a stable pattern develops, a suspension can be realized spontaneously.

For the first time, I managed to intimately connect with my partner. That was something I have been struggling with for quite some time.

G., Teilnehmer im Workshop vom 14.09. 2019

Thanks for these wonderful days!

We have received a lot of positive feedback and we are very happy that we were able to provide our participants with a good time and many exciting new experiences. The courses were international, with participants from Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Finland and Poland, all in the course of just over two weeks!

It was an intense time with little sleep and many hours of inspiration that we will remember for a long time. Many thanks to all of you, with your energy, commitment and drive you made these days special. Without you it would not have been possible to hold these great events and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Shibari as Art

Shibari is art… or at least it can be. Sometimes Shibari is also in the service of art, like now in June 2021, when I was asked to help out with a shooting for a bachelor thesis at the Lucerne School of Art and Design.

For the bachelor thesis a person in a green morphsuit should be tied up in front of a green screen and photographed. Well… green in green, without facial expression, the body completely covered? I was skeptical at first, but after exchanging a few messages with the artist, I was convinced.

There are many possible associations invoked. A human being becomes a figure without identity through the suit. Gender, age, religion, ethnicity, all this becomes invisible and disappears.

The figure is also a projection surface and the gaze of the audience fills this void. The figure is tied up, thus doubly at the mercy of the audience… but at the same time it has actively placed itself in this position.

An interesting game between visibility and invisibility, helplessness and subjectivity. A great experience and I am very glad that I could be part of it!

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