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.
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!
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