Seattle Shibari

Jonathan (Seattle Shibari) is a Seattle-based rope artist who ties for photoshoots, performs, co-creates concept art, and teaches Japanese-style rope bondage.

Jonathan’s love affair with rope began twenty years ago, when he was first initiated into the classical martial traditions of Japan, including the study of Hojojutsu (capturing and binding prisoners on the battlefield). Making numerous extended pilgrimages to Japan over the years, Jonathan immersed himself in language, culture, philosophy, and practice, and this sensibility continues to inform his approach to rope.

He now works to spread appreciation for Shibari/Kinbaku in the Pacific Northwest via his website SeattleShibari.com, and travels regularly to Japan to train with his own teachers.

Seattle Shibari’s Classes

Hojo/Torinawa

Shibari’s Warrior Roots

Come explore the martial antecedent to Shibari/ Kinbaku: Hojojutsu, the classical warrior art of capturing and binding an opponent. One of the 18 disciplines studied by the Japanese warrior, the arresting-rope art evolved into a complex and ornate system of beautiful ties designed to reflect the social status of the bound prisoner, and went on to deeply influence the aesthetic of Shibari / Kinbaku.

This workshop will feature a multimedia lecture on the historical origin and cultural context of Hojojutsu, demonstrations, and a block of instruction in several basic hayanawa (‘fast rope’) Hojojutsu techniques and ties. Trained in Japan and the USA, the instructor has an academic background in Japanese classical martial culture, and field experience as an initiate into several martial traditions containing hojo/torinawa as part of their curriculum.

Note: For reasons of safety and to ensure supervised attention to all students, the participation portion of the class will be limited to 20 students.

Prerequisites: Tops should be able to confidently tie a single column tie and a half hitch. Bottoms should be comfortable with rope around the neck. This workshop is appropriate for all genders, sexual orientations, and body types.

Hands-On Practice
Rigger/Bottom Couples. Others are welcome to observe.
Beginner/Intermediate; see specific requirements in the description above.
One 15’ piece of 4mm rope. If your rope is longer or thicker, that’s fine, but the techniques are optimized for a 15’ length, 4mm diameter rope.

Kinbaku 201

Floorwork Patterns

You’ve learned some basic ties—but how do you use them together to make a hot scene? How do you transition your partner smoothly from one position to another, keeping the scene going?

In this 90-minute class, we’ll explore effective ways to place your partner into beautiful positions on the ground, and move them smoothly & safely from one position to another. By the end of the class, you’ll have learned a basic kata/form you can use to do a hot, multi-position floorwork progression, and use as a template for creating your own individual progressions.

NOTE: Due to the detailed & time-intensive nature of this workshop, choosing one person in the duo to tie will be optimal. To ensure personal attention to each participant, the participation portion will be limited to 8 duos.

Prerequisites: Tops should be comfortable tying a 2-rope gote shibari (‘box tie’). If you do not wish to use a box tie for the course, it’s fine to tie a hands-free chest harness, instead. Bottoms should be comfortable being tied face down on the ground in moderate-to-intense restrictive positions (eg hogtie etc). This class is appropriate for all genders, sexual orientations, and body types!

Hands-On Practice
Rigger/Bottom Couples. Others are welcome to observe.
Intermediate; see specific requirements in the description above.
  • 6 to 8 lengths of 5-6mm rope, 24’-30’ each.
  • Safety Shears
  • See further prerequisites in the description above.

Kinbaku 301

Hikyaku (‘Postman’) & Agura (‘Lotus’) Suspensions

In this 90-minute class, we’ll do a close examination of two beautiful, fundamental suspensions: Hikyaku (‘Postman/Running Man’) and Agura (‘Seated/Lotus’)

We’ll cover:

  • Suspension mechanics
  • Troubleshooting body placement
  • Aesthetics
  • Top Line Management
  • Safety Issues

Suspension bondage is an advanced technique, and hazardous. In order to ensure the safety of participants, the instructor will assess student skill level. If a student’s tying is deemed unsafe by the instructor, the student may be invited to observe instead of doing full suspension. Want to be ready for this workshop? Practice! A chest harness may be used for students who do not wish to use the gote shibari tie.

Due to the detailed & time-intensive nature of this workshop, choosing one person in the duo to tie will be optimal. This workshop is appropriate for all genders, sexual orientations, and body types.

Note: To ensure personal attention to each participant, the participation portion will be limited to 8 duos.

Prerequisites: This is an intermediate-level workshop. Tops should be able to competently tie a 2-rope TK/Gote Shibari/’Box Tie,’ and be competent in basic suspension line locking techniques. Bottoms should have basic experience in suspension, and be capable of handling several short-term suspensions over a 90 minute period.

Hands-On Practice
Rigger/Bottom Couples. Others are welcome to observe.
Intermediate/Advanced; see specific requirements in the description above.
  • 7-8 26’-30’ ropes, 6mm in diameter. Hemp or Jute is recommended. Feel free to use 8mm hemp or jute for the main suspension line (8mm is stronger/safer as a main suspension line). It’s also helpful to have some shorter lengths of rope in your kit.
  • At least 4 pear-shaped or oval carabiners. I recommend the Petzl Hera Attache, available at REI. Catalog Item #109589. Your carabiners must be rated for climbing.
  • Gear appropriate for hanging your suspension rig from the facility hardpoints.
  • Optional: Steel Suspension Ring