Bodies under Pressure in Antwerp

Last weekend, we brought our most recent research, our most advanced “workshop” to the community in Belgium (the Netherlands, and France).

We cannot believe it, for already 5 years we teach there. Actually, our first international invitation as teachers was to Mechelen in November 2018.

Now Shibari Lounge in Antwerp hosted “Bodies under Pressure”. What we aim for with this workshop, I’ve described in the previous article “Decompressing” after our first approach to this for the Subspace community in Prague.

As in Prague, so in Antwerp, the participants had very good skills, high safety awareness – and an attitude. It made us safe to teach this material. Also, the Organizers made sure the group was homogeneous enough to create this learning space, outside the comfort zone. <3

To be honest, it feels scary. When leaving the strict laws of Kata, the territory becomes swampy. But I’m convinced, the space to be explored is worth it.

Now we both say: “You need to feel it”. How do I know I’m safe? Natasha answers: “You need to feel it in your body”. How do I adapt the Gote for this model, for this situation, for this mood, for this intention – still tying it safe, but emotional? My answer: “You need to feel what is right!”

Pictured by Bernard

Therefore we are grateful for the diligence of the students who came. Some of them come, again and again, since those November days in 2018.

To share this material we need to trust. We needed to trust the capabilities of both models and riggers. But actually, the trust goes beyond skills… There was little ego in the room. No one had an issue saying a word when they felt in danger. No one had an issue to untie when they fucked up. And of course – when you go explore, from time to time you fuck up. In my previous life, when I tried free-climbing the saying was: when you don’t fall, you didn’t try hard enough! But of course, there must be a safety, a rope…

The safety in Kinbaku – when aiming high – is the basics. Good rope handling, good tension, understanding friction, understanding the construction of the patterns. The Kata. 

Learning the Kata, learning the basics, is what enables us to tie with presence, with the feeling, putting all of ourselves into the moment. 

It was a great weekend. We enjoyed tremendously seeing you tying and improving. We enjoyed the loving interaction you all had as tying couples. We enjoyed the hospitality and the effort Marc and Jessica put into the organization. And – I cannot stretch enough: we enjoyed the atmosphere on the Shibari Night. I wish I could attend that kind of Jam more often…