Click the headings below. You can contact me regarding any of these using the Contact form opposite.
Shibari School: On-line
ESINEM Shibari Classes is a revolutionary new way to master Japanese rope bondage using the latest e-learning techniques with the help of Esinem and Nina Russ. These are not just simple ‘paint by numbers’ demonstrations, as you might see on YouTube and elsewhere, of often very mixed quality and accuracy. We explain the ‘ingredients’ in depth to give you a proper understanding of the ‘recipes’ to enable you to be creative and safe in the shortest possible time. Form day one, we focus on how to communicate with rope since shibari is all about how you tie and not the tie itself. You can be confident that the techniques that we show are not only sound but are also backed by massive practical experience and top level tuition. Why settle for less?
We have set a new standard both in terms of depth and quality making these quite unlike other offerings. The material is shot with two cameras and edited using professional equipment with pin-sharp close-ups so up so you don’t miss anything. There’s full commentary so you can follow every step, detailed notes to help you, examples from the masters so you can actually see the skills in context, essential safety information and links. Not only that but you also have the opportunity to ask us questions in a forum specific to each subject. Unlike books and DVDs, we are also able to update information and enhance it at will to make sure you always kept up to date on the best practices and that our explanations address any gaps or areas needing clarification.
There is also an ever-growing range of standalone tutorials and new courses for every skill level from beginners to advanced. We have recently introduce a new beginner’s course, ‘Shibari: The Easy Way Below’ which concentrates on the erotic aspects of tying rather than just the ties themselves but, of course, there are many ties for you to practice. We are very proud to have also just completed the most comprehensive suspension course ever produced, our ten part ‘Suspension Techniques’ series.
Here are just a few examples. Just click on the course image to see how much is included.
Book private tuition
Private tuition is available at £70 per hour, per couple or individual. Instruction can be tailored to your needs, including intensive courses with accommodation in my studio. Private tuition is possible for individuals, however, a model would need to be provided at additional cost, typically £15-£30ph (negotiated directly with the model, if you cannot provide your own.
Book residential private tuition
I am now offering the facility for students to stay here at my London studio while they are having private tuition. Whilst your stay would be tailored to suit your needs, a typical weekend course might include full-board accommodation on Friday, Saturday and optionally Sunday night with 10 hours tuition and unlimited practice time. In addition, we can help arrange tickets and accompany you to various events such as BOUND, Torture Garden, Subversion, Peer Rope etc. Of course, I can also offer mid-week courses or what ever you require.
The accommodation offered includes the Tatami Room and a further double room with a platform bed and access to the patio and garden. If you don’t mind sharing with your friends, we can put an extra double mattress in the latter so we can take a group of up to six. The main room and Tatami Room featured in a lot of the photos in the galleries. The ground floor premises have an area of about 125sq m and are around 120 years old with high ceilings, wooden floors and original features. The property is furnished with an eclectic selection of antiques and souvenirs from around the world with a comfortable mix of old, new and bohemian. Food will include the options of traditional English, Italian or Romanian. Fluent translation for lessons is available in the latter two languages and I also speak very limited Spanish.
Bookings would be taken as a group, so the more there are in your party the cheaper it becomes per person. Weekends tuition packages start at as little as €400 per couple.
Weekend course rates
The package includes accommodation on Friday and Saturday night with all meals and eight hours personal tuition. The tuition will be provided based on an assessment of your abilities and according to your requirements. Examples of subjects which might interest you are listed under modular classes but are by no means exhaustive. Dates by arrangement.
My studio is located conveniently for many of the main fetish parties (see Londonfetishscene’s calendar) and tourist attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Oval cricket ground etc. It is well connected with public transport and Victoria is only a 10 minute bus ride away.
Other places to stay
For those who prefer to make their own arrangements, there are a number of local hotels listed on Hotels.com.
Flights can be very cheap through sites such as Momondo or Expedia. If you arrive at Heathrow, you can get the Underground or a coach to Victoria and a bus to within 100m from my studio. Terravision and Easyjet run cheap coaches from Stansted and Luton to Victoria. The Gatwick Express is the best way from Gatwick to Victoria. Transport for London will give you detailed information on the public transport network; you can enter the postcode SE5 9LQ as your destination to guide you. If you prefer to take a taxi, I can provide you with details of private hire taxis which a much cheaper than the black cabs at the airport.
Why take a class from me?
So, you may ask, why should you pay me to teach you? Why not learn it from a book? A book will teach you knots and the mechanics of the ties. Whilst this is important, for me, it is only a small part of what shibari is about. What is important is how it makes your partner feel as you apply those ropes. I think this can only be taught by example, ideally in a hands-on situation. Books teach wrapping parcels, I teach tying people. In fact, my new DVDs, Japanese Rope Bondage, bears the subtitle: Bondage for people, not parcels. It is unique in not only teaching authentic shibari techniques but also how to create the communication that makes it kinbaku. Why me? After all, there are bondage teachers popping up everywhere, each claiming to be a master. So how do you chose? First off, look for evidence of skill in the style you are looking to learn. If somebody is good enough to teach, their work should be good enough to post on-line for all to see; not just a couple of pictures, look for a solid body of evidence. Ideally, you should also see them work live or on video, as almost anyone with basic skills, given sufficient time, can make a tie look good in a studio picture or two. Take a look at galleries here for 1,000’s pictures of my work, plus a lots of videos and details of forthcoming shows. Over the years, I have performed at dozens of venues worldwide, including some of largest fetish events, e.g. Torture Garden (London/Athens), Toubaku (Tokyo), Wasteland (Amsterdam), Nuit Demonia (Paris), Rubber Ball (London) etc. All the shows, classes and private sessions must add up to well over 1,000 sessions! In addition, my work has appeared on national TV, music videos (Wolfmen, Tianamen and Big Pink), plus many mainstream publications, e.g. LOVE, Vogue Italia, .Cent, Sang Bleu, Wallpaper.
Ask around, as we can all create an impressive web site, and find out what others say. Preferably those qualified to judge, in other words, experts and students. Could the person teach? Did they learn anything useful? See if there are any reviews of the classes or courses. Time Out list my classes as ‘Recommended’ and there are great write ups in Metro, Skin Two and elsewhere. I have taught many hundreds of students over the past six years at home and abroad, a few of their comments are reproduced below. What pedigree does the teacher’s knowledge have? Did they learn it from the internet? From books? Made it up as they went along? As for me, I have been studying Japanese bondage (aka shibari) for nearly a decade and my love of bondage stems back to my childhood. My first tuition was from Midori and since then my influences have included Matthias Grimme aka Drachenmann, Kazayu, Nawashi Murakawa and, of course, many of the Japanese grand masters. Over the past six years, I have been to Japan numerous times and have taken tuition from top kinbakushi: Arisue Go, Kazami Ranki, Kinoko Hajime and Osada Steve. In addition, I have spent time with watching their shows, observing their teaching and just hanging out playing around with rope. It has also been my great pleasure to meet the members of Kinoko’s Ichinawa-kai group and recently to have Kazami Ranki as a house guest during the master classes that I hosted on his behalf. My most recent tuition was with Yukimura Haruki, who is Osada Steve’s Sensei. I do not rigidly follow any one school and combine elements to create my own distinctive style based on all these techniques. If you require a strict adherence to one school, e.g. Osada ryu, I recommend a specialist, mine is more a hybrid with an emphasis on connection and passion. Take a look at my work on this site, especially the videos, if you like what you see, come and learn. If not, find a style and way of tying that you do like.
In addition to my regular shibari classes in London, demonstrations and tuition can be tailored to your club’s, group’s or individual needs anywhere, within reason. My ‘out of town’ classes are very popular so costs can be covered easily, even internationally. I have run courses all over the world and for a range of groups and organisations such as Erotica, SM Gays, Vault Productions (Wasteland), Scandinavian Leather Men and Pride. I have taught and/or performed worldwide including Japan, Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Norway, Finland, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
My tuition system
Japanese style bondage (aka shibari or kinbaku) might seem complex, but it is easily learned using my methods. Whilst there are some theoretical topics, the bondage classes are very much hands-on. I have developed a methodology for teaching bondage to simplify and accelerate the learning process, whilst encouraging your own style and creativity.
Many people think learning shibari requires an extensive knowledge of knots. There is much more to kinbaku than simply a means of restraint, it has the power to create a very intense form of communication. It is as much about what you do as how you do it. This is not something that cannot easily be learned through books or the internet. In my classes, I explain the nuances, distilled from well over a thousand of sessions, that turn it into a passionate ‘dance with rope’.
In fact, there a only a few basic knots used in Japanese bondage. Once a few simple standard techniques have been mastered, these can quickly be used to build up more complex ties, the only limit being your imagination. I am constantly amazed how quickly students produce very professional looking work. You will learn not only how to create a beautiful result, but, most importantly, also how to maximize the erotic potential.
However, bondage is like many things, if you don’t know what you are doing people can get hurt. There is a lot of knowledge about that suffers from ‘Chinese Whispers’ type inaccuracies and consequently many people are learning ties that suffer from fatal flaws. It is very important to know how to tie correctly, safely and how to avoid accidents. This is a subject I take very seriously and cover in all lessons.
Book early to avoid disappointment as many courses are fully booked several weeks in advance. See the What’s On section for locations and dates. Courses are open to all over the age of 18…but if you are under 18, you shouldn’t be on this site anyway!
On the whole, I try to stick close to authentic methods but will draw on other techniques from time to time. If you like what you see of my work on the site, it’s for you. If not, I hope you find something you like elsewhere.
If you want 100% genuine shibari lessons, do your research and be prepared to pay as you will need to find yourself a genuine Japanese trained sensei. There are only a very few in the West who even come close to the ‘real deal’ and those have almost exclusively trained extensively in Japan. I have recently taken the trouble to do so as part of this journey. In addition, I have spent many hours watching them at work and discussing the subject. All of which has been invaluable in giving me an insight into their art. Osada Steve claims I moved from being “unteachable, to teachable, to not teachable any more”. I don’t think that’s true as I am always learning and don’t imagine that process will cease. However, he says “Esinem is one of the very few non-Japanese who could come to Japan and dazzle the locals with his rope.” That’s good enough for me.
Do I need a partner?
The courses are open to individuals and couples over the age of 18. If you do not have a partner, you try to bring a friend or try posting on Fetlife or a similar site. Don’t worry, it doesn’t get more physically intimate than a dance class. Failling that, you might be able to negotiate something with one of my models, just ask using the Contact Form.
I’m nervous, what’s it like?
Anyone coming alone should not be nervous. It is a very friendly, relaxed, light-hearted and non-threatening environment. Any harassment or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Whilst I take teaching seriously, we always have a laugh. There is nothing intrusive nor any sexual activity. The mix of ages, genders, sexualities and roles (dom/sub/switch) is usually very varied.
All sexualities and genders are welcome. I recently ran a course for gay men, which sold out, and did well-received introductions/demos at Pride, Club Fukk, for Scandanavian Leather Men and SM Gays. Depending upon interest, I might be offering more gay only events in the near future. I would welcome enquiries from special interest groups who would like me to set up a tailor made course for their members.
How many people attend?
I restrict my classes to a maximum of 14 people, so everyone gets plenty of individual attention, whereas other courses/workshops can have over two dozen attendees or even more.
What should I wear?
You should wear light and unrestrictive clothing, as little as you are comfortable with. Avoid skirts as they get in the way.
What is the venue like?
Stunning! Everybody always comments on how nice it is. A large, beautiful, high-ceilinged room with rug-strewn wooden floors, antiques, paintings and a gorgeous marble and tile fireplace. You’ll feel very comfortable and at home.
What’s your policy on smoking?
I run my course from my own home, so it will remain one of the last indoor refuges for the smoker. I apologise to anti-smokers but they can console themselves with the fact that they can enjoy their preference in any indoor public venue, unlike smokers. Non-smokers are welcome to stand outside until others inside have stopped smoking 🙂 However, I often smoke e-cigs these days so nobody can complain about that.
Getting there & parking
Buses run to Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Green. See TFL web site for route to SE5 9LQ. The nearest tube is Oval and is about a 15 minute walk. On evenings and weekends, there is unrestricted free parking right outside the door. At other times, there is a Pay and Display nearby. Full address details will be sent upon receipt of your booking.
Do I need rope?
Feel free to bring you own ropes, although they can be provided. I suggest 5mm-6mm thickness, ideally jute, around 7m-8m long. See this article for more information. Call if you need advice. I always have plenty of rope to sell at very competitive prices.
What experience level is required?
None. The classes marked All or B assume no experience. That is not to say that more experienced players will not benefit as I can guarantee they will learn new ways to improve their skills. In addition to learning beautiful and effective restraint methods, I will also demonstrate how to transform it into a mind-blowing, erotic experience.
Do you do an advanced or suspension course?
Yes, we teach suspension. However, suspension is not for beginners as it multiplies the forces exerted and needs a good understanding of the inherent risks. These classes only open to those who have been pre-approved. Ideally, if you wish to do suspension, you should take private tuition to ensure your full understanding and proficiency.
“This email is long overdue but wanted to say thanks so much for our time with you a few weeks back. Natalie had an amazing time and was really mesmerised by your skills. We came straight home and attempted your basic tie and bugger me if I couldn’t get it right. I need to sit down with what I filmed and have another go.” FirmHand
“This is a man who teaches intuitively….he helps, he encourages, he works alongside you so closely, that you don’t realise you are being taught at all, more a feeling of being helped by a trusted friend…to find one who genuinely wants to spread the knowledge is a blessing & this man is one of them. “ BBDSPLS
“…he is a serious player, creative, skilled and caring- besides how to tie the knots his main concern is SAFETY and that’s the first thing we talked about when we first met. A good teacher.” EVie
“Had a great time thanks – I never thought I’d enjoy “making” knots so much as I do…” Mistress Wand
“Just a quick mail to thank you for your time, hospitality and experience. The time went awfully quickly which is usually an indication of time well spent…” Mistress Diva
In compliance with PayPal AUP, there is no sexual content and classes are entirely for educational purposes. Whilst the subject is erotic and involves physical contact, this is not gratuitous or intimate and there is absolutely no nudity; think along the lines of a Tango, therapy or fitness class.