The gote (aka TK) on trial?

Posted on Thu, 3 April 2014

I predicted a while ago that we would see an increase in nerve injuries as shibari and Japanese-style suspensions became more prevalent. The number of radial nerve injury incidents I hear about these days seems to confirm that this is the case.

I have noticed that these threads inevitably provoke "Was it a TK?" questions and stir up a witch hunt against this tie. In the past, I myself have asked whether it is an inherently risky tie after having problems with it. However, before condemning it on hearsay, one should be careful to correctly identify the accused.

In many cases, it does seem that a "TK/gote" was nominally to blame; 'nominally' being the key word. A quick troll through the pictures on here will show that not all gotes are created equal.

Some show gotes that are deifinitely not deserving of the name due to the number of fundamental mistakes. There are sothers where the wraps could not be positioned better if the intention was to cause severe nevrve damage but, god help you, if you dare to mention it. It seems, in such cases, that we are expected react like adoring parents when shown our child's first unidentifiable daubings. Failure to do so frequently triggers 'rigger with an ego the size of a planet but the fragility of a soap bubble syndrome' :-(

In the sense that it takes more skill to avoid hurting yourself on a powerful motorbike than in a small car, gote based suspensions are risky. Does this stop you riding fast bikes and using gotes? Of course, not! However, before jumping on a 1,000cc sports bike, it does pay to learn how to ride one first ;-) If you plan to assemble that bike youself, it is vital to follow the instructions precisely. If you are designing it yourself, a knowledge of motorcycle engineering is even more important. This is no mean feat even for major corporations with huge R& D resources. Anyone familiar with Kawasaki's over-powered and rubber-framed H2 Mach IV 750cc 'widow-maker' will vouch for that! Follow what it says on the label and make sure that that label contains reliable instructions.

Even if you think you know how to tie one, I strongly recommend reading the other articles here. Type 'gote', 'TK' and 'nerve damage' into the Search box to get a list. Like the rest of you, I'm still learning so I'll be adding to them as I discover more. Of course, what I write here is only my opinion. As with all new knowledge, things can change and my opinion with it. I'm not always right :-) It is always wise to examine and challenge 'known facts' regardless of their perceived provenance. One only has to look back a few hundered years for the idea of a round earth to be heretical even to the finest minds of the time. In a relatively, new field this effect is even more pronounced since the intial learning curve is steeper. Even in my lifetime,  asbestos and lead pipes were considered perfectly appropriate. Now we know different. It is worth bearing this in mind with all things.