How to keep wraps in place without tying tightly

Posted on Sat, 2 August 2014

Some people seem to have a problem with keeping wraps in place when tying a TK, so try to compensate by simply tying tighter. I strongly suspect that this induces an unnecessary load via the American Death Triangle effect. Admittedly, the AMD model refers to the load on the outside but I assume it must be equal on the inside, which translates into a crushing force when under suspension. Tension need be no more than snug to do the job if you tie correctly.

It is not hard to create a secure gote without tying extremely tightly. The secret is, I believe, proper placement. This is also logical placement. As I have said before, the lower end of the deltoid provides a very convenient ‘stopper’ for the top wraps to prevent upward movement. If you tie above this, you are, firstly, tying at a wider point and, secondly, it is very likely that this upper area of the muscle will slope away, especially in those with more rounded shoulders. If you tie on or above this taper point, it is almost inevitable that the rope will migrate towards the narrowest point and, in worst case scenario, could slip off the shoulder entirely. The additional problem in tying too high is that the wraps are prone to run over the shoulder blades, thus making the diameter even larger so increasing the chance of moving to a narrower area. In actual fact, the smart thing is to use this and route your bindings below the shoulder blades, which provides an even more secure ‘stopper’. You can see the routing below the shoulder blades and on the base of the deltoid in the photo left (Manuel Vason for .Cent Magazine). In this photo, I should point out that, in a suspension, the load is taken by the two upper wraps and the lower ones are loosely tied with no loading.

For most people, it is dangerous to place a load or tie tightly where the lowest set of bindings lie as this is where the radial is likely to be vulnerable. It is not the job of the cinches (kannuki) to prevent wrap movement any more than your seat belt or air bag are to prevent crashes. Like those safety features, the upper ones are there as a safety net if all else fails. The lower ones are purely aesthetic. The cinches should not be under more than the gentlest tension required to make the wraps hug the body. Care must always be taken to make sure that they do not over-tighten when under suspension. This means that in the Akechi derived style of gote, e.g. Kanna, Kinoko and Osada ryu, not catching the cinch lines in the tsuri connection. In old style gote, where the cinch lines are caught within the centre friction, more slack is required as the cinch lines with tighten under the suspension load.

Prevention of wrap movement is primarily by good placement and correct tension. However, there will be times, due to the nature of the suspension or the model’s clothing, when a third rope will be required to consolidate the gote and anchor it more securely. Suspensions where there is a load parallel the model’s body, like a vertical hang or inversion, and more dynamic suspensions generally require a third rope if the load is on the gote. The extra security of a third rope is also well advised when tying over slick fabrics such as Lycra or silky kimono. What type of third rope one uses will be determined by the nature of the suspension and the direction of the anticipated loads. Bear in mind that there are other third ropes than the Akechi variant. Many of the old style bakushi use one starting with a single column around the waist, linking the two wraps and creating a halter-neck arrangement over the shoulders to link to the centre friction at the rear. Which to use and when is beyond the scope of this article.

You can see this and other fine detail of tying TK's in our tutorials on ShibariClasses.