The Other Side of Hojo Jutsu

Hojo Jutsu is the traditional Japanese martial art of restraining prisoners with rope. Since the “Yachigusa” family were involved in law enforcement, likely as doshin, hojo is part of the Yachigusa-Ryu curriculum. However, it is a secondary art and we only practice it once or twice a year. I enjoy hojo in a Boy-Scout-merit-badge-in-knot-tying kind of a way.

Some years ago a group of us went to a seminar by Don Angier of Yanagi-Ryu where he spent a whole day teaching hojo techniques and history—as well as another day of jutte and tessen. It was an excellent seminar and I would like an opportunity to learn more of this art.

So I thought it’d be worthwhile to throw up this link to this upcoming seminar, even though I don’t expect to be attending. After all, what better place to learn hojo jutsu than from a Rope Dojo? Although they seem to call the art shibari. And they give a discount for couples. And there’s a section on “Visions and Perversions.”

It’s actually really amusing just how much the arts of hojo jutsu are being kept alive by the bondage community. The traditional art was very intricate, with increasingly elaborate knots for highly ranked prisoners. They took pains to make ties elegant and symmetric with intertwining loops—since “knots” would be dishonorable (if there are no knots, the prisoner is not techinically tied up, so he saves face, right?). Yet the restraints are very efficient and tight (in case the prisoner is a ninja or something). All these qualities are very appealing to certain subsets of society.

In that vein, perhaps our neighborhood hojo opportunities could be expanding now that the SF Armoury down the street from our dojo is going to be opening under new management(nsfw) as a bondage and fetish film studio.

Or perhaps not.

Ah, San Francisco.


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