Common Terms

You’ll come across a lot of new words when learning rope.  There are a lot of Japanese words used as well mainly because there aren’t good direct translations or the translated term is a lot longer than the short Japanese word just as they use a lot of English words.  When possible, we’ll use the English words.

Common Terms:

  • Band – a wrap of rope around the body
  • Bight – most commonly the middle of a rope; a loop formed by folding the rope
  • Carabiner (‘biner) – a coupling link with a safety closure mainly used for rock climbing (use carabiners rated for climbing )
  • Floor Work – rope bondage done on the ground and not suspending the person
  • Friction – a “knot” formed by wrapping or crossing the rope on itself
  • Hank / Bundle – one piece of rope usually folded to make it compact and so that it doesn’t tangle in a bag
  • Hard Point – a secure point used to anchor a suspension from
  • Harness – a tie done on the person that is designed to hold the person’s weight usually for a suspension
  • Load – applying force to a tie usually to lift part of the body for a suspension
  • Rigger – In the rope community is usually refers to the person tying
  • Partial Suspension – using the rope to partially hold a person up of the ground and leaving part of their body on the ground
  • Reverse Tension – folding the rope back; making a 180 degree turn in the direction of the rope
  • Ring – the wood or metal ring used to tie the ropes to for a suspension connected to the hard point
  • Rope Bottom – the person being tied
  • Rope Switch – a person who likes to tie and be tied
  • Rope Top – the person tying
  • Running End – the rest of the rope coming off of where you tied it to
  • Scene – a pre-planned space where the tying takes place; generally the scene is discussed fully and consists of an agreed upon beginning, middle, and end
  • Suspension – using rope to completely lift a person off the ground
  • Tension – usually used to refer to how tightly the rope is being tied on the body
  • Upline / Suspension Line – the rope connecting the harness to the hard point holding the body up

Common Japanese Terms: 

  • Asanawa – rope made of bast fiber (usually jute or hemp)
  • Bakushi / Nawashi – rope top/artist
  • Ebi – translates to shrimp; usually a tie with the person sitting cross legged with the body folded inward at the waist
  • Hishi – diamond shaped patterns in the tie
  • Hojojitsu – traditional Japanese martial art of restraining a person using cord or rope
  • Ichinawa – a technique for using only one rope for the entire scene (more on it here)
  • Kannuki – loosly translated as a cinch that holds ropes in place but not cinched tightly as we would normally think of a cinch
  • Nawa – rope
  • Semenawa – torture rope; bondage that intentionally inflicts pain
  • Shibari – to tie
  • Takate Kote (TK, Gote, Box Tie) – a fundamental chest harness with the arms folded behind the back
  • Tengu – a type of tie that folds the arms and secures them up by the shoulders
  • Tengui – dish rag; usually used as a blindfold or gag
  • Teppou – rifle tie; one arm folded and up at an angle above the shoulder and the other arm behind the back reaching up towards the neck
  • Tsuri – suspension
  • Yoko Tsuri – side suspension
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