301: Foundations Part 2 (Fall 2023)

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Course Overview & Guide

To prepare for each class, please see the “Preparing for Class #” section below for the appropriate next class number. Details about the expectations for that class will be listed on that page along with links to any supporting materials: readings, videos, audio recordings, journal prompts, etc.

In general, please practice all previous ties and exercises, prepare any new ties indicated, complete any assigned reading, listening, or viewing, and prepare any notes or journal reflections.

Try to spread your work out between classes so that you’re doing a little every few days (or at least once per week) instead of all at once before the next class. (It might help to schedule time in your calendar!)

If you ever have trouble accessing any content or are confused about expectations for the next class, please contact us immediately. We don’t mind. We prefer it!

General Course Information

Expand the sections below for general course information and recommendations.


We recommend bringing the following:

  • Rope: 8-10 pieces depending on length; we recommend natural-fiber rope (jute, hemp, linen), though please see the note below. You may also want to consider specialized up-lines, but we will discuss those options during the first class and they are not necessary for the start of the course.
  • Safety Shears: Most safety shears in the $10 and up range will serve you well for the course. You can also check the “Suspension Hardware” page for some specific recommendations.
  • Suspension Hardware You ALREADY Have: If you have any suspension hardware already (rings, straps, carabiners, etc.) please bring those. However, we do not recommend that you buy anything just yet until we have a chance to discuss pros/cons of various options during class.
  • Journal / Note-Taking Supplies: We recommend you start keeping a rope journal if you don’t already have one. Please see the additional information below for more details.
  • Blanket / Mat / Pillow: We provide 1/2″ thick puzzle mats, but having a personal mat along with a blanket or pillow may be helpful or preferable for some.
  • Hair Ties: If you or your partner(s) has long hair, you will probably want to have some hair ties handy
  • Drinks and Snacks: You will likely want something to sip on and some snacks to keep your energy up throughout the class. You can, of course, get water from our fridge whenever you’d like and/or use it to store snacks/food.

We will suggest more suspension-specific items to add to your rope kit during class, but this is enough to get you started.

A Note on Natural Fiber Rope: While you can practice Japanese-style rope bondage with any type of rope, some types of rope are more conducive to this style of tying than others. Generally speaking, practitioners of this style of bondage typically prefer rope that is flexible, compacts well, and grips on itself well, but is still fluid enough to move quickly and not become knotted too easily. Traditionally, the choice has been asanawa–rope made from bast fiber, such as jute or hemp, both of which continue to be the most common types of rope used in Japanese-style rope bondage. They both have the qualities mentioned above, though jute often wins out because it is typically lighter and moves more quickly than hemp. The drawback to jute and hemp (or any natural-fiber rope) is that they aren’t as strong as synthetic rope … something to consider carefully as you move into suspension work. Another potential issue is allergies: if you or your partner has a grass allergy, then jute or hemp may cause irritation. Linen rope is a solution that many people have found to be effective in that case. Another option that solves both problems is synthetic “natural” rope such as Hempex or POSH. We caution against using nylon or cotton for this class. Nylon is very slippery and doesn’t work well in this style of tying. Cotton stretches quite a bit and will make it very difficult to achieve and maintain proper tension and can result in knots that are difficult to untie.


Classes are held in a small, private studio space behind our home, so we ask that you dress “vanilla to the door” please! (“Yoga studio to the door” is also fine.)

For the classes themselves, we recommend wearing clothes that are comfortable to tie and/or be tied in. Clothing that allows for free movement will be best.

For bottoms, we recommend form-fitting clothing (so that it doesn’t get in the way of the rope). We also suggest that you avoid items with many straps or material that is very slippery. Overly-tight clothing can also sometimes cause the rope to slip. For those with breasts, we recommend avoiding sports bras or underwire bras. (We have found “bralets” to work well for tying.)

For tops, loose or form-fitting depending on preference, as long as you can move in it easily.

As this is a class, not a play party, we ask that everyone wear some form of bottoms for sanitary reasons (and to prevent too many distractions), but beyond that, you should feel free to be as clothed or as nude as you’d like while inside the studio (though please revert to “vanilla / yoga studio” when leaving the studio or house).

You may also want to wear multiple layers to address changing body temperatures throughout different parts of the class. We also suggest you remove rings, necklaces, or earrings and consider removing or taping over any body jewelry.


Throughout the course, we will provide prompts that will ask you to reflect on a range of items. We also recommend that you have a place to take notes during your preparation, practice and our in-class work, as well as a place to reflect on your progress in rope.

What you use for both and whether or not your notes and reflections are kept in the same place is up to you, of course. It may be a physical notebook, a series of cards, a file on your computer, an entry in your phone, or whatever other approach makes the most sense for you.

Don’t worry: you won’t be “graded” on your journal, and we’ll never ask to see it … we just think it’s good for you and will actually help your rope journey.

Here are our suggestions for getting the most out of whatever approach to journaling you choose:

  • Between Classes
    • Readings: As you do the readings, take notes of things that seem important to you, things you don’t understand, things you disagree with, and questions you have that come from the reading.
    • Practice: As you practice, take notes about things you discover that help you (tips you’d share with others) and specific areas of difficulty you have (issues or questions to raise later). You may also want to take pictures or short videos of tips or difficulties.
    • Reflections: Each week, we provide a number of prompts for your consideration, and we also encourage regular reflections on your learning and practice. We hope you will take the time to really think through these prompts and record your significant insights.
  • During Class
    • Discussion: Each class, we will discuss a range of issues, including readings, practice, and reflections from the week before. Your notes and reflections will help you to contribute to those discussions. You may also want to add notes or reflections based on the discussion.
    • Practice: During class sessions, you may want to add tips and issues/questions. You may also add images and short videos.

A Note on Photography/Videos: Photography/videos of your own work is allowed during class, but we ask you not to take any pictures/videos that contain any identifiable parts of another person without that person’s explicit consent. (For privacy reasons, the instructors do not consent to be in pictures or videos.)



We use email to communicate important reminders between classes. Please make sure you add “contact@ropestudy.com” to your safe list or contacts to ensure you receive those emails. (If you got this one, you’re probably good, but better safe than sorry.) Please check email regularly throughout the course and respond promptly when appropriate.

We also use a private Discord server for “on-the-fly” communication. While it is not a requirement, and all essential information will also be sent through email, we think it can be a helpful additional resource.

Discord Server: https://discord.gg/sA3KHtfE

We encourage participants to use it to share resources, ask questions, arrange small-group practice, or any other purposes that will help everyone learn.

Members in the general server consist of participants from all current and former classes, so you can get a wide range of responses and maybe find others beyond your course with whom to practice. You will also be added to a dedicated course Channel for class-specific questions, resources, etc.

We also post whenever we will be attending a public event in case others would like to meet us there to ask questions or practice.