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Osada Steve（長田スティーブ）is recognised within the worldwide Shibari community as an undisputed Master. In his work he emphasises the spiritual and emotional connection with the model, while giving absolute priority to the model’s well-being and safety. He also emphasises discernment of the values of Japanese culture, which are embodied in the rope work.
In 1998 he met the legendary Shibari Grandmaster, the late Osada Eikichi (長田英吉), and became his deshi (disciple). He studied his style of Shibari until Osada Eikichi’s retirement in 2001, when he became his designated successor. He subsequently studied under the late Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) , Grandmaster Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹) , and Nawashi Kanna (縄師神凪).
Traditionally in Japan, Shibari and Kinbaku have been taught one-to-one, passed on from Master to Deshi, with the latter learning by observing and “stealing” techniques and concepts. This traditional system has advantages, in that alongside the technical aspects the student will also acquire a solid foundation of the psychological and philosophical aspects of tying from the particular Master. For Westerners, however, this route is not generally available – there is only a limited number of Japanese Masters, and you’d have to live in Japan and speak Japanese.
Osada-ryu (長田流) has been developed to bring the high-level training associated with the traditional method to students in the West, and go beyond the “this rope goes here” style of teaching to include all the whys and hows.
Osada-ryu (長田流) is a complete Shibari (縛り) and Kinbaku (緊縛) system, developed by Osada Steve (長田スティーブ) based on his years of working as a professional rope artist in Japan, as well as training with some of the Grandmasters of Shibari including Osada Eikichi (長田英吉), Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼), and Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹). Because of this broad background, Osada-ryu is unique in that it provides solid techniques in more than one aspect of Shibari and Kinbaku, including Tsuri (suspensions and suspension progressions) and Newaza (the caressing style used in floorwork).
The system is designed with Kyu (grades), like in traditional Japanese martial arts. There are requirements to pass each level, with criteria including technical competency, speed and efficiency, flow, communication, and aesthetics. Each level teaches techniques and concepts that are then built upon in subsequent levels. The techniques taught are not designed for “tie and giggle” tying, but rather are building towards the students reaching a level of competency equivalent to that of a professional Japanese rope artists.