Simplicity is beautiful, just one rope is enough to tie someone in the box tie position. Catching the hands first creates the impact of restriction, then the wraps around torso hold the arms close to the body like big hug. To achieve this tie with one rope, you’ll need one that will be long enough to wrap a few times around your partner’s chest, between 7-8m is usually a good size.

Safety for All

The biggest downside of the box tie design is that it is prone to cause injury. Hands sensation and movement (closing and opening hands) should be continuously monitored to make sure everything is in working order. Good placement of the single column tie and chest wrap will contribute to reduce the risks.

  • Wrist placement – The rope pressure should be on the forearms. Avoid rope directly on the wrists or hands. If the anatomy doesn’t allow this, look at the adaption section later in this day.
  • Chest wrap – By poking the exterior or the arm you’re likely to find a soft spot that causes pain or discomfort. This pressure point is located at the insertion point of the deltoid. Placing the wraps above this spot, on the bottom third of the deltoid, will make the tie more safe and sustainable.

Again, these tips can only help mitigate the risks, always keep on monitoring your partner and yourself. Be ready to untie quickly and cut the ropes in case of emergency.

X Friction Box Tie

The vast majority of the box tie designs start with a single column tie around the wrists and wraps around the torso. From there, many different frictions can be used to lock the top wraps. Here we use the X Friction that was typical of the style of the rope artist Akechi Denki 明智伝鬼 (1940-2005).

Finishing the Tie

Once the pattern is complete, we may want to use up the rest of the rope. One option is just to lock the rope and use the remaining as a leash. There are also a few elegant ways to use up the rope we have left depending on the amount remaining. With a lot of rope, wrapping around the chest is a good option to waste rope quickly. If we want to keep the front untouched, using up the rope around the wrists is a great solution.

Design Variations

Even with such a simple design, there exist many structural variations.

  • Reverse tension – Some will prefer to do a reverse tension between the two passage of the top wrap. This makes it easier to have the stem in the center and affect the direction of tension between the two wraps.
  • Bight in stem – If the bight of the single column tie is longer, it can be hidden inside the stem by embedding it inside the different frictions. This has the upside of creating a sturdier stem and the bight can be used as a structural tying point but makes it more difficult to untie the wrists in case of emergency.
  • Frictions – There is an amazing number of frictions that can be used to make a T-shaped frictions, you can design your own. We’ll look into more friction variations in day 204.

Mynx’s One Rope Box Tie

To get a deeper look at the variety in the variations of this tie, it is interesting to look at the work of different artists. Mynx’s interpretation of the box tie is influenced by her teacher Naka Akira 奈加あきら and his teacher Nureki Chimuo 濡木痴夢男 (1930-2013). Different techniques and aesthetic choices will create a tie that both look and feel different.

Adapting for Different Anatomy

Many people are unable to bring their arm together at an horizontal position in the back. There are many alternatives to tie the wrist in to get a similar impact and respecting the range of the body at the same time.
Create a wide two column tie
Start with one wrist and catch the second later with an inline cuff
Start in a different location and catch the wrists later (ex: top wrap, waist)

The tie can be flipped to have the hands in front but then the tension in the body is quite different and the restrictions effect will not be as strong. Starting at the waist and keeping the wrists free is another option that works to practice the friction but movement will make tension difficult to maintain.

We will continue to explore more arm positions in day 32

Practice Time!

Create a box tie starting at the wrists and making a wraps around the whole torso above the pectoral muscle.

Self-evaluation checklist

  • Starting point
    • The single column knot is tighten and stable
    • Pressure is on the forearms (away from the wrist joints), or alternate safe method
    • 2-3 cm loose
    • Knot is on top, toward the wrap
  • The stem
    • Straight and centered
    • Tensioned, the person tied can rest their arm comfortably on the starting point
  • The wraps
    • All ropes in the wrap are of equal tension
    • The friction is compacted and strong
    • The wraps are an equal distance from the shoulders on both sides
    • How does the placement feel?
    • Grab the middle of the wrap in the back and gently pull in different direction
    • The rope is identical as before when you let go
    • How does the tie feel?

Exploration ideas

  • Start the wrap left or right?
  • Wrapping always in the same direction or reverse tension?
  • Try different frictions
  • Try different amount of rope in the wrap
  • Try different placement
  • What to do with the remaining rope? Leash, cuff, chest, bundle, decoration?
  • Try to hide the bight by including it in the friction (requires a longer bight)
  • Do you prefer the back of the wrap to be perfectly horizontal, or more in a V shape
  • Do you prefer the front of the wrap perfectly horizontal, or more in a round shape

Solo variation

  • Can you tie this one on yourself? Hint: You can make the friction in front and move it afterward to the back.

Credit: X Friction box tie design inspired by Akechi Denki with permission from Nawashi Kanna, M: _Era_ R: Ebi McKnotty P: AlexK7 Bight in stem box tie M: AlexK7 R/P: Ebi McKnotty, Mynx box tie – M: -BOP- R: Mynx P: Ebi McKnotty, Alternate start M: FreakyFerret, R/P: Ebi McKnotty

Next: Two Ropes

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