Day 30: Two Ropes
The design of the box tie can continue with a second rope to create a lower wraps that will prevent the elbows from moving. Cinches between the arms and the chest will also contribute in making the tie snug, stable, and less escapable.
We refer to this tie as the two ropes box tie, but the actual amount of rope used may vary depending of rope length and shoulder width. Usually a second rope between 7-8 meters will be enough for most pattern variations.
Safety for All
As we continue the pattern, the safety of the box tie becomes a bigger challenge, more rope means more spots we can be hit, and more rope that needs to be removed in case of emergency.
In particular, the space between the arms and the chest has lots of exposed nerves in the armpit and below. This is why the cinches on the top wrap, while they add interesting structural strength by preventing the top wrap from moving toward the neck, are an optional step that we should skip if we are not comfortable tying in this location.
The placement of the lower wrap is also tricky, the ulnar nerve is very exposed at the elbow, it’s what people call the “funny bone”. To avoid that, we usually want to tie as far as possible of the elbow while not pressing on the pressure point discussed in day 29. For this reason, the tension of the lower wrap should be a bit looser than the top wrap.
Two Half Moon Two Ropes Box Tie
Just like with the first rope, different frictions and techniques can be used to create the lower wrap structures and the cinches. Here we showcase the popular two half moon pattern that continues in a similar style to day 29, also made popular by Akechi Denki 明智伝鬼 (1940-2005).
Extending Rope Safely
Joining a new rope adds a little bulky part that may increase the risk of the tie. Depending at what point of the tie your rope start to be short, you’ll have a choice to make. It is better to have a bit of rope to waste than to cause an injury. It also depends on what you plan to do with the tie, if you are only briefly practicing, creating a pretty picture or playing roughly with the tie
- Between the arm and the torso: lots of nerves are exposed at the armpit and below
- Arms: some nerves are vulnerable. Lying on the ground with the bulk of an extension pressing in the arm will be uncomfortable and may cause injuries
- Front of the body: can cause some discomfort and break the aesthetic
- Stem: bulk near the frictions can make the stem less compacted . The stem is great to tie other limbs to, adding bulk on it will make this less practical
- Anywhere in the back away from the stem is a great place to extend. Unlikely to cause injuries or discomfort, extra rope can easily be used to decorate the back of the tie
Finishing the Tie
The options listed in day 29 are all good ways to use leftover rope and finish the tie: chest wraps, around the wrists, etc. The second rope adds a cross structure that we can be used to finish the tie. Tying a clove hitch is very solid way to tie off and should protect the integrity of the structure.
As the design gain in complexity more opportunities adds up for design variations
- Cinches – The decision to use cinches on the upper wrap is probably one of the most important variations as it affects the safety of the tie and different anatomical proportion will yield different results. There are other decisions such as tying the cinches upward versus downward that will change the flow of tying
- No extension – Instead of extending the rope, we can start from a finished one rope box tie and tie a new rope on the stem with a cow hitch or an overhand knot.
- Stemless – To create a more sturdy stem, we can make a larger friction over both the lower and upper wraps. This is often used when not using upper wrap cinches to help keeping the upper wrap downward.
- Frictions – The cross shape of the lower wrap friction allows for different design of frictions. We’ll look into more friction variations in day 204
Mynx’s Two Rope Box Tie
Let’s continue to look at diversity in design with Mynx’s interpretation of the box tie. The differences are visible from the very first moment of the tie as it starts with a new rope instead of extending the previous one and from there every single friction and passage is different, yet the global structure and logic is similar.
Create a box ties that has both a wrap above and under the pectoral muscles.
- Top cinch (if any)
- The rope runs very flat in the armpit. Use a finger to make sure there are no unnecessary twists in the rope in the parts that are not visible
- The top wrap must be low enough so that the cinch won’t push upward in the armpit
- No tension added on the top wrap
- The frictions are compacted and strong
- The steam is straight and not deformed by the friction
- All the frictions are stacked nicely with no gap between then
- Lower wrap
- The tension is lower than the top wrap
- All ropes in the wrap are of equal tension
- The wraps are an equal distance from the previous wrap on both sides
- The cinch adds a little bit of tension for the rope to follow the shape of the chest in front
- The cinch runs flat between the arms and the torso.
- How does the placement feel?
- The checklist from day 29 still apply
- Add the second ropes
- …at the end of the first rope
- … by tying it directly on the stem
- How can we isolate the tension of the two cinches?
- How can we isolate the tension from the last cinch and the next part of the tie?
- When to make the cinches? After the first wrap, after the second, later on?
- What are other ways to prevent the top wrap from sliding up without going in the armpit?
Credit: Two full moon box tie design inspired by Akechi Denki with permission from Nawashi Kanna, M: _Era_ R: Ebi McKnotty P: AlexK7 – Mynx box tie – M: -BOP- R: Mynx P: Ebi McKnotty
Next: Front V