So, we would also like to have a small introduction: who you are, where you are located, something characteristic about you.
Ludvig Rigger, Located in Sofia, Bulgaria. Professional shibari rigger and instructor.
Certified instructor of Yagami Style by Ren Yagami Sensei. Student of Yagami Sensei.
Founder of www.shibari.center
How long have you been involved with japanese bondage? What triggered your interest?
I have always been interested in ropes, knots and tying, since I was a kid. Then, when I was a teenager I had fantasies of tying girls.
But I started to tie in 2008, so it’s been about 13 years so far. My interest was in domination and sex. I thought I’m really perverted for wanting such things.
How did you first start? How did your knowledge and experience evolve?
First, I was interested in bondage in general. How to restrain with ropes as a sexual play. I practiced this way from 2008 to 2014. I used different types of ropes, mainly synthetics, everything I could find in the local hardware stores. Most of them were not suitable for shibari and bondage.
The information about bondage was scarce. I was constantly looking for information on the internet. I tried to put together the pieces of the puzzle I found.
Eventually, in 2014 I discovered jute ropes. That was such a joy. But I had to learn how to condition my ropes to be able to use them. And I found the needed information and started.
Since then I focused mainly on shibari (japanese bondage). After one year I started to suspend, and after another six months I had my first shibari performance before 150 people at a fetish party. That was in October 2015. All that was achieved as a self taught without any supervision because there were not more advanced riggers than me around to ask for guidelines.
Then I realised that I need to learn from knowledgeable instructors outside Bulgaria if I want to advance.
In December 2015 I attended my first workshop with a well-known rigger in Bucuresti, Romania.
In September 2016 I had the chance to attend a workshop with Ren Yagami Sensei in Madrid, Spain. This changed everything. That year I had several shibari performances at various fetish parties in Sofia.
In March 2017 I attended a workshop of Kinoko Hajime in Paris, France. In May, again in Paris – another workshop with Barkas and Ady. It helps me to understand the differences between shibari styles. I realised that I want to focus exclusively on Yagami Style and to go deeper.
In September 2017 by my request, Yagami Sensei came to Sofia and we organised the first international workshop in Bulgaria. My dream came true – Yagami Sensei gave me a license to teach his style. In December 2017 I opened my shibari dojo – Shibari Center (a.k.a. Sekibaku Shibari Dojo Sofia)
We had workshops with Yagami Sensei in 2018 and 2019 too.
In June 2020 I decided to be a professional instructor and rigger. So far I am doing fine.
Did you come across shibari/kinbaku in your own town/country? Was there a community in your own local area?
When I started, there was no shibari community in Bulgaria. There were only a few people who liked bondage, but did not exchange experiences with each other, nor were there events dedicated to bondage.
It was difficult. Еveryone studied on their own
Did your friends, partners know about your new interest? If yes, what was their response?
Yes, all of them. They supported me.
Are there things that you like on how the scene has evolved in the community that you are active (local or international)? Are there things that you don’t like?
In Bulgaria, I’m glad that people who know about shibari are many more now than in the past. In 2015 me and a friend started a regular rope jam called Open Rope Space Sofia. In the beginning of every event we did a short introduction of shibari. That was the beginning of teaching. It was not enough so in 2017 with my shibari dojo I tried to fill this gap. Now we have many more people with some skills and knowledge.
In general, I like that shibari became more popular and there are many communities in the international scene. I have many friends in Europe. There are much more knowledgeable people.
What I don’t like: due to the great interest, many people with dubious experience and knowledge began to teach. They don’t realise that shibari is a very risky activity and teaching is a big responsibility.
How would you describe your style? Did you have some crucial influences?
I am a student of Yagami Ren Sensei, so I’m learning, practicing and teaching Yagami Style. I’m interested in other approaches and styles too.
Maybe it is too early to say that I have my own style. In my opinion many people think about style in the wrong way. The style is not to combine different techniques from various styles and to say it is “your” style. There is nothing unique here.
For me the style comes after deep understanding of one or more styles, to create something new and in high quality. Something that is in harmony in our personality. When everything becomes part of me and what I do becomes recognizable and unique, then I’ll have my style. Now I’m still learning.
However, I would say that I like the sexual application of Shibari. A process that leads to seducing and arousal. Also, being a Dominant, I like to use Shibari in BDSM play.
I’m interested in different ways of practicing: newaza, semi suspension, suspension, difficult positions with tension in the models body.
I’m lucky that all these approaches are different parts of the Yagami Style.
In time I’m more interested in newaza with less ropes but with stronger effectiveness. It seems that tying with a few ropes on the floor is the most difficult but the most deep experience.
Of the things you have accomplished, which are you more proud for?
I’m proud of my students when I’m able to pass on my experience. I see the light and joy in their eyes. So I am proud of my shibari school. My main focus is on improving the structure and system of teaching.
I am also proud to be part of the Shibari community in Europe аs a professional rigger.
And I’m proud to be a student of Yagami Ren Sensei, and one of the few licensed instructors in Europe in Yagami Style.
Would you like to add something more?
Thank you for the opportunity for this interview. I’m glad that the community in Greece is doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing you again.