Hojo-jitsu was an art used by Feudal Japanese Police for binding a suspect. I use the term “binding” since there seems to have been a cultural stigma against tying someone with knots, even a suspected criminal. Instead a long rope was used to wrap the suspect. See my page on tenouchi for some of the techniques. There was a large variety of wrapping techniques depending on the suspect's social class, crime and other factors. Some of this had a practical level. The wraps designed to restrain women were designed to avoid injury to parts such as their breasts, for example.
Wrapping a long rope around a struggling suspect, possibly in a dark Edo alley, obviously took a high level of technique but also the correct tool for the job. I don’t expect many of my readers to use Hojo-jitsu for self-defence but from Hojo-jitsu we get a very convenient way of carrying a long cord. This is a useful thing to know for camping, boating and many other active pursuits.
- Take a 15 to 20m length of paracord.
- First of all, double one end of the cord for about 10" and tie a overhand knot to form a loop of about an inch. Tie another knot further down so that you have a second loop big enough to pass a hand or foot through. With these loops pre-tied in your cord you can quickly haul someone from danger or form a lariat. These loops can also form the basis of other rescue knots. Contrary to what you may see on some websites, these loops should be fixed, not sliding.
- Hook the thumb of your right hand in the larger loop, just under the lesser loop.
- Now begin to wind the cord in a figure-eight pattern around your thumb and outstretched little finger. Keep on doing this until you have about two metres of cord left.
- Slip your thumb and finger out of the wrap and coil the remainder of the cord in a helix around the figure eight wrap until you reach the smaller loop.
- Pass the free end of the cord back, tuck it under the last two turns of the coil and pull tight.
You now have a compact bundle. If you pull the loop the cord should feed out freely.
Some travellers like to carry five or six 10 and 20ft lengths of paracord instead and divide it amongst pockets and pack. You can carry this in addition to the long hank described above.