I have seen examples of rope used as a method of restraint in Chinese art dating back nearly 200 years and I feel sure there are earlier examples. There appears to be similarity to Japanese hojojustu techniques, which encompass capture,fighting and restraint with rope. It is still taught as one of the ninjutsu skills. There is a Chinese police manual "Arrest Technique for Rope" which I have ordered, so I'll see what similarities there are with this and Japanese methods. Examples that I have seen, so far, of Chinese rope work sometimes feature a characteristic spiral arm binding that is not present in Japanese restraint and wonder where this originated?
In addition, Japan has codified punishments/torture involving rope dating at least from the the beginning of the Edo period. Again, rope still has similar applications today for torture in China, e.g. rope suspension used on Falun Gong.
Is anyone aware of any history of a parallel Chinese martial arts using rope techniques? Did rope techniques develop separately or was there some exchange of skills and, if so, in which direction? Does anyone know of any historical use of rope for erotic purposes in China as there are in Japan in the art of shibari/kinbaku?