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Maybe this isn't the right place to ask!!I've sensed a little poi vs clubs competition on this site in the past(all playful i hope).So has anyone got any tips for a beginner?I know it quite physically tough to begin with and i've got the basic book (the wide blue one- i've forgotten the author) can any one kind of give me an idea about how long it takes to make progress and any training tips?I would also like people to explain how you poi people view club swinging.I met a guy who swung poi and he seemed quite able with clubs as some moves can be transferred.I understand that Draevon "dispises" clubs...what's that all about then?

.draevonBRONZE Member
92 posts
Location: Androgen, Australia

Mr Juggleloser,My dislike of clubs simply comes from a long peroid of working with just the one prop. When I moved onto poi then staff, i put down my clubs and haven't really touched them since. Saturation can be a bad thing.raevon

The Cabirimember
20 posts
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Someone named 'Jo' did actually post a question about club swinging a while back... and I wrote this big lengthy response - so rather than try to recreate it, I'll just 'copy' and 'paste' it here. Seems appropriate enough:Club swinging is a whole new universe - actually pretty different from poi if you do them right... and the history of club swinging is pretty amazing.Feel free to tune out, non club-swingers, I just think this is very cool stuff:- 'clubs' (full name Indian Clubs) originated in India, where the Indian army used them for training and battle technique- the British Army adapted them shortly after they discovered them (thieves! just kidding...)- in 1860 Sim Kehoe introduced Indian clubs to the United States, where they got immensely popular - people used them for strength and coordination training- club swinging became integrated into gymnastics and elaborate choreography and technique developed- very beautiful, intricate wooden swinging clubs were produced (and are very collectible today!)- club swinging was actually briefly introduced into the Olympics in America in the 1930's (it did not survive, obviously)- club swinging faded away, and almost completely died out - until the 1970's when it was revived- rhythmic gymnasts still use clubs in their routines, and many jugglers are familiar with how to manipulate themMany of our club-swinging teachers have been jugglers. We quickly realized that club swinging is tough - getting the grip down is a challenge unto itself! There are no handles to wrap your fingers around like poi!Some tips:There are two grips in proper club swinging: one is a 'ball-and-socket' grip, wherein your fingers are all relatively straight, and almost touching at the fingertips. the 'ball' of the club fits inside the open area in your palm, and the club can move quite freely. this is a loose grip, not a tight one, and while learning you'll drop them a lot! the second grip involves the entire club essentially held between thumb and index finger. this, again, is not a super-tight grip - it is loose, such that the club can move freely. these are the ONLY TWO GRIPS you'll need to use clubs. learning to transition between the two is VERY useful, and necessary if you want smooth flowing movements.there are some really cool tricks, which are utterly and totally inexplicable in writing - they are called 'snakes' and these moves involve some different grips... more advanced stuff, for sure.another thing to think about when swinging clubs, is that it looks pretty cool if you use the 'proper form' as far as body position and 'ideal' club swinger stood perfectly straight and tall, and nothing on his/her body moved except the arms. no swaying, no bending of the torso, just perfect, centered, grounded, movement. it's quite striking and powerful when done correctly...Renegade Juggling sells some books/videos on club swinging if you are really interested in learning more... they are at www.renegadejuggling.comor you could just swing them around like poi and disregard all this pomp and circumstance, which also works fine but doesn't honor the history of the tool so much... I'm a sucker for technique, I guess.anyway, good luck!*Charly*The

My first tip would be when you're done with the basic book (I think you mean "The Book of Club Swinging" by Ben Richter), pick up "Club Swinging" by W.J. Schatz. First published in 1908 as Phys. Ed. instruction book, the Schatz book is actually the basis of what you'll see in all other club swinging books, except Schatz goes into much more detail. Keep in mind it's written in a very austere style with terms for the tricks that can be hard to decypher. But it's totally worth it, IMHO. 120 solid pages of information. For advanced work like snakes, the Schatz book goes into depth. Thanks, Charly for the great overview. Only a couple of things I'd add. First, well, this may seem obvious to experienced club swingers. Besides the "ball-and-socket" and the "ring" grips, there's the "solid" grip. Holding the club like you're shaking hands with the hand just above the knob. This is good for striking poses and doing very slow movements. Most of your work in the beginning will hinge on smoothing out your "ball-and-socket" to "ring" transitions. Snake grip, I'd consider that the fourth and, yes, more advanced. How long it takes to progress depends on you. It depends on how strong your hands and arms are already. How much difference there is between your dominant and non-dominant arms. How much time and energy you want to put into it. Etc. Etc. Here's a snip of my post from Practice Regimes that seems appropriate as well: I've recently taken up a practice that my teacher recommended and I poo-pooed at the time. I've made a list of all the tricks I do. Then I break it down to all the variations that are possible (or at least those I think as possible) and practice those. I also rank on a three point system them according to how well I have them down. This keeps me working on the things I need to work on, rather than goofing off with the tricks I already do well (as I am inclined to do). It's also real easy for me to see how I improve over time. It's a great morale booster. Yes, some moves can be transferred back and forth between clubs and poi. What I really like about each tool is what's unique to that tool. Wraps on poi, snakes on clubs. The way you can absolutely change pace, movements, anything at a moments notice with clubs. The way you have to listen real close to poi to find out they want to move when you move. They each have their magic. BTW, Charly, who's Sim Kehoe? I understood that clubs coming to the States was a general part of Eastern European immigration at the time. I didn't realize it was attributed to one person. Charly, I have to beg to differ when it comes to posture for club spinning. I honor and respect the tradition of clubs, but I'm not going to maintain a tall still body posture throughout a routine. I encorporate organic movement and tai chi which works really well for me. I use the still and tall posture as well as which does have a dramatic effect, especially when contrasted with movement. I honor the tradition, but I also live in my age. An age in which, all the information I'm exposed to can be integrated with respect for each tradition. I suppose if I was going to be truly traditional with clubs, I wouldn't light them on fire either. winkAnyway, long-winded as I've been, I hope something in this helps. Best of luck,Diana

KatBRONZE Member
2,211 posts
Location: London, Wales (UK)

In case you are interested...Club is one of the disciplines of rhythmic gymnastics and is one of the events scheduled for The World Games 2001 which are on in Akita this year (plug!). Kat------------------"London is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees" - Danny,Withnail & I

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

thanks diana, i've already got both Richter and Schatz's books.I made a start at learning a few months back - it was quite nice as i could feel small improvements quite circles were looking pretty sweet in the reflection of the window i was using for a mirror.And this was only after 10/15 mins of practice for a week or so....believe me i couldn't have done more practice even if i wanted to - man, it's bloody tough!After a while i even moved my practices to every other day to give my arms time to recover...but , even as a beginner, it really felt great to have my arms swinging around me and to feel them getting more supple day by day. i had to put clubs on hold for a while because of an operation on my elbow (a tip for all swingers and jugglers...look after yourselves, you really don't want to injure yourself and go through all the shit i have been through recently- how would you feel to be unsure of if you will be able to swing or juggle seriously again?) but things are healing up (i hope) and i'm going to give the clubs a go again as part of an excercise program. i'm looking forward to it .

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