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Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
Posted:Hi, I new to both poi and staff. I tried both out and am taking a liking more towards staff. I was just wondering how often you practiced when you were starting out? Once you got the moves down did you practice less or just as much? I try to practice everyday for at least 1hr, sometimes more, sometimes less. Where did you learn your moves from? The HOP web site or "The fire twirling book"? How long till you felt comfortable enough to try fire? Sorry for all the questions I just want to get an idea of how everyone started out. Thanks

Kinudin (Soul Fyre)
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Member Since: 21st Dec 2001
Total posts: 1325
Posted:I started out with Poi for 4 months before I started staff. So I basicly got some of the moves from poi first. And the behind the back moves (like pass) I just started to learn on my own without looking at the HoP lessons page.But I usually on weekends practice for 2-3 hours, and on weekdays 30 minetus to an hour, and yea... even when i'm not practicing a new move I practice the same.Welcome to HoP by the way ^_^Kinudin

Location: Wageningen
Member Since: 22nd Feb 2002
Total posts: 28
Posted:Moves are only limited by your flexibility and imagination. I had figured out most moves before finding HoP but after I found it I suggest the site to everyone.I find that i am more motivated to practise when i am learning new moves otherwise i just get bored. Don't practise any near enough nowadays but i found even 5 minutes a day was helpful to keep in shape. When i first started i was doing at least as much as you say you do.Light it up asap, it is the best feeling, makes the best sound and as long as you don't hit yourself when you practise you should be safe when it is flaming. Have a friend around too for safety.

'At this moment, you should be with us, feeling like we do, like you loved to, but never will again.'

Location: melborne, victoria, australia
Member Since: 26th Feb 2002
Total posts: 1
Posted:I learnt most of my moves from this website and from the fire twirling book. When I first started twirling I loved it so much that I practised for hours each day. But now I still love but I don't practise quite as much. I practised for about two months before i lit up.

Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
Member Since: 24th Feb 2002
Total posts: 34
Posted:This won't help much, but I watched some guys spin staff for a while, then taught myself from that. I worked it one move at a time, learning it, getting comfortable with it, then re-learning it with fire. So I started with fire early. I would only reccommend this if you don't mind close calls and minor burns. I've always been one to learn things the hard way. As far as practicing, I fell in love with it and spent every free second for about 4 months. Now I practice, mostly with fire, about 4 days a week. You should definitely warm up before any hardcore practice sessions or performances. Also, COL2 has some good examples of short and super staves. Plus, it's an awesome video and worth the price.------------------ -M@TTKeep the fire burning.

-M@TTKeep the fire burning.


Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:Tika--I'm in the process of learning staff right now, about a year after learning poi.I've been practicing with the staff for at least 30 minutes a day, sometimes an hour. I actually had a spell of working with the staff for a few weeks in October (?), but put it down and didn't pick it back up until recently. I've been at it for about three weeks this time around, and figure I'll be ready to light up in about one more week--I've been working on getting individual moves mostly, and need to focus more on transitions before I'll feel comfortable with fire. I'm comfortable with fire-poi, but staff is different, and can go wrong in different ways--I need to be confident that I won't be grabbing it in the hot zone, for example, or slamming a hot bolt-head into the back of my head. And I don't want to just stand there paddling for 5 minutes. It seems counterintuitive that two chains would be safer than one rigid staff, but that's how it feels to me right now.Although I've benefited a lot from both this site's staff lessons and the Bec & Elke book, I've been trying to figure out more stuff on my own. When I learned poi, my approach was very formulaic, just going through the lessons on this site. So this time I'm trying to do things a little differently.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2002
Total posts: 9
Posted:I've been learning to twirl a single staff for approximately the last two months now. I had a friend who was a looooot better than I who encouraged me to light up early, so yeah, after only a couple of weeks I'd twirled a couple of times with fire. Not with any flashy moves or anything, mind you, but just a really simple routine.My practice times go up and down as I'm able to find time and depending on weather, but I'd probably practice hard out for a couple of nights per weeks for anywhere between an hour and two hours, and just inside practice for stuff like fingerspins as much as I can, just while sitting around the house or procrastinating doing work. I'd probably do that for at least the equivalent of an hour every day.Also, just another question. Although I've been twirling for two months now, I only just got Bec and Elke's book and realise my basic two handed spin technique is pretty crap. I've got really stubby fingers and thumbs, and although I've worked heaps on my flexibility, I'm still finding it really hard to pass from hand to hand while doing a 360 degree spin. My finger spinning is coming along really well, but I'm also having trouble doing it continuously for any great length of time, mostly because of my incredibly short fingers. It's becoming veeeeery frustrating. Will it come with time and practice? Or should I alter my technique to fit my stubby fingers?Argh.Ooh, by the way, I sort of taught myself how to do a lot of the initial moves mainly through trial and error. Once I found this webpage and got the fire twirling book, I learnt quite a bit and found it really motivating to have a whole range of moves to learn and (attempt to) perfect. But it's definitely the best learning from people who've been twirling for much much much longer than you have. Trs cool.------------------Needless complexity is a sign of a conditioned mind...Simplicity is the missing ingredient[This message has been edited by Scratch_n_Sniff (edited 27 February 2002).]

Needless complexity is a sign of a conditioned mind...
Simplicity is the missing ingredient

Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
Posted:Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your responses. I am using a lot of the website moves but I notice myself making it up as I go along. It's good to know that other people are having the same frustration.Is there anyone here from Vancouver that can teach me to spin? If so get in touch with me.Thanks everyone

Location: England, just north of London
Member Since: 21st Dec 2001
Total posts: 47
Posted:I first saw someone staffing at the club where I learnt poi. He refused to teach us as it would have been stepping on the toes of the poi instructor. (This was a circus club in the afternoon and Night club at night. The staffer was running the Nightclub part). I'd seen a few moves and wanted to know them and so I picked up my trusty broom handle and started to play. It didn't take long to workout his moves and then some of my own and then found this place and learnt some more. Still need to light up still but The Fire staff isn't mine and first burn belongs to my girlfriend. Fire's easy though, as long as you play safe.

Just ignore me. Everyone else does.

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:Self taught.I was on my way to uni one day a few years back, & this guy was practicing out the back of film Australia with a broomstick. I knew what it was about, cos I had some friends in Wollongong who play. So I asked him to teach me. He showed me how to do a basic figure of eight (thankyou whoever you were!!) & then told me some story about practicing for a month with one hand, then a month with the other in order to learn properly
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I came back to it much later, and it really didn't take that long. I am practising 1/2hr a day at the moment, mainly cos I am arriving home v. stressed from work. My tip is get a big enough stick with enough weight at either end, and it will spin naturally. & have fun!!!
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It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...


northern monkey

Member Since: 8th Apr 2002
Total posts: 235
Posted:basically went "ooh i like that" when my boyf started making staves... got one for anniversary pressie and lit it that nite. Hows that for crapping your pants!!!

dont be afraid of the fire, the adrenalin makes you forget it can hurt. And most times if it does hit you, it really doesnt hurt. Honest...

vic xx

ex-hop-aholic, now inconsistent lurker...

Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 20th Mar 2002
Total posts: 63
Posted:I'm self taught. I saw my ex gf doing it, she wouldnt teach me, so I used her sticks, she eventually gave me one and I practiced at least once twice a week....I never used a stick unlit. I lit up straight away...Ive never really been that scared of fire.
When Im teaching people I always roll a lit wick of my staff down the length of my arm(as long as im using kero it doesnt hurt at all, just singes a little) to show how safe it is. I explain the real danger is in their clotheing...with a little disclaimer, dont try this at home.
As part of the fireplay work I group with (teaching and performing), we do a section on safety. we teach how to use extinguishers, blankets, buckets, etc etc...as part of this my friend and colleague said "hey sam, why dont you light up your shirt to show them?" ...and of course I did. while i was wearing it. then did stop drop and roll and said freind hit me with the fire blanket. I wasnt burnt at all. I put that down to using kero....shellite, i woulda been toast.
yeah. now I practice staff every day for an hour (its amazing what you can learn in an hour) and some mornings I go outside at dawn and just spend 20 minuetes each hand doing figure 8s to build up strength and enduarance.....
anyway i gtg make some more staffs
twirl on

BAHOOGA! It's the penguin-people!Gertrude, get me my lollypop and we'll lick 'em to death..and?


Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
Member Since: 15th Jan 2001
Total posts: 521

don't worry about the 2-handed spin if it's not working for you... there's no right or wrong way to do things - just different..

As long as it isn't actually stopping you doing other things then there's no problem.

It may just come of its own accord... when you're doing something else later you may realise that your wrists have become more flexible or something and it will just happen...

and the finger spinning does take some time to build up the strength... it's most useful when you are doing it between moves anyhow, when the staff already has quite a bit of momentum and you just guide it through the fingers rather than making them work too hard...

don't get frustrated - 2 months isn't a very long time... I'm sure you're doing really well...

all the best,

Location: Newcastle, UK
Member Since: 18th May 2002
Total posts: 14
Posted:When I first started staff I always used to practice with it lit. I did lose some arm hair and got covered in soot but only got the minorest of burns. Problem came when I was improvising a new move which actually upon discovering this site I realised was just a variation on Xaeda lesson 4. The staff hit me on the back of my head and burned off some of my shoulder length dreads!!!! I now have very short hair, and always practice new moves without flame!!!

Location: South Australia, Australia
Member Since: 13th Aug 2002
Total posts: 30
Posted:Ive been staffing for 4 days now. Ive got a heap of moves down, practise for about 1/2 an hour a day on the ones I work then I might light up. I lit opn my first night. I am still about afriad of doing stuff behind my back lit but I am getting there. I can do a rotor front and back lit. A windmill a ferriswhell lit, rowing, the double rown swap hands thing lit, but I am having trouble getting the transitions. *read - cant work them out for the life of me* butIm loving it. Cant wait to get something different happening, cant seen to get myt imagination arouind what ican do well. oh and I can do some of the stuff from Xaedas vids. just me. Ive always loved fire though so there isnt alot of scare when I can see it.

I believe in freedom, love, truth, and beauty.

Location: denton
Member Since: 26th Jun 2002
Total posts: 8
Posted:practice practice practice


Draven Wolf
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire. S.E. E...
Member Since: 5th Sep 2002
Total posts: 9
I just started playing with a staff at my friends house a few days ago and haven't got my own one yet. I was playing for most of the night (about 6hrs or so on n off) and i am totally addicted to it now. I did try poi but really didn't get on with it at all so I will be sticking to the staff for the now. As regards the fire aspect, I have always been a firebug so it doesn't scare or worry me at all. I lit up about ten minutes after picking up the staff. This was perhaps a little reckless but it sure does help me get the moves down quicker LOL. As it goes i did manage to give myself a good clout in the head and made myself bleed a little but hey, that's life. I found that alot of what i was doing was guided more by the sound of the fire than actually looking at what i was doing. I will definitely be practicing as much as i can when i get my staff. Good luck with your twirling and getting hot

Stand facing the fire and the shadows fall behind you!DW x

Location: Canada
Member Since: 4th Jun 2002
Total posts: 91
Posted:Hi! I will be performing all over B.C. from mid Sept.- end of Oct., I will definately be spending probably 3 of those weeks in Vanc. If you want to get together for a spin, or learn a few more things, I'd love to help. Contact me later down the road. Right now I'm still touring Alberta. Keep practicing !!!!!

Posted:hi i have been doing staff for about a month and a half i can do bout 10 diffrent moves. I have practised about 15mins everyday since i got it. I lit up after a few practice sessions, but i was with experianced friends. I have found that the speed it which you progress depends on how much you are willing to push yourself. My practise sessions are usaully quite intense and occasionally painful. Basically the more you put in the more you get out. In my opinion go for it light up, it is such a rush, and make sure u have plently of friends around. Dont worry it unlikely u will set yourself on fire. Take care have fun.

Whiffle Squeek
Whiffle Squeek

Location: Hartford, CT USA
Member Since: 29th Oct 2001
Total posts: 416
Posted:heh, since almost everytyhing has been siad, ill keep mine short...

poi helps staff so much!!!!!!

i couldnt turn with my staff until i had learned to turn while weaving my poi, the similarity of movement is incredible, youll progress in leaps and bounds if you practice both...

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
I have tried poi but it doesn't come to me as quickly as staff does. I find that I feel more comfortable with staff and my moves are more fluid whereas in poi I feel kinda clumsy.
Oh well I guess everyone is different.

Phuhzzzie Wuhzzzie the Pumpkin King
Location: Melbourne, the new Land of Nod
Member Since: 10th Jan 2002
Total posts: 141
Posted:If I can give one piece of advice on playing with staff this would be it:

Let your thumb lead.

If I could give two pieces of advice on learning staff they would be as follows:

Let your thumb lead and move your body with the move of the staff.

If I could give two pieces of advice on learning staff and one piece of advice on teaching staff it would look like this:

Let your thumb lead and move your body with the move of the staff. When teaching somebody a move have them hold the staff while you physcally move the staff in the move you are trying to teach them that way their arms learn how to move

Hope this works for you.

A wise man once said to me, Hey! You! Get out of my wardrobe! and in a way, I guess he was right.