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MEERCAT
BRONZE Member since May 2002

MEERCAT

A Meerkat that eats chicken
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 194
Posted:I have been doing single staff for about 5 months now and i am not sure if i am progressing well. Anyone got ne tricks to encourage faster spinning.

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[Nx?]
BRONZE Member since Nov 2001

[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both

Total posts: 3749
Posted:Im afraid I found the speed only really came after long time practice, Id realise how fast i was actually going afterwards. However, anything where you hold the staff off centre is good and figure eight passes are always nice, as is 'the scoop'

have really hurt myself going to fast with simple tricks, let it come is better.

N


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Speed really only comes with practice...and that practice wil benfit from going much slower int he beginning.

The slower you practice a move, the more solid and less variance you will get, which increases the speed later on.

Personally, after three years of doing staff, I've noticed five different 'bursts' of speed that have just happened really suddenly.

If you try to go fast at the beginning, and the pattern isn't as solid because you are going fast, you'll be teachiung yourself how to do a wobbly pattern and so your speed wil suffere later.

Practice isn't recorded in time, for speed practice. 1/2 and hour of figure 8 isn't as important as HOW MANY TIMES you repeat the figure 8 pattern in a solid movement. Does that make sense?

I mean it's better to repeat the move slowly and solidly a hundred times in 10 minutes, than to practice it 40 times in 1/2 hour.

The repetition is how the body learns to go faster smoothly. And it won't go faster unless it is smooth.

Anyway, thats my take on speed.

FYI - Speed is one of my major moves and styles, with 1.5 feet of fully soaked wick on each end of my staff I can put the whole thing out in 10-15 seconds

:-)

Happy staffing...


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MrConfused
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

MrConfused

addict
Location: I wish I knew, United Kingdom

Total posts: 529
Posted:Just to second Charles' advice - make sure your moves are perfectly smooth before adding too much speed. I was trying to be fancy and spin really, really fast to put out my wicks the other day, lost concentration and smacked myself in the side of the head.
Kind of related - how do you get people to slow down when you're teaching them? I get a bit bored of repeating "try to slow down a bit" over and over, just to have them slow down for a second or two and then go straight back to spinning too fast with moves they don't have down yet. It probably wouldn't bother me too much, except that when they're learning with my staff (which is quite long - 5'6"), they tend to hit the ground a lot. Which hurts my poor staff.

J


If you're not confused, you're not thinking about things hard enough.

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[Nx?]
BRONZE Member since Nov 2001

[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both

Total posts: 3749
Posted:yo,

I hadda change my wicks to 75cm cos they wouldent stay lit.

To get peaple to slow down, and to learn better in general I recomend Big Sticks. A nice big heavy stick keeps its own momentum and is harder for the begginer to reverse, the stick teaches you were it wants to go. Also hitting yourself with a big heavy stick is a good incentive to slow down.

2 bits (small)

Nix?


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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Mineiro


member
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 262
Posted:good advice for those who go too fast..."why not try to do that faster and with less control?"

sarcasm being the lowest form and all...

practise transitions between tricks, then you will find your style begins to flow more, then the speed will come.

R


brain replacement...anyone?

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Salinger


member
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 382
Posted:Rather like sex, good staffin comes at different speeds!
I find that by focusing on the spiritual and letting myself go into an almost meditative state I draw different speeds with each move in a routine, sometimes stopping the staff dead, then letting it roll through slowly, then suddenly going quite manically!

As all the wise heads have already said, speed comes with perfecting moves slowly. Think of it in a similar manner to Thai Chi...

Peace.


A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words...

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Whiffle Squeek


Whiffle Squeek

addict
Location: Hartford, CT USA

Total posts: 416
Posted:my friend knows how to wire a disposable camera flash battery so it delivers a mild shock...

you could use that to slow the person down, just give em some juice every time they start to speed up...

they should learn quickly...

or every time they start going fast, just stick your staff in the path of theirs, and make them start over, thats what i do...


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

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:uh-oh i think i'm scared of practicing with you guys again... i know i go to fast when i'm learning.... *eep*

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Scaramouche


member


Total posts: 3
Posted:From what I can tell speed isn't nearly as important as rhythm. If you can hold a consistent rhythm (eg, your staff end passes 12 oclock at the same time every cycle) speed won't be a problem. Trying to artificially insert speed at the centre/hand level for its own sake can end in disaster though.

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Anselm


member
Location: Central or Northern CA, depend...

Total posts: 28
Posted:Ok, for both speed and rhythm, try this: Hold the staff slightly off-center. Personaly, I like having the top (thumb) end slightly longer. Not only does this make it easyer to tell where the staff is, but it also makes it easier to control at high speeds.
As for getting people to slow down, there's a few ways: Let 'em hit themselves (I use a 6 foot (1.85 meter) steel staff), tell 'em repeatedly, or (my favorite) pull up my shirt and show them a 2-inche scar. "See that? That's from the end of this staff (picks up staff and inspects end; flips it over) Ah, see? Right there. That sharp bit did that." Then I usual tell them what really happened (a ladder fell on me), but the the point is made:)

Anselm


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[Nx?]
BRONZE Member since Nov 2001

[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both

Total posts: 3749
Posted:yeah Scaramouche dats right, btw, you aint part of the Scaramouche Circus are ya? (just a thought)

N


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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Tanessa


member
Location: Canada

Total posts: 91
Posted:Take all the above advice already given. To be presice is better than to be fast (think of a pitcher, and you being a batter). If you are working on consistency, trying to keep the patterns smooth and flowing, try spinning to some nice music that keeps a steady beat. That will help. IF YOU STILL FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED, try just working on a hand twirl in front of you. Once you've got it down pat, add in the speed, but be careful working that speed into other moves that go around you (I gave myself the world's biggest shiner/mouser). HAND TWIRL = I CHEAT!!! When I do a hand twirl (learnt from baton), it is more difficult than the regular ones you learn for staff. So for every normal twirl all of you staffers do, my staff makes double the twirls in the same hand gesture. So, my staff spinning beside another staffer's, looks way faster, although we are both making the same hand gestures (palm up, palms down to complete one). But my staff gets a whole extra rotation in there just giving the illusion of spinning faster. Then when I actually do spin faster, watch out, because the chopper is about to take off!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Tanessa, that’s interesting stuff about the extra spin with a hand twirl/roll/wraps thing, and as you say speed is perception.

The extra spin would look fast, but you would also have slow your body down b/t turns. For speed, what about just going flat out with 3-beat figure 8s. Like, with one beat at the front, and two behind.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Tanessa


member
Location: Canada

Total posts: 91
Posted:Stone.....3 beat figure 8? You'll have to excuse me as I don't know the language translation between baton and staff. As far as I know, a figure 8 is a move that crosses in front of you from one side of your body to the other (you can add in an extra loop on either side to equal what I'm thinking is a 3beat figure eight). Now when you are doing any figure 8's, the shorter the staff the better, because then you can go faster. And yes, I can't go from a raging chopper taking off in front of me into some funky shit with the same speed if it requires a lot of body movement, especialyy side to side (where in front and behind is quicker). And yes, I can still go super fast also. But I've had years of training behind me that's totally helped.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hi Tanessa, I think I know what you are saying. I agree that descriptions are a pain, especially as I tend to think of moves as outward and inward circles. Do batten twirlers you have the same problems with terminology or do they have a notation system?

I was also wondering where batten twirling originated, and if they have competitions?

Cheers


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Dj Tact


member
Location: St.Louis

Total posts: 53
Posted:My mom was a state level competitor in baton twirling, and it was like a huge sport for girls in the 50-60's. I must of got a dorment gene from her or something.

No idea where it orignated, but back then it was like a military marching band ordeal, you did it with band very sharp movements no style really all the moves were uniformed and looked the same to anyone else (oh and you couldnmt change direction, how broing is that?), lots of tossing in the air.

Only now is there like expression dance where you can do it with em while dancing and otherwise your own moves not forced to do it by the book, even back then though they lit em up, she was showing me pics of her in highschool with 2 flaming baton she thru up and spun all over like a mad women.


Im flying away, running like the wind as i chase the sun up and spinning around, circles in my mind sailing over ground feeling the flow that Dj Tact brings down.My image is reflecting in the enemys eyes, flesh of my flesh mind of my mind. To over come want more to survive, my image is reflecting in the enemys eyes, and the enemy is reflect in the same time. I cant stop, flesh of my flesh mind of my mind, right here is where the angle start at, conflict contact, and combat, fighters say where there land is marked at, settle the dispute about whose the loudest, strongest, endless, only one of us will ride forever, so you and I cant ride togther, cant live... cant die together, all we can do is collide together, so i skillfully apply the pressure, wont stop till im forever. My doorstep where death never comes, walk tall why ever run?

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Tanessa


member
Location: Canada

Total posts: 91
Posted:Hey stone, I have no clue where baton twirling started, but I guess that that is something I will have to research. Yes, baton is recognized as an international sport. I competed nationally for 5 yrs across Canada, but this was almost 10-15 yrs ago. I happened to grow up competing against the 7-time world champ as rivals (nobody ever has been better than her). She could never beat me in marching, but she always whoooped my ass in freestyle. She could throw up her baton and do to aerial cartwheels and catch it, I could only do two plain cartwheels and catch it. It is a very competitive sport for usually young girls in dance training. I never thought I'd be able to put it to use with something I actually enjoy until now. I feel I've waited forever to have someone light my fire!! As for terminology, I think it is pretty much the same, but with baton being more complex, staff spinning is just a rip-off of baton, just with fire on the ends. So, yah, pretty much the same.

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Tanessa


member
Location: Canada

Total posts: 91
Posted:Hey Dj Tact, myself growing up in the 80's, was better than your mom's time. I know exactly what you mean by being part of the marching band, doing uniform moves, and doing straight tosses up. When I grew up, we did marching, but not for any band. There was regular and solitary march. Plus, there was a whole other side, which made this become a sport. Freestyle. In freestyle, it's everyone for themselves. You go thru certain components of vertical, horizontal, finger twirls, elbow rolls, and tosses. None of this was just straight up in the air. Think of a gymnast doing a floor routine. They have to show their balance, flexibility, tumbling, etc. We had our list to follow also. Plus there was group twirls where we would dance and twirl around, tossing our batons to each other thru a choreographed scheme. It was a lot harder doing it in the 80'+90's than the 50'-60's. I bet it is even harder and more competitive today. Good thing I only teach now. It's bad enough the kids still ask me to toss the baton up and do a cartwheel or illusion and catch (still can). For me it's like riding a bike.

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Dj Tact


member
Location: St.Louis

Total posts: 53
Posted:Yeah, what she said.

Im flying away, running like the wind as i chase the sun up and spinning around, circles in my mind sailing over ground feeling the flow that Dj Tact brings down.My image is reflecting in the enemys eyes, flesh of my flesh mind of my mind. To over come want more to survive, my image is reflecting in the enemys eyes, and the enemy is reflect in the same time. I cant stop, flesh of my flesh mind of my mind, right here is where the angle start at, conflict contact, and combat, fighters say where there land is marked at, settle the dispute about whose the loudest, strongest, endless, only one of us will ride forever, so you and I cant ride togther, cant live... cant die together, all we can do is collide together, so i skillfully apply the pressure, wont stop till im forever. My doorstep where death never comes, walk tall why ever run?

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Wow, thanks for the great answers. I was interested in the origins of baton because I was wondering if they were related to wands. To put it another way, if staff is just a rip-off of baton, then is baton a rip-off of wands?

Back in the late 1800s and early 1900's they used to do clubs, dumbbells (originally, bells without clackers) and wands for gymnastics and strength training. Then barbells took over.

These days they still do cub swinging in rhythmic gymnastics, and dumbbells in gym/aerobics. But, I never figured out what happened to wands.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Stone...I may get myself into trouble here, but I do take offense at indicating that staff is a ripoff of batons. Or any other such comment about where staff came from......<please don't take this as a personal attack its merely venting of an attitude that I come across frequently>......

This Bulletin Board is the perfect example of people all over the world, some of them isolated, who do things completely different to each other.

Myself, I was shown 2 moves total in the first year that I began staff, the rest was all my own practice and style. It doesn't matter if batons were around first, they had absolutely no influence on my staff skills.

I actually taught a lady who did batons a number of great moves at our Monday night juggling here, and she taught me some cool baton moves. There was virtually no crossover at all.

It seems interesting that people (and certainly not just Stone) tend to think of our arts as following a direct evolutionary path, when most of it is barely connected in any way at all.

Samoan fireknife dancing is another style that has virtually none of the moves that I have, yet it has been around for ages, and I've only been doing staff for three years.

First doesn't have to mean that other similar arts followed on from the first, a lot of them began completely seperate and have no connection whatsoever...

Anyway, sorry about the rant, just had to get that off my chest...

My apologies to anyone who I may have offended.


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* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:agree Charles. Which is why I made the joke. Better read all the threads above. Good to see you back, refreshed and rearing to go.

Now what’s wrong with tracing the heritage of staff? I love the fact that you can discover a move, that you know someone else discovered 100’s of years ago.

Also, learning is more about body biometrics (pathways) than props. Like you do very similar moves with poi, staff, meteor, clubs etc. Same fountain, just different prop. Like, you are not really learning a prop so much as learning how to manipulate an object with your body parts.

CU


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:hmmm...I did read the posts, guess I still misunderstood it...sorry.

Although once again, you are talking about "tracing the heritage" of staff, which still fits in with my previous whinge.

Anyway, I'm good at whinging, so I'll stop now and apologise again...



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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:staff is a ripoff of baton twirling
shit, so it _was_ a joke, right? and you _don't_ think that staff is a ripoff of baton twirling? I have to back charles up on this, cus it's made very clear in that post about how great baton twirling is and hence could lead a reader to think that the assertion to be something other than a joke.
but I'm glad that it was a joke... right?
I am sure that baton twirling is nice, but I'd _never_ snuff out another's candle to brighten my own.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Ok Charles, I don’t really see what the problem is. You can learn a lot from history.

quote: First doesn't have to mean that other similar arts followed on from the first, a lot of them began completely separate and have no connection whatsoever Now I get it. Agree, a lot of them did begin completely separate (probably for weapons training). That the beauty of it all. People in isolation coming up with similar moves.

However, some arts do follow a path, even if not direct. I’m on the path of Indian Clubs, which go all the way back to the ancient olympics.

People like Schatz, who wrote the club swinging book in the early 1900’s, where top of the line gymnasts; olympic standard. And, Schatz wrote down more moves (and I’m being controversial) than most people here will learn in a lifetime.

I suppose, thinking about it. I find it amusing that some people think that all these staff/poi moves are new. In reality, people have been doing them forever. Now where did I put my sword

Cheers.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hey it's not my quote. Read the threads

The question was (and I'm gunna spell it out here) did baton come from wands ?????? The joke was; nar forget it.

[ 04 July 2002, 14:17: Message edited by: Stone ]


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Whiffle Squeek


Whiffle Squeek

addict
Location: Hartford, CT USA

Total posts: 416
Posted:eesh, im gonna agree with charles and bender, and especially since i think stone is missing one point that charles made that is very valid, if you learn it by yourself, from scratch, you, personally at least, regardless of who made the first staff, have developed the art of staff...

also, i dont beleive it is possible to trace staff, since how many ancient cultures had big long sticks that they swung as weapons?

and how many of these, must have thought it was really cool when you swung em when the end was lit on fire?

and who decided to break that long stick in half so they had a stick in each hand to swing?

lots of peoples did this, and as long as they were completely ignorant of the tribe across the globe doing the same thing, they each developed staff or clubs, even if someone else did it first, merely because they were doing it of their own accord...

blah, that made more sense in my head, but oh well, too long to go and delete...

oh and also, the comment that baton was more complex burned me, just because it has a set of scoring guidelines and what not, does not make it any more complex than staffing...


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

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:the spirit of 'firestaff' (and i do feel a tangible bond to it, no matter what anyone else may think) as a pursuit is a very important part of my life. more than merely a hobby, I see firetoys when i walk into hardware stores and whenever i walk past a broom I fight the urge to grab it and test it's balance point to spin with. Playing pool with me get annoying.
*clears throats*
the point i make is that I'd hate to think that I was following a 'school' in staff.
the learning has always been an organic growth whose roots are planted in the 'net, at fire sessions, etc.
life is waaaaaay too short to follow someone else's script.
find ya own path ...n burn it!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Hmm... this looks like one of those areas where I'm not quite seeing things from Stone's point of view, but think that I am (something I am guilty of sometimes).

Shall we agree to disagree Stone, coz I dopn't think we arguing about the same point, and if that's the case it might be a bit silly to keep going.

Anyways...Anyone want to start a new staff thread? They're getting a bit low agin and the poi posts are taking over....



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* Is it Fair to all concerned?
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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:No probs, Charles Me too, I was already ducking for cover anyhow.

A new thread would be a good idea. Have double staff butterflies been covered?


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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