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Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Start like you did when you learnt to juggle with your eyes open i.e. toss one ball from hand to hand, then two, then three.

Your throws will have to be considerably lower than normal to make catching without vision feasible.

Timing is vital; with such low throws the balls are very nearly hitting each other. Try to visualise the balls positions.

Another option is to juggle with eyes open, make the pattern very small and low, then close eyes for short periods whilst still juggling.

Initially there is very little scope for adjustment, best to focus on making the throws so accurate and low that they land in the other hand. Later on you'll gain the ability to 'see' in your minds eye the location of the balls. Also, with a fudged catch/throw, by feeling where on your hand the ball leaves from, you'll be able to predict its path and reach out for it, possibly saving the pattern from collapsing.

Balls- the crocheted ones are excellent (see: -


for how to make these) cos of the noise and tactile properties. Failing that, any standard beanbags will work, it's better if they're old and floppy as they'll be less likely to bounce out of your hands. Stage balls are, for me, a no-no; difficult to catch and they'll roll for miles when they drop.

Position- Kneeling down 'seiza' style is good, bear in mind that you'll be dropping a lot and if you're kneeling you'll generally be able to locate the dropped ball without having to take off the blindfold. Generally, with most juggling stuff it's important to be standing, but, for blindfold juggling, you'll be better off close to the ground till you've got the basics.

Tricks- 'Over the top', 'half shower', 'reverse cascade' are all feasible, as is transitioning between them.

'under the arm' is trickier but achievable.

Years ago when I practised this regularly I could get a few passes of 'mills mess', not consistent, but, with practice, it could have been.

Why?- blindfold juggling is a unique experience; whilst it has potential for use in an act I feel that it's main benefits are purely personal ones.

It's hard to describe what it feels like to be juggling with no vision, it's very peaceful and relaxing.

With no visual feedback your allies are imagination and the ability to throw low, accurately and with perfect timing; to a lesser extent the noise from the balls helps.

On occasion, when the pattern is steady and balanced, you get such a good impression of the position and state of the balls that there is an almost visual representation of them in the blackness of your minds eye.

How difficult- I can't really answer this; I picked it up fairly quickly but I learnt it at a time when I was doing lots of very intricate three ball work (with eyes open!), much of which involved very quick flurries of low throws. So I guess I had an advantage when it came to closed eye juggling cos I was used to maintaining tight and low patterns.

It'd be interesting to hear from others who've worked on blindfold juggling, or progress reports from any one who decides to give it a go.

Good luck.

EDITED_BY: onewheeldave (1069466903)

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geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:rah! yes i too love doing this.

awful for a street show unless you KNOW you are not going to drop

awesome for personal gain

i can go for about 2 mins at best with a normal cascade... and a few throws anything else.

i no longer practise(trying to learn performance stuff right now, leaves very little time for anything else) but it was the moooost satisfying and calming thing i have ever done.

like meditation really.

only one hint from me tho..

i learnt by wanting to learn. i had tried a few times half assedly and got nowhere. then decided that i WAS going to do it. i find this generally helps!

and now the hint: juggle a casceade til your arms fall off. make sure every throw is exactly the same. every time. no. EVERY time. then close your eyes for 2 throws. then open them. then try 3 throws. then open. then 4. then 5 and so on.

in 15 minutes(after my arms falling off of course) i could juggle blindfold for 1 minute....



Holistic Spinner (I hope)

Monkey Wrangler
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 183
Posted:I love the phrase 'in your minds eye'.

Also, I love being able to open my eyes in complete darkness, you really start to visualize things and think clearer.


That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2003
Total posts: 556
Posted:I find juggling clubs blindfolded is easier than balls. I think it's because of the added spin to the throw and you can recover easier. More handel to grasp at. At a juggling festival my frend Lance won the 3ball eyes closed competition and he used chain mail balls. The have a very nice ching ching ching sound to them. Try juggling clubs in the dark with a glow-in -the -dark necklase wrapped in a figure 8 around the head of the club. It's harder than torches because all you can see is the necklase... and that's all you need. I found myself doing double blind catches. It too was quite medatative. smile Your minds eye gets a little hint, but that's all.

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:one tip I havent read above;

keep your head still. If you move around a lot it will be much more difficult to simulate the pattern in your mind as you will have a lot of trouble tracking the relative motion of the balls.

I do not take credit for this tip, I read it in a book written by some super amazing hardcore juggler smile

and I use bluecats tip too (juggle a few beats closed then open and gradually increase the number of beats with closed eyes)


Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!