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Forums > Beginner Staff Moves > rotatorcuff / smoother figure 8s

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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Location: Edinburgh, UK

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Posted:Alright, this is something which may be a little bit anal for most people, but it's definitely helped me, especially with doubles, so here goes.

Something I've been trying to do is be able to spin staff patterns with the complete minimum of body movement. Don't get me wrong, I like to move about when I'm spinning, but if you can isolate a spin so that only your hand has to move, it gives you more freedom with the rest of your body.

So the exercise for this morning is to be able to hold your arm out horizontally, and spin a figure 8 with your arm completely still, except for the rotation necessary to not break your wrist. But before we do that, lets take a quick look at how your arm moves.

If you hold your arm out, and rotate your hand as if you were turning a door knob, most people think this rotation comes from the wrist. In fact, it comes from the two bones in your forearm twisting against each other. If you try and move it more (you'll need your arm to be straight out from the shoulder for this), another movement comes into play, which is your rotatorcuff muscle pulling you upper arm around. With some practise you can isolate these movements, and rotate your elbow while keeping your hand still, which looks quite freaky.

So, back to the staff. If you watch your elbow as you try and spin a figure 8 without moving your arm, you'll probably see a point in the rotation where it very quickly jumps from being rotated most of the way backwards to being rotated forwards. What's happened here is the staff in your wrist has forced your arm to rotate, and that has pushed the joint round. Now comes the whole point of this post, which is that now you've practiced and can isolate your rotatorcuff movement, you can anticipate this, and rotate your elbow before you need to. Doing this will:

make the movement more fluid
take a lot of strain off your wrist
if you do it *really* early, you can even give the staff a bit more momentum

If you also pracise a similar thing but keeping your arm straight down, you'll find that you can do at least one of the snake patterns without moving your arm at all...

Well, congratulations to anyone who's read all the way through this, and even more congrats to anyone who can now rotate their elbow independantly and freak people out. biggrin


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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

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Posted:Think I understand you. Are you saying that the 2 main points of rotation can be the elbow or the wrist or are you saying there's 2 ways to make the wrist rotate.

I have paid attention trying to isolate the point of rotation and think it cleans things up big style (I'd say the same for poi) especially with minimising the necessary movement between moves.

One thing that occurs to me is a struggle I had before doing opposite direction inwards split time figure 8s. I was never able to isolate the movement in the wrist as it meant my planes began putting the sticks into my shins. I was never able to get around it and to this day there's loads of forearm movement when I do do this move where as outward reels is pretty much all in the wrists. rolleyes


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Location: Edinburgh, UK

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Posted:Quote:
Think I understand you. Are you saying that the 2 main points of rotation can be the elbow or the wrist or are you saying there's 2 ways to make the wrist rotate.




More the second one...

It's a bit tricky to talk about 3d rotations without pictures, but here goes. If you hold your hand out above a table, with your palm down, there are three axes of rotation:
- moving your hand left and right, keeping it in plane with respect to the table
- rotating your hand up and down, so your arm stays still and your fingers point at the floor then the ceiling
- rotating your hand about the axis of your arm, as if you were turning a doorknob.

Your wrist does the first two, and the second (doorknob plane wink) is done by both your elbows (forearm bones twisting) and your shoulder/rotatorcuff (upper arm bones pivoting). What I'm suggesting is learning to decompose this composite movement into the two separate motions, to give you more control. Incidentally, this comes from some friends who do wing tsun, and there is a third part of the movement which some people can get, but I haven't figured out yet frown


Quote:

One thing that occurs to me is a struggle I had before doing opposite direction inwards split time figure 8s. I was never able to isolate the movement in the wrist as it meant my planes began putting the sticks into my shins. I was never able to get around it and to this day there's loads of forearm movement when I do do this move where as outward reels is pretty much all in the wrists. rolleyes



Yeah, the backwards one is much harder to get clean. As far as I can tell the position where you have to shift the plane (going from the front to the back) is just generally weaker. I think it helps to give the plane shifting impulse earlier than you might think - lots of really really slow practise, maybe...


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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

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Posted:If its the move im thinking off, i call it a 6bt (though it could only be a 5) and i need to do abit of arm warm ups, to get maximum rotation. Though i think most people could do it.



Do you mean your doing extra rotations on top of the standard fig8? And also possibly moving the staff around your body at the same time? Because when i go for max rotation alot of the time the staff comes around the back as well as standard fig8 movements. I was tempted to call it fig9 or fig10 wink



Darn this text, ill try shoot it in the next 2 weeks then u can tell me if its the same or that im totally off track. biggrin



Nice topic sunny "Rotator" sounds so bad@ss ubblol

EDITED_BY: Dragon7 (1084881686)


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Great topic. I'll have to try that "rotating your elbow while keeping your hand still" it sounds like fun.

If you want to spin staff patterns with the complete minimum of body movement then try looking up some of the club swinging stuff. Thread with links in "Other Toys" section at HOP.

I'd just like to add that I think a lot of this rotation stuff starts with having a good shoulder roll. One mantra, I picked up from HOP, for improving movement is "shoulder, elbow, wrists, fingers". 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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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Alright dragon7,

No, what I'm talking about is just doing a standard figure 8, but breaking down the way your body moves to do it; so the staff doesn't do any more rotations, but you recognise that what feels like one movement (rotating your wrist) is actually made of several movements (rotating your forearm from the elbow and rotating your upper arm from the shoulder).

What you're talking about sounds like what I call snakes, where you put in extra beats by letting the staff lock a joint and then moving your body to release the lock - so if you're spinning forwards there's one where the staff is in front of you, and ends up locked against your forearm, and you then rotate from the shoulder/elbow to let it unlock behind you, and there's one where the staff is going behind you (locks shoulder/elbow like someone twisting your arm) and then you bring it in front to release the lock. each of these adds an extra beat, so from a 2 beat figure of 8, you can go up to a 4 beat with snakes.

There's also double snakes, which I probably can't describe well, but you let the lock travel up; so in front you lock at the wrist, and then let it carry on in the same direction which locks up to the elbow. You then have to pivot your arm round your shoulder so your elbow goes up and over and releases behind you. The back one you let the staff keep going behind you till it feels like it's going to pull your arm off, and then twist your body to bring it out the front.

Does that sound like what you're thinking about? confused I can try and draw pictures or take photos, but it probably won't be soon... I've found the "Sixteen Snake Technique" wink (front and back, backwards and forwards, single and double) to be really useful (especially with doubles) as it means you don't have to worry about getting badly locked for another couple of beats.


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Quote:
If you want to spin staff patterns with the complete minimum of body movement then try looking up some of the club swinging stuff. Thread with links in "Other Toys" section at HOP.



Good plan, I'll check it out...

Quote:

I'd just like to add that I think a lot of this rotation stuff starts with having a good shoulder roll. One mantra, I picked up from HOP, for improving movement is "shoulder, elbow, wrists, fingers".



Yeah, that sounds pretty good. There's a nice simple chi gung warm up I got shown recently, which I try and do cos all this stuff is really hard on joints, and it goes a bit like this:

- keeping your arms straight, make the biggest circle in wall (window?) plane with your fingers that you can, several times in each direction with each arm separately
- now keep your uppper arms horizonatal, and rotating from the elbows do the same thing
- now keep your forearms horizontal and your hands flat, and do the same, rotating at the wrist
- now make a fist and rotate around your thumb several times in each direction (you'll probably feel this stretching the back of your wrist)

Cheers!


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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

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Posted:Yea sry...think i was talkin bout "double snakes" ubbloco...nvrm im still interested in anything that has to do with different movement. I'll go get my staff and get back when i really get the idea ubbidea

I have a feeling that it is somehow related to your snakes...am i on track? Ie the first section of of rotations minus all the rest? with less or no body movement? Darn it...

/me runs off to grab staff.


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originalsmit
SILVER Member since Aug 2003

originalsmit

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Posted:this is useful. i practiced it for a little while and i think now be cause of this i can fishtail nicely . thank you boys and girls for your invalubal anatomical information

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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:Written by: mo-seph
There's also double snakes, which I probably can't describe well, but you let the lock travel up; so in front you lock at the wrist, and then let it carry on in the same direction which locks up to the elbow. You then have to pivot your arm round your shoulder so your elbow goes up and over and releases behind you. The back one you let the staff keep going behind you till it feels like it's going to pull your arm off, and then twist your body to bring it out the front.



That sounds like 5 beat, or what I like to call "quintuple spin" because it sounds cool (i also call 3 beat triple spin, 4 beat quadruple spin etc :P instead of beats, just a silly habit). You have 2 "wraps", 1 being the lock at the wrist, then 2nd being wrist-elbow lock. I find 5 beat easier when im spinning it in reverse because the part where you pivot your arm around your shoulder is wierd when trying to do it in forward-spin, im working on it smile. But yeah, so to practise i think try in reverse spin first.

- Klaymen


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Location: Edinburgh, UK

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Posted:It's very fun in same time butterfly mode (or reverse butterfly...) biggrin

And I'm still waiting to see anyone do a doubles 6-beat (sextuple spin) pattern (like the 5, but with the extra twist-your-arm-right-up-behind-your-back beat...)


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:jesus 6 beat!! asif thats possible!! :P damnit i want to play pretty badly, maybe ill get up earlier tomorrow before the study-folks get around (im living and breathing 'study', how horrible).

6 beat, woah, so trying that =).

- Klaymen


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Managed to do it yesterday, but it's uuuuuugly at the moment. So many constraints on your body it's ridiculous. Specially the bit where one is fully locked behind your back and the other is full locked in front and you have to twitch like a lemur on an electric fence to try and get them out again... But it'll come... biggrin

...just after I get a second elbow implanted in my upper arm ubblol


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:haha. wow! I just tried quickly with this karate-stick thing i twirl with when im 'studying', and it wasnt happening. I also tried sorta 'double snaking' where you do your last spin down the bottom but that wasn't working either. You must have hyper-extention crazier than i do, i think.

- Klaymen


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:When you make a video of the 5 beat doubles weave, make a video of the 6beat fig8 too please wink.

- Klaymen


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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Posted:Ok, so what your saying is you can learn to rotate your rotatorcuff / elbow while keeping the hand level out over the ground? Wouldnt that be like trying to turn a locked doorknob only without actually putting any tension on the doorknob? Corect me if Im wrong...

And about this whole six beat thingy... a standard figure eight for me almost always has an extra beat BEHIND me, making it a three beat yes? And then adding the other one behind the head/over the shoulder makes it a four beat? Where are the other two beats.


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:the staff should turn through the exact same angle infront of you as behind, so you cant have more beats behind than infront unless you do fingerspin stuff.

and with the rotator cuff stuff (i always read that as "rotor cuff", Teehee), try laying your hand or physically grabbing the end of the table, then roll your elbow around. It is possible to get this action with out having your hand touching anything. I can't do it smile, but mo-seph might be able to. I doubt you'd be able to rotate it much though smile.

mo-seph, still waiting on that 6beat fig8 video! i am insanely curious to see it :P.

- Klaymen


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:i8beefy2 - the secret is, of course, that there is no doorknob. biggrin sorry, couldn't resist.... but yeah, it's as if you were holding a key that wouldn't turn, so your hand is still, but your elbow rotates independantly. Like Klaymen said, it's easiest done by putting your hands on a table. I can get about 120 degrees of rotation with my elbow, but that might go up when I'm warm.

Not sure how to cound whether beats are behind or in front. I guess if you've got a standard figure 8, and you say one is behind and one is in front, then if you put in an extra beat behind, it's actually a transition beat, as it starts behind you and releases in front. Similarly the snake in front starts in front, locks against your forearm and then releases behind.

Those two together give you four beats, and is the same as a clubswinging snake - there might be some good diagrams of those somewhere. Then, for each of those you can let the staff go for another half turn before you translate and release, and that'll give you an extra beat on each side.

Klaymen: sorry mate, been a bit slack on videos, don't have the kit myself, but now my flatmate's got a new pooter and a dv camera, so I'll try and get one done...

Happy spinning!


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:I found myself in the habit of when counting beats for staff, I just count the beats infront of the body (well, whatever side I choose). So pick some arbitrary point on the circle the staff is gonna spin in, and count the number of times an 'end' or a wick passes it before you have to pull the staff behind you. The number of times is the number of beats. Otherwise you can pick ONE end/wick of staff, and choose an arbitary point/axis going through the 2 circles (er, more like a cylinder) the staff will spin in, then count the number of times that end passes through that point/axis in one complete cycle of movement (till you get back to the start).



I think this is the clearest way of describing and using beats. This way you also don't really have to go in to talking about snaking and 'wrist bending' and what not either smile. Anyway, yeah 6 beat, i still don't believe you! :P



- Klaymen


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Written by: Klaymen

Anyway, yeah 6 beat, i still don't believe you! :P




Oooh, that thar's fightin' talk. biggrin

better get a video sorted then wink


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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

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Posted:6 is totally possible. Not easy, you do need to be able to contort your sholder a lil. Unfortunatly...i tried to give a semi understandable description lastnight, but before i could post it...Iexplorer CRASHED! Though its probibly impossible to describe anyway, its 1 of those moves you just have to see.

The other thing is...i doubt its possible to do it with doubles, well the way i do it. But Mo-Seph could have a totally different technique...

Ill shoot it sometime...unless someone has already done it by then wink


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

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Posted:hehe yeah, ill have a play in a sec. I sooorta saw a way to do it, but I was actually adding the beat down the bottom! a bit wierd. I woulda thought anything like this can be converted to doubles as the staffs are exactly out of phase, so as one finishes its spins at the front and goes to the back, the back one on the other side will just be coming forward.

- Klaymen


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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Dragon7: it's *just* about possible to do with doubles, but at the moment its both painful and ugly. biggrin biggrin biggrin

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Pyrolific
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Posted:eh - well all I can add to this is that a standard snake has only 3 beats. I dunno what you guys are doing to make it 4 but its not a standard shoulder snake.

Josh


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DeepSoulSheep
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Posted:I think mo-seph's refering to the half snake ala the 3 beat weave as discussed recently. I don't usually use that techniquie to get the extra beat there, I use a lock on my thumb but I'll have to wait till I've a stick in my hand to see if it's actually the same thing that feels different. smile

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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:Written by: Josh

eh - well all I can add to this is that a standard snake has only 3 beats. I dunno what you guys are doing to make it 4 but its not a standard shoulder snake.

Josh



OK, terminology mismatch... I'm quite happy with any terminology, but here's what makes most sense to me.

Written by: me, just now
A snake is a move which introduces an extra beat in a pattern, by creating a joint lock, which is then translated so that it can be released on the other side of the body.,



(Sorry, been trying to do formal definintions of things recently, and it spills over smile )

The standard 3-beat pattern that most people do is a shoulder snake - you lock the joint as one end of the staff comes behind you, then you bring the staff round the front and the joint unlocks. You can see this most clearly if you try and do it with your arm straight down by your side.

There is a wrist snake in front of you - when you are doing the forward half of a figure 8, let the staff carry on, and it will end up resting on your forearm, locking at your wrist. You now need to rotate your arm at the elbow to get the staff behind the plane of your body so that it can release.

Either of these can be used to add a beat to a standard 2 beat figure 8, or you can use both at once to make a 4 beat pattern.

My terminology confusion comes because someone told me that a snake meant doing both of these, and that each individual one was either the back or front half of a snake. I prefer keeping each single extra beat as a snake, as I don't always use them together, but I'll do whatever confuses people the least biggrin

And the 5-6 beat stuff comes from maintaining the lock for longer, and letting it travel up your body. So for the front snake, you lock at the wrist, then bring your elbow across in front of your body, so the lock has travelled up to your elbow, then you rotate round your shoulder to release behind. I've a feeling I've written about this somewhere else so if anyone's still confused (or interested wink ) I'll find that post. Or start a new thread. Hopefully with pictures...

And if anyone wants some fun technical homework, try getting the snakes in wheel plane (or is it side plane - is there a difference?). Its really good groundwork for 3 beat weavey things...


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Pyrolific
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Posted:erm - well that definition isnt quite the same as what is widely accepted as being a shoulder snake in club swinging (which is where the 'snake' term comes from).

The Shoulder snake doesnt strictly include locking up *any* joints. It kinda looks like it does, but its more about manipulating the side of your arm the staff/club is resting on, while holding the staff/club in a reverse kinda grip. I think what you are referring to is a 1/2 snake, but the locking part of the move comes before the 1/2 snake (as the 1/2 snake starts from the locked position). If you were using a club, the lock would come on as you shift from a standard or ball and socket grip into a snake grip, then you would initiate the snake.

It doesnt really matter, tho - and doesnt really alter the value of what you are doing (which is cool), but be aware that you are using terms in a way that is different to the existing usage.

Goddamn that was pedantic. Sheesh! I guess I'm protective of my snakes.

smile

Josh


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Klaymen



Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Total posts: 180
Posted:hehehe. We totally need some type of website, which illustrates (or even better, uses movies to show) exactly what we are talking about and label each one. Hell, I can steal my sister's digi-cam and record some stuff, but I thought it would be better to leave it up to the professionals, so you guys can put up some elite stuff and I can learn it muahahha :P.

- Klaymen


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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

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Posted:Im talking about double lock up's.

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mo-seph


mo-seph

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Posted:I *think* my snakes are the same as clubswinging ones, partially because I was taught them by a pedantic (meant in the best way possible ubbangel, maybe I should say precise wink ) clubswinger, so I'm probably being bad at describing them frown . The joint lock description is probably a bit confusing. Ah well, never mind, I'll try to get to a video camera soon...

Yeah, Lets Dance!


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:I posted this in another thread but I think the point on snakes is relevant. Hope it helps smile



Yes, snakes are old club swinging moves. There are a number of them, but they are mostly variations on the shoulder snake.



The shoulder snake is made up of the first half (or as someone else said the first snake) and the second half snake. Both halves are done in front of the shoulders. For basic snakes, check out Anna Jillings book of "Modern Club Swinging and Pole Spinning Cosmos Juggling. You can even download a copy of book.



Personally, I try to avoid any locking, as with practice, the different parts of the snake should become one fluid movement. Though, some people like to use the word carry for when they lift up from the hips to the shoulders.





Now, wot was that about clubswingers being pedantic? wink


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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