Forums > Beginner Poi Moves > Very newbie question *DELETED*

Login/Join to Participate
33 posts

Post deleted by Wheee

LazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK

don't give up! Take a break, blow off some steam, try something else, go back to it later! I felt I was completely unco-ordinated, as you say, feeling that I was reaching my absolute limit within a couple of hours, before doing poi, and now almost two years after I started, I'm starting to feel more co-ordinated. You'd be surprised how much you improve while having a break from spinning. It's like things just connect in your brain. Just have a little go every day, even if it's only 5 minutes, and it WILL come eventually.

Keep trying and don't give up. And find something to protect the family jewels, cos you hit those a LOT in the first 6 months, and then you still will occassionally afterwards.


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

animatEdBRONZE Member
1 + 1 = 3
3,540 posts
Location: Bristol UK

I had weeks of thinking that I'd never get anywhere...

Butterfly was horrible for me at first as well. Don't even ask about the corkscrew... after learning other multiple beat moves, I still can't put any more beats into a basic corkscrew successfully, so I just leave it out of my repertoire redface I really should work at it more...

I heard someone on this site say: Every so many times you do a move, you learn something new about it. Even if it's the tiniest detail.

You CAN do it, I promise you. If other people can do it, so can you. Everyone just has different rates of learning things. smile Fear not, you'll get it.

Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

7 posts
Location: Vancouver Island

I think I know the question you're asking about the planes Wheee, I could do the butterfly for a week before I actually figured it out.. Put your poi down and try this excercise. Put both hands high over your head. put your dominant hand on the back of your other hand, now swing your arms each out to their side and down so that you dominant hand is again on top. (but this time in front;) Make big circles crossing and uncrossing both ways, this is the giant butterfly, the poi in a regular butterfly travel the same cross/uncross pattern..
Keep at it, you'll have it in no time.

Hmm, isn't it about time??

faith enfireBRONZE Member
wandering thru the woods of WI
3,556 posts
Location: Wisconsin, USA

ooh and it does help with coordination...i am a hopeless clutz and i've managed only t o bruise myself with the poi as of late...
still unsure about the butterfly, can do it, and i suppose it makes sense...i started swinging by my side in split time till i got comfortable with that and slowly brought my hands together...after i got the hang (it took a few days and many bruises) i started bringing the movement of my hands together...
sock poi are great and don't use tennis balls if you are getting frustrated by hitting yourself...use the big long men's sweat socks...they bounce off each other pretty well and just sting a bit,,,they aren't as heavy but very forgiving and you can tear up as many poi as you want wink

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

1,376 posts
Location: London, UK

Don't have one hand in front of the other, that won't work! biggrin

"Moo," said the happy cow.

TinklePantsGOLD Member
Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
4,219 posts
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, United Kingdom

remember to use your hands to correct the planes if they keep tangling. When the poi pass each other make sure the cords/chains exactly parallel to one another.

with a butterfly (right hand on top), your wrists should be close to each other, possibly touching, with the top hand slightly more forward than the other (about an inch more or less). when they meet passed your shins, the left poi should be closest to you.

when both poi move up to the top, bring the top hand in a bit and stick out the bottom hand. When they pass each other up there, its the right poi that should be closest to you. keep them parallel as they pass each other!

Go to kitchen and get two wooden spoons (or similar) and practice the movement to avoid frustrating tangles. This will also help get your wrists supple so you can correct planes better.

oh and try to get your palms to face away from you on the lower part of the swing!
EDITED_BY: TinklePants (1140019221)

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

ElzibellesSILVER Member
37 posts
Location: Norwich, UK

Right, I've had enough of this negativity! Don't give up. Thats what I love about poi - it teaches you to be patient and keep trying because eventually it will happen.

Firstly you need to buy the Michal Kahn book "poi spinning". It's incredibly well written, very clear and easy to follow with wonderfully clear diagrams. They sell it on this website and any other poi website you care to mention. It really is a good investment.

Second, buy a DVD called "The Art of Poi". It has a lovely lady with a lovely New Zealand accent going through all the basic moves (including butterfly). Sometimes it helps to go back to basics as often its something basic you're missing like holding the poi wrong or having your wrists and palms facing the wrong way. This is also available on this website - in fact I think its on offer.

And thirdly ask someone to show you! People from all over the world use this website and someone must live near you. With a lot of poi moves they only click when you see them in the flesh.

As for butterfly it's a strange move. The more I think about it the weirder it seems so don't think! As a couple of people have mentioned the best way is:

1) Spin your poi slowly in front of you in inwards circles with your hands far enough apart that the poi don't touch. Get the planes flat and the poi in time.

2) Raise your dominant hand (normally right unless you're a lefty) a good 30cm higher than the other.

3) Now bring your hands together until your dominant, higher hand is directly over the lower hand. Keep the poi spinning nice slow inwards circles the whole time.

4) Bring the higher hand down until your wrists are touching. It helps to keep your wrists and palms facing the ceiling and to bounce your wrists up and down in time with the poi.

Above all poi should always be enjoyable. Don't let it frustrate you. Learn to be patient and it will happen. I often find that I spend hours trying to get a move right and just can't. I leave my poi alone for a day and the next time I pick them up it just happens - muscle memory or something. And if the butterfly doesn't come spend time playing with the moves that you can do - build your confidence.

I hope this helps,
x ubbrollsmile

The world is a park. Go play in it. x x x

zamiriiBRONZE Member
44 posts
Location: South Florida, USA

I've got the Art of Poi DVD myself and it's been good, but the Poi Spinning Basics With Pele's Element I found was better for those of us just starting out. Although I loved watching COL2 on the AOP dvd, hard to say which HOP performer i saw on there was more fun to watch. (some of the guys were amazing - but i admit the girls are delicious to watch)

Every Day I add another name to the list of people who piss me off

Kathain_BowenGood Ol' Yarn For Hair
422 posts
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Don't get up!!! Never give up!!!

When I first started to learn poi, the only people who could impart their wisdom were people who learned with glowsticks. With their smaller area, they offered a greater margin of error as per hand placement, so they kept attempting to teach me to move with my hands DIRECTLY next to each other. Yeah.... yeah no.

Want to know how I actually learnt the butterfly? 3-6 o'clock and 6-9 o'clock.

Use the Great Butterfly so you can figure the timing out. Also, figure out using the GB which hand is more comfortable on top and below in the crossing of your arms. As you practice the standard butterly, you generally want one hand lower than the other. Figure out which hand us more comfortable where, it will help determine where you are going to more instinticely "plant" your hands.

Now, as you bring your arms into the downbeat of a GB, bring them closer together so that, as the poi come to the low point of their arc, you hands are close together. Here's the trick....

Make sure one of your hands STAYS lower than the other one. Also be certain that your arms do NOT cross. Now, if you were paying attention earlier, remember those clock numbers? This would mean, if your right hand is lower, it should be somewhere between 3 and 6 o'clock in reference of your left hand. If your left hand is lower, your right hand is going to be between 6 and 9'clock in reference to your right hand.

Don't be frusterated. If it makes you feel any better, when I was first trying to learn contact juggling, Michael Glenn (Try Out Toys/Inspired Fire) was doing his best to get me to a passable state. But, for all his efforts, I ended up striking the same person maybe four or five times. To make it worse, the person I hit was the boy I was trying to date. Needless to say, the relationship didn't go too well after that.

What seems to be your problem is more than you poi frsuterated. Or, at least, you poi until you get frusterated. Your trying to make it too much work. It's fun, or, at least, it's supposed to be fun. I figured that out drunk, when I realized I could Mexican Wave for the first time. I was just trying too hard to MAKE the Wave work.

..... however, I do not endorse playing drunk. Althought you might not feel the bruises at that time, you'll feel them the next day.

"So long and thanks for all the fish."

HOP Newsletter
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more...