Forums > Beginner Poi Moves > the best spinner in the world... and the state of spinning today

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bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
once upon a time, when my horizons were small, and the total number of members on hop was less than my currrent member number(aaah the good old days when i went by mineiro biggrin ), i harboured a secret(hah!) desire and need to be 'the best spinner in the world'

this year, with organising uber events, travelling the world, and being generally reinspired to spin after a year of jugglefever i have come to the following conclusion:

there will never be a best spinner in the world.

i long ago stopped thinking it would be me ubblol but now have stopped thinking it could be anyone.

why?
well. theres a few obvious reasons.
spinning is not competitive, its contemplative. this means you will never be able to judge objectively who is 'better' at spinning. and long may it remain that way.

people have entirely different focuses(foci? focal points? crocuses?). how can you compare RHD to meghan? you can't. simple as that. unless meg spends a year on throws, and antti and tommi spend a year on contact(which, quite scarily, i think they have....). or.. glass and oli. eek! what kind of comparison is that?
and, most importantly, people who have different focuses have got soooooooooo good at the individual sections of what they do that in order to catch up you'd have to give up on another section, allowing some other single minded bugger to totally forge off into the future and blow you away when you look back at what you used to do. some good examples being wibblingmatt, rhd again, meenik hug, devkev, oli... the list is long and there are so many i have not named.

one of the great things about these people, and many of their contemporaries is the new respect that spinning gains within the performing and specifically object manipulation communities. no longer can a snooty juggler(or diabolist, or staff spinner about poi, etcetc) turn round and say 'huh, poi is not worth my time because i could learn everything in a day' (and beleive me, that is an accurate paraphrase from bristol juggling convention three years ago from a top juggler). it takes time and dedication, understanding and insight, openness and a willingness to share to become a top level spinner.

Some kind of conclusion? hmmm. well, er... i don't really have one, and i suppose i'm opening this up for some kind of discussion here. i don't want replies that say 'xxxxxxxxx is the best'. i want to know how people feel spinning is developing and has changed since you started. i want to know what you respect about people that inspire you, and how you feel that inspiration is good for the community at large. i want to know what you don't like about the new spinning community, and how it has been belittled by its incredible growth.

i also recently rebumped an awesome thread of NYCs about 'the london factor' (sorry, no link, cold fingers) i'd like to hear also what you think makes a successful spinning community and why some places deliver one style as opposed to another... er. that'll do for starters. i need a cup of tea.

i one last thing: I consider it an honour that many of the most innovative and exciting spinners in the world are my friends, and choose to spend some of their time sharing their skills and inspiring me to develop mine. thank you all( i think you know who you are).

Rob

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


Suibomaddict
577 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
Well, at least that way we don't have to worry about trying to figure out who's the best. I mean, whoever is left standing will obviously be the best without question right?

If you don't agree, grab your spinning toy of choice and jump in the ring!!

Uhmm.. if someone can spin rifles, are they allowed in battle as well? :P

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


[Nx?]BRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,749 posts
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both


Posted:
i recon there should be a flexible catogry (chains, whips ect) and a 'stiff' catagory (chains, whips... oh, no i mean staffs, spears ect)

Finnish Him!

T wave

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


MillenniuMPLATINUM Member
Hyperloops suck
595 posts
Location: USA


Posted:
 Written by: [Nx?

]

i recon there should be a flexible catogry (chains, whips ect) and a 'stiff' catagory





This is getting kinky ubblol



Oh, and this thread is bunk - you're all just jelous because you know I'm the best in the world. Have fun competing for second place, suckers!
EDITED_BY: MillenniuM (1144125411)

Suibomaddict
577 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
Bring it!

When Poi Poi Revolution comes to a gaming console near me, I'll whump all yer arses!

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


PyrolificBRONZE Member
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
3,289 posts
Location: Adelaide, South Australia


Posted:

I reckon Id feel extremely uncomfortable if someone challenged me to a public battle. I've never been a fan of ranking / competition especially without choice or under duress.

As I see it battling is a pretense for sharing /showing moves anyhow - why cant you just share them without involving ego?

Josh

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


MeenikSAPPHIRE Member
enthusiast
272 posts
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada


Posted:
Again, the ego is the problem, not the presense or lack of a competition.

I just went to the most amazing poi event last night, here in Tokyo, organized by Yuta and Nao and friends. Much of the evening revolved around a "competition," and the spirit of the entire event was very loving and supportive.

n

"They're interdimensional fractal intelligences. That's why they wear funny shoes."


GeoffonTour04SILVER Member
enthusiast
360 posts
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom


Posted:
I'd love it if they were actual battles, that'd involve a great deal of skill & stamina etc (and cool moves like wrapping their poi when they go for a headshot so it whips back & hits em in the eye) but a dance-off sounds kinda lame (unless you're a breakdancer and actual battles would involve lots & lots of death from being so pumped)

RovoGOLD Member
(the person actually known as Chris Bailey)
544 posts
Location: Austin, TX, USA


Posted:
Nick I'd like to hear more about the event you attended. It sounds interesting smile

I agree that peoples ego's would be the main problem with having competitions but competeing can be a healthy rewarding experience. Theres a big difference to someone coming up to you and trying to out do you to make themselves look better and a bunch of peers getting together to have an organized competition.

Peace, Love, Circles


Suibomaddict
577 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
If it was like NFF (Naranja Fire Festival?), then you can see some samples of thier play on Yuta's https://poicommunity.nobody.jp/
site. There used to be an english translation of the site, but I cannot find it anymore (site was redesigned).

Anyways, here's the link, and the vids are worth watching if you haven't seen them, even if it's not like what Nick was part of:
https://poicommunity.nobody.jp/video/nff.html

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


StoutBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
1,872 posts
Location: Canada


Posted:
O.K, that's it, I'm going to Japan.

I've had enough of this sock juggling malarkey

Guess I'd better hit the gym first though redface

EpsilonKiasNote to self... Fur + Fire = Hurt.
107 posts
Location: Bloomfield Indiana. USA


Posted:
I always though it was the Nihongo Fire Fest.

Anyways... The main problem in battling as others have pointed out is ego. And is the reason I dont battle with my glowstrings.

Though if you could take the ego out of the battle... It's not really a battle after that. More like a skills forum of sorts.

But isnt the idea of compititon kinda detrimental to the natural devolpment of the average twirler? Take for example.

Staffer one battles Staffer two.
Staffer two is beaten by Staffer one due more towards speed than skill.
Staffer two quits.
Staffer one contunes to staff. Teaching others a more Speed=Skill idea.

By then it just turns into a form of natural selection. The ones that can make the croud go "oooh" more will contune when the others with more skill quit after being disheartened.

Just my two cents

-EK

DutSILVER Member
lurker
380 posts
Location: Nashville, TN, USA


Posted:
 Written by: EpsilonKias


By then it just turns into a form of natural selection. The ones that can make the croud go "oooh" more will contune when the others with more skill quit after being disheartened.

Just my two cents

-EK



exactly that's why you have a continuous series of competition.

disheartened people get better. easy winners get lazy.

NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
That depends on the person of course.



There's actually quite a bit of documented educational theory on the 'optimal' level of stress in which one performs.



If the stress level is too high, the individual can not funtion well enough to perform. If the stress level is too low, the individual does not have the motivation to perform.



Goes to the concept of 'eustress' which is motivational stress.




Non-Https Image Link




Every person has a different optimal stress point and competition can affect that.



Therefore and quite obviously: "A certain level of competition can be good for some"

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


BansheeCatBRONZE Member
veteran
1,247 posts
Location: lost, Canada


Posted:
Perhaps with it while trying to find balance with eustress,we should try "eunoia" which means "beautiful thinking". I find it quite motivational!
wink
ubbrollsmile

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


EpsilonKiasNote to self... Fur + Fire = Hurt.
107 posts
Location: Bloomfield Indiana. USA


Posted:
Eunoia? Can ya give a link or an example?

BansheeCatBRONZE Member
veteran
1,247 posts
Location: lost, Canada


Posted:
if you google it, lots pops up...:)
(I dont know how to do links and stuff!redface )
It is also the only word that uses all the vowels!

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom


Posted:
Yay! If you hadn't pointed that out, I wouldn't have noticed!

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom


Posted:
bumpity bump,

wow, this thread is like only 10 months old! It feels like two years ago! What a noob I was back then.

Time for a reread I think. I think maybe I've been coming around to bluecats point of view. So I will have to slap myself some more. wink ubbrollsmile

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
can you put in your 'three types of spinner' thing..? i might go and get the rating system off tribe, too, its pretty good

[slap]

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: tedward



I have a theory about fire performers, in that they go through stages, pretty predictably, though everyone proceeds throuh each stage at a different rate and intensity.

1) the Wonder - You see it for the first time, or take a dare from a friend and you just 'know' you gottat do this

2) the Noob - when you just first start out, most people aren't even thinking about performances, they're out to se IF they can do this.

3) the Sophomore - the state of knowing just enough to admit that you know something, but not enough to have "mastered" things. Most people do the bulk of their teaching here. "Oh, yeah, that was hard for me too, here, do _this"

4) the Pro - a subtle, (sometimes ego based) transition takes place in the sophomore whn they stop feeling like a noob entirely. They may not admit to having mastered the art, but, a switch definitely gets flipped where they lock into their performace style. This will be Very difficult to reverse later if the style needs changing.

5) the Diva/Old Pro - shortly after the performance locks in, the performers attitude towards teaching changes. At the very least, the rabid excitement is gone. In extreme cases, they won't teach at all (they have other things to do). It is at this staage the a lot of people try to formalize teaching and even springboard into a paid teaching gig. Note that there is not particular leap in skill between steps 3 and 5, some people never really progress, others take leaps and bounds. But in all cases this stage marks a shorter temper for excited newbies, and frequently an inflated self veiw.

6) Plateau - hitting your first real performance plateau can be humbling. Some divas take the lesson early and convert to jaded, some stay divas for years, and some use it as an excuse to start a new tool. In that last case, it's usually a switsh over to poi or staff (whichever hasn't been done yet), and of course, steps 1 and 2 are skipped because of a base level of skill.

7) PolyDivary - Having more or less mastered 2 performance skills, really earning them, changes people. Many develop the first signs of Jaded, some get bored, some break through their first performance style into a much stronger style, and some loop back for more and more until they have to invent new tools to keep themselves looping. In any case, people who hit this mark will be quite comfortable with the "front row" positions of performance and more resistant to "back row" positions. This can manifest anywhere from trying to throw some zazz into a supporting role, to full-out tantrums.

8) Jaded. At some point, for no particular reason, people get jaded with performance. For some this means leaving it entirely, or multi-year breaks. For others, it's just a way to get away from the drama, usually that they have created, around them. this is a time for introspections and perspective. Without it, no performer can enjoy the art. Though, it's worth noting that some rare people get locked in this stage, seemingly forever, while still performing. It's sort of an Anti-Diva position.

9) Post Jaded/ Cynic - "been there done that" is this actual old-pro's battle cry. The cynic won't mind being on stage in any position, though their talent and experience will usually earn them prime slots. They're no longer divas, though some have hard lines drawn which must not be crossed (what? no permit? I'm outtahere). Often these lines have a hard, ugly story behind them. The downside to the cynic is that they actually know their own value, so they're harder to keep melded with a troupe than a diva (who knows they can be replaced with a cynic), unless they're in charge.









 Written by: mcp on tribe



this would be my set of stages:



Firstly, decide what sort of person you are: natural born performer, normal spinner, geek spinner.



The natural born performer will either pick up the prop without any training and be able in a few hours / days to make an excellent show with it, or if they have done no manipulation before, a few weeks / months.



At some point they might think, everybody knows all these super advanced tricks that I can't do! I've gotta learn them. The better a performer they are, the quicker they will get over this and become comfortable.



They will still learn a lot of tricks thou and constantly and consistently improve and add to their performance ability.



This will continue until there is some reason for them to stop / dislike performing.







the normal spinner, the normal spinner might follow a course similar to tedwards, having to learn spinning and performing as combined skills and in stops and starts. They'll have gone into it with half a mind toward performing and half towards learning spinning and enjoying it.







The geek spinner will pay absolutely no attention to performing for ages, probably at least two years of intense practise. At some point, people will start telling them or bugging them to perform. Or they might decide that they need to perform in order to support their spinning habit.



They'll probably perform badly, or they might refuse for a while and study performance and how to do it. If they were sane they'd say no and not perform until they were comfortable to do so, or because that's what they felt they wanted to get out of their practise.



After another year or so, they will be a reasonable performer. They'll either continue to improve their performances, learning from natural performers, or decide it's not for them and become comfortable just enjoying fire spinning, rather than performing it.







I personally think, but don't know, that an example of a natural performer would be keith barefoot, an example of a normal spinner (half geek, half performer) would be nick woolsey, and an example of a geek spinner would be rhymo or maybe chris rovo. [it's hard to pick out people that'll be known on tribe, so these names aren't the paragons of the generalisations I would like them to be, apart from keith barefoot.]







I did it, cos I knew you'd be slaaaaack.



why are these here? I don't know. Maybe I should think or something.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
wicked, thanks.

i like both systems; they both seem to be quite accurate; one describes a state of being (megs), one describes where you are at within that state (teds)

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


BrettStarPLATINUM Member
old festy hand
765 posts
Location: Australia


Posted:
i have read bits and pieces of this thread... well said rob... I started spinning late 2004... im now doing halfway regular performances and have taken a few workshops... i have progressed pretty quickly... july 2005 i could 3bt weave and thread the needle and windmill... then somthing happened... Uberpoi... since i have been to two commongrounds and UberOz... starting spinning when i did allowed me to have so many more resorces to learn from... so meg i only learnt how to do a threetimes round continuous matrix (i actually did it yesterday) since playing with contact for under a year cos you slaved away at it for however long you did... scales of poi etc... i remember arashi talking about when he first started and how there wasnt anyone to teach him.. horah for the masters who are making the wold of spinning... also i think your very right in saying that there cant be a best spinner in the world.. the way i try and look at spinning is far more like a yoga and meditation... and well competative meditation? haha im more enlightened than you so there hahaha just doesnt really work...(mentioning masters then meditation is really just making me think of buddah rob) i think the fact that people that spin purely with ego and getting into themselfs never put on a show as good as someone who isnt even present while spinning is closely related to that... i really need to thank josh and kate, rob, nick, arashi, mat, kyle and uhm more for there part in making spinning what it is for me... hope this is on topic and someone gets somthing more than imagining buddah rob out this... actually that is still pretty good... sleep now... thanks a bunch tho people grouphug

[Nx?]BRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,749 posts
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both


Posted:
ubbloltoo..late...for...paragraphs...ubblol



nice meg.



I like the two systems. they seem a nice model, but I cant really place my self in either.



cant decide if im a diva or a cynic for example (cynic probibly)



also, I am a natural performer. I been doing it since i was young enough to dance around naked to the archers theme tune. but I didnt really learn in the way meg puts, I never took up fire arts/manipulation with any view to performing them. Instead I started playing as a form of meditation. I used it in fact as therapy, a way to make my self happy. Whatever was happening elsewhere in my life, at least i could do two hard hours of practice and at the end done something that Id never done before and feel happy about it.



this aspect of 'poi' isnt really covered by either progression.



of course, I performed all though every stage of learning, but to me this is as natural as breathing... wink (wow now that i think about it I made a show for some kids with my first stick with ribbons on the ends, and Id only just learnt going backwards eek ubblol )



T wave

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


mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: [Nx?

]
I like the two systems. they seem a nice model, but I cant really place my self in either.



I think you'll find you already have, and you're firmly in the "tease" camp. Oh sorry, wrong duality... wink biggrin ubbangel

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
Here in Sweden, a Battle is "friendly" sure we may act tough or be very teasing. But whatever we do is on friendly grounds.



It's only for the fun of it. Even I would feel unsure if somebody "battled" me on the assumption of he beeing better then I, or wanting to prove something. That's just immature in my book. As previously said, a battle is fun, the overall feeling should be kinda peace, love and understanding ubblove like.



It doesn't really have to do anything with ranking, except perhaps the fact that the next battle, you'll be facing off agaist the previous winner. But in the end, it's just for show and for fun. Friendly and hilarious.



hug



EDIT: Speaking of which, some of my friends are currently doing Diabolo basketball. It's really fun watching them. biggrin
EDITED_BY: Mireneye (1171321323)

ShanerGOLD Member
newbie
22 posts
Location: europe, Belgium


Posted:
*sigh* yeah the good ol days when we still thought we could become "the best"... I used to head back to belgium and practice my ass off in an attempt to surpass ronan years ago, then everytime i'd come to ireland thinking "there can only be one, btb waist wrap weave turns, take that!!" only to find he'd had learned everything I had and 2 moves more,... talk about motivation :P i dunno, i still see a bit of competition as a good thing.



but yeah, back then I still thought the more tricks, the better poier. I suppose everyone has theire personal favorites but I totally agree with there being no "best" poi artist, personally I would prefer an elegant show with a few tricks than a battle with air using a gazillion.

if carrots made u drunk, rabbits would be pretty f***ed up


thombreGOLD Member
member
74 posts
Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom


Posted:
I'm right with Shanner.
I've got a mate who glowsticks a lot and hits a lot of raves, whereas I concentrate more on technical moves and freedom of movement than the number of tricks I know.
Weird thing is, whenever we get together for a spin we both end up thinking the other guy is better. He loves seeing good tricks done cleanly and I'm always blown away by the sheer amount of stuff he can do.
The great thing is that we keep inspiring and motivating each other and we're both better spinners because of it and that I'm better than him.

Buy gerbils cos you can't spin with hamsters


Mr SockGOLD Member
member
94 posts
Location: Dover, DE, USA


Posted:
This is a great thread.
I apologize in advance for not directly quoting any of the awesome posts I'm responding to since I just read everything in here at once.

I've been spinning for quite a while, but only recently started getting actively involved in the community. It's given me what I'm realizing is a rather different perspective from a lot of the people I'm meeting, and is giving me an amazing amount of inspiration and knowledge to process.

I started with HoP back in the day, and so can see the growth that has happened here since then. It's pretty awe inspiring to see how far the art has come, and not just technically (coming back after a few year's hiatus and having people discussing families of moves I'd never even heard of as though they were basics was humbling to say the least).

The hot thread back then was "Is poi more like juggling or more like dancing?" and I'm seeing a lot of the same comments and arguments here as then. It all comes down to the balance between technique and dance.

Where style and personal preference comes into play is where you fall on that spectrum combined with where you get your inspiration. It also draws very heavily on what you're trying to accomplish. If you want to throw very amazing, techincal move sequences that's great. If you want to do weaves while break dancing and doing backflips, that's great too.

Any judging as to who was actually the "best" would have to somehow take this into account. Kind of like how olympic figure skating or gymnastics have both a technical and artistic score.

Would the ideal judges be spinners, or non-spinners? While nearly everyone I've met who's really interested in any skill toy gives it a try, I have recently met a few very fascinating and knowledgable folks who had no such inclination. They were simply very skilled at appreciating and critiquing a poi or staff performance. It's a very different perspective, to say the least.

So assuming it could be done, should it?

I've been to some clubs and things where battles are going on, and I've noticed it's a really fun environment as long as everyone is around the same skill level. Once you get somone "better" than someone else spinning, the others drop out and stop... not very conducive to enhancing or even displaying the art. On the other hand, competition can be a GREAT motivator. I know I personally train a lot harder before a big gig, especially if there will be other performers involved. I can only imagine the same thing would be true of competitions.

Would this make it more accessable and understandable to the general public? Maybe, maybe not. Would it dilute the spirit of it? Maybe, and maybe not. If poi gets to be the next workout trend, like club swinging was in the 1800s, is that a bad thing? If a basic understanding of technique starts to be common knowledge like it is with juggling, will that enhance audiences enjoyment of performances?

What I know is this: If I was spinning sock poi in a public park several years ago, people would usually say something along the lines of "What is that, some kind of martial art?" Now the most common comment I get is "Light 'em on fire!" It's amazing to me how much more widespread knowledge of poi has become, and how many more people personally know someone who spins.

Everyone starts out as a beginner, and many never progress past that stage. Having advanced spinners around makes learning more technical moves much faster, and while it can be frustrating to a teacher who worked months to get a move have a student pick it up in a matter of days, it inspires a good teacher to strive harder to push the envelope even further.

So who is the best spinner? One who has a vision for their performance and/or their art and seeks to realize it. One who can express themselves through their chosen props. One who embodies their chosen style, and seeks to develop it. And one who is open minded enough to learn from and teach others.

Again, thanks for the great thread biggrin

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted - Martin Luther King Jr.


SpannerBRONZE Member
remembers when it was all fields round here
2,790 posts
Location: in the works... somewhere..., United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: [Nx?


also, I am a natural performer. I been doing it since i was young enough to dance around naked to the archers theme tune.



I listen to Radio 4 most days.
Since you said that, I've never been able to listen to the Archer's theme tune without that very image immediately springing to mind ubblol

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"


mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom


Posted:
What I learned from parkour: There might be a best spinner, but that doesn't matter. What matters is how well you know yourself, and what you can find out about yourself, using spinning.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


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