Saskeah
Saskeah

member

Member Since: 29th Dec 2004
Total posts: 43
Posted:I've been spinning fire poi since around Christmas time this year, and a lot of the time I really enjoy it. I do, however, have a bit of a fear of fire, so sometimes I have a bad burn or something, and it gets me pretty upset. I also really don't like it when the people who do fire around here do things that aren't really beneficial, like pouring excess fuel on the ground and lighting it, just for fun. They're very careful, and a couple of them have more experience than me, but sometimes I get really freaked by fire.

Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?

(PS I did a search, and there are no relevant threads that I found.)


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:I think it's good to be wary of fire... it's important to respect it in order to be safe around it.

A bad burn, well I can get over that, to be honest I think it just comes witht ime that one bad burn amidst 1500 good burns (alright, 2 bad burns biggrin ) isn't a big deal..

People lighting fuel on the ground? That's showvboating. They should just dip for longer and do a bigger burnoff with that excess fuel... or save it up and get an extra burn for their money! It does strike me as a little pointles when people go for theatrics like the circle of fire, because it lasts 3 seconds, looks a bit piddly and wastes fuel. Plus it's really pretentious.

So I think a fear of fire is only natural, it shows good survival instincts, but part of the art of fire performing is to learn to work with that fear and help it give you a bit more edge in your spinning smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted: Written by: _kevlarsoul_


I think it's good to be wary of fire... it's important to respect it in order to be safe around it.




I disagree - To alter your words a bit:
I think it's good to be aware of fire

You shouldn't be scared of fire when fire spinning, you should just be aware of the fact you're spinning with fire and respect this. If there's fear there, you tense up and spin worse and make more mistakes.
A good fire performer doesn't have any fear of the fire - they are just fully aware of where it is in relation to them, and how it can affect them.


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:I think, though, part of that understanding (and I can only speak for myself) is fear of what it can do to you... not in the sense that you fear the unknown, but in the sense you fear cutting your finger off when you're chopping the carrots

With fire performing, I like to do stuff which I don't think I can do, and other people may think is dangerous. It's not, because I'm aware of it, but I just like the buzz of doing something you know is close to danger but over which you are in control

I don't know, guess it just varies from person to person. I love fire, but I've seen too many mates set themselves on fire and go to hospital to not have a slight fear of what it can do to me. That doesn't stop me performing safely.. I don't know. It's a buzz when you know it can go badly, but you can control it.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:I'm not afraid of fire in the slightest. I've been lighting fires, playing with candles, setting off fireworks and organising bonfires since I was about 8... I know how fire reacts with most things, so I don't do anything stupid with it (apart from breathe it, but y'know... wink).

I'd say it's just a matter of being around it long enough to get used to it.

And if you're still a bit nervous, spin some fire staff first, before poi, because that is less likely to give you really nasty burns/set your clothing on fire. It'll let you get used to fire when it's a good distance away from you and will just bounce off if you mess up, unless of course you mess up the matrix ubbloco


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:*agrees with durbs*

you should feel confident with fire before you play with it. I've been spinning since july 05, and using fire since sept, and I've never burnt myself while spinning. (only when trying to light the poi in the brisk highland wind- set my glove alight for a few seconds lol) Fire wont burn you if you pass your hands quickly through it but give it a second or two and it will.

I went three months without a fire spin and I got a little scared of it when i started up again. Its worse at night time, so when you do spin, try doing it at dusk or twilight when the sky isnt so dark and the flames seem smaller. It helps smile

keep skin covered to avoid getting burnt and wear long sleeves, natural fibres, and jeans. oh and leather gloves too if possible.


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

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SickWithWonder
member

Member Since: 17th Mar 2006
Total posts: 56
Posted: Written by: _kevlarsoul_


I think it's good to be wary of fire... it's important to respect it in order to be safe around it.

A bad burn, well I can get over that, to be honest I think it just comes witht ime that one bad burn amidst 1500 good burns (alright, 2 bad burns biggrin ) isn't a big deal..

People lighting fuel on the ground? That's showvboating. They should just dip for longer and do a bigger burnoff with that excess fuel... or save it up and get an extra burn for their money! It does strike me as a little pointles when people go for theatrics like the circle of fire, because it lasts 3 seconds, looks a bit piddly and wastes fuel. Plus it's really pretentious.

So I think a fear of fire is only natural, it shows good survival instincts, but part of the art of fire performing is to learn to work with that fear and help it give you a bit more edge in your spinning smile




the circle of fire is neither showboating nor pretntious...its a neat and beautiful way to spin off...

spinning off into a bucket can be done, but is kind of a hastle, spinning off and lighting it is as "showboaty" as the circle of fire, but once again serves a function


and spinning off without lighting it is just a waste of fuel.



and as far as fearing fire...there is a difference between understanding and respecting the damage it can do, and being affraid of it...this relationship will only come with experience, as you spend more time working with it.


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted: Written by: SickWithWonder



the circle of fire is neither showboating nor pretntious...its a neat and beautiful way to spin off...





Hmm, I take it you do it then? rolleyes



Well, everyone seems to disagree with me, ho hum. I feel totally confident around fire, I don't feel like I'm in danger, and yet I respect the fact that I'm close to danger if I let my concentration drop. That, to me, is a type of fear. A perfectly natural type of fear. I've been spinning fire in some form or another for about 2 and a half years, not ages but long enough to be totally desensitised I guess.. part of the pleasure for me is the thrill I still get lighting up. I feel sad that others seem to not have this thrill.. makes me wonder why people spin fire and not glo/practise.. you'd save some cash on fuel!!



But of course each to their own.



I don't spin off, btw, I burn off. That, to me, is the best use of that excess fuel, not some piddly litte trickle of flames. 5-second half-foot flames at various points of a round-about circle, or 10ft walls of flame? shrug Again, each to their own.

EDITED_BY: _kevlarsoul_ (1146431971)


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Sethis seems to have stolen and posted my opinion whithout me even telling him what my opinion was. umm

How bizarre.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:ubblol

Damn my telepathy. Damn it to hell. umm wink

Wait, pretend I didn't say that...


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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fNi
fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York
Member Since: 8th Mar 2004
Total posts: 3354
Posted: Written by: _kevlarsoul_


I don't spin off, btw, I burn off. That, to me, is the best use of that excess fuel, not some piddly litte trickle of flames. 5-second half-foot flames at various points of a round-about circle, or 10ft walls of flame? shrug Again, each to their own.



you mean like highways? or a butterfly burnoff?

besides, the circle depends on the poi just as much...I use big caths that give off probably more thana foot of flames, and last ~7 seconds

besides, spinning off is just so much safer then just burning, ie, you start spinning, and showering little bits of fuel everywhere, and one lands in the fuel bucket (true story)


kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:I am scared of fire- so I don't spin it.

XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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=Flamer=
=Flamer=

member
Location: Southport, North West
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 192
Posted:When I started fire spinning I was a little frightened of the fire and it made me tense up and my spin would be a little.. well... crap. But I am no longer scared at all and you can tell the improvment in my spinning, I am alot better now. Fire is only dangerous if you don't know what you're doing or you're being stupid with it.

Fire Staff 27, Paraffin 10... setting yourself alight, Priceless!

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pricklyleaf
pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester
Member Since: 7th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1365
Posted:I, and most the spinners I know have never burnt themselves when spinning fire, although there has been the occasional singe or near miss. In fact, your far more likley to burn yourself when trying to light them in the first place, or after they've been burnt and the metal is still hot, this always seems to be the way it happens because you let your guard down.

I was scared of fire when I first started. I would light them and end up just letting them burn off on the ground some of the time. This happened for nearly a year. Then I didn't spin fire for at least 6 months, mainly due to living in the middle of the city and not having anywhere to do it, partly due to not being bothered with the hassle, for little gain.

After this break, a few months ago I started again, and suddenly I wasn't scared of it anymore. I'd used the break to get a lot of my moves really solid, and to practice more plane control and I think because I had gained so much confidence from that, I didn't need to be scared anymore.

I do however still respect the fire, and always take saftey precautions, such as covering my hair, wearing apropriate clothing etc.

I think the moral is that you will gradually and naturally gain confidence with fire as your spinning progresses. It can take a while, if like me, you are scared of most things! But it will happen. Just don't force yourself to spin fire because you think you should.

Invest in some good glow equiptment, which can look just as good, and use that whilst the others are lighting up, until you feel you really want to spin some fire. (If you can spin some of Malcolm's beaming balls and not be scared, you can spin anything! wink )

Be patient, it may take a while, but it'll be worth it in the end.


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hanz
Hanz

veteran
Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia
Member Since: 7th Jun 2004
Total posts: 1328
Posted:You're not the only one... I am too.
But not just twirling, matches, campfire, any type of flame. I am getting better, I started off by placing small bits of wood on small fires and have built up. Yeah, Im still scared, but in the past I couldnt even go near a match, now I can make a reasonable fire and hand it over if I need to. Really, start small in general and work up. Ive fire twirled before and I was less scared of that than any other type of fire (because I was concentrating on moves, not the flame)


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Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:Think of fire as any other tool, like a table saw, or electricty. It's extremely beneficial, and is not dangerous -- until it's misused.

If you have a truly innate fear of fire, you may never overcome it. If you can come to understand fire, the whys and hows of it, maybe your fear will even dissipate. But it never hurts to have a healthy respect for fire.

Remember, fear gets a bad rap. It's there to help, nothing more. The best antidote for it is confidence, and confidence comes from understanding.


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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jaero
jaero

your new best enemy
Location: over the river, through the wo...
Member Since: 6th Jun 2004
Total posts: 246
Posted:strip down a little bit and wear a hat. clothing and hair are the most common way to light yourself up right? so make it difficult for them to catch. in the summer, I spin wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. that way, the worst thing that can happen is I'll get a burn. but not a really bad one as though my shirt lit up. don't fear the fire. appreciate it's power. if you get burned, appreciate it. which doesn't mean you have to enjoy it. but if you play with fire, sometimes you get burned. it comes with the territory. and every scar I have. I'm proud of.

I'll get there too late if I shorten my stride, I'll get there too soon if I find me a ride, I'll never move forward if I try to hide this path that I've troden one step at a time.

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SickWithWonder
member

Member Since: 17th Mar 2006
Total posts: 56
Posted: Written by: jaero


strip down a little bit and wear a hat. clothing and hair are the most common way to light yourself up right? so make it difficult for them to catch. in the summer, I spin wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. that way, the worst thing that can happen is I'll get a burn. but not a really bad one as though my shirt lit up. don't fear the fire. appreciate it's power. if you get burned, appreciate it. which doesn't mean you have to enjoy it. but if you play with fire, sometimes you get burned. it comes with the territory. and every scar I have. I'm proud of.



i disagree...wear well fitting tight knit natural fibers, like cotton or wool, they are possible to light on fire, yes, but

a. wont melt to your skin like man made fibers
b. the clothing will burn for a some time without you getting burnt which allows a safety to warn you of the danger, so you can either pat it out, or they can come in with the safety blanket/damp towel/duvetyne, and put it out for you


but it is a trade off, your flesh wont ignite causing serious burns, a shirt will protect you from small, much more common burns.


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fNi
fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York
Member Since: 8th Mar 2004
Total posts: 3354
Posted:I agree but only to a point:

after having lit poi handcuffed around my forearm for around 7 seconds, I'm quite happy with wearing natural fibers. And the shirt didn't even have a mark on it. I walked away with a red, warm forearm, but it would've been much worse without anything

its very hard (at least in my experience) to light natural fibers


kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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jaero
jaero

your new best enemy
Location: over the river, through the wo...
Member Since: 6th Jun 2004
Total posts: 246
Posted:I managed to attach my bicep to my wrist while swinging fire once. it did burn like a mofo while I flapped my arm like a chicken. about 7 seconds actually that it was stuck. i didn't have a shirt on and it hurt to say the least and definately left a mark. however, I do believe that if I was wearing a shirt, then I would have had to untangle myself while trying to then put myself out. I'd rather a small rash or even a small burn that takes some skin with it rather than becoming a match stick. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

I'll get there too late if I shorten my stride, I'll get there too soon if I find me a ride, I'll never move forward if I try to hide this path that I've troden one step at a time.

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Sixth
Sixth

Devil May Cry
Location: Manchester / London
Member Since: 31st Oct 2005
Total posts: 327
Posted:I dont know why but I didnt really care about getting burnt shrug the one thing i find important when im either poing of staffing lies not only on rigorous practise or warm up sessions but "feeling" the movement of whatever your spinning as theres no point spinning staticly (physically or mentally).

My own practise is to practise normal poi or staff while blindfolded that way i can feel & visualise the movements.

I hope this helps


I give hope to others but I keep none for myself.

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jeffhigh
Member
Location: Caves Beach, NSW
Member Since: 15th Oct 2005
Total posts: 89
Posted:I burnt the back of my fingers quite badly 18 months ago......cooking. I managed to slop some hot oil out of a wok onto them, It didn't feel too bad at first but after a couple of hours huge pain.
Lost many layers of skin and it took about 2 month to get looking reasonable. even now the area looks a little white.
By contrast, contact of the wick with bare skin has caused either no damage or something akin to a mild sunburn.
So to me, playing with fire is safer done with care than an everyday activity like cooking which I have been doing for 30 odd years. So respect all sources of heat, whether it be your poi, the iron(evil implement to be avoided) or cooking and heating devices.
Jeff


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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:I have always been afraid of fire, due to an expereince of having been trapped in one when I was little.



When I first approached fire poi, it was part of a shamanic training involving spending a year exploring and honouring each element. I started with Fire since that was the one I had least familiarity and comfort with...



I eventually learned to play with the fire, after a very long time of just poi, no fire. The first time with fire I handed them right back to Nick,shaking, and said get these away from me! I felt sick. I was even queasy being the safety for my friends, though I know full well they never burn themselves, and are not the least bit worried .



Then we tried spinning with just one poi, which was manageable, and I came to appreciate the warmth and incredible sound of the fire near my body. I eventually made myself dance with two, always, always being careful about fire safety to the point of annoying my much more talented and comfortable friends, who found my behaviour towards fire ridiculous and inexplicable. I rationally knew getting burned was unlikely, but still had this psycological/physical response, a rigidity inside me.It was constant.



I learned to move despite my fear, through habituating myself to the fire. But I was never free in my movement, and a lot of energy was spent just overriding the panic signals to my brain. I could do it, but it was not exactly fun.And not ever what I consider dance.



Then, last week, I was teaching the session on fire safety. Had not spun fire in at least six months, so was going to keep it simple. So then I lit up my poi, to demonstrate, and immediately realized something was different. Lighter. Spun them a bit, and thought wow, this is incredible. Something was missing: the fear, it was just gone! It was like something that had been weighing me down just disappeared. I did not work through it, it just left. Why, I do not know.



But it is an amazing difference. Liberating. I used to think my fire friends were just better able to manage their fear. Now I realize they probably just never had that feeling to begin with! The expereince was completely different. I can now do all sorts of things I would never have even attempted before.



I always thought I would be mastering my fear slowly over time, with practice. I never thought the fear would simply vanish.



Very exciting! I have been spinning many times since this happenned, and it has not come back yet. It is like being a different person, and I am really enjoying the free movement.



No advice on how to make it happen, have no idea why it suddenly shifted. I just wanted to let you know it can change. I hope it does for you too!



smiles,

A


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

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