Forums > Advanced Poi Moves > Need Help with something I'm writing

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DaedraSILVER Member
The Dae Walker
75 posts
Location: UK, Kent, Canterbury

Hello everyone!
Now I've been on the forum for a long while but I'm always more of a lurker than a participant!
But during my quiet time I've been doing a lot of writing and general geekyness with other various spinner types!
I'm basically trying to amalgamate as much Poi knowledge into an easy to understand format for anyone to use. That will eventually make it's way online for all to see.
It's quite an extensive, bloody difficult and on going project but would appreciate any input you could offer!

More to the Point of this thread.
Me and a couple of friends were talking about "The Fundamentals of Poi" Sort of a "How a Poi Trick Works" thing. I went away and wrote down what we came up with but I was hoping that some of you genius innovator types could perhaps add to my notes. I haven't gone into Trajectories or Planes yet but I am working on those articles soon!

Here's what I've got so far.


-Principle Points-

Each and every trick in the Poi'ing world today is accomplished by using a set of basic fundamental principles. The Principles are the "Driving Force", The "Foundation" and the "Driving Style".

These generally are only really important if you're trying to pick apart tricks to learn how to do them.

There is an order to how these forces are applied to Poi spinning. The Foundation must come first. If there was no foundation there would be no trick! Driving Force always comes Second. Reason being that if there was no Driving Force the Poi wouldn't move!
Then obviously Driving Style would come after as you're adding the style to the way in which the Poi are moving.

Think of each Poi trick as a small tower of blocks.
At the base of the tower you have your "Foundation". The basic trick. Then comes the "Driving Force". So a Weave for example would be a Short Arm Trick. Then finally you add in your "Driving Style". As it says your adding a specific Style to the Trick you're trying to achieve.

Taking an Isolated Weave as an example.
Your "Foundation" would be your Weave
Your "Driving Force" would be Short Arm
Your "Driving Style" would be that it's Isolated

You can add more Styles to the tower but, in turn, it makes the trick much more complex and harder to pull off!

Now to explain more about the 3 Points!

-The Foundation-

This, as said previously, is the core of the trick! Where it all begins!

Most of, if not, all of the "Foundation" tricks are done without the use of Styles. So essentially using just the Foundation and Driving Force on their own.
These Foundation Tricks include:

1) Weaves
2) Butterflies
3) Buzzsaws
4) Windmills
5) Wraps
6) Reels
7) Basic Throws
8) Basic Tangles

-Driving Force-
The Driving Force is essentially the position and basic movement of your arms when executing a trick. There are three of these forces in total:

Long Arm - For tricks like Windmills and Flowers!
Short Arm - For tricks like Weaves and Butterflies!
No Arm - For when you're doing Throws!

-Driving Style-
After the Driving Force comes the Driving Style. Where the Driving Force is majoritively affecting the length of the arms, The Driving Style affects the movement of the arms and the Poi its self.

In more advanced and techy Poi tricks a Driving Style is essential and is added to the Foundation to achieve it.
There are many many Driving Styles but, where Poi is evolving and changing so much so often, it is near impossible to keep track with all of the Driving Styles. Here's a brief listing of some of the more "Mainstream" Driving Styles:

- Isolation
- Inversion/Introversion
- Atomics
- Anti-Spin
- Polyrhythm

There is another more complicated Style and it's called

-The Hybrid-
This is one of the more complex Styles. The reason, putting it short, is where Poi tricks usually have both arms doing roughly the same thing.
Hybrids have each hand and arm working independently doing separate things. So essentially instead of using one set of Driving Forces and Driving Styles it uses a set for each hand.

So for example let's label our arms "A" and "B" and do a Hybrid Weave. They would be doing the following:

- Arm "A" is our leading hand. If you start on the right hand side the Driving Force is going to be short arm.
- Arm "B" is our trailing hand. This hand will also have a Short Arm Driving Force but will have an Isolated Driving Style.

Then as you bring the Weave from right to left, the arms switch places, so:

- Arm "B" is now our leading hand and the Driving Force is now going to be short arm.
- Arm "A" will become our trailing hand and will have a Short Arm Driving Force and an Isolated Driving Style.

Then you bring the Weave back from left to right and then the process is repeated!


Right this is pretty much the first draft. This is the first of what will probably be many articles I'll be asking you to look at!
The next article will be going into Poi Movements and such. Going into how Cat's Eyes and Ellipses are achieved etc.

I just basically wanted to know if there's anything missing from it at all or if there was a way I could further simplify it?



Once my father gave me a kiwi... I thought it was a rodent and I stroked it until all the fur fell out - White Ninja

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

I like it - but I think I'd like it better with examples with illustrations / photos or even illustrated photos (ie a comic strip of photos lifted from a video sequence where the arm hand and poi are highlighted for discussion.

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

DaedraSILVER Member
The Dae Walker
75 posts
Location: UK, Kent, Canterbury

Hiya Pyro!
Thanks for the comment biggrin
I agree with you about the need for some helpful photo illustration. I'll get onto that this week at some point when I'm not suffering in the office (^_^)

Once my father gave me a kiwi... I thought it was a rodent and I stroked it until all the fur fell out - White Ninja

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