GOLD Member since Jul 2005


I cant think therefore Im not
Location: In my backpack, United Kingdom

Total posts: 291
Posted:So believe or not, iv been thinking a little smile

What I always see in poispinners when they spin (including myself) is that they tend to spend at least 80-95% of their for example 8 minute long poisession in split-time same direction, forwards or backwards.

My question to everyone including myself is why? Is it because its the first thing we learn, is the easiest, is the most comfortable, is it the most beautiful of all directions/timings?

Some people say that there is more tricks/movements in split-time same direction but I dont agree on that at all. Maybe I could agree on the fact that there is more tricks movement in split-time same direction right know but that is because few people tend to try out new stuff in the other directions such as in-time/split- time opposites and in-time same direction.

What I also think is that its start to become boring to look at poi cos its all in the same rhythm and movements. Imagine a song that has the same speed, sound, rhythm and without lyrics, it would not be very exciting to listen to?! But if you change it now and then, other sounds, beats and rhythms ,it would be more exciting, more variational and much more fun to listen to?!

I feel that its the same with poi. If you have a session that is 8 minutes, spend 2 minutes in each timing and it would be more variational and fun for you and the eventual audience?

This is my theory and I defently not saying that no one doesnt do this this or that I do this I just feel that I start to get bored on split-time samedirectionweavesmiley biggrin

Tell me your thoughts!?

EDITED_BY: Nevisoul (1217608599)

"I dont like shoes, definitely not spinning with shoes, they make my feet feel flat, my feet are not flat...."

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SILVER Member since Apr 2008


Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
Location: Macungie, PA, USA

Total posts: 227
Posted:I think most people *start* that way, so that's what gets ingrained in the training. I mean, the weaves are the most basic element, and that's what that is. The fountain is an extension of the weaves, and it's the most basic of the "pretty patterns". Even the basic 4-petal antispin flower is the same-direction split-time, as are the easiest hybrids.

But at the same time, I'm still new to poi by any standards (about six months under my belt), and I find I very rarely slip back into the split-time-same-direction thing any more. My default spinning is opposites - reels, buzzsaws, weaves, flowers, I just love doing opposites, and I really like polyrhythms. So I don't think that there is a greater "natural beauty" or "more moves" for the split-time-same-direction default, nor do I think it necessarily is more natural a movement, simply because from my own experience it isn't any more natural than opposites, or anything else.

Since you brought up music, one of my favorite challenges in poi practice is timing one poi to one rhythm of a song, and the other poi to another rhythm, and trying to keep them working together, but still individually, like bass and drums.

But maybe it's just me, because the other people I spin with are much more move-oriented I guess you could say, rather than pattern-oriented or rhythm-oriented, and there is a definite preference for the ST-SD default. But I also think that that's how people get introduced to it. "Here, learn this 3-beat-weave first." And from then on it's a series of lessons of individual moves. Trying to string individual moves together, I think it may be easier to use ST-SD for that, and maybe that's where it lies. *Shrugs*

Bouncing Baby Pipe!


SILVER Member since Aug 2008

Location: , USA

Total posts: 5
Posted:Personally I've been trying to eliminate the split-time same-direction bias in myself, and keep the people I teach from developing it. I know that the main reason it took me a long time to get into butterflies is because I never learned to turn with them; all I learned was takeouts, reels, OTH, BTB... things where you just stand facing one way. It was a long time before i learned there was such a thing as butterfly weaves and that I can do anything with opposite that I can with same direction.

I show butterfly weaves to every developing spinner I run into in the hopes that they don't ever develop this bad habit.


GOLD Member since Jun 2005


Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas, Australia

Total posts: 156
Posted:Great question Nevisoul!
Its something that i have also started recently looking into and thinking about.

Its definately not the most beautiful! and I'm going to go all post-modernist and say no pattern/move can be "the most beautiful "
its not the motion in the ocean its how you use it wink

I think perhaps, at first it is the most impressive. Its a great feeling when you get it and its how the poi go fastest making all your friends go "OOOOhhhh" and to my knowledge its the move that is taught first to many people.

I find it interesting that, although I often jam in other timings, when I'm doing fire/performance I slip back into split timings same direction and opposites, which have the same rhythm. Making for a more boring show.

Performance needs drama, drama needs tension, build up and resolution. Thats what I find makes a performance engaging, especially to non spinners who can appreciate rhythm change more than subtle moves and modifiers within a weave rhythm.

nice topic! biggrin


BRONZE Member since Sep 2001


Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:It's mostly down to what people learn, especially in the beginner -> intermediate stages... People learn moves that flow into each other, so get the most number of moves in a chain would mean staying in ST-SD for the most part. As someone mentioned above - weaves, hybrids, flowers etc are all based on this timing.

I do agree with you though, after a while it all does tend to start looking the same, but perhaps this is just old-timer boredom kicking in, having been watching poi spinning for nearly 8 years.

Basically, i think it stems from the way poi is taught to 90% of people. You learn some moves in ST-SD and some based around butterfly stuff. These lead on to other moves and so you get stuck in these particular timings.
Not that people can't spin in other ways, but for most it takes a concious effort to break out of either same-time/split-time spinning into something like hybrids, poly-rhythms, anti-time (ok i made that up) or irrhythmic spinning.

Also, most of what you see is this kind of stuff, and we all learn to some extent by copying others.

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude


SILVER Member since Nov 2005

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Total posts: 360
Posted:I've always tried to avoid this as straight rhythms annoy me. Nowadays I always tend to speed up/ slow down one or other poi when doing weaves/reels/ butterfly variants. That said there are a lot of times when a straight rhythm is appropriate for the music. I spin really simple, normal time stuff for a few minutes in every performance to give the audience something to compare the crazier moves to, I find it holds interest longer than if you just go mad from the off.

My bread and butter polyrythm is one poi going 1.5 times the tempo of the beat. I tend to use it when I need some speed but double time is too fast, or conversely if half time is too slow for the poi I'll have one spinning at 3/4 speed.

Recently managed to get 4:3 ttn nailed which can look quite trippy.


SILVER Member since Aug 2007


Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I think its because the flow is easiest to find with same direction stuff and its the flow that makes people love poi so its easy to slip back into these well known, well loved patterns.

I use a ridiculous amount of stalls and spiral wraps... absolutely addicted to them... but I've got a fear of the camera, as soon as I chuck it on my feet become locked in concrete and my arms forget what flowing is... I tend to slip into split time, same direction for a lot longer than I usually would... perhaps this has something to do with it? A lot of what we see others doing is stuff they have to be watched doing.

I try to teach flowers early on... because by teaching the different variations I think it unlocks things in the learners mind about the way the other movements can work a bit better. Like just the fact that theres different combinations of directions and timings to create remarkably different effects, its something that can be used as a basis of prior knowledge when approaching new material.

And no, the beginners don't tend to be great at the flowers, the timings tend to be off, but thats not a huge issue, its grappling with the concepts and trying them out thats important...

Though, my girlfriends flowers were perfect by the end of the first day at the end of her first week... Taught her the yin yang antispin and extension combo to get it on time and having her control where the petals are. But now she understands the basics of split time, same time, opposites, same direction, antispin and regular flowers... all from one lesson.

I haven't had many students progress far after having learned flowers early yet, I've only recently begun this (After my own confidence with flowers has grown, really) Has anyone else tried this? OH! She was also able to pick up a 2:1 TTN reasonably easily because of her previous work with extensions.

What kinds of approaches do you guys think we should be using as teachers to play down the same direction split time domination??



BRONZE Member since Apr 2006


Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted: Written by :Durbs

Basically, i think it stems from the way poi is taught to 90% of people

nail on head

something ive thought about a lot recently. tried out a new workshop at SL that worked really well. unfortunately we didnt get to do the refined-extended version at play frown

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


SILVER Member since Aug 2007


Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Hmm... now I think about it teaching flowers only really stemmed from the first thing I teach any new poi'ist....

How to spin their arms in split time, even time, same direction and opposites. And I teach this in the side wall plane and front wall plane...

Could the way internet sites have their tutorials set up have much to do with it??

Beginners part 1
Beginners part 2
Beginners Weaves
Beginners Butterflies
Advanced Weaves
Advanced Butterflies

Beginners 1 and beginners 2 is all same direction, most of it split time... the only stuff that is even time doesnt fit in with the other stuff, so people will probably learn to do it in split time and get a better flow from that...

I can see how it could be misconstrued that butterflies are harder than weaves... or even that weaves and butterflies are needed before you go onto stalls or whatever else...

I'm not aiming anything at HoP in particular, it was just the closest tutorial I could pluck out... I hadn't even really thought about the tutorials on the net until this thread popped up.



SILVER Member since May 2004


Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I've been thinking and working on this ever since the inception of this thread. Now this is something I originally consciously decided to do when I first started spinning because I'd find, that after a series of turns, I was easily confused as to whether I was spinning same directions or opposites.

Nothing interrupts the flow more than trying to go into a windmill thinking you're spinning SD when the reality is....awwww crap.

So I've spent the past weeks working on more ST opposites with a big upside being my enjoying moves that I can actually do, but never do ( like ST BF flowers ) and the strengthening of moves that I sucked at, like FWD ST 4BT TTN.

I am, however going to keep my traditional style when it comes to linking turns....old dog new tricks but once I decide to present a move that I usually do in same time, I will switch it up to split time once my feet aer planted firmly. Oh yea, and do more SD same time stuff too like the4 4bt CS because I'd pretty much forgotten about it.


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