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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:Hi there,

some of you may remember this thread from several years ago. I decided to work on it and not only release the missing chapters but also improve the ones I had written so far keeping the experiences I made and the knowledge I gained in my poi life so far in mind. This thread will be extremely useful for people that just started poi but also for the ones that have been playing for quite some time. It will change your perception of poi and the person that has written it, for you will inevitably start feeling an incredible attraction towards the author of this thread.. muhaha..

A few words on the thread itself:
Pretty much four years ago I decided to write a guidebook for poi spinners in a German forum. Back then my motivation was to not only list the things I have learned for myself so far but to make them accessible to the public. I sucked at every aspect of playing poi back then. Hell, I promise you, I ruled at sucking. I honestly didn't think that I would ever come remotely close to a "good" poi player. So my evil plan was to infiltrate some more talented poi players' brains with my ideas and feel like I have part in their success. What a brilliant plan I had back then laugh3

Well not only did I change but also my level of playing poi. And this is why I believe that you can easily achieve what I have achieved. This sounds cheesy as hell but it's the bloody truth. Face it, my friend! The only person holding you back from becoming an awesome poi player is yourself.

Ok, that's enough of me writing passionately. Before you start reading I want to make sure that you understand that everything I write is from my own point of view, I don't claim to know or write the truth (although I might be damn close to it hehe) so don't feel offended if I say something that you wouldn't approve of. The things I wrote won't be breathtaking, they won't be revolutionary but as I think quite nice to read and an inspiration to everyone. If you wanna post comments - go ahead - I am always thankfull for criticism.
The different parts don't have a special order for when I wrote the thread I just wrote what came to my mind.






Chapter I
Steps


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Steps. Probably not the first thing you'd expect to read about in a guidebook about poi spinning. So I hope my efforts in surprising you paid out.
It is actually something we usually don't think of when spinning poi. We don't see ourselves doing them, only if we are practising in front of a mirror but who gets to have that luxury in his training space? Anyways, if we are performing the whole audience can clearly see if you have worked on your steps or not. I recognized that the first time when I saw PK spinning at the BJC'04 in Derby. Although his tricks weren't too geeky he had an immense charisma and I simply couldn't take my eyes off him. I didn't know why and for the first time ever I started analyzing one's poi style. It took me at least 5 minutes to find the feature that fascinated me the most about his style: It were his steps. He had a very distinctive way of making steps while playing. This is where it gets a little tricky, I can try to describe it to you but I am not sure that you will get it.
Whenever he did turns he crossed his feet, standing close to each other (right foot on left site and vice versa) and then he turned himself 180 so that his feet were in the right position again (right foot right side etc). It's really nothing that you would happen to realize immediately if you watch him spinning but you will always feel that he has some very clean and nice control over his body.

But wait, there's more to it. Now we talked about a few single steps, why not talk about walks? I find it very interesting how you can define a character on stage by the way you walk. You can be the smooth ninja fighter, lurking across the stage. Maybe some drunk idiot tumbling around with his fire poi or even a horse, jumping up and down making funny noises. It's completely up to you and your decision of what character you want to represent on stage but please keep the steps in mind for they will be very sad if you forget them.

There are hundres of people on this board reminding you of "moving and making steps while spinnig" but I'd like to add a little something: "but before making steps think about the kind of steps you want to do." Start to move your feet, start to think about different possibilities, but please remind yourself: start with the simple figures and make easy things with your feet/legs first so that it is easier to keep them in mind. Once you get a feeling for these moves you will start moving your feet automatically to some kinds of tricks and that in a nice and impressive way, I hope.

summing up
- pay more attention to your feet
- think about steps (how about step dance?)
- think about your character on stage and the way you walk
- start with easy moves, then progress to advanced moves

And how could I talk about walking without showing you
Monthy Python's Ministry of Silly Walks.?

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Chapter II
Head


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Well, after discussing the bottom of the human body I will continue with the top of our bodies. The head. Unfortunately some people forget after all that it isn't dancing and tricks only, that make a good performance. Your head plays a major role in looking good while playing or amusing the audience.

Normally if we practise our head is faced towards one of the poi or to both, sometimes even worse to our feet and the floor only. Both of it makes us look a little dull. So what you want to work on is the position of your cranium. Start stressing different moves with a specific movements of your head.

Lets just think of a very simple move for a second to understand what I am talking about, the giant butterfly for example. Whenever your poi cross at the bottom, try bending your head towards the floor in a nice motion. If your poi are crossing on the top, you should try to bend your head on the top. Now depending on what you want to convey to the audience do this in either a very funny, a very beautiful or a very aggressive way. Or do it the other way round and look at the top, when poi are crossing on the bottom and vice versa.

Another example : make a simple same time equal direction figure in front of your body and stall both poi at the right side (like a pendulum, not like a super crazy Yuta-stall lol). Follow this movement with your head. then, once again do the same movement at the left side. This should look quite good already but now try to invert the whole thing. Stall at the right - head faces to the left and so on..
Or just do a simple thread the needle move and whilst that make crazy circles with your head.
If you try some time you will find a few things that will actually "feel" very good. To see for yourself if this trick looks as beautiful or crazy as it feels, ask a friend or your mom to watch you and to rate the "head variations". Or just use a cheap ass 50 digital cam, works fine as well.

Well, that's it on the head already, isn't it?
Noooooooo! Please punch yourself if you really thought that was all I have to say about the head.
Head movements contain facial expressions, too!!! Look, I gave this phrase three exclamation marks to show you how important that is! Honestly, please never ever forget what you just read.

If you perform, you should think about the character (more about this concept later on) you want to be on stage. Now you'll learn more about what I mean by that and how to create one in one of the last chapters of this guidebook, but let me blow this already: A character has a mood he or she is in. You can be a funny character, an arrogant character, a sad character, an aggressive character and so on and so on. So how do you convey your mood? By the music you use? Hah, nice guess but this answer is far from the truth. It is actually your facial expression, your mimic. Now don't tell me you completely forgot about that so far in your routines hehe. I used to. Always.
Did you ever do a fire comedy show ? It's really great fun doing something like that. Not only do you learn more about your mimic but also about group dynamics and the relationship between performer and audience. You can easily make a few hundred people crack up and admire you for your performance although you don't do any fancy tricks. Have you seen Thomas' JFF2008 performance (if not so click here)? Then you probably recognize how he amazes both, the jury and the audience with his performance. It isn't very good technically (compared to what this man can do) but yet so funny and entertaining that it ended up winning the JFF contest. I will analyze this and two more performance videos in the "Character" chapter.

But now back to the face. Some plain advice. Never look dogged or strained. 80% of the people I see doing fire spinning do exactly that thing. Stop it. Please. It greatly weakens your charisma. It feels like all the fire spinners think it is important to show people how DANGEROUS and SERIOUS fire spinning is. In fact it looks ridiculous most of the time. If you wanna do a "serious" show it's better in my opinion to have a neutral facial expressions.

I found it quite interesting to see how people reacted when Yuta filmed for his "Poi Around the World" project. He always said "Smile!" when he started filming and people smiled for about 10 seconds before they forgot about their face and started looking stressed again because they really had to pull off this very technical trick for the camera. wink

summing up
- think of the movements and the position of your head
- play around with facing/not facing your poi
- get feedback from friends or a camera
- mimic! mimic! mimic!
- think about your "mood" on stage
- never look dogged or strained


If you wanna see a really bad example for facial expression check out Steven Seagal's work. No this isn't funny, this is just what most of us look like when spinning lol

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Chapter III
Freestyle or Choreography?

I remember having had countless discussions about the whole "freestyle vs choreography" topic. Some people were of the opinion that choreography doesn't allow you to play freely and emotionally, some of the opinion that choreography is the only way to play clean and emotional. Well to be honest I don't have an opinion on which of these two ways of playing is "the best" so I thought I might just discuss both of them and show you when freestyle might be of advantage and when you'd rather choreograph a short routine.

Freestlye
Pros: Good way to relax your mind and body. Good for improvising skills. Nice to watch for a few minutes. No pressure. You're not too focused or too much in your head but can let your thoughts drift.
Cons: Sometimes too random. Gets repetitive after a while. Often lack of coordination. You don't really learn something new.
Synopsis: I like freestyling. It is great fun out in the sun and can really get your mind and body in a nice state of relaxation. You usually have no pressure on you when freestyling (except if there's a guy filming you or something like that). You're not too focused or too much in your head but can let your thoughts drift. Yeah, in a nutshell this is perfect for some playing around. But to be honest I get tired of seeing exactly that in 80% of the fire perfomances I usually get to see. No offence, it's just this feeling that if you get paid for a performance you shoud actually prepare one.

Choreography
Pros: You know exactly what you're going to do, don't have to think of your next move in panic. People will pay much more attention if you know how to win the spectators' favour. Interesting routine without any repetitions (hopefully). Fits the music perfectly. Adrenaline (that's a pro in my opinion cause I like it - bring it on!).
Cons: Pressure. Expectations. One mistake can strongly influence the rest of the routine. Takes a looong time to prepare and work out.
SynopsisYeah, to be honest choreographies still scare the [censored] outta me. I mean really planning, trying to fit all of your movements to the music, getting a rhythm and climax for the show - qu palo! That's really a whole lot of hard work. But once you mastered that work you will be able to express yourself sooo much better and even more fluidly than with freestyle. Your choreography shouldn't be in your head only but mostly in your body (I love it that G describes our knowledge of poi tricks "muscle memory")! To be honest I feel that a good performance is the only way to evoke strong feelings in the audience.

Just have a look at this, my all time favourite baton twirling routine:
Kiyoshi Sugimoto

I could cry everytime I see it because of it's beauty. Does that make me a wussy? Probably lol. I dare to claim that poiple are able to do so much more so much better than it's done at the moment. It's not about the fancy tricks. It's about showing some personality, some emotions and some originality on stage. Challenge yourself, show some courage, move up your lazy ass to do a choreography and you will see how much your style will improve.

This is what a very old choreography looks like. I'm sure you geeks would do it with MS Paint

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Chapter IV
The Torso


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All right, let me start this chapter with some ancient Asian wisdom that will hopefully kick your ass. Chinese people say that the power house of our body, the "Dantian" is positioned in the pubic bone, about 3 fingers underneath the belly button. Not only is this position of great importance for the fluency of the "chi" (the energy of all life forms in the world referring to the Chinese) but also for the fluency of all body movements. I won't discuss whether you want to believe the whole "Chi" thing or not, personally I don't but the importance of the "Dantian" position is interesting for poi spinners anyway.
If you do a handstand, a wheel or a backflip - this area plays a major role in doing these these stunts. Some blunt physicists would probably say that it is simply the balance point of a human body, but no matter which point of view you have, this point should be the center of your moves at least most of the time. Thus in my opinion many poi and body moves should be done with the abdomen rather than with legs or arms.

Think of a belly dancer for a second. She or he moves precisely that part of the body. And it looks fluent as a jellyfish. Oh hell, I am just realizing that it is kinda hard to describe what I mean in words. Just wait until I upload a video (which will probably never happen, I'm just being honest here hehe).

Let me try with a different example: If you do the insane "Matrix" move that everybody loves to watch. You have to lean back a looot, and I find it a little easier to do if I focus on the position of my mojo storage the "Dantian". Then again I find that a lot of the holy "Matrix" move depends on your footwork so I will rather talk about the torso in general then trying to mash up Poi and Chi theories.

Since we just learned right now wherefrom our body movements should be effected it is our turn, not to say duty, to utilise this knowledge. Now watch it, I will give you some advice that can increase your performance by at least 15%!
This is my advice: LEAN! It looks so great if you do it while spinning. Back then when I started poi I was pretty amazed by bluecat's style. One of the reasons for my careless admiration and countless marriage proposals to this person was the simple fact that he leant.. a lot! Check his Spinach Sessions to see what I am talking about.
Lean, my friend, lean! Spread your legs when doing a corkscrew and lean forwards so that you are able to do this trick as close to the floor as possible. It might sound stupid but if done the right way it looks fantastic!

Another important thing to keep in mind are your shoulders. At the beginning of my "spinning-career" I had the problem that my shoulders weren't relaxed at all, they were wide above normal shoulder level. Relax! 70% of the people I see doing isolations have cramped shoulders. Relax, fellas! Have a look at a mirror and force yourself to lower your shoulders. Get a camera and see how kinky you look if you have cramped shoulders and start working on that problem.
On the other hand it can be a funny thing to use your shoulders to stress body movements while spinning and to convey a certain "character" (ok, this will be one of the very last chapters so please be patient with me). Try to push your shoulders up and forwards as far as possible, peer and smile, and et voil - the kid's are gonna love you. (do you know what I mean with that shoulder thing ? just like Dave Elsewhere in the very famous collaboration video).



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Phew, that's a lot of stuff so far. Hang on, we're almost done with this chapter! Let me introduce you to behind the back moves for a second.
I often see that newbie spinners have the tendency to lean backwards when doing a btb move. Lean forwards as you can see it in the lovely HOP poi lessons (at least you could in the very old ones). You will have a hard time successing if you're leaning backwards! once you mastered it with a forward-leant body you will very soon be able to do BTB moves without leaning your body at all. Butt (haha, pun intended) let me share a little secret: most of the times btb weaves and stuff don't look too good anyways, so don't focus too hard on doing them.

Just as with facial expressions start to experiment with different styles: An anxious person with shoulders up and a hump, or a proud person with a straight back and an upraised head, an agressive person showing of his muscles...

Summing up
- Start moves from within your Dantian
- Never underestimate the power of leaning!
- Relax your shoulders while playing
- Lean forwards when learning btb stuff
- Play around with body positions





Chapter V
How to learn tricks


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This chapter may contain some contents that are very likely to displease you if you're a Poi Teacher yourself. I apologize unreservedly if you feel offended, please feel free to share your opinion if you don't agree with my point of view.

Sometimes I feel a little sorry for the people starting poi these days. It's quite unlike it used to be a few years ago. Back then people like me complained about a lack of videos, a lack of teachers and a lack of books. I wanted to see more, better and more exciting poi players than I already did. Well, these days it's quite a different situation. There is a whole bunch of teaching DVDs, online tutorials and books out there, there are lots of workshops held every year and sometimes people seem to get a little confused about things. They don't know what DVDs to buy, what workshop to attend and what books to read. It seems to be impossible to make a decision.

[image]http://www.abload.de/img/homeworkr0r.jpeg[/image]
Soo much information... help

The question is if that is even necessary. Now don't get me wrong, this will be the part where some of you will feel like jumping and killing me for what I write but I feel like there's one truth to spinning poi and it is a very simple one: You don't need workshops, books, DVDs or teachers to learn new tricks. In fact you are even wasting your time by reading this article instead of practising yourself. The problem with learning new tricks is the fact that our brain finds a billion excuses not to practise that trick we want or should practise for any reason. You all know how hybrids work, what they look like and that's all you need to know. Still people seem to need more learning material or workshops on hybrids. Grow up and start practising yourself instead of making a teacher responsible for your success or failure. No one can "teach" you new tricks. Some people feel they attended a workshop successfully for they learned one or two tricks that they probably would have learned anyway if they would have practised a little longer at home. But usually they say something along the lines like "Yeah, it was nice seeing all the possibilities and what you can do with your poi, but I didn't really learn something new" - and that's it. You are a lazy and stubborn person to think that attending workshops will make you a better poi player.

Wow, how rude. Now let me explain what I mean by that. I didn't say that teachers, DVDs and books are stupid or worthless things at all. In fact I would be the stupid one to say so. These things are great tools to improve what you already know, to give you new ideas or to help you if you are seriously stuck with learning a new trick. Seriously stuck. Sounds a little strange, eh? It sounds strange because it is strange. Personally I can't remember being stuck with a trick. I wasn't stuck but simply too lazy/scared or whatever to really practise the trick (of course I wouldn't admit that hehe).
What I was trying to clarify is that there's no one or nothing out there that can spare you the seemingly cruel, boring and endless duty of practising. Careful, my friend! I said seemingly cruel, boring and endless. In fact practise itself is what will eventually give you a deep satisfaction and the desire to keep on spinning poi for a very long time. I'll talk about that later on in the Chapter "Long Term vs Short Term Gradification" - in my opinion the "key" to becoming a good poi player.

After boring you to death or making you rage like a poisoned monkey by explaining my view on things I will now get a little more practical. Allow me to share my way of learning new tricks. I usually watch a video for 2 or 3 times if there's a trick that arouses my interest. I start by asking myself the question "Do I really want to spend plenty of time on learning that trick?". If the answer is "Yes!" I proceed by analyzing directions, timing and the way the person transitions into that trick. This can take some time but it's use shouldn't be underestimated. A proper analysis can make practising a lot easier. After the whole theoretical stuff I make a commitment to myself. It is either "I will practise this trick for 30 minutes" or "I will practise this trick exactly 100 times". A commitment will help you having the discipline to actually keep practising the trick. If you don't commit to yourself you will end up jumping from freestyle to that new trick and back again without a real learning success. After I have practised for either 30 minutes or 100 times I am usually able to do the trick. If not so I decide to spend NO MORE TIME on the trick for the rest of the day but to pick up things later on, maybe tomorrow or later that week. This helps me maintaining a positive attitude towards my practise for I don't feel like it is a cruel punishment but a fun and interesting thing. If that time is over I will focus on different things, such as steps, transitions or maybe even some freestyling. I can almost guarantee you that if you practise a trick for 30 minutes 7 days you'll either be pretty good by the end of the week or have at least some major progress.

Ok, now that you have learned that trick you will be facing another challenge: directions. You may very well be able to do the trick perfectly in one direction but nuts at doing it in a different direction. Now it's up to you. Do you want to learn the other side/direction as well? Let me just say that I strongly recommend doing so. This can be done in various ways. Sometimes I practise a new trick for 15 minutes in one direction and then for 15 minutes in the opposite direction, sometimes I learn the trick in one direction in the first week and take only 15 minutes a day for the next week to learn the different direction as well. You will learn the trick a lot faster in different direction once you have learned doing it in one direction properly for you'll understand how the trick works and what you have to pay attention to.


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Trust your instincts when picking a teacher (preferably not your sexual instincts, though..)

As for the challenge of which teacher, DVD or book to pick: Trust your own instincts but stick to them. Once you have chosen your teacher or bought a nice DVD stop looking for better stuff, at least for a while. Searching for better teachers/videos/books will distract you from practising and learning tricks. You will simply feel when you need new inspiration or learning material. Besides that keep your eyes open. Check free spinning videos on youtube every there and then to see what path you want to take later on. If you start teaching yourself it can actually be quite interesting to get some of the DVDs and books to see how other people teach themselves. There are some brilliant people out there but as I said before they won't be able to spare you practise.

Summing up
- You won't learn new tricks by watching or reading
- Take responsibility for your own learning success
- Analyze new tricks
- Make a commitment to yourself
- Practise different directions
- Stick to one teacher but keep eyes open


Upcoming Chapters
Chapter VI: Arms
Chapter VII: Should I imitate my idols?


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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:thomas, thank you very much!
maybe you've seen already that I am currently re-writing this 3 year old thread so I will definitely pay attention to some of the aspects you have mentioned! stay tuned, tiger muhaha

Chapter I & II updated, ain't that good news?

max

EDITED_BY: duvan (1223494864)


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:duvan: I think that your points about stepping and head movement in particular are useful.

I tend to use the principles I learned about movement in karate, but not as precisely. The "angry serious" look can get a bit much after a while. I try to avoid it unless I am hamming it up. And yes, looking the "wrong" way when doing a trick can be amusing:
Like a horizontal stall out to the right of a butterfly done just after you look left gets a couple funny looks. wink

Will need to think about other stuff.

Nevisoul: re: learning a move.T here is definitely a point when I find I can say that I "know" a move. For me it is when I can do it continuously/consciously. For example, I can do a btb weave continuously now. (Transitions are an issue though.... rolleyes) Beyond that, I know that I can clean it up and get it better, but I still think that saying that I "know" the btb weave is not unwarranted.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:right or try looking at the audience while doing antispin buzzsaw flower and stuff


Chapter III, IV & V updated. there have been a lot of changes. worth reading a second time if you read this thread 3 years ago for the last time

EDITED_BY: duvan (1223566977)


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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague

Total posts: 1841
Posted:The pictures rock!

very nice,

:R

hug


POI THEO(R)IST

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16.15.8
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

16.15.8

I cant think therefore Im not
Location: In my backpack

Total posts: 291
Posted:Now, this stuff really start to take shape and I like what I see and read, a lot.

Max, I know that you have a lot to do but I would be very happy to see this as a PDF named to something you have in mind.

If there is anything I could help you with to make this possible, please tell me. Love your stuff, you got a good mind but I told you that before....

And please dont call me Tiger, no one here gets the joke (hopefully grin ), I threw the belt in the garbage so no more Tiger, except for you wink

//Thomas


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

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16.15.8
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

16.15.8

I cant think therefore Im not
Location: In my backpack

Total posts: 291
Posted:aston: Didnt notice until now that you replied to me, sorry.

Here is a more detailed explanation of what I mean though.

We take the BTB weave as you mentioned for an example. You can do it continuously/consciously in this moment as you say. But the more you play poi you will discover so much more of how your body, feet, wrist, fingers, arms, shoulder and so on work together and this is where it all change.

The BTB weave you can do now is based on the possibilities of your body combined with your poi but what happens when you realize that you all this time moved your feet wrong or that your body had a bad position or as simple as the planes, you just suddenly realize HOW TO ACTUALLY DO IT, and this is where it change, to another trick, in my opinion, yes.

And this is the reason that I write that I never learn a trick cos its always under development. Yes I can do a trick but none of them looks the same as they did when I learned them.
I could do the BTB weave for more or less four years ago but I still cant say that I can do it forwards, backwards perhaps but I know that there is something missing, I dont know what yet, but I know that it will improve this move a lot when I realize what I been doing wrong this whole time, again grin

So to make it short, I never learn a trick cos I always realize after a while Iv been doing it wrong so instead of doing the same mistake again (telling myself I can do trick) I prefer to say that its always under development.

I hope all this text made it a little bit more clear grin

And dont forget that is all in my mind and how I think and Im a mental poi geek *moahahaha*


EDITED_BY: Nevisoul (1223642848)
EDIT_REASON: My bad english :-/


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

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Hey max...great work on the rewrites there. Yep, I hadn't read this thread since it first appeared in 2005...IIRC, I quite liked it then too.

The only thing I disagree with is the importance of having a teacher, especially at the beginning of one's spinning career. The reason i disagree is that having a teacher makes learning so much faster and there's a greater chance that a neophyte spinner will stay with these arts if they're given a large body of knowledge to play with right from the get go.

I'm speaking from personal experience here, because when I started spinning back in 2003,, when there was very little ( comparatively speaking ) out there in the way of instructional aids, I most likely wouldn't have stayed with these arts had I been left to my own devices to figure it out.

Likewise with learning a trick ( hey, it took me two years to learn the btb weave ) sometimes it really helps to have someone who "knows" the move to observe and point out possible bad habits or faults that are hindering the spinner in their quwst to learn a trick.

All in all, you're totally right on with the idea that a teacher is no substitute for practice, likewise with the idea of setting a specific time frame for working on a trick.

I'll usually work on a trick right up until I start getting frustrated with it, then either freestyle a little ( just to re convince myself that I don't suck grin ) or simply put the poi down and go do something else for a few hours. This is mostly due to my awareness that I might not "get" that trick today, but if I "sleep on it" I'll most likely have more success with it the next time around.

Then there's what i call "making it strong" which is to say, that once I've "learned" a trick, I have to drill it 10 000 times including transitioning into, and out of that trick so I can get it reliable enough to incorporate into my regular spinning repertoire. As an example, I've been working on airwraps, hyperloops and orbitals over the past four days...I've got airwraps down "pretty good ( both directions out/in ) and I'm aware that my in/out needs lots of work ( feels somehow "unnatural", like antispin ) and my hyperloops are "coming along. I can "do" hyperloops, but there's a certain smoothness lacking and a successful hyperloop, in the way I want to perform these is still a rarity.....so I'll drill 'em until they're where I want them. ( both directions, but only turning forwards, as I'm saving the backwards turning for orbitals....I get confused easily laugh3


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Nevisoul: I get what you mean. I just view it as the same trick on another plane of elegance/panache/ease of doing/whatever. Understand your view and do not disagree, is just not quite how I think of it.

Stout: Good points I think. :applause:


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:Ahhhh, it does get interesting now, this book. I didn't read it however many years ago. Cos let's face it, poi is for girls, or in your guys cases, girly boys. wink

I was thinking about writing something similar along these lines, cos I get so bored of people asking me certain questions, which I have answered before and are also the wrong questions. Interesting to see some of my points written out by you Max.

One thing I particularly enjoy (something a friend pointed out to me) that when at a convention, most people when practising, and they pull something off, or they totally fail at a trick, will look up/around afterwards at the person they respect the most, to see if they saw thier success or failure. It's an interesting bit of body language to look for at a gathering. grin


"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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meshunderlay
BRONZE Member since Sep 2008

meshunderlay

Juggler/Spinner
Location: Hicksville, New York, USA

Total posts: 612
Posted:Originally Posted By: mcp...One thing I particularly enjoy (something a friend pointed out to me) that when at a convention, most people when practising, and they pull something off, or they totally fail at a trick, will look up/around afterwards at the person they respect the most, to see if they saw thier success or failure. It's an interesting bit of body language to look for at a gathering. grin

Wow... I don't know how many times I've done that without conciously thinking about it.

Not surprisingly a bunch of the staff hopefuls at the Rochester gathering were eyeing you, hehe. I mean, aside from the fact that you're of the female persuasion.

That is interesting though, I'll have to keep an eye out on myself and others to see who has a "manipulation crush" on someone else. =)


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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:nevisoul: I thought about doing something like that. I thought about making a nice little DVD where I or someone else can actually show what I am talking about (like different head positions etc). The DVD would contain this guidebook in high quality hard cover, with better (self drawn pictures made by a friend who studied arts for a couple of years) and a nice, little surprise. well, besides the fact that this DVD will probably never happen making a pdf sounds like a reasonable idea. I can't do it right now but if I have some spare time I'll get back to your offer hehe

stout: I agree with what you said. You got some nice points and if you don't mind I would like to use some of what you just said in an edited version of Chapter V (of course I'd give creds to you, my man!)

mcp: Poi is for girls, that's right so why are you playing staff tongue2
I laughed when I read what you said about people practising at conventions. Thomas and I talked a lot about this phenomenon and we came to the conclusion that it is funny to see that some people don't focus on practising the trick but rather on showing off and trying to look as good as possible. Then on the other hand I have to blame myself for exactly the same behaviour when I was not very good at poi (and even today at times) so I think it is quite natural. Sometimes I still find myself seeking other peoples' approval on conventions which is really a [censored] bad habit or mindset. Once I get approval I am happy but I get addicted to it. If I don't get approval within the next few hours again I start to feel down and my brain-autopilot starts asking questions such as "Wow, why don't I get approval again? Is it because I play a lot worse than I did before?." and so on. I often forget about the fact that others people approval doesn't make a difference at all lol. Oh and yeah, I am pretty sure that it's almost the same for all of us, although some people wouldn't admit smile

EDITED_BY: duvan (1223914817)


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:The most bizarre thing for me recently is being told that I am good. I do not consider myself overly good, but then I am exposed to how much more there is that I do not know, while my audience here, even if they are spinners, tend not to go online for videos and such.

So it is a bit odd, but a nice thing to hear.

Dunno if that is at all relevant to what you want to say...


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:not at all but interesting to hear anyways hehe
EDITED_BY: duvan (1224099164)


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Figured. tongue2

Still an aspect of poi psychology, which may be why I thought it was relevant.

How important do you think being told you are good is to a learning curve? I have never done any sort of organised psychology or anything, so am just curious....


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Confidence... that would influence the phenomenon discussed in this thread, if you havent read it already...

http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/ubbt...y_and_habi.html


hug

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:I'm sorry, I saw naked girls advertised...?

wink


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.

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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:haha I KNEW it would work for pervs like you
but that's ok - check it out:
hot chick with nice pussy

as for aston's question - I'll write something later, can't think right now hehe

EDITED_BY: duvan (1224164033)


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Originally Posted By: duvanhaha I KNEW it would work for pervs like you
but that's ok - check it out:
hot chick with nice pussy

as for aston's question - I'll write something later, can't think right now hehe

That link just killed her. At least, since she fell over and is rolling on the floor, I assume that this will be fatal.

I think I answered my own question though. I did not really need to know that I was good. Now I have expectations placed on me that I know vaguely what I am doing, instead of being able to just ponce around.

Ah well, not going to stop me spinning. smile


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Max, I just did a quick read, and it looks fabulous!!!!

A few ideas might benefit from development... The one that stands out is the concept of starting a move from the dantien point. Sure, that is one good balance and center point, and can be very useful. But in dance one thing taught is the ability to change the center point of balance, and also change where a move is held, or where it is initiated from.

It can be that in some moves one point serves better than another functionally. An example of this is as you say, the matrix, which can be best held from the dantien. But a piroette turn might be better held in the chest...

In other situations different center points can simply be "read" by the audience as a different style, giving a different character, or emotional reading to the movement.

You cited belly dance as an example of a low dantien center. Examples of where the center is different would be ballet, where it is typically situated much higher, and therefore results in dance that appears much more elevated and light. Doing a jete ( leap) from the dantien point is difficult, and does not look so good. Similarily, the center is held in the chest region for most tango, and that too creates quite a different appearance to the dance. Styles can benefit from using different centers, and certain movements within each style also. An examle where the ability to shift is useful and can look very visually engaging would be to have a dancer to start a turn low, from the dantien, with a hip swivel, then as it carries up the body simultaneously raise the center so it come up to the chest... sort of a spirally look.

So, perhaps having the awareness and control to change this point would be the ideal , from my perspective. If you want a low, grounded taichi style, or a earthy belly dance character, use the dantien. if you are an etherial ariel angel, you might want to raise it up to the chest... etc... Other moments you might want to have an altogether different focus, it is fun to experiment!

The other tip is also one used in dance, where one is taught to be aware of the core connection from toes all the way through to head, and out... This is useful for balance, and elevation. It can also be used to help people visualize the core line and tension from ground to sky through the body, and then how that can be extended out through the limbs, to give life and intention to the movement of the arms and legs.

It is hard to explain this without visuals, but I hope I make some sense1

smiles
a



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

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Aston, it depends on your interpretation. You can either see it as "An expectation that you know what you're doing" and then from that mean that you can't "ponce around"

OR you can see it as "A comment that you seem to know what you're doing" Meaning that your past poncing around has gotten you to a fairly good place as it is, and that you should as such continue along the lines you have been. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't change your style or approach, it just means that you shouldn't let the comment influence what you're doing, since it seems to be working! Use it as a confidence booster to try new things.


hug

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Hi Aston...I figure we all want to hear we're good as it's nice to hear that all your hard work in practice has somehow paid off in your acquiring a demonstrable skill.

We all know whose put the time in, and usually a lay audience can tell too, so those positive affirmations can be taken as motivators too.

Me?? I'm just an attention whore wink

Andrea...GREAT post.. that balance from the chest was the idea I was originally going for. I never found anyone to discuss it with and eventually gave up exploring it on my own because I was unable to make the connection between a "high center of balance" and tripping over my own two feet.

I'll plan to revisit the idea, it's been three years..


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:A lot of that comes from where your arms are and what you direction of movement is.

Lifting your arms will raise it, for example in a giant butterfly, you will appear to lift up. (I sometimes make it explicit by raising onto my toes.) But how do you raise it more permanently?


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague

Total posts: 1841
Posted:I'm missing three more chapters Duvan.

keep on going,

:R

hug

EDITED_BY: Richee (1224239500)
EDIT_REASON: Topic Hijacking


POI THEO(R)IST

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:no, sorry aston, ---raising your arms raises the visual center maybe, but not necessarily changing where you hold yourself, or originate the movements from... so the effect on the move and the character of the move is much smaller, quire different really.

I can still do a giant butterfly, even raising to my toes, while using my dantien center( low) . I could also do it from the chest.It would change the quality of the movement though.



I am going to see if I have a dance ook that explains this concept better than I can! Or a vid that shows it or something. I have never tried to explain it without demonstrating movement!
smiles
a


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

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Hey Max...do you mind us hijacking your thread for a bit ? After all the topics are directly related to your guide book and I'm figuring that once you've finished the rewrites, maybe a thread dedicated to the guidebook can be stickied at the top of the page.

aston..I see what you mean..and I experimented with this spinning a fountain last night and had a measure of success with it as I managed to keep thinking about the movement coming from my chest even when the poi came down low.

It was fun actually, but the whole thing went south the minute I tried to turn the fountain and my footing became unstable forcing me to "get down low" to bring things under control..

I'll spend more time on this today..

I do the giant BF up on my toes too, feet together , but spread my feet immediately when the poi come down, I'll think about this more and try it with the giant windmill...see what I can get going with that.


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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:further hijacking, sorry:

Stout, the other technique I mentionned, visualising a core of tension from the ground, through your feet, up the body and out the top of your head, like a line running inside/through you held very tightly, holding you up while simultaneously grounding you- would enable you to spin the move while retaining a upper center...

Teachers used to actually try to have the visulisation effect so strong they could go and pretend to "pull" from the cord where it comes out from the head, and see if it "lifted" you... imaginary, but it changes something physically about how you hold yourself. It seems it strengthens connectivity.

Try using it while raising on your toes( a releve) , one foot or two, and balancing. Compare to how it feels without visualizing this. Then do it again, and close your eyes... when you feel wobbly, reinforce the energy at the wobby point, pushing it and running down through your feet, or pull up through the head. It works!

okay, enough taking this thread sideways! Sorry max!


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

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duvan


duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:banshee: I totally get your point! And I'm glad you mentioned it for I simply would not have thought about it. Brilliant stuff, would you mind if I borrowed some when re-writing the "Torso" Chapter?

As for the rest: will still take me some time, things are a little stressfull right now. But I'll definitely finish guidebook before the end of the month, I hope smile

as for the hijacking: go ahead, I don't mind. I mean it isn't really hijacking. That's some nice and interesting discussions. Keep it going!


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Meh. Need to dig out my old ballet knowledge again I think. Not that merely watching is much good.

Like I say, I can raise it temporarily, but to keep it up is hard. Part of that is the way people here spin, which is very down low, so my centre tends to sink. Also, doing Goju Ryu karate, you tend to keep it low for that as well.

I think I will have to try and just move. wink


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Thanks Andrea...I gave it a go last night, and wow....does that visualisation idea ever help.

That's one thing I notices about Nick Woolsey, he had the whole "up" thing going and I was trying to emulate it more through my shoulders rather than thinking whole body. Also, there might have been a few self sabotage ideas going on too like....hey I'm raising my center of gravity therefore I should be less stable..

The closed eyes idea is absolutely brilliant...

Cheers


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Oi !!!!!!

We had a show last night and I figured I'd try to spin the whole thing thinking about a higher center of movement. Since we were spinning on dry pavement rather than Thursday night's wet grass, I figured now was as good a time as any and I might as well take advantage of the stable terrain.

Wouldn't you know it....as soon as I lit up I completely forgot the whole idea......oh well, there's always tonight's show


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