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Posted: I searched this, and found a few topics, and a few articles. But none of them actually helped me.
So I have been doing poi for a a few months, and I am not overly great, but in what I do know, I am very confident in. I want to start with fire, just so I get used to it, and slowly work my way up with more advanced poi moves with fire.
However, I have a fire staff, which I do the 'eating' and 'breathing' with, and I am not scared of the fire, but for some reasons, when I get ready to want to spin, something sort of comes over me, that fears me. I have been burned countless times, I play with fire often, but something stops me when I want to spin it. I always get ready if I am about to do it, and take every safety aspect there is.
So what can I do, to get more familiar with spinning, to help relax me, so I don't worry. Because I know that if I do it worried, then something will go wrong.
Posted: Use your fire poi a lot unlit, get used to them. They'll be a bit heavier when you come to actually use them lit, however. You could even practice getting the poi safely away from yourself.
Fuel is also a consideration... I use D60 and it never even really gets hot enough to burn me unless I am moving them slowly and want to do a spiral wrap... but I don't because I know the metal gets hot.
Posted: Thanks. And that is another thing I wondered about, I love to do spiral wraps. And I do a lot of direction changes on my arms and legs. Would that seriously hurt me in any way? I am okay if it gets a little hot.
Posted: Shouldnt be bad. But keep in mind the fuel you use. If you are using whitegas try not to do any wraps (or hit yourself) for the first minute or so of your burn. This is not so much of a work using kero(paraffin) or lamp oil.
Posted: Well, if you're used to spinning a fire staff then an idea may be to "trick yourself" by telling yourself that your first burn is only be going to spin forward circles or some such very basic moves to familiarize yourself with fire and poi.
I use this approach always with people who're doing their first burns and usually the nervousness only lasts for the first minute of the first burn.
The usual reaction is one of "what was I worried about?" "that was fun". "I'm going to fuel up again and do another burn"
Spiral wraps are fine with fire, hot metal burns do come with the territory though especially if the wrap goes wrong and you end up with the eye bolt between your fingers..
Direction changes via wraps/bounces work fine too ( I do tons of these ) but long sleeves/pants are a good idea not only for the hot metal reasons, but there's that issue of burning arm/leg hair which is in itself harmless, but friggin' reeks.
Posted: Originally Posted By: 4LeafCloverThanks. And that is another thing I wondered about, I love to do spiral wraps. And I do a lot of direction changes on my arms and legs. Would that seriously hurt me in any way? I am okay if it gets a little hot.
Yeah... try to get to know how hot your poi get, while it may look nice to do some REALLY slow movements at the start, then do a spiral wrap when the flames are still nice and big... its got a high chance of hurting.
While flying through the air it doesnt take long for the poi to cool down, really.
I'd strongly recommend practicing quickly getting the poi off your hands from a bungled spiral wrap (Using your unlit fire poi)
I don't mean drill it over and over, just be aware of what you should do, try it a few times... and for SURE make sure you're highly familiar with the way the poi wrap up around your arms... where the heads sit and that kind of thing.
Other wraps should be fine... I don't even worry about burnt hair.. the smell only hangs around until the next time I wash.
Oh, I'd wear a beanie or a headband or something like that, too. I usually do, but thats mostly because a lot of the time the poi whizz nice and close to my body, and I like it being able to go close to my head without burning my hair.
Posted: Oh no, I don't think of it as drilling it over again, safety really is important. I work with all kinds of wood working machines, so I really appreciate safety. Also, about dropping the poi, this might be weird. But I don't like using handles, I just hold onto the end of my poi. So it would be easy to get rid of, if something went wrong.
Posted: If that what makes you comfortable. I use a single loop and slip my ring and pinky finger through it and then grip the rest of the loop, or I wrap it around my fingers. This is easy to get rid of, though luckily I've not had to do so just yet.
Edit: The safest way is to probably go for the way in which you have the most control. The way I grip has both control and safety... The other upshot to being able to slip your hand in and out of the handle is that throws are pretty easy. EDITED_BY: Mother_Natures_Son (1228913527)
Posted: Alright. Another thing that is helping me. Now this may be the worst idea I have ever thought of in my entire life. But I got an old pair of socks, stretched them out, to make them into a pair of poi. Then I took two knives and I slid them through the end, so the blade was sticking out. I wore gloves to protect my hands. So knowing that there are two sharp objects at the end, helped me be more cautious. Of coarse I did not do everything I would normally do, just the basics, to feel comfortable with 'danger' on the poi
Posted: Wow... yeah... don't do that again... ever... thats much more dangerous than fire poi, especially if you use a fuel that won't transfer because of a high flash point.
Especially in sock poi... those things could have flown out!
I have no further comment... I'm not wanting to seem like I'm chiding you... but seriously, try to take a tad more care than that. A thorough approach to fire poi safety is good... but keep in mind that if you put yourself in more danger in the preparations than you will be in during the actual procedure, theres not a huge amount of point in doing the preparations...
Posted: Knives??? Now that's hardcore, here I am thinking a pair of tennis balls to the crotch is deadly..
Hitting yourself with burning poi doesn't hurt though. Sure it's kind of freaky, but I've taken a few wicks to the face and suffered nothing greater than having it get seen.
The worst thing that can happen is the chain getting wrapped and knotted around a limb, like an arm and the trick here is to stand in one spot and just pirouette using centrifugal force to pull the burning wick away from your body. Hopefully, your safety jumps up and grabs the wick with a wet towel.
A couple of balls of barbed wire might make useful training aids.
Nope, never lost an eyebrow, singed a couple, but nothing noticeable. I've had a few back of head shots and singed some hair, but luckily I've never had a hair fire, I've seen one, live, last summer but mine's never gone up.
The only injuries I've had have been hot metal burns due to my love of wraps but one evening when I burnt myself twice in the same spot, I decided that bare skin wraps were no longer "worth it"
Oh yea, there was that time during a gig when I was painted gold and wearing a toga that I experienced catastrophic wardrobe failure causing me to catch part of the toga in my hand as I was bringing the poi up from a low reel. The fabric caused my hand to stop but the poi continued on ( heavy double tubecores ) ending up wrapped around my neck and leaving a wick sized burn on the back of my neck. Nothing serious though, it looked worse than it felt.
Come to think of it, that was the same out of ton gig where the organisers gave us this beautiful waterfront house to stay in. It was mid winter and the furnace was broken so the only source of heat was the fireplace. After about 6 hours of fireplace burning, we managed a chimney fire and luckily a volunteer firefighter just happened to live across the street and popped over with is firetruck to save the day/house. The irony of us being the firespinners wasn't lost on anybody.
So one accident on stage, one house fire and they still hired us back the next year for a repeat performance...no togas though " everything went great during rehearsal...."
Posted: To all concerned. I appreciate that. But when I put them in the socks, I spent much time making sure that they were not going to come out, unless I wanted them too. Also to "Live in a spin" I wore the gloves for the spiral wraps.
Also, keep in mind I am not that skilled. And didn't do stuff around my head. The most I did with knives was a butterfly, a 3bw, and just turning with them around my waist. I could have done more. Also I went really slow.