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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:I've been trying out poi for a couple of weeks now. I'm a newbie at it, not very skilled. I know some moves and such mostly because I used to do flag corp back in junior high and high school (that's where the staff experience comes from), so I know my space pretty well. I'm rusty at the staff.

But this isn't about the staff, it's about me poi spinning!

Anyways, pretty much like the staff, I've always had problems getting my left hand to do anything complicated on its own. I think it's retarded or something.

I can do forward spins, backward spins, low turns, high turns, butterflies, flowers, and half of a two-beat weave (I call it the 1-beat weave! *sighs*) and split time. But when when I try to do the other half of the two-beat weave or slit time opposites, my left hand just doesn't want to cooperate. What's worse is I get smacked in the head by my poi. I can even do a butterfly, but what's really strange is that when I go in, my left wants to be the top.

My right is my most dominant hand, it's what I use to draw with, write, and it even suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome once. I found out that swinging poi actually helps the pain a bit.

What do you guys suggest I do about the left hand so it'll be able to at least do split time opposites? I've tried getting it to spin backwards and my right spin forwards, then I tried to get the left to spin forwards and my right spin backwards, but each time, when my left spins, and my right starts in, the left automatically switches over to the direction the right wants to do as if it has no mind of its own.

Which is strange because I play violin and that's the only time the left does its own thing and the right is the one who has to keep up.

Help! It's not that I don't know how to do those moves or what they are, it's just that the left hand won't do them. Is there a suggestion that I could use to make my left more confident?


Gone spinning...

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IceAngel
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

IceAngel

newbie
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 41
Posted:Most people have a lot of trouble training their weaker hand. Don't stress too much, just practice in short sessions so your head doesn't get too sore.

I would suggest putting your right poi on the ground and just playing with your left for a good few practice sessions. try to find a mirror or a big window that will let you see what's going wrong. try doing the same moves with only the one poi, all the time just think about your left hand.

There will be lots of other suggestions for training the left hand, but taking your right hand out of the equation will at least get you concentrating on the problem

good luck!


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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:Learn to bend your planes from being at your sides going forward into being in a wall plane so you'd be doing butterfly with them coming down in the middle (its fine the poi well removed from one another) and then keep bending until they're going backward in a buzzsaw plane.

You can do this really short, with single poi or both!

I also back IceAngels advice. Even within the movement ignore the right poi and just let it do its thing, concentrate on getting the left PERFECT.


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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:Thanx, I'll certainly give it a try. I met a juggler today who told me to try using the left and spinning with the left to strengthen it too.

I can do things with the left arm and make it work, but the wrist still doesn't want to do what I want it to do. However during dancing today, I managed to do a corkscrew by accident, but when I tried to redo that accident, I kept smacking myself again.

I hate my left hand. I even hid it when I was in the flag corps doing flag tosses so no one would see how completely idiotic it was.


Gone spinning...

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Taip3n


stranger
Location: Oxford, UK

Total posts: 3
Posted:Heya.

This is kinda long so sorry. Early here, and lost my old email which I'm trying to remember but it was years ago so cant retrieve my old name here, but I wanted to help out with some experiences on this one. Hope it makes sense and helps.

The others are right, it's a common problem and that about practicing with your weak hand - on its own - is the way to strengthen it.

So.. and this is important..

Drop the poi onto the floor, on the right (strong) hand...

So you do not think about it, to start. Later you can pick it up to try to combine. Of course you can use your good hand for referral.

However and also!

I want to point some things out about your weak side. You seem to be very embarrassed and dislike your weak (left) side. Don't be smile As someone that has taught Poi (not that I am great at tricks I know some basics) I'll tell you what I tell others.

Im gonna get all spiritual and Yoda like, because to me this is a fundamental of Poi and Staff (well think of its heredity and cousins).

Let's go back to your 'mistake' to begin. You made a mistake and you did a corkscrew. It was exactly that. You did a mistake and you discovered something new; you learnt something, you moved forward positively.

What do I mean? It was your weak hand that actually showed you an advancement in knowledge and way. As an example in a staff/poi sense, have you ever watched people on a staff go round and round and round in one direction very very fast? (usually guys displaying nothing but adrenaline in compensation - watch girls, learn and copy them). They are relying on their strong side, and so they do not go anywhere but the same moves over and over. No pace, no tempo, no fluidity, nothing. As said: they do not go anywhere forward, but stay doing the same moves over and over again.

They only stay in their comfort zone. They never go further than what their strong hand will show to themselves or others as 'skilled at', secure, or 'cool'. They end up in a kind of limbo, safe and secure.

But that IS a mistake, relying on the strong hand does nothing but keep you firmly locked into a secure prison. It is the weak side that teaches. So trust in it smile Because all of a sudden you will see something and say what was that? Or it will simply be ok and even fun to do it the other side. It also gives satisfaction as you begin to express further.

So try the left hand. Move in the opposite direction. Allow it to show you. Enjoy it.

And another tip....: I did this with Poi years ago and doing it with staff right now, as I picked that up after quite a few years out. What I do is just walk down the street with it in my hand, playing ( also music is good at any location too, be it park, or with headphones as you walk). You tend to forget where you are and walking you move about things. Have a play. Watch. Get in contact. Even watch the girls go by smile Yumyum.

EDITED_BY: Taip3n (1242025338)


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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:Its not your left hand that is stupid it only follows the orders from your brain and to be honest, if you are a righty your brain dont know much of how the left hand works cos you rarely use it.
My tip is never to spin with one poi no matter if its left or right, if you have a vision of mastering a single poi or maybe making a choreography where there is only one poi in the beginning then go for it but if you like the classical way of poispinning then never use one poi in practice. If you cant do something with two poi, keep trying, if you still cant do it then do something else cos you are obviously not ready for learning it.
So my tip is to start being more aware of your left hand and how you use it. When you brush your teeth dont do it on routine with your right hand while thinking of the plans for the day, instead do it with your left hand, eat with left, wipe your ass with left, use the mouse, open doors, scratch your body, pick things up e.t.c.
Just be more aware when you do stuff, dont do everything the autopilot way which is if you always do "natural/everyday" things with the right without thinking about it.

Good luck with the lefty practice grin


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

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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:Originally Posted By: Taip3n Even watch the girls go by smile Yumyum.


Well, it would be rather odd for me to watch the girls go buy since I'm a girl myself. I could watch the hot guys go by. smile

Thanx. Yeah, I am embarrassed by the left a lot. Mostly because back in flag corp, it threw the flag. When I danced the other day, it threw the poi across the dance floor. But I will strengthen it. I've started just swinging the poi with that hand and doing crosses, turns, and backwards and forwards swings just to get my mind focusing on swinging it.

But despite the mistakes that night on dancing, I was the life of the dance floor with the poi despite being an amateur. (Small town, there's like 2 of us poi spinners here, but lots of staff spinners because of marching bands and American Football half-time.) One of the poi spinners said I was good for a beginner. So, with that confidence, I will keep doing it and keep bonking myself until I get it right.

EDITED_BY: Achiladoowega (1242069783)


Gone spinning...

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Kitanne


Backyard Spinners Brigade
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Total posts: 5
Posted:I still have problems with my left hand after spinning for a few years. I really right dominant like you and have had to really concentrate on mirroring. I try to learn everything with my left first, otherwise my left just wants to copy the right which is not very helpful if you want your hands to mirror.

I try breaking the moves into parts and learning each part separately. Like taking my hands over my hand in the overhead butterfly and coming back without bruising myself. That took me a really long time to figure out (and lots of curse words). Plus, if you break the move into parts, it's easier to figure out tough transitions or get into the natural grove of blending moves together while spinning.


When can I go back to New Zealand?

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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:Originally Posted By: 16.15.8
My tip is never to spin with one poi no matter if its left or right,

Reading that tip has reminded me of my own habits and I'll revise my tip as such.

If I'm going to use just one poi I'll attempt with two, fail and then with the offending hand I will try it on its own, show myself what it should feel like with probably only two circuits of the movement before returning to practicing with both poi. That'd be my recommendation as well. smile



Originally Posted By: AchiladoowegaWhen I danced the other day, it threw the poi across the dance floor.

Hahaha. I've been doing poi a little while now and its dawned on me that I actually have got some sort of skill in the area so I know that I should be confident in what I do... I throw the poi all the time. I'm not entirely sure why but one hand will just suddenly let go of the poi and it'll go rattling across the floor. I don't do this with fire thankfully.

Its almost always my right hand too, I think. (I'm right handed)


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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:Originally Posted By: KitanneI still have problems with my left hand after spinning for a few years. I really right dominant like you and have had to really concentrate on mirroring. I try to learn everything with my left first, otherwise my left just wants to copy the right which is not very helpful if you want your hands to mirror.

I try breaking the moves into parts and learning each part separately. Like taking my hands over my hand in the overhead butterfly and coming back without bruising myself. That took me a really long time to figure out (and lots of curse words). Plus, if you break the move into parts, it's easier to figure out tough transitions or get into the natural grove of blending moves together while spinning.

LOL! I managed to get my butterfly to flap all the way to my face. And so far that's as far as I've gotten without smacking myself in the head. I think if I work on it, I'll go higher and finally get it up over and behind my head.

I ain't good enough for fire yet! frown I wish I was. That would get the local hicks' jaws to drop.

It'll be awkward for me to try and do the mirror stuff, but I'll keep at it. Thanx for the suggestion.

EDITED_BY: Achiladoowega (1242086759)


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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:Butterfly, one hand on top, the one on top slightly forward, hands should be able to move as one but don't try it if its not working for you.

For some people stuff like that just clicks.


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Taip3n


stranger
Location: Oxford, UK

Total posts: 3
Posted:Originally Posted By: AchiladoowegaOriginally Posted By: Taip3n Even watch the girls go by smile Yumyum.


Well, it would be rather odd for me to watch the girls go buy since I'm a girl myself. I could watch the hot guys go by. smile

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooops. That'll be my stupid brain, left or right. yeah do that smile

Quote:Thanx. Yeah, I am embarrassed by the left a lot.... One of the poi spinners said I was good for a beginner. So, with that confidence, I will keep doing it and keep bonking myself until I get it right.

Don't worry about it so much. I meet people all the time that 'think' they are better. The point is, is that they act all cooooool and even mega coool, usually not batting an eyelid and showing their ubertrickstyles. Yeah, you can learn off them, glad we can, but the point is be yourself and explore. Now get this: The essence of Poi or Staff is not In the tricks, it is - In Between - the tricks smile

I am glad the fellow poier said what they said. It likely very true. Find like minds, play music, dance, imagine you are a bird as you watch them pass. Look at that funny cloud. Raise an eyebrow at that insect hanging out. Chill out with it. Don't be embarassed. Though that is easy for me to say, since I can be embarassed about a millions things. So I understand. The other day I got embarassed picking up the staff and twirling. Got in touch though. Got a little further. Remembered someone saying I had the touch. Felt better.

So let's journey onwards and remember that left hand - Is - your gift smile


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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:I appreciate the encouragement and happy to know a fellow staff spinner.

I managed to get the butterfly higher, but still not quite back behind my head yet. But it's getting there.

Still need to get the left hand to do the split time opposites.


Gone spinning...

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Mannimal
GOLD Member since Apr 2009

Mannimal

The Mannimal
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Total posts: 13
Posted:About it all being about in between the tricks, I didn't realize that until I watched a group firedance at a party recently, and then it made sense. You don't have to be that technical, as long as you have presence and grace.

I can't wait until I really get to a point where I can dance as free as so many that I've seen on line, and now in real life.


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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:How can it be about whats in between the tricks if there are no tricks?

Can you do split time opposites with your arms?


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Taip3n


stranger
Location: Oxford, UK

Total posts: 3
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonHow can it be about whats in between the tricks if there are no tricks?


That misinterperates what I said. I didn't say there were no tricks.

It's about movement. Call it dancing or expression.


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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:I know thats not what you said, thats what I'm saying. wink There are no tricks. smile

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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonHow can it be about whats in between the tricks if there are no tricks?

Can you do split time opposites with your arms?

Not really. I can lift one forward and one backwards, but spinning them around split time opposites...the left will always correct itself and follow the right.

I know of a friend who's a psychologist and he states it's basically brain function skill. I need to start thinking with my right brain instead of my left because right handed people use the left hemisphere of their brain. Which is also why my left eye is dominant and my right eye suffers from lazy eye. (And I'm gonna be his guinea pig and spin my poi in front of his class to show a demo on right brain vs left brain. LOL! He can't get his left hand to do anything either. He basically states it merely knows its somehow attached to his body.)

Any suggestions on making my hands do split time opposites?

EDITED_BY: Achiladoowega (1242198625)


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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:Yeah... break it up into the different stages... Do it really jerky the way I do it in the vid when I first demo it.




Video of it.


Good cluck!


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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:THanx, I do appreciate that. I'll give those movements a try and see if I can make my head think that way so it can spin the poi that way as well.

Gone spinning...

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keb84


stranger
Location: nottingham

Total posts: 10
Posted:I think I'm having a similar problem! I have issues with my hands doing different things, even just split timing. Once I try to do anything else, it reverts to normal!

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Mannimal
GOLD Member since Apr 2009

Mannimal

The Mannimal
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Total posts: 13
Posted:Originally Posted By: Achiladoowega[quote=Mother_Natures_Son]How can it be about whats in between the tricks if there are no tricks?

Can you do split time opposites with your arms?

okay, so, I can do that, but its not essential.

do something you can do. then mess around for a little while with what you want to do, then do something similar... finally, my next suggestion is always what brings me to my surprises in discovery.

While doing something similar, play around with it and try to imagine how you would transition that move into something you already know.

When the feeling is right, try it, and try it again... and then move on if you don't catch it and move to another move/trick thingie you want to do.

As for split time opposites... I'd go a little heavy handed on a recommendation:

Do something more advanced and work backwards to isolating the problem - try learning basic arm wraps and messing around with them.

after playing with stalls and wraps, maybe split time opposites will become inherent.

EDITED_BY: Mannimal (1242695965)


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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:I can do stalls, but wraps seem to be a bit difficult. Maybe because I have ropes and not socks for my poi.

Gone spinning...

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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:I'd argue that being able to do the different directions and timings with your arms is one of the most useful things you can do... but what would I know anyway?

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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:I am on MNS's side here. Being able to move your arms freely is pretty helpful....

'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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Mannimal
GOLD Member since Apr 2009

Mannimal

The Mannimal
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Total posts: 13
Posted:I wasn't saying *split time opposites* was nonessential, I was saying *my* ability was nonessential to the post.

There's always something we can't do, but the persistence to learn and improve and finally, to adapt, is what I have loved about learning poi basics. I'm quite sure I will continue to love it as well.

Stay on it, there are plenty of other things to perfect, and you'll get there. Opposites are one of the last things I've tackled since I started two months ago.

In those two months, I've had horrible days, where nothing new works, and what I've learned barely works. Those days I've wanted to almost put them down, then I come back the next day and explore things I had not pondered, and my earlier pitfalls seem like miniscule potholes.


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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:Originally Posted By: MannimalI wasn't saying *split time opposites* was nonessential, I was saying *my* ability was nonessential to the post.


Ahh, well theres the problem then. I wasn't addressing you, it was an address to the OP and a suggestion to help learn well... in context, split time opposites, but really the suggestion of learning to do things with your arms helps with practically everything to do with poi from our understanding of interactions right down to freedom with your arms.

You're quite right about not needing to stress over certain movements though. Its usually best to pick things that can help you gain skill in the areas you lack... learning some basic antispins would help in this case since its not even hard, its just a case of learning to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. The best way to go about learning antispins is also to gain awareness of how your arms can move in the space you've got, so experimenting moving your arms in the different timing/direction possibilities will greatly aid in ones quest for pretty flowers as well as basic understanding of timing and directionality. smile


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Such
GOLD Member since Sep 2008

Such

Rancor
Location: Right Here

Total posts: 253
Posted:Originally Posted By: AchiladoowegaMy right is my most dominant hand.

Well thank your lucky stars for that, you'd be in trouble... unless you had a third arm?


I had an incredibly hard time with my left hand as well, and not surprisingly, referred to the left as retarded too. I truly thought it was never going to get smarter, and it really never did, but one thing is for certain: It started to remember things.


Human

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Achiladoowega
SILVER Member since Apr 2009

Achiladoowega

All Sloppy No Joe
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Total posts: 22
Posted:Good that my hand does remember things.

Oh, don't get me started on the rub head/pat belly thing. My right will rub the head, and I'd tell the left to pat the belly and then, it was to rub the belly too. It's monkey see, monkey do in my idiot left hand's case.


Gone spinning...

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hoffman
GOLD Member since Feb 2007

hoffman

stranger
Location: Shanghai, China

Total posts: 23
Posted:If one arm or hand is particularly dominant, try this. Visually look at the weak hand and track it with your eye. Don't watch the dominant hand (maybe for an instance now and than), but concentrate and keep your eyes firmly glued on your weak hand throughout the movements. This seems to help with getting your hand to obey your brain and should give the weak side a bit of an advantage and hopefully bring it up to the level of the dominant hand.
EDITED_BY: firedog (1243070385)


spirituality can be seen as just intiution.....

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