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7b_wizard -

How do you launch your numbers basic patterns?

  1. In a clear crescendo way, as a ``ladder´´, starting with lower throws getting upon height towards the later throws.
  2. A mix of 1. and 3., pretty much the same height as good as I can get it, but the very first one or two throws a bit lower. And-Or doing the two or three latest throws just a little bit higher to have the launch better well-spaced.
  3. All on the exact height required (from first throw on), thus also in the right tact.
  4. Different ways, or all of the above, or depending on which pattern, which number, or with a special initial throw or kick, or with a siteswap, or from juggling a lower number (only part of the props) with full hands.

[ #numbers #launch #technique #poll ]

This is a competition thread which ran from 26th Sep 2016 to 16th Oct 2016. View results.

James Hennigan - - Parent

Don't lots of jugglers do the opposite of 1? They throw the first ball higher and all the other throws are at regular height.


7b_wizard - - Parent

Never seen this. Very interesting; it seems to earn a moment to prepare and get back in position for the steady launch with one ball less.

DavidCain - - Parent

Yes, Gatto made that method fairly popular.

7b_wizard - - Parent

He should then vote "4.".

No, serious: I see two slight disadvantages in that method (regardless of how much these might be outweighed by the advantages), at least when still learning:   a)   the very high first ball comes back very fast, thus is a bit harder to catch or at least ask for a different first catch, and   b)   it's out of tact and out of pattern and tact, so timing your launch to it, matching both, seems a skill on its own, maybe comparable to kicking into launch.

peterbone - - Parent

The advantage is that it makes the first throws easier when there's a lot of weight in the hands. Perhaps Anthony developed that method because he started numbers so young. I tend to do it a bit with clubs.

When flashing high numbers I prefer 1 or 2. The advantage being that they separate out in the air making the catches further apart. When running numbers I prefer 3.

7b_wizard - - Parent

I like the first two pairs of throws notably lower and wider, to have the middle free to fire the rest up keeping a slight crescendo. (Clearly "1." then, and for 9b and 7b) My 8b wimpy, I do it in a `robotic´ way all to same exact height - there's just much more time to swing up thrust in synch.

James Hennigan - - Parent

This reminded me that Anthony could juggle 5 clubs before he could even hold 5 clubs!

bad1dobby - - Parent

I put that down to hype - no-one does bullshit like circus does bullshit...

Daniel Simu - - Parent

To me it makes a lot of sense. The first ball is hard because the hands are heavy. You can make the first high throw easy by using the legs, and the legs add so much push that you can even make enough time to slow down the next one or two balls. With more time you can also put more force in these.. Until you quickly need to get your hands empty to make the first catches, and then stabilize into pattern hight as you only need to deal with 1 ball weight..

7b_wizard - - Parent

Ah, yeah .. ``hop´´ the first one up - forgot about that one.

And, true, yeah, .. once they're all up, be it only halfway aligned, spaced and timed, you can still correct into pattern dealing with one prop each rethrow, which makes up a bit for a flawly launch - I need that a lot ;o) .

Marvin - - Parent

This poll has now ended. The results are:

  1.   In a clear crescendo way, as a ``ladder´´, starting with lower throws getting upon height towards the later throws. (1 vote)
  2.   A mix of 1. and 3., pretty much the same height as good as I can get it, but the very first one or two throws a bit lower. And-Or doing the two or three latest throws just a little bit higher to have the launch better well-spaced. (0 votes)
  3.   All on the exact height required (from first throw on), thus also in the right tact. (2 votes)
  4.   Different ways, or all of the above, or depending on which pattern, which number, or with a special initial throw or kick, or with a siteswap, or from juggling a lower number (only part of the props) with full hands. (1 vote)

7b_wizard -

EJC 2016 Almere, Endurance Contests, Games - Nick Webster -- [ Playlist, 7 vids ]

It struck me, that What could be better to rate trick difficulty, than such contests? even without any theory on reasons and properties of patterns for them to be more or less difficult than another pattern or different opinions on patterns. And, together with world records for tricks and patterns, establish a raw Dan-System for juggling patterns and skills. (By simply the time endured or rounds of it done)

#TrickDifficulty #DanGrades #TrickRating #Contest

[ // Like, I'd roughly say maybe 1. 8b - fbd97531, 2. 7c tricks, 3. 7b - bd97531, 4. 7c groundstate, 5. 7b tricks, 6. 6c tricks, 7. 7b groundstate [Ouffh! there it is, finally], a.s.o. [rings don't count, cos' I never held more than one in hands; kendama already has it's own system, and Devilstick should get own too, then] .. but - you get it: .. ]

I think it's feasible.

[ x-post /reddit:   People have meanwhile managed to sort out, clip and upload their EJC-takes, so "ejc 2016" (YouTube), same query on JTV, now find tons of recent stuff like Combat, Workshops, Kendama, Show .. ]

Daniel Simu - - Parent

But... Difficulty does not equal simply the amount of people who can do a trick. Some moves are very popular compared to other, easier ones, but will have higher records/more people who can perform them.

7b_wizard - - Parent


7b_wizard - - Parent

On the other hand .. if there were a rating-system, and there were unpopular (maybe hard, maybe easy?) tricks neglected, then one could pick these out and endure them or do many rounds of them and it would compare to those mainstream tricks' times or rounds pushed by many people prefering those latter.

So, easy or hard records that are still ``free´´ because they're not so popular, will find someone who wants that record soon or late .. for easier unpopular tricks, you'll have that Brian Pankey on recordsetter syndrome  (not so many people will even bother to beat those),  but for harder respectable tricks and records worthwhile working on, soon or late someone will ``attack´´ or intitialize those  (as they get an entry on e.g. JWikia or Guiness, or recordsetter, wherever, that might last).

So with a rating system established, tricks might become more popular, people more eager to get these down.
Which will have any system be dynamic and grow and modified. And a dynamic self-enforcing versus self-deteriorating redundance between tricks' ratings, records, and their popularity. .. Maybe?

Austin - - Parent

But take Gatto. Look at his records. There's going to be inbalance there for a long time, because he only ever did a limited selection of tricks, but di them for longer than seems possible. Especially some ring records and the 6-7 club records, and some balance stuff.

7b_wizard - - Parent

A good rating system can sort such things out by taking data from several sources (Contests, World Records) not only from one person or one event.   And that imbalance is an imbalance in skill in favor Gatto, then, or of the tricks he pushed. Still it reflects what can possibly be done, or has been done. Many more people attempting those tricks for rating points and a grade in a rating system will flow into the rating of that trick.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Also, a decent mathematical and statistical rating system can manage a "reliability" coefficient by the number of data, events, attempts, unique people, records logged, contest for a trick rating.

Austin - - Parent

I'd say most people's ratings of how hard tricks are are rather arbitrary because everyone is different, and work on different things. For one I'd say 7c tricks are way harder than fdb97531- unless you're talking about running it. Also some people will invariably be naturally better at different props, and some people spend most practice on onlly one prop. I personally am good at balls, and would be good at rings if I had a regular practice place. But I'm not good at clubs. I think in general stronger built people are better at clubs, because they are always quite heavy. Also I think getting short runs of club tricks are harder than short runs of ball tricks, for the same difficulty to get solid. Also spin moves are way under rated in terms of difficulty- I practice them about the same amout as say 5b 74635, but I'm awful at them. The only people who have any chance at them are those who dedicate huge amounts of practice to them.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Yes, but there's taller and less taller absketball players.   If Snir does 11 rounds of db97531 with balls, but no one gets more than two rounds of b97531 with clubs, then the club trick is rated harder in a rating system.   If of 100 jugglers enduring 7b, one does 2 minutes and a few, then of 100 jugglers enduring 5c, one does upto 3 minutes, then 5c is a bit easier rated in a rating. Adn there's also world records to compare those two. For spin moves, you simply count the number of spins .. few out of many people getting only few spins shows, that it's a difficult trick.

Austin - - Parent

Ofek's done 25 rounds :P but I'd say that if you were going to rate them you'd need a wider base, because Ofek is a god, and there is no-one quite like him that does clubs or rings at the moment, so it's hard to compare. Also you have 7b tricks as harder than 6c tricks, but people can run far more complex 7b tricks than 6c ones.

7b_wizard - - Parent

There will be a wider base, when ..
Many more people attempting those tricks for rating points and a grade in a rating system will flow into the rating of that trick.
It will then confirm, Ofek is best at this and how hard the trick is if no one else gets near. Still people won't need to renounce on trying, even they can't do better than Snir, but they get points or a grade.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

I think in general stronger built people are better at clubs, because they are always quite heavy.

I disagree. I've seen small young girls juggle 5 clubs with tricks. They obviously don't muscle their way into the juggling. They have excellent form and efficient movements with no wasted energy, and that's why they succeed.

Little Paul - - Parent


Luke Wilson was built like a stick insect and made 5c look effortless.

Vova & Olga were passing ridiculous numbers of clubs when they were young teenagers.

Peter Bone, Luke Burrage, any number of jugglers you see at an EJC are all on the slight-side but have rock solid 5C.

Clean, efficient technique saves energy, and ultimately that's what you need.

There is only a short run of 5C in this video, but it's short because that's what's needed artistically not because of anything else, but look at the 4C section at the end closely. It's like the clubs are barely there.

Austin - - Parent

Yes, agreed, but is anyone trying 6-8 clubs for the first time going to have clean, efficient technique? Well maybe Ben Thompson... I'm not really talking about 5c, in perspective that's an incredibly easy trick, I'm talking about high numbers and extreme technical dificulty, or at least what is still very hard for the person. What I think is that if someone made 150g smaller clubs I and other in a simiair position would easily be able to release 7, without losing form and nearly killing myself to get them out in time. Problem is, no-one makes lighter clubs...

7b_wizard - - Parent

Yeh! .. the props should adapt to us jugglers, not vice versa.

Orinoco - - Parent

Indeed size != strength

Peter Bone is an avid rock climber. Rock climbers, gymnasts & ballet dancers account for some of the strongest people I know.

It's not about how many muscle fibres you have (big bulging muscles) it's about how many of those fibres you can activate at the same time.

Austin - - Parent

Good point, I hadn't thought of that! Perhaps I should start rock climbing then :P

Austin - - Parent

Yes, but wouldn't that be because they can't muscle their way in? The best way to progress is to push yourself, but if you can't make as many error corrections due to less strength, doesn't that decrease progress?

7b_wizard - - Parent

Why "muscle", why "strength", .. why not "agility", trained "speediness of movements" (reaction time)? Or also "good sense for timing and rhythm and anticipation", "throwing technique". Athletes work with much greater weights than beanbags (disc, javelin, hammer, and all), after all (and very much need technique still also). So from their view, we might all be doing lightweight sport, aren't we?


Austin - - Parent

I'm talking about clubs mostly here, and they weigh 220g or more; put four in one hand and you have 1kg, which you have to throw all of to a height of about 5m in about 2 seconds. That's hard work.

7b_wizard - - Parent

When I see Mariia Sobolieva juggle 7b and flash (or qualify?) 9b, with thin muscleless but long arms with great physical lever, (also Mc Gillivray, maybe LØfberg, others), then I even think, that women might have an advantage, an Edge, for approaching juggling by skill, not by effort as men maybe tend to do more. Especially when getting stuck, men will use wrist weights, and do work out .. women, dunno, maybe try differently to get it easy, maybe are more liable to get into better technique. - Jus' my theory .. hope there's sth to it (cos' that's how I work). - I'd concede, 7b tricks, very high throws, 9b, numbers, might be a threshold level for not doing without effort anymore, and additional strength then being very helpful if not necessary, as effortish trying mostly comes before doing it right, well, as swift and easily as can. (But, hey, not for 5b, 5b tricks, 6b, 7b groundstate)

[ #gender #worldrecord #strength #muscles #workout ]

Austin - - Parent

Well... I think that being able to do 13 catches of 9b with less muscle than most isn't really saying that you're better off without muscle, given that it doesn't even put you in the top 10, it's about 4% of the record. Think about it. All the base pattern world records from 6-9 clubs, 7-13 balls, and 7-13 rings have been done by at least fairly muscular people. Is this coincidence? I don't think so.

7b_wizard -

The very moment before launching into your most challenging ground-state, a challenging basic pattern that you haven't fully gotten down, and want to get it running, qualified or endured, what do you think, what do you intend, what do you try, what do you focus on?

Do you have a motto that you try to put into reality? Do you have a launching routine? Do you focus on a distinct #n.-th throw for the launch to succeed? Do you have a melody for your launch? Do you visualize the right height? Do you think of or visualize the crossing point? Do you prepare for your hands to do constant throwing in the right angle and-or scoop with the right amount of thrust from next moment on? Or do you relax and try to think nothing at all? Or do you do differently each time e.g. finetuning all the time?

Do you (also) think, those few milliseconds right before starting are crucial in a way? How do you get the start well?

#technique #mentalTechnique #mentec #launch #milliseconds

Lou Duncan - - Parent

This might seem odd, and I'll try to put it in as few words as possible, but I try to empty my head and mirror the mental state I am in when showing someone a trick I find easy like 3b Mills.It sounds a bit arrogant, but I just try to treat it mentally like I've already done it a hundred times before. Seems to help me :)

Mike Moore - - Parent

When I practice, there's normally something I'm looking from in each of my attempts. Something like, "Avoid breaking plane with the second throw" or the like.

When going for performance, I normally focus on breathing and my starting hand/wrist position and visualizing the pattern I want to form.

RegularJugular -

Will sloppy patterns always cause plateau? How can I juggle neater patterns?

This has been discussed a lot over the years, but I just wanted some consolidated information*.

I've experienced after many years of juggling with bad form / sloppy patterns wih 4 or more objects that: 'Juggling consistantly ugly input does not get beautiful output at the end'. It also causes more fatigue, which causes shorter runs.

Assuming that I am correct in my observation: How does someone avoid sloppy, wonky, inconsistant and generally ugly patterns with 4 or more objects? For a beginner and also as someone who has tried for years to chase difficult goals with bad form?

Thank you

*I may be asking in the wrong place

James Hennigan - - Parent

Can you specify which patterns exactly you are talking about? And also what is it about your technique that you consider 'sloppy'?

To avoid sloppy patterns in general, you could try the "don't practice mistakes" method. If you feel the pattern is too messy (maybe you're moving around too much or you're turning around or something) then just collect the props and stop juggling. Work on shorter, controlled runs. Stop when you find yourself juggling with bad form.

This is what I do with patterns like 744. Some days I can't do it for very long without moving all over the place, so I just work on shorter runs where I can stand still.

RegularJugular - - Parent

Almost any pattern, but it's easier to describe symmetrical patterns, most typically the 5 ball cascade. I used to guage my patterns quality by how long I could run them for now I want to see a beautiful pattern. So sloppiness would be anything that causes the pattern not to be smooth. Typical of my 5 ball cascade:

  • Inconsistent heights (by a significant amount)
  • Throws out of plane e.g Forward or Backward
  • Lopsided cross, one peak higher than the other
  • Constantly trying to correct for any of the above

After a while one or another* will become apparent.

For a while now I have deliberately practised short, controlled runs** for the majority of my practice. I have experienced some improvement when I stick to it, but very rapid reversal of improvement when I don't.

The biggest problem I had with that sort of method is I used not to be able to identify what the mistakes were or the different levels of importance to each mistake.

I was wondering if there is a concise way to describe good practice technique, perhaps there isn't.

*These cover just about any error result possible, but not root causes

**I try to make sure I'm doing much more of the base cascade or fountain pattern than tricks so I'm not confusing my subconscious too much.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Don't practise the mistakes. Take your juggling to the level where you can fully concentrate on your body posture and perfect throw. This will most likely mean 1 ball.

I don't like this much, but working on 1 ball throws with a trainer who watches did help to clean up my juggling.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Yeh .. be (anytime) ready to question your basics as there might be improvement in there, which is yet hidden to you.

7b_wizard - - Parent

my two cents: I believe body posture, arm movement and the pattern should fit one another to be a smoothly running whole. I think errors come from too tensed juggling, from too much effort used, from having to correct a lot.

For the pattern this means: Aim the height, the region, the area, the top of the pattern, that is needed at your beat-interval well. (Or, vice versa: adopt your beat-speed to your preferred height). Stay in the plane. This can be achieved by imagining or actually using a bar to throw over or a ring to throw through (every single throw! constantly.). Know that height to throw to, have it internalized, automatic, 'by heart'. Don't ever do any lower throws, always get the minimum height.

For posture, this means to find which stance suits you best, for instance either have feet parallel or one foot (the stronger or weaker one) slightly ahead, or else for instance slightly bend knees or not, or still else for instance, sway body's weight from one foot to other in a rhythm while juggling, or else, still, put feet nearer or further apart. Take the pattern near your body (corresponds to upper arms hanging straight down). Watch what your hips and your shoulder-line do when juggling.

For arm's posture and arm's and hand's movement: don't juggle too far ahead of your body as it causes unnecessary tension in upper arm and shoulder. Find a way of getting props on height easily without too much effort, for example by loosening your wrists and profiting from greater lever throwing from a fingerbasket, or else by getting more thrust from hearty scoops (on cost of some more dwell-time needed),   ( or even else - which I don't recommend - by working out to have more muscle power, force and condition, endurance, to keep the pattern up even when far ahead of your body or constantly slightly tensed or grasping balls with whole hand in full palm without much lever ).

Generally an awareness of the body, where there's most tension, then changing something there, trying differently, leads to improvement of posture and arm movement. Juggling as lax as would keep the pattern up a few periods, as lazy as would go, as monotoneous as possible for example. Trying out differently throwing a lot, different arm posture, pulling the pattern to and shifting it away from you, doing wider and narrow, throwing fromout lower or fromout higher, more or less scoop, more from inside, trying faster, speedy throwing movement (= shorter dwell-time), .. things alike will an find an easier posture and style and technique(s). Varying the pattern's height, width, speediness will find your easiest (or easier) pattern that will then also suit posture and arm movement and make it a rhythmic fluent smooth whole.

I also think to have spotted some instincts to overcome: not wanting to hit your face and eyes, maybe is, what makes us throw precarious throws ahead all the time. Maybe trying to avoid collisions makes us leave the front plane. The height per beat (or vice versa)-ratio from doing less props maybe sits so deep, that it needs be overcome when oing more props (with those more props's dwelltime needs to be gained above the mere physical flight-time).

Even more general, meta: When sth feels wrong, a change is obviously needed. By varying everything (pattern, posture, movement, props, conditions), one increases the chance to find the improvements (q.e.d.), instead of doing same over and over again, hoping for it to 'happen' from alone or from stronger muscles.

I've had long easy runs with 5b cascade and periods where it did feel as easy as walking, as could go on forever that way, but I don't get it anytime and it's not simple, not obvious to find back into. Throwing from looser wrists; pulling the pattern near my body; aiming well in the first place ('feeding' the top of the pattern) were my clues to get near 1,000 throws with 5b without burning arms.

RegularJugular - - Parent

I think this is a helpful list of things to look for. It condenses most of the things I'd tried so far and a bit more into one post.

#Practice #Technique #HandyReference #JugglingWisdom

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

Where you throw the ball is less important than when you throw the ball. Cadence is quite difficult to see from a video, but you should be able to feel it when you juggle.

The balls should be coming out of your hands with the precision of a metronome. The things you list (height, plane, lopsidedness) are symptoms of bad cadence.

The throws in a beautiful juggling pattern occur at equal time intervals.

Good: Left....Right....Left....Right....Left....Right....
Bad: Left..Right......Left..Right......Left..Right......

RegularJugular - - Parent

This is something I hadn't thought about for years and certainly hadn't attributed enough importance to. I did a small amount of 'investigative juggling' and it seems to support your observation.

I think it would help to juggle a bit higher than minimum height to achieve the best control and feeling of timing*. Do you agree?

*It also looks better for an audience

RegularJugular - - Parent

This seems to have got me and 7b_wizard thinking. Answering my own question: I observed that whatever height I am used to has a strong impact on how well I can control cadence, as well as getting a height that cadence is better controlled at.

It should be self-evident that beautiful patterns will have even cadence(s*).

*cadence for each siteswap orbit

7b_wizard - - Parent

On "height(s)": I have different heights for 5b cascade:
-   a ``secure´´ one about barely a foot above head where I get my very long runs casually starting first several hundred throws from easier, faster pattern [see next below], or, when i feel secure, get back to that lower, faster pattern:
-   fluent, very easy \ "easiest", snapped-in pattern at about head height or slightly below. This pattern, its height respectively, is more risky, more liable to breakdown on outbreakers or drifts, less easy to correct or save, and I can hold it for a few hundred throws at its best. It would, alone, not make for very long runs.
-   everything below that (Eye-nose-height. Chin and below.) is drop bound below 100-120 catches (Chin: max 30 throws).
-   then a high height, outdoors without ceiling, about two / two and a half feet above head, about low 7b-height. Time plenty to scoop nicely and much more time to comfortably give thrust from forearm with few wrist-work (which latter will again be necessary with 7b on that low 7b-height, though). There or higher, aiming well to keep the balls in comfort reach fitting posture and arm's degrees of freedom get more attention. (anything above that will make me have to step to where balls land and patterns high up there will be liable to tear apart, .. guess, due to lotsa whole arm + shoulder work + more effort then making throws unprecise)

I believe, that such staggered different comfortable, `best´ heights are a direct consequence of the anatomy of the arm and its part's degrees of freedom depending on how much wrist is used, how much forearm is used, how much the upper arm moves, how much the shoulder takes part in the throw. There will be maxima and minima for any reasonable combination of the arm's part's moving together, the kinematic chain, i suppose.
[further reading, (technical; biokinematics):,,,,, haven't yet found human arm's kinematic chain or degrees of freedom for moving or handling sth, even though i suspected sport's science to be concerned with such]

7b_wizard - - Parent

#biokinematics #heights #forces
Also, in Wes Peden's SALT there's a few clips with drawings of the human arm with ball in hand and forces and levers acting in and on everything, that go in direction of this topic.

7b_wizard - - Parent


7b_wizard - - Parent

This should relate to showers and half-showers, where galopping is natural part of the pattern. So, maybe alternating between halfshower and cascade can increase an awareness for flawful galoping in the cascade (e.g. caused by lower throws from weakhand, or by some asymmetry in posture) and either get rid of an unwanted galop, or else adopt it as doing such slight asymmetry (in shape and beat) on purpose (if it feels more comfortable like that). Or maybe for example practise halfshowers and showers bothsided in order to 'merge' both hand's galop until they are equal then also for the cascade.

7b_wizard - - Parent

> "[..] caused by weakhd, asym posture [..]" .. or simply by emphasized beat or counting on every 2.nd beat (galop then done by the mind, with no physical cause).

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. which gets me to what i did, to count on weakhand's beats (even changing emphasis from weakhd to stronghd in e.g. a nine-rhythm during running pattern) to try and get rid of weakhand low throws when i feel it be necessary. (until you do that correction back to stable pattern automatically whenever necessary without much special intent then anymore needed)


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