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Cedric Lackpot -

A glossary of juggling terminology - does such a thing exist?

In this subthread over on Reddit someone has asked for a glossary of modern juggling, and to my surprise I realised that I'm not sure such a thing exists, not an authoritative one anyway. Can any Edgizens prove me wrong please? Or suggest some good places for a curious Redditor to start looking? David Cain do you perhaps have some suggestions?

peterbone - - Parent

I think it was our God Emperor who created this one. Seems quite thorough.

Dee - - Parent

Although I would question "Backdrop"; to me that is what is behind you - in terms of filming or performing (so, do your props contrast sufficiently with the backdrop or do they blend in?) [I would definitely include that as an alternative meaning]

Otherwise, its a pretty good start on a juggling glossary, it maybe requiring a bit of updating in terms of references to people (perhaps, to make it a bit more timeless, I would omit living people from the glossary)

Orinoco - - Parent

Yeah, I couldn't find anything comprehensive when I looked either, which was what prompted me to compile that page.

It's been a while since I've added anything to that page, I think the last addition was buugeng.

I have added the extra definition for backdrop. I've also removed most of the living jugglers from view. I've left in those who I feel are more famous for a contribution they have made to juggling culture rather than for who they are.

New suggestions are always welcome. Any glaring ommissions from the past few years that I should include?

Mike Moore - - Parent

Box and an inverted modifier!

peterbone - - Parent

Squeeze catch

Orinoco - - Parent

Both terms added, & inverse too which is related. Suggestions for less clunkily worded definitions also welcome!

lukeburrage - - Parent

"Combat: US term for Gladiators" should be "Gladiators: the British term for combat".

Orinoco - - Parent

Yeah, I suppose you are right, it does seem to be a purely British term now. I wonder when that changed? I clearly remember it being announced as gladiators during the games at the EJC in 2002.

& is it a 3 club specific thing? I don't think I've ever heard the term 'unicycle combat' for example.

lukeburrage - - Parent

Gladiators is more of a generic term for "the last person doing this prop/skill with contact between participants allowed" so unicycle gladiators is usually still a thing. Also hoop gladiators or ball-on-head gladiators.

Combat is for three clubs and three balls.

charlieh - - Parent

I think it changed when too many people started using the wrong word.

The Void - - Parent

*spills coffee laughing*

7b_wizard -

practise versus ``talent´´

(no matter which level you're on - just started or world champion ..)
How much do you think that all your skills are (to which part) a result of practise or hard ``work´´, perseverance, or else
(to which part) did they ``come to you´´ by a natural preference for juggling (or object manipulation or artistry oror) or by a natural predisposition or a love for juggling making learning easier (than e.g. for the average juggler, or e.g. than learning another skill or art of motion or sportive activity)?

  1. no talent or predisposition or preference - it's 100% hard work or perseverant regular practise or strong will only got me there.
  2. some talent or predisposition or preference - but mostly practise or work or perseverance or strong will.
  3. a good portion of talent or predisposition or preference - but somewhat more practise or work or perseverance or strong will.
  4. about equal.
  5. somewhat more talent or predisposition or preference - but it couldn't have grown & developed without a notable and regular amount of practise or work or perseverance or strong will.
  6. notably more talent or predisposition or preference - but it won't yield without a bit of practise or coping with or some will to improve.
  7. I learn extremely fast and don't see upper limits below highest levels. I think, I'm a ``natural´´.
  8. other \ depends \ easy for s'swaps and few prop tricks, but hard for numbers \ easy for basic patterns, but hard for tricks

A few aspects helping to answer:
Even Gatto said sth like, there's no such thing talent on his level or for him - it was all hard hard work.
Think of what you can't do even though you think you should.
Was your decision or how you got to juggling totally intrinsic (=absolutely "yours" and the only thing to do, ``necessary´´ in a way) or could it just aswell have been something else, another hobby or activity.
Do you see yourself improving and learning much faster than others (that's the point, not learning easy stuff fast only).
Do others admire the speed you improve or learn (while you yourself might not have noticed).

And a question that I'm interested in:
Do you think or have you experienced a hidden talent waking up after already having juggled for a good while? Do you think that's possible to ``wake up the natural inside you´´?

This is a competition thread which ran from 30th Sep 2017 to 10th Oct 2017. View results.

7b_wizard - - Parent

I myself am somewhere between 2 and 3, but sill blundering a real lot when not yet warmed up or when not concentrating, also failing over long phases, makes me say "2", even though I hope for it to become easier, maybe the natural skill inside waking up, some day when I've reached my goals and then not having to so much do at the limit anymore. I don't think I'd have gotten where I am without the inner decision to dedicate to the 7b cascade, which is maybe rather a preference than ``natural talent´´, who knows.

7b_wizard - - Parent

If i get 13 catches of 9b today or 7b > 100 c, I'll change to "5" ;o])

Daniel Simu - - Parent

You're asking multiple questions at once, which makes it hard to answer correctly...

I think I have some but little natural talent in learning object manipulation skills. However I am extremely predisposed to love juggling which makes it incredibly easy to spend countless hours on practice. So effectively my natural affection for juggling makes me a good juggler?

7b_wizard - - Parent

Yes, [>>"multiple wording"<<], wanted to include a wide range of viewpoints for "talent\\not talent".

Okay, that makes it a bit difficult ("little natural talent, but love for juggling making practise easy"),
but, as the question is scaled along "talent vs. practise", I'd say, your description says, that your love for juggling sort of enables or helps you to make up for little natural talent. But you don't sound, like new skills ``come to you´´ or that your natural afffection for juggling makes learning (notably) easier than for the average juggler or than another activity - at least not in a way that would spare you to still having to practise a whole lot. That would be a clear "2", I'd say.

So, @ all, if in doubt, feel free to read the options as roughly ..

1. 0-5% talent - 95-100% practise (hard work only)
2. 5-25% talent - 75-95% practise
3. 25-45% talent - 55-75% practise
4. 45-55% talent - 45-55% practise (equal)
5. 55-75% talent - 25-45% practise
6. 75-95% talent - 5-25% practise
7. 95-100% talent - 0-5% practise (pure talent, just do it and it will naturally succeed in ridiculously short time)

Orinoco - - Parent

I put myself down as a number 2. I think I'm very similar to Daniel, I got good at juggling because when I first started I enjoyed it so much I did nothing but practice. Perhaps because of my enjoyment I didn't realise it was 'hard work'.

peterbone - - Parent

Agreed. The choices are made a bit complex by the 'love of juggling' part, which I think makes the vote lose focus on the nature vs nurture argument. I think that any natural aptitude is very small, but I voted 2 for the same reason as you.

Interesting Gatto's comment that he thinks it was all hard work. Where does that quote come from? On his own forum years ago he said that he believes he has some kind of natural advantage and sees things "in slow motion". Although I don't believe that at all I do think that believing it helped him a lot.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

I always thought that seeing things in slow motion is acquired. When you first start attempting 5 balls it feels frantic and crazy fast and impossible. After a while (perhaps a few years or more), it can seem slow and simple. Gravity obviously hasn't changed but your perception has.

Sometime after I was pretty solid with 5 balls, I remember when it really clicked even more and became truly effortless. I fondly remember that as my juggling nirvana.

7b_wizard - - Parent

That 'love of juggling' wording is due to me trying to exclude, that ``talent´´ (which anyway is hard to seize as notion) need be determined by some genetic predisposition, let alone by a distinct ``juggling gene´´. And I tried to allow, that a wunderkind could feel as a natural without a need to have genetic evidence, without the need to have been ``born as juggler´´, just with love of juggling, then. Also, I wanted to avoid any discussion about whether ``(genetic) talent´´ even exists or not.

That Gatto statement is nothing like a citation with a source; I had it in mind, read it somewhere - it might be a mere rumour or misinterpretation (alas, I have no idea, where I got that from).

Mike Moore - - Parent

I'd put me somewhere between 5-6. When I can dredge up enough time to practice daily, I feel my progress goes by leaps and bounds, and it seems like I could be /very/ good if I were to try to make a career of juggling (or prioritize it higher).

There are certainly people who pick things up faster than me, but that population seems to be somewhere between 10-25 % of jugglers I know. There's probably some selection bias in there.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

I'm a 2. I find it very difficult to understand juggling patterns and I've always learned everything slower than most. My love of juggling has helped me keep up the practicing.

Marvin - - Parent

This poll has now ended. The results are:

  1.   no talent or predisposition or preference - it's 100% hard work or perseverant regular practise or strong will only got me there. (0 votes)
  2.   some talent or predisposition or preference - but mostly practise or work or perseverance or strong will. (6 votes)
  3.   a good portion of talent or predisposition or preference - but somewhat more practise or work or perseverance or strong will. (1 vote)
  4.   about equal. (0 votes)
  5.   somewhat more talent or predisposition or preference - but it couldn't have grown & developed without a notable and regular amount of practise or work or perseverance or strong will. (0 votes)
  6.   notably more talent or predisposition or preference - but it won't yield without a bit of practise or coping with or some will to improve. (1 vote)
  7.   I learn extremely fast and don't see upper limits below highest levels. I think, I'm a ``natural´´. (0 votes)
  8.   other \ depends \ easy for s'swaps and few prop tricks, but hard for numbers \ easy for basic patterns, but hard for tricks (1 vote)

Richard Loxley -

Bath juggling club - a review.

My first juggling club was the Bath club, at the Window Arts Centre. I went there from about 1994 till I moved to Bristol in the late 1990s. It survived for many years, but folded quite a while ago.

Now Henry Lawrence and Charlie Dancey have started up a new juggling club on a Thursday night. It's been running a couple of weeks now. I guess you'd call it a 'soft launch', in that they have gently publicised it by word of mouth to a few local jugglers, but don't seem to have listed it anywhere yet or set up a website.

I was busy the first two weeks packing for and attending Broxford, but I went along last week to check it out.

The venue is Pipley Barn, in Lansdown (at the top of the hill on the northern outskirts of Bath). This barn has been recently renovated by Henry, and I think he's intending it as a multi-use space: camping barn, cafe, music studio, and event space.

It has been beautifully renovated, although there's still a bit to be finished, so the main space had a few piles of unassembled kitchen cabinets and shower cubicles in the corner!

There were five of us there last Thursday, which was nice and friendly: me, Henry, Charlie, Robin & Linda. The club is advertised as suitable for juggling, board games, playing music, and consuming tea and snacks.

There is a main event space, which is the main barn space with a pitched roof and wooden roof trusses. If you stand under the peak I think you'd probably be able to juggle five clubs. I had no problem juggling three clubs anywhere. For passing I think you'd need to stand across the hall so you missed the trusses. With the current piles of building supplies that would probably limit you to four people passing at a time, but once those are cleared there may be room for more club passers.

As well as the main space there is a large kitchen, then the corridor leading to the toilets opens out into a small lounge area with sofas which would be great for socialising or playing music. Down the corridor are what will I believe be an accommodation area and a recording studio once work is finished.

The main space also has tables and chairs stacked up (I think it will eventually be a cafe during the day), so room to sit and chat with a cuppa.

The club has a lovely chilled vibe (as you'd expect from a space that Henry has put together). I'll definitely be back :-)

The barn is hard to find if you haven't been there before. It's nestled amongst fields, woodland and the golf course in Lansdown, next to the Cotswold Way footpath. Here's a link to it on Google Maps: It includes photos of the barn (pre-renovation).

To get there, drive north out of Bath on Lansdown Road. Go past the Golf Club and Racecourse. You then turn left on a private drive (towards Brockham End) - the turning is before you get to the Sir Bevil Grenville monument or the turning to the Avon Fire Service centre.

Go along the drive (noting the "No entry, private drive" sign!). After you come out of the woodland it opens out on to the golf course, with a tiny wooden signpost showing "Pipley Barn" to the left and "Brockham End" straight on. Turn left here onto a rough gravel track. It is very easy to miss, particularly in the dark. If the road dips down you have gone too far and are heading down to Brockham End.

After turning left onto the gravel track continue as it turns to the right. Then Pipley Barn is on your left. Henry puts out an easel with a juggling sign on it, but it's easy to miss in the dark. I've suggested he put a light on it to make it more obvious. There are absolutely no street lights up there so it is pitch black!

There is parking for about half a dozen cars in the barn courtyard, and probably a few more on the side of the track outside.

Highly recommended for a chilled juggling and social experience! Plus you get to reminisce about the good old days of juggling with Charlie Dancey ;-)

Here's the official details from Henry:

We are restarting the Bath Juggling Workshop.

Where: The Institute of Excellence, Pipley Barn, Brockham End, Lansdown, Bath, BA19BZ

The barn is near the 7th tee on the Lansdown golf course, and near point (1) on the map .

When: Every Thursday evening starting 7 September 2017 from 7 pm.

What: Juggling hall with lots of spare props.
Board games (Chess, poker dice, BN1, Khet 2.0, Settlers of Catan, backgammon)
Table football / airball / mini-snooker
Do it yourself BBQ (weather permitting)
Fire juggling
Musical instruments
Leaf teas, ground coffee, cakes and biscuits.

Cost . Free first time, then £5 (waged) or £2.50 (children and concessions)

Hope you can come.

Henry Lawrence and Charlie Dancey

Richard Loxley - - Parent

I went to the Bath club again last night. Very quiet this week - just me and Henry!

Still, we had a good passing session (just 4 count while Henry gets his eye back in). It also inspired Henry to turn out his juggling bag until he found his magician's thumb tip, which is useful for protecting his injured thumb from being bashed by unruly clubs. So hopefully we can now get Henry doing more passing again :-)

We also had a nice little session playing guitars in the corner. (Last week I picked Henry's brain for advice on buying a second-hand guitar. I bought one at the weekend, and wanted to see if I'd done ok. Henry thought I'd got a very nice guitar at a very good price, so that's a result. I'd also always been very impressed with Henry's guitar, and in a side-by-side comparison my one stands up as being in the same league as his, which makes me happy. Mine is from the some stable as Henry's (a Yamaha FG700S, compared to his 40-odd year old FG140).

The barn has had a bit of a tidy up since last week, with much of the building materials and clutter tidied away. Still a bit more to do, so Henry is holding off on a publicity blitz until it's all cleared away.

Of particular interest is a wood burning stove waiting to be installed (sometime next week I think Henry said?) That will be very nice in the winter warming the hall, and giving a nice focal point. Will it be the only juggling club with a wood burner?

Our passing allowed us to evaluate how well the hall works as a juggling space. As expected, passing lengthways down the hall wasn't so good because of the roof trusses. It worked, but doubles would be impossible, and singles were only a few inches away from the beams, so at risk if the pattern wasn't perfect.

Passing across the hall worked absolutely fine though, plenty of height. There is a pendant lamp hanging down in the middle of the hall (as well as all the halogen spotlights). We didn't ever hit it, but Henry is wondering about a pulley system to pull it out of the way during the juggling workshop.

As is customary with juggling club reports, the important stuff:

Tea: no loose-leaf tea this week, but the tea-bags were posh individually wrapped ones, in a china teapot with gold motif, served with milk in a matching china jug. 9/10

Biscuits: milk chocolate digestives, followed by shortbread fingers. 7/10 (would be higher but Altern8's posh biscuits have spoiled me!)

It would be nice to see a few more people at the club, it really is a very sweet space with a lovely vibe. Using a space owned by a juggler feels so much more at home than a church hall!

The Void - - Parent

I'll come at some point. I was considering it this week, but Thursday crept up on me too quickly.

Richard Loxley - - Parent

It has a habit of doing that. I think they should delay it by a day. In fact most days creep up on me. Maybe we should delay every day by a day?

peterbone - - Parent

Can I ask how the wood burning stove is protected from juggling props? I have one at home and we already broke the glass once with a stray club. Some kind of screen is needed without looking too ugly.

Richard Loxley - - Parent

Currently just a sheet over the top (it's not installed yet).

Annoyingly the place where Henry intends to install it is the middle of the wall on the longest side of the hall, which is also the best place for passing due to the roof trusses!

It's opposite some floor-to-ceiling glass doors, which Henry intends to cover with a screen when the juggling workshop is on. I'm guessing he'll also need to invest in a wire mesh fire guard too to put around the burner!

Orinoco - - Parent

When you say 'we'...

peterbone - - Parent

Well I didn't want to put blame on anyone in particular but it wasn't me.

Orinoco - - Parent


Richard Loxley - - Parent

After just two people last week, it was good to see word had spread, and we had eight people this week :-)

Henry, Charlie and Robin were there running things. I came along with my mum (not a juggler, but she was visiting, and was happy to come and listen to Charlie's stories of the good old days). And Jade, Lindsay, and Scott were doing some fine acrobalance when I arrived.

The wood burner has been installed, and despite the rather mild weather, was fired up. Very nice. I passed on the suggestions about protecting the glass door in some way :-)

Tea was back to loose-leaf again this week, but the china teapot could do with being bigger with that number of people! Snacks included popcorn and some sandwiches instead of biscuits.

I did some old-school passing with Scott (fast four count with lots of tricks). Scott, bless him, gave me some spiel about how he was about to throw a double-spin pass at me that would arrive at an unexpected time, and not to panic. I gently pointed out that I'd been passing for 23 years, and he could throw whatever he liked at me and I'd be fine ;-)

Charlie then joined in and we did 4-count/2-count feeding with run-arounds.

Eventually I managed to persuade them to do some proper lefty/righty stuff, so I did a simple pass-pass-self feed while they attempted 3-count. That felt so much better :-)

At some point Henry started playing guitar in the lounge, and people gradually migrated, picking up instruments on the way, to finish up with a nice little live music session. Jade on viola, Lindsay on guitar, Henry on washtub bass, and Scott singing. I think there may have been some harmonica too? I'd love to get my guitar playing up to a level where I could join in.

Sadly we had to leave then as my mum had an early start the following morning.

Great vibe as always. I'll be back next week.

Thanar -

Here is a playlist of the records broken or set in the World Record Challenge at the Guelph Juggling Fest 2017.

3 ball lazies: 2 minutes and 7 seconds by Matan Presberg
3 ball shoulder throws: 204 catches by Jorden Moir
3 ring backcrosses: 183 catches by Matan Presberg
3 club flats: 10 minutes and 42 seconds by Nick Thomas

4 ball lazies: 54 catches by Matan Presberg
4 ball box: 3 minutes 57 seconds by Matan Presberg

7 balls isolated: 1 minute and 43 seconds by Matan Presberg
7 ball 867: 188 catches by Matan Presberg
7 ball claw: 7 catches by Nick Thomas

9 ball reverse: 16 catches by Matan Presberg

Foot juggling
3 ball: 1 hand & 1 foot: 56 catches by Jorden Moir
4 balls: 2 hands & 1 foot: 142 catches by Jorden Moir

Speed juggling
4 ring speed: 232 catches in 1 minute by Nick Thomas
6 ball speed: 312 catches in 1 minute by Matan Presberg

Slow juggling
3 ring slow: 32 catches in 1 minute by Sydney MacDonald
4 ring slow: 76 catches in 1 minute by Sydney MacDonald
4 ball slow: 63 catches in 1 minute by Nick Thomas

Mike Moore - - Parent

Yeehaw! Thanks again for coming!

Orinoco - - Parent

+ Number of records set or broken at a single festival: 17?

That is an impressive set of records, congrats to all those involved.

Mike Moore - - Parent

18 last year at Guelph fest! I guess we're going down hill (I blame myself...I didn't set/break any this year. Too much running the fest, not enough juggling).

There was a world record challenge at IJA 2013, too. It looks like a subset of the broken records is available here:

I don't know the total number of records broken there.

Thanar - - Parent

I've still got one video left to upload (Sydney MacDonald with 16 min of 4b full reverse fountain), so it should end up as 18 records for WRC at Guelph Fest 2017.

As to previous World Record Challenges...

The first WRC was in 2010 at WJF 5. Prizes were only for surpassing existing duo numbers passing records.

In 2011 there were WRCs at WJF 6 and the IJA festival. The records expanded to solo numbers juggling records in addition to two-person numbers passing (i.e. the records tracked on the Juggling World Records Wikipedia page at that time). The prize for "missing records" was also introduced to encourage jugglers to attempt a flash or better of passing 17 rings or solo force bouncing 11 balls, the only two records considered missing at the time!

WRC 2013 was at the IJA fest in Bowling Green, OH. The records expanded to everything tracked by Juggle Wiki. Missing records were greatly expanded with minimums set for each, based on discussions I had with Alex Lubker. About 28 records were set or broken by a wide range of jugglers, with Thomas Dietz breaking the most.

Then came the WRCs at Guelph Mini-Fest 2016 and Guelph Fest 2017.

Tomorrow another WRC begins at JuggleMIT 2017, so stay tuned...

Mike Moore - - Parent

What you're saying is 28 records in one fest is the one to beat. I'll have to start training for the next time the WRC comes to a fest I'm attending!

Mike Moore - - Parent

Actually, I'll train especially for if you come to the next Guelph fest. It needs more people/publicity! (and I really thank you for helping with that)

James Hennigan - - Parent

I haven't watched the entire video, but I think Gatto does 7 for about 10 minutes without moving his feet here:

peterbone - - Parent

I'm not sure that counts as isolation for some reason. I watched Ofek Snir do 7 balls without moving his feet for over 12 minutes at the EJC last year.

Mike Moore - - Parent

The most convincing argument I heard was that the inability to move has a psychological on people. I've found this to be true in my experience.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Such a nice idea to set these records at the convention! I've been thinking about setting a few records lately, but I can't get the motivation to actually film them or practice tricks which I could run over a minute... In a convention/group setting I'd feel less awkward to try and less pushy to post, yet we'd still stretch juggling as we know it!

I might try and introduce this at some convention here in the EU in the future :)

And congrats on the results too!

Orinoco -

"Not terribly pretty"

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Useless fecking loser needs TWO hands to catch the last one! What a pathetic waster, he's going nowhere fast.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Queer .. I saw nothing, only a still picture of the solar system with a tiny lightblue brahman hovering a handwidth above ground on Jupiter. Guess, my subconscience did that to protect me.

The Void - - Parent

Not bad if you like that sort of thing. Not bad at all.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

I flashed 8 balls today. I was bored, had to wait 15 minutes, there were some cheap beanbags lying around... I don't even juggle beanbags, ugh! Worst of all, I did it after only 5 minutes of trying so then I had to kill another 10 minutes somehow..

Where are my cool points?

The Void - - Parent

On the other side of the pillow.

peterbone - - Parent

Three cycles. That's got to be some kind of landmark. Amazing how the pattern seems less clean than most of his previous records. It sounds like he's changed balls and is using ultraleather ones for 11 now.

Thom! -

The Smithsonian Insitution's Sidedoor podcast just came out with an episode all about the life and legacy of Paul Cinquevalli! Well worth a listen if for no reason other than to listen to the dulcet tones of Erik Aberg's voice.

Check it out!

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Very nice, thanks for linking to it and you make a nice appearance in it :)

Orinoco - - Parent

Found a download link for this episode in their RSS feed Sidedoor: ep. 7 | the man who defied gravity (mp3 36.3mb)

Thanks for the heads up Thom, just added this to my startling large collection of things to listen to!

Orinoco - - Parent

Ooh! I forgot I did that for mp3 links!

Little Paul - - Parent

Finally managed to get around to listening to this today white I was getting in my pelargoniums and taking cuttings. It was quite a good listen, even if it did give the listener the impression that nothing Cinquevalli did was gimmicked when some of it certainly was.

peterbone - - Parent

Surprised at Erik implying that the tricks were not gimmicked as he has stated here that he believes that at least some of the tricks were gimmicked. Here's the thread where we discussed this previously and an article I linked to that mentions how he might have done the billiard balance trick.

Little Paul - - Parent

I think at least some of it was “editing for the sake of a good story@

erik aberg - - Parent

This interview was over way sooner than I thought. I have not listened to it, so I do not know what parts they used, but we hardly even scratched the surface of Cinquevalli. They asked questions that were rather silly (for an example, what a member of the audience would wear), and kept interrupting me before I could come to any point. Hopefully, there will be a chance of discussing him properly in the future. In terms of Cinquevalli and gimmicked props, the point is that he claimed not to use them, and specifically pointed that out, as a difference to magic. What the actual reality was, can of course be discussed. The distinction between juggling and magic is clear after Cinquevalli, but not before.

peterbone - - Parent

Thanks. I totally understand how they could have quoted you out of context. It seems like Cinquevalli was working to make the distinction between juggling and magic, but then breaking his own rules. I totally understand that his main goal was one of entertainment and making a living though.

Thom! -

Balancing and juggling (and juggling and balancing)

Hey guys!

I wrote up a little tutorial on learning to juggle with a balance (or... is it learning to balance with a juggle?..!)

Thought some of you might get a kick out of it! Curious to hear if my experiences are parallel with any of your own.



Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

That was an excellent read, thank you. Please show it to /r/juggling as well if you haven't already.

I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with so much of it. But that's a reflection of my understanding of the trick, which has changed considerably over time. I used to think that it should be regarded as a single trick rather than a combination of two, but I eventually realised that it's better if you let the balance come first. I'm still not sure it isn't actually a single trick, but nowadays I very much agree with the importance of focusing on the balance.

But since I learned the trick before I learned to focus completely on the balance it seems evident that one can divide one's attention somewhat, and still succeed. It's hard to remember but I think back then I tried not to look at any one thing at all, just see the whole picture.

Thom! - - Parent

Thanks, Cedric! Just posted it over on Reddit. (Feel free to give an upvote! ha!)

I'm still not sure it's a single trick, either, haha. I think that three with a balance is certainly "canon" enough that can stand on its own as a trick, but find that learning different tricks while maintaining the balance makes that perspective lacking... (would you agree?)

Your comment about dividing attention definitely corresponds with my experience with headbounce... if you focus on any one thing too much, it all falls apart. You've got to see the whole thing all at once!

Little Paul - - Parent

Just got around to reading it, and I think that you've covered everything I either picked up from other people or intuitively tried in the "conscious incompetence" phase.

I like the way you've written it up and illustrated it though - and I think you actually managed to describe why I've never found the forehead balance as comfortable as everyone seems to have told me it is - it's because I have to flip my perception.

You might even have inspired me to have another crack at getting it solid.

Thom! - - Parent

Awesome! I'm really excited that there wasn't much new info in there for you, actually... Doing my best to be comprehensive with these posts, and if I've covered everything that's occurred to you, I must be doing something right!

The Void - - Parent

Good stuff. When learning the Bungay trick, I remembered Haggis McLeod's exhortation from his Club Juggling instructional video: DON'T DROP THE BALANCE. (Which pretty much summarises your article in a sentence.) It's really hard to keep doing that when you're first trying to add some throws under the balance, but it pays dividends in the end.

I never did work hard enough on just a club balance with a cascade. Maybe I should try again....

Thom! - - Parent

Way cool! Is Haggis' video online anywhere? I'd love to see it!

The Void - - Parent

I don't think so. Theoretically, it's still for sale, I believe.

Little Paul - - Parent

I think I made a VHS rip of it and still have it on my PC somewhere, but I didn't put it online because oddballs were selling it on DVD at the time.

It makes for wonderful "omg the hair! The clothes! The sheer bloody 1990s of it all"

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

Good stuff, Thom. A few thoughts:

I think I remember hearing that Gatto recommended the forehead balance since it gives the audience a better view of your face. That insight is presumably from Nick, actually. So, forehead might be better for performer-types.

The Reading Test is my favorite drill before you put it all together. Work on it a lot after your balance is solid and before you work on adding the juggling. Try to get your head back as far as you can, even looking up somewhat behind straight up so you rely on minimal peripheral vision of the clubs.

Placing into a Balance - the trick here is to catch the club you're going to put into a balance up high and as close to the balance point as possible so there's not a lot of movement (and time) to get it into the balance. Watch people doing constant balances on one side and you'll see very high catches and minimal movement to actually put the clubs into the balance/roll).

One thing you didn't mention is clubs vs balls. Learning with 3 clubs is much easier than with 3 balls since you will see the clubs easier with your peripheral vision than balls which are generally thrown lower (throwing them high enough for suitable juggling with a balance is an unnatural slow rhythm). 4 balls is similarish height to 3 clubs so a reasonable start for those who prefer sphericals. I think it was "The Complete Juggler" that suggested that even numbers might actually be easier for juggling with a balance.

peterbone - - Parent

I'm guessing that even numbers would only be easier for the nose or chin balance since the club would obscure the crossing point of the cascade.

Funny that you say up high when referring to what I would call the bottom of the handle. Perhaps your mental model of a club is the other way round to mine. The disadvantage of catching near the knob for placing into a balance is that it's harder to get it to the right angle, but you're right that it can be quicker and easier to position it accurately.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

By "up high" I meant with your arm raised up high, right near your forehead. Another thing about this is that the throw should be one and a quarter spin so instead of catching the club perpendicular to your body line like normal, you catching it more vertically, oriented and ready for quick placement on your face.

peterbone - - Parent

OK, I see. Misunderstood you completely then.

Monte -

Real or fake?
I'm currently using this pic as my avatar on a history/politics forum, is it real or fake? Looks real and bloody dangerous to me.Anyone seen it before?

Little Paul - - Parent

It's an act I've seen described many times, although how real the photo is im not sure (it rather depends on the date of the photo) and I don't see any reason to think people didn't juggle rifles in real life.

Mocking up photos of jugglers by suspending props on strings was common practice in the earlier days of photography, when film was slow and capturing motion was difficult (i.e. If the exposure time was longer than 1/100th sec etc)

So - possible staged photo of a real act

peterbone - - Parent

Weren't the rifles fired on each catch in some versions of the trick?

Monte - - Parent

If real I bet that sword gets in the way.
Got to be a really heavy, poorly balanced and dangerous object to juggle especially with bayonets fixed. Also I bet someone shouted ''can you do 4?''

The Void - - Parent

Thrown as flats.

Monte - - Parent

Makes sense, keep the sharp pointy bits away from you. I was imagining them spinning around. Duh

Monte - - Parent

Thanks David that's awesome. Joey Dillon is amazing. Almost makes me wish you could still own handguns in the UK.

Orinoco -

Perseverance pays off.

I found this film of a skater repeatedly failing to pull off a tough trick while talking about his journey very easy to relate to.

JonPeat - - Parent

I had seen this video before and I enjoyed it, I watched it again and I still enjoyed it. I think it is a good motivational story and I admire the guy’s determination.

But.., does anyone else wonder if that trick could have been broken down into more manageable steps (excuse the pun…) and practised better so that he could hit the trick in a shorter timeframe or with greater consistaency?
I know nothing about skateboarding and the relative difficulties of tricks but are there similar / easier variations which he could have learnt to train up for ‘the big trick’?

By his own admission he is ‘Not a consistent skateboarder, doesn’t land stuff every try at all. I fall most of the time.’
Could all that energy and determination been better directed at improving his consistency to better enable him to tackle that very hard trick?

It seems to me he threw himself at this trick, nearly every day, for two full years. Had about 100 attempts each time he tried it, 2000 attempts, and in all those attempts he nearly got the trick about 20 times.
He bled and hurt himself and had 2x trips to hospital, cracked ribs, he smacks his head on the tarmac (you can die from that!), not to mention the emotional upset he went through during the ordeal.
At the end of it, when he nails the trick, he is pleased. But he is more happy that he doesn’t have to try it any more than that he got the trick itself. It was an ordeal which is now over which is why he was happy.

I think that attitude of single bloodymindedness and determination is useful in the juggling world if there is a trick that you really want to get. But, I would argue that it is better to channel that energy through a targeted practise structure to build your consistency in order to nail that hard trick, rather than repeatedly hurling yourself at the trick in one go. I am personally motivated by the small gains you make along the way, little steps, than slogging your guts out for two years solid for that one moment when you get the trick. I think it builds a more consistent juggler.

Obviously different approaches work for different people.
This isn’t to say that during a practise session I do not try tricks that are above my technical level, I do, you should always test your limits. But I would never spend 2 years throwing myself up against a wall unless there were some hand holds in place to help me get over it.

This subject interested me enough to write a post about it, I would be interested to hear other people’s views and experiences of this.

Cheers, Jon

Orinoco - - Parent

Right from the beginning he is always close to getting it. Aside from a couple of attempts where he bails out of the run up, every jump in the video he makes the distance, the board goes through the correct rotation, most of the time both feet land back on the board. There is no obvious (to me) progression of improvement. He's just not landing the trick. This of course assumes that all attempts were similar to those shown in the video. I'm inclined to believe this is the case, but am probably allowing myself to be swayed by the sincerity of his narration.

Speaking as a non-skateboarder I'm probably talking out of my arse (this has never stopped me before, & is not going to stop me now) but I don't think it could be broken down. The height & distance of the jump, the surface of the run up & landing zone etc. are all going to be unique to those set of steps. So to do the trick there he has to practice it there. The landing of the jump depends on the flight, the flight depends on the take-off & the take-off depends on the run up so all of those things need to be practiced together. So the only other item that could logically be isolated from the trick is the rotation of the board, which given that from the start of the video he is managing to do he already has worked on that skill presumably elsewhere.

Putting on some pads would have kept him in better shape & allowed him more attempts.

peterbone - - Parent

Sounds more like a mental block, not believing in it enough or fear of injury preventing him from landing it.

JonPeat - - Parent

I don’t believe that this guy has any fear of injury. He appears to be fully committed to each attempt. Orin’s point about the pads is a good one though!

JonPeat - - Parent

I do see what you mean about the correct board rotation and his landing on the board each time and also the need to practise the trick on those particular steps.
Are there simpler jumps that he could have performed off of those same steps in order to get that same landing sensation? As you say, it appears that the landing is the major problem.

I am not a skateboarder either, I am curious that if he practised the trick in a different (smarter..?) way he could have achieved better results, sooner.

Mike Moore -

9 ball preparation

I'm looking to direct my juggling into numbers for the next while, specifically working on 7b in a way that will make a somewhat sustained 9b more feasible in the future. I've been enjoying 5 and 7 ups (no 360s) and praciticing 7b at what I expect 9b height will be. Finding these really fun.

My siteswap abilities are a fair bit below my base-pattern abilities, so I'm working through some remedial siteswaps with 5 (771, 75751, and the very non-remedial 933).

What are some other things to work on? Unless it is absolutely necessary, I'd like to avoid 8b and 6b (except in cascade patterns).

Austin - - Parent

Personally I think just try and work on lots of tricks back to pattern with 7, as they are both more fun and more productive than slaving away at 9. Try the 5 and 7 ups with 360s, and try getting a few rounds of 966, 867 and b6666 back to pattern. I also like working on (8x,6)*. On top of that, although I can get 100 catches of 7 most attempts I think it needs to be a lot more solid to be working on 9. Why not try 8? It's a lot easier than 9 and helps with the speed and height.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Thanks for the response. I've worked a little on 966 and (8x,6)* and will continue doing so. I don't like 360s (aesthetically, conceptually, and physically - they're normally asymmetric and hurt my knees when I practice them too much)

Do you think that b6666 and 867 are really useful for 9? Perhaps as a general "it'll make you spend more time on 7b siteswaps", but they seem to be pretty unrelated to a 9b cascade. Which leads me to...

I don't do base patterns of even numbers. I don't like the feel of the scooping motion, and collision avoidance in fountain patterns is a skill of mine that lags behind (and I am fine with it doing so). I've certainly /tried/ 6 and 8b, and worked on 6 enough at least to know that I don't like it.

Current 7b status for me is breaking 100 catches about once/practice.

Austin - - Parent

Well b6666 certainly will be as it will help your ability to have enough control over 7 to get out high throws. If you can do it, 978 would be worth working on if you dont want to do fountains. Other than that I just think getting 7 both rock solid and correctable is the best way forward, and I do that by trying to get increasingly hard tricks back to pattern, preferably with a nice run afterwards to show control. What balls are you using for it?

Mike Moore - - Parent

The problem with things like b6666 is that I expect the bottleneck in skill will be the several consecutive 6s no colliding. I'd be spending a lot of time/effort dealing with an aspect of the pattern that I don't expect would help me with my goal.

I'm using Drop Props (100 g) for 7, and will probably do that for 9. If I'm feeling lame, I might use my underfilled 85 g Drop Props.

Austin - - Parent

Fair enough, maybe just practice doing 7, throwing 1 very high and collecting 6, then going back to 7 straight away. What I'm wondering is whether your goal is just to get some runs of 9, or whether you want a general improvment in numbers skill? Because I only really work on base patterns so they're solid enough to get some tricks in them, because I get bored just running patterns.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Right now, my goal is to build toward runs of 9. I tend to switch focii and dig pretty deep for longish periods of time (e.g. from Feb-July, I only juggled 3b) and 9 is my medium-term goal at the moment.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Ooops, I forgot to say thanks for the idea of doing a collect to a restart. Thanks!

peterbone - - Parent

I personally don't think that any 7 ball siteswaps would be much help for 9 balls. I mean look at Gatto's 9 balls. 9 balls is all about throwing with a very consistent height and accuracy, which siteswaps won't help you with. You're already working on 7 balls high, which is one of the best exercises for 9. Get is as accurate as you can. I'd also recommend working on 7 low to get used to the speed. I'd also suggest to do these exercises with a range of different balls from small to large and light to somewhat heavy. Large balls with 7 will give you the pattern shape and arm position needed for 9. Other than that, just go for 9 with many short sessions.

Maybe these articles will help as well. The first I wrote mainly for flashing high numbers but a lot of the points may be helpful for running 9 as well.

Mike Moore - - Parent

When high 7 is working with good form, it gives me such a great feeling! 7 low is a bit frustrating right now, but frustrating in similar ways to 9b attempts, so seems like awfully good practice.

Very interesting advice about doing 7 with different types of balls. I'll be sure to do that, especially during club meetings when there are tons of different balls to go around.

Those articles are so nostalgic! Worth re-reading after such a long time, thanks.

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

What do you consider sustained?

I took a look at the records database to see how good 9 ball jugglers are at 7 ball juggling. Link to graph showing relative difficulty of 9b and 7b.

Typically 7 ball jugglers are better 9 ball jugglers. Most jugglers who can sustain 9 balls longer than 20 catches can run 7 for more than two hundred.

Mike Moore - - Parent

I probably wouldn't practice 9b unless I thought I could break 20 catches of it at some point. So yes, I'm looking for >20 catch runs.

That's a cool comparison in your graph. I have no doubt that I'll run 7b for 200 catches before getting 20 catches (or maybe even a qualify) of 9b.

peterbone - - Parent

Nice plot. I can spot myself. The problem is though that a lot of 9 ball jugglers may not be interested in long runs of 7. It would be a bit like Usain Bolt running a marathon. Also some endurance jugglers may not be able to get decent runs of 9. That's why the data doesn't follow the linear regression very well at the higher catch counts.

Mike Moore - - Parent

I understand the idea of the comparison between Usain Bolt's best races (100 m, 200 m, maybe 400 m) and marathons against 9b and 7b seems hugely exaggerated. I expect it would be more like comparing 9b versus 3b (or 4b). Distance running and sprints are hugely different. It's not the case that sprinters are just "uninterested" in running distance: elite sprinters couldn't run distance at an elite level, nor could elite distance runners sprint at an elite level.

peterbone - - Parent

Yeah, I said a bit different. I think it would be more like comparing 9 balls to 5 balls. I know that it's not just a case of being uninterested in the other discipline. It's also about what people have trained for. 7 and 9 are still different enough that people could have specialised in one and not be anywhere near as good at the other.

7b_wizard - - Parent

[ sry for being late on this thread .. still had it "unread" .. but I believe it's not deep-frozen yet ]

My prospective approach on this - if I were at your level - would currently be ..

- to walk and turn with 7b - it provides a stronger feeling of control generally and on the front plane in particular,

- vary any 7b heights and - maybe more important: widths,

- vary 9b depending on how good or bad it works; dare some notably higher runs (or be it launches) when you feel strong and lissome and launches come well, dare some low patterns when you feel speedy; or also when things are going bad for too long, force a few high and a few low attempts for the sake of ``defining´´ normal height and speed.

There's a few rather simple 7b siteswaps that contain consecutive 9-s and don't seem too hard to at least have a go at them on your level (I couldn't and wouldn't currently) and I see a chance that these might train 9b with two balls less:

[72]77777777999922 - even without being used to multiplexes, this one is mainly   9 -- 9 -- 9 -- 9 -- catch-wait -- catch-wait -- empty hands doing 7-s   (just like when launching).
Or simply 777777779999922

If you rather feel like `doing sth´ instead doing two holds ..
777777779999931 - you could maybe think of 31 as doing a higher bowy 2x over a lower slammed 2x and keep the first incoming 9 spotted in order to time the following 7-s ``over´´ it.

A bit trickier, I guess, are ..



And a more standalone insane one .. 77777777bbb5551

7b_wizard - - Parent

* ("..777...9999931..") - keep the first fourth 9 spotted in order to time the next 7 over it.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Certainly not a dead thread, I read every post here :)

I was practicing 9999922 last night, and I'd never thought to try a 31 or similar (as you explain above). I think patterns in that family would be excellent training, thanks for suggesting them.

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