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Balancing and juggling (and juggling and balancing)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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....
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"
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.
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?
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
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?''
Makes sense, keep the sharp pointy bits away from you. I was imagining them spinning around. Duh
I disagreed immediately. I mean, why would such a smart fellow choose to film in portrait?
— The Void (@TheVoidTLMB) July 14, 2017
I agreed with the preamble, but it got problematic when the actual definition started. But is such a long definition useful?
I followed a little of the Facebook discussion about how this definition had been whittled down to mere pages (or was it reams?). I'll have a look at that if it appears but I don't consider a 15 minute video to be information, especially one which didn't seem to yield a point when I skimmed through it
Barnesy, here you go:
Juggling is a genre of activities related to the default form. The default form is the three ball cascade.
How far does the border have to be from the 3b cascade before it becomes 'not juggling'?
It's not about distance. It is an on or off switch. Is there a relevant relation or not? Is there another genre that has a stronger connection to the subject than 3 ball cascade, or other established forms of juggling?
One thing to always remember, is that we are dealing with communication and the meaning of a word here. For an example, if I walk into a pizza place with another juggler and the pizza chef is throwing the dough around, I could easily start talking to my juggling friend about the pizza tricks as juggling, and he would know immediately what I was saying. If the person I was talking to was a non-juggler, it might be harder, since it is not as certain that he would see a connection to other already established forms of juggling.
Perhaps dance is the default form? I think there's an 'outside' and 'inside' of what juggling is. The inside is - feeling a motion.. a dance. The feeling is the same as dancing, you're using an object/s (balls, poi, pizza etc) to feel the dance instead of your body. Skateboarding is using your body and an object to feel it. The playing of a musical instrument isn't related because of the lack of motion.. you're feeling rhythms & melodies.. but not motion. Does that make any sense? Not sure myself.
Far TL; Can't be bothered to W - but:
Is a definition even useful?
Definitions usually only serve so you can point at things which don't fit the definition and exclude them. Something I haven't been interested in doing with "juggling" for a while
I like the idea of exploring the boundaries of a concept, as it lets you find areas that haven't been explored yet. However, defining what the word juggling means is a different exercise of defining what "juggling is", or can be. Completing the first step is probably useful before beginning the second step.
However, if I'm to watch a long video, it has to be more interesting than that in the first minute for me to continue on with it.
Luke, if you want to claim that the word juggling represents something different than "what juggling is" you will have to explain that difference. The word juggling is only a representative for a concept. I does not matter if you try to leave the area of language and the meaning of words, when you still use language and words. Using words in communication confines you to their meanings, unless you explain how they would differ.
We use the word juggling, and we mean something when we do. Therefore, I did not make a definition. Its already there, I have no say in the matter. I can only describe what the word means already.
Q: Is a definition even useful?
A: Yes, because when we understand deeper what it is that we are doing, we can reach further, and be more effective. We can communicate better. Removing confusion is both pleasant and aesthetical.
"Definitions usually only serve so you can point at things which don't fit the definition and exclude them."
For sure you can come up with more uses to understanding language and the meaning of words, than that one.
Void, I was rushed and time was limited. The purpose of the video is to reveal the general thoughts. I am not great at explaining, and I am afraid those who wants to understand might have to get involved in the discussion. What is unclear? please tell me, and I will do my best to explain. Not only has the definition of juggling been an area of much disagreement, it also seems as the approach to it differs greatly, from person to person.
For those who find this video too long to be palatable, start here:
And here is a summary of the definition, which may or may not make sense unless you watch the whole thing.
"Juggling is a genre of activities which are related to the default form. The default form of juggling is the 3 ball cascade."
Topic of discussion: is the default form really the 3 ball cascade?
I am now tempted to watch the whole thing because that is not something I'd expect from Erik. There must be a lot more to it than that.
I always use the definition: "Doing what doesn't need to be done in the most difficult way possible."
I've tried to find the source of this definition a few times. Earliest reference I can find is from Jerry Carson in 2001, which is almost certainly where I picked it up from originally. However, Jerry's message suggests it comes from further back.
Wouldn't that definition include many other activities such as skateboarding, rock climbing and base jumping?
If someone is interested to read more about the definition of juggling, there is some discussion about it in this thread:
That link didn't work for me but http://objectepisodes.com/t/the-definition-of-juggling/18/2 does.
The Kingston Jugglers have, "Doing the unnecessary the hard way" on their t-shirts and they've been around a while. Greg Phillips would probably know when they started using it.
Slightly different wording from 1993: http://dev.juggle.org/history/archives/jugmags/45-3/45-3,p28.htm 2nd paragraph.
Longtime friends David Cain and Jay Gilligan won the Fargo Intermediate and Juniors Championships
David, are you younger than I think, or is that sentence missing a 'respectively'!
Thanks for having filmed all that old stuff, and thanks for this video. Amazed at how many of those I was at.
New vids at JTV
A quick plug - there's a poster at JTV ("Belette") who is currently uploading lots of vids (20+ in July, so far) from a few of my favourite sources:
- Festival Mondial de Cirque de Demain
- Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde
- Monte Carlo Circus Festival
The clips tend to be from around 15 years ago, so it's not cutting edge stuff, but if, like me, you like high quality acts "off of the telly", here's the channel.
Hey Void, when I try to 'compose' in JTV-Mail I get >>> J-mail Disabled! <<< . Does this mean I have something switched off in my settings, or is the mail service no longer active?
It's not you, it's site-wide. Unfortunately, it was being heavily abused by spammers, so we disabled it. It's something we're looking at fixing later this year, along with other long-overdue updates.
Vova and Olga on Oprah. Old video, uploaded last year. Longish ad at the start.
Going by their ages this is from 2006. I like the useful captions highlighting how many clubs are being passed! I don't know where this thing about their English keeps coming from, Olga was speaking pretty good English to me in 2002.
Anyone going to the Sheffield Circus Skills Convention on Saturday will possibly hear the first bit of BJC 2018 news.
First person to report their findings back here will win 10 BJC points1
1 BJC points are not redeemable for anything but they are still quite nice to collect.
Just some news from #sydneyjuggling.
A couple of weeks ago, Kenny Cheung did a 7 up 720 with balls. Twice! He is an amazingly talented juggler. Check it out on our instagram page @sydneyjuggling.
We're pretty new and just want to share our juggling adventures with people.
Kenny says it's a 7 up and I'm not going to argue with him...either way it's pretty impressive...
Sorry, probably didn't make the 'winky' big enough. It is without a doubt a stunning achievement.
#MJCOT . Good fun at the weekend. Strained my back slightly after playing one too many games of Gladiators. Fun natterings at the evening venue, and good game of Worms, or whatever it was called. Thomas, Jamie and Jon were all excelllent in the show. And at the scout hut later, I leaned that a bread toastie is the opposite of a toast sandwich. Oh, and finally understood the "name three foods" challenge. (No two of them may be complementary.) Breakfast at the garden centre was fully complementary.
Thanks to all Ians and other orgs.
My pics are up at http://tlmb.net/galleries/Manc2017 *No re-uploads, please!*
Guessing the worms game may be Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck if it originated from Dr Helen.
The Manchester Juggling Convention (on tour) review is now live!
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