Sunday, December 21, 2003

On yo-yos and AA and Mr. Punch... 

Ok, I've been kind of comic-focused due to that hobby getting me into blogging in the first place, but what about my love of yo-yos? I've been plugging along at single-A (string tricks with one yo-yo) for a while now. Been keeping up decently well with a lot of different kinds of tricks and mostly being laid back about it all. But at the last Dog Bite meeting, they had me do a short freestyle with AA (looping two yo-yos at once) and boy was I rusty! So, the last couple of days I've been putting some work into that again, and am happy to say that I've recovered a lot of what I lost.

I think part of my problem before was being in too much of a competition mindset and constantly comparing myself to the super-amazing Japanese players. Plus, most of the people at the weekly club aren't so into looping (and those that are pretty much only go to monthly Dog Bite), so it is kind of odd being the only one. But Andre seems to be getting more into it (keep at it.. hint hint..heh) and if I actually have new stuff to show off with instead of just practicing some old stuff for a couple of minutes, that should be better.

But really, I started off with two-handed because I enjoyed it, and it seems like I still do. It can be pretty meditative thing when it works well. I think having any kind of hobby where you have to put in some practice through repetition (with some occational creativity) can be a good thing, whether it is drawing or martial arts or yo-yos or skateboarding or whatever. Having written so much on the subject, it seems silly for me to have done so little looping for such a long while now.

So, it feels nice to be back into the swing of things and my semi-new pair of Kamaitachi have the benefits of long sleep times while still being responsive, along with an adjustable gap (I know some find them pricey at $30+ each), but have been well worth it for me. Combining that with slick-8 string means I don't have to change strings nearly so often now. Back with my old setup of technics and normal type-8 strings I had to change like every two hours due to strings breaking and the yo-yos looping too high as the strings thinned out. With this setup I can do do fairly intensive stuff for a couple of hours over two or three days which is nice for lazy old me.

I'm doing well at constantly switching arm crossing loops and even some kurukuru type switches (not constantly rotating my arms, but just switching which arm is on top without uncrossing my arms). Starting to get the hang of some whirlwind milk the cows. And getting better at crossed arms milking the cow with my weaker hand on top (and switching between the two). Also, put in some serious time for the inside loop arm wrap and finally making progress. I can't go back into looping with the sleeping yo-yo yet or do multiple wraps but I can manage the trick and get both yo-yos back to my hands sometimes, which is progress!

Oh, and I can now officially do hyperloops (thanks Andre!). I haven't tried it with sleeping yo-yos yet, but I can do it with dead ones fine, which means I can also do it with poi! Something to show off at the next juggling meeting to the other poi people.. ;)

This is all on the heels of putting some (71 to be exact) new single-A videos online a couple of weeks ago. I still haven't managed to write up any descriptions for them yet, but they are finally online at least..

For those needing a comic connection, I named a particular move I created Mr. Punch off of Neil Gaiman's book of the same name (a great one BTW if you haven't read it yet. I also worked it into a combo called Mr. Punch Kills Judy. Click here to d/l if you're curious (DivX 2.11a codec needed).

Oh, I also finally picked up two of the semi-crappy-but-ok-for-$3 plastic Duncan yo-yos from K-mart the other day, a blue Imperial and blue Butterfly. Why? Because they come with some neato mini-cdroms with Flash program that gives instructions to basic tricks and some freestyling of harder stuff along with music. It is a really good idea and the kind of thing more people need to experiment with. Of course I was at Target the other day and saw a bunch of them with an newer design on the labels for only $2 each! Oh well...

While I'm here, I should give props to Yoyoing.com's Blog, the only real news-related blog for yo-yos. It's like Journalista, but with less dead trees and more cotton strings... ;)

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