06 May 2008 11:05:34
crazy hippy
Unparalleled Success Raises New Questions

(A bit of a preface here. I wrote this as an entry for my blog--
www.dogfishjuggling.com/blog--but, since no one reads it, and I
thought some feedback on this would be nice, I decided to post it more
publicly. Really i think the most interesting bit is at the end, about
the various merits of the reverse vs the regular cascade. Perhaps I
should have just re-written that as a post, but I want someone to read
at least one of my juggling blog posts dammit. On a side note, does
anyone else blog about their juggling exploits?)


Unparalleled Success

Owing to the egregious lack of free time in my schedule over the
course of the past few weeks I didn't expect to see any real progress
when, last Firday, I decided to hop on my unicycle and take a few laps
around town.

Just to give me something to do with my hands, and in an attempt to
casually further my goal of juggling clubs on the unicycle, I brought
along two clubs to toss around during the ride.

After about 10 minutes or so of this, I was surprised by how well I
was doing, so I swung back by the house and swapped out the pair of
clubs for a set of three balls.

Now, let me back up here to just review my last attempt at juggling on
the unicycle. It was about a month or so ago, and it was terrible. I
could barely manage a cascade beyond four or five catches. I am a bit
better at the reverse cascade, and I was able to keep that going for
about 8-to-10 catches, but with a total lack of control on the
unicycle-end of things.

The moment I pulled out of my driveway Friday afternoon I started a
cascade that was as well-controled as anything I've juggled on two
feet. I kept the pattern going and rode down the block, turned up the
road and started rolling around the elementary school beside my house.
Within the next 20 or so minutes I was doing mills mess and almost any
trick I could think of.

I spent about 30-45 minutes enjoying my new and unexpected skills
before heading back home. I grabbed my clubs and took a short spin
around the block, and I managed to get better than a qualifying run in
before I smacked myself in the face and decided to call it quits for
the day.

I went out again Saturday, just playing with balls, and happily
discovered that, no, i had not, in fact, been possessed by some
strange juggling-disposed deamon, and that my skills were my own to do
with as I saw fit.

I didn't make much more progress with clubs, but I also didn't work
much on them.

On Sunday I took another, longer ride, and brought all 7 pounds (3198
g for you metricly-inclined chaps) of my Exerballs along with me. Just
as before I found an unexpected and inexplicable level of success.

What's more it was probably the hardest-core (hard-corest?) workout
i've done in a good long while. I was very pleased. I made it around
the entire walkway of the school with only 2 drops (at the two
tightest, pole-lined turns).

I even had a chance to showcase my talents, and I took my unicycle and
props out to the local Relay for Life.

I am not really sure what can account for this sudden breakthrough. I
don't really feel as if I am appreciably better at either juggling or
unicycling since my last attempt to wed the two, but something has
certainly clicked. I find it much easier now to keep either activity
going smoothly while shifting my focus from one to the other.

I still am more comfortable with the reverse cascade, and i usually
drop into it whenever there is a difficult patch or a sharp turn
coming up. I have the feeling that making the tosses in toward the
center of my body, instead of out and away from them, and having all
of the balls heading toward my center really adds a lot of stability
and control to my pattern.

It is an interesting point, and one I have been thinking about for
awhile, juggling on the unicycle seems to have re-emphasised it in my
mind.

I really think that a well-controled reverse cascade is an inherently
more stable pattern than a traditional cascade. The props cross at
different places in the pattern, and it seems to make collisions much
rarer. Even on a wild throw, the reverse cascade seems more
salvageable. With everything moving into the center of my body, I can
usually manage to cradle a mistake between my arm and torso--a much
easier feat than reaching out to grab a 2.35 pound ball while perched
atop a unicycle.

For a while I thought this might just be a personal bias. Since I
learned to juggle with the reverse cascade, I thought that this
explained my higher level of comfort with it.

I am not so sure now. I think there are some legitimate advantages to
the pattern in terms of sustainability and resistance to degradation.

Now, of course i realize that it is much less well-suited to higher
numbers. The accuracy and height requirements of five make the regular
cascade seem like a better and more natural choice. But when it comes
to regular old three ball juggling, anything I do feels a bit more
stable with a reverse cascade.

Claw catches especially go much more smoothly for me in reverse, and I
can juggle the reverse in a much, much tighter, faster pattern.

I think that this goes back to the issue of where and how the balls
cross. In the reverse my props' trajectories cross as they are
falling, meaning any collision is less likely to cause an
unrecoverable disruption.

Also, it seems like the pattern just keeps the balls farther apart in
general. I wonder if there has been any experimentation with these
issues by jogglers.

At the very least, it warrants some further exploration.


06 May 2008 19:06:36
Ed Provencher
Re: Unparalleled Success Raises New Questions

On May 7, 3:05=A0am, crazy hippy <inner.f...@gmail.com > wrote:
> (A bit of a preface here. I wrote this as an entry for my blog--www.dogfis=
hjuggling.com/blog--but, since no one reads it, and I
> thought some feedback on this would be nice, I decided to post it more
> publicly. Really i think the most interesting bit is at the end, about
> the various merits of the reverse vs the regular cascade. Perhaps I
> should have just re-written that as a post, but I want someone to read
> at least one of my juggling blog posts dammit. On a side note, does
> anyone else blog about their juggling exploits?)
>
> Unparalleled Success
>
> Owing to the egregious lack of free time in my schedule over the
> course of the past few weeks I didn't expect to see any real progress
> when, last Firday, I decided to hop on my unicycle and take a few laps
> around town.
>
> Just to give me something to do with my hands, and in an attempt to
> casually further my goal of juggling clubs on the unicycle, I brought
> along two clubs to toss around during the ride.
>
> After about 10 minutes or so of this, I was surprised by how well I
> was doing, so I swung back by the house and swapped out the pair of
> clubs for a set of three balls.
>
> Now, let me back up here to just review my last attempt at juggling on
> the unicycle. It was about a month or so ago, and it was terrible. I
> could barely manage a cascade beyond four or five catches. I am a bit
> better at the reverse cascade, and I was able to keep that going for
> about 8-to-10 catches, but with a total lack of control on the
> unicycle-end of things.
>
> The moment I pulled out of my driveway Friday afternoon I started a
> cascade that was as well-controled as anything I've juggled on two
> feet. I kept the pattern going and rode down the block, turned up the
> road and started rolling around the elementary school beside my house.
> Within the next 20 or so minutes I was doing mills mess and almost any
> trick I could think of.
>
> I spent about 30-45 minutes enjoying my new and unexpected skills
> before heading back home. I grabbed my clubs and took a short spin
> around the block, and I managed to get better than a qualifying run in
> before I smacked myself in the face and decided to call it quits for
> the day.
>
> I went out again Saturday, just playing with balls, and happily
> discovered that, no, i had not, in fact, been possessed by some
> strange juggling-disposed deamon, and that my skills were my own to do
> with as I saw fit.
>
> I didn't make much more progress with clubs, but I also didn't work
> much on them.
>
> On Sunday I took another, longer ride, and brought all 7 pounds (3198
> g for you metricly-inclined chaps) of my Exerballs along with me. Just
> as before I found an unexpected and inexplicable level of success.
>
> What's more it was probably the hardest-core (hard-corest?) workout
> i've done in a good long while. I was very pleased. I made it around
> the entire walkway of the school with only 2 drops (at the two
> tightest, pole-lined turns).
>
> I even had a chance to showcase my talents, and I took my unicycle and
> props out to the local Relay for Life.
>
> I am not really sure what can account for this sudden breakthrough. I
> don't really feel as if I am appreciably better at either juggling or
> unicycling since my last attempt to wed the two, but something has
> certainly clicked. I find it much easier now to keep either activity
> going smoothly while shifting my focus from one to the other.
>
> I still am more comfortable with the reverse cascade, and i usually
> drop into it whenever there is a difficult patch or a sharp turn
> coming up. I have the feeling that making the tosses in toward the
> center of my body, instead of out and away from them, and having all
> of the balls heading toward my center really adds a lot of stability
> and control to my pattern.
>
> It is an interesting point, and one I have been thinking about for
> awhile, juggling on the unicycle seems to have re-emphasised it in my
> mind.
>
> I really think that a well-controled reverse cascade is an inherently
> more stable pattern than a traditional cascade. The props cross at
> different places in the pattern, and it seems to make collisions much
> rarer. Even on a wild throw, the reverse cascade seems more
> salvageable. With everything moving into the center of my body, I can
> usually manage to cradle a mistake between my arm and torso--a much
> easier feat than reaching out to grab a 2.35 pound ball while perched
> atop a unicycle.
>
> For a while I thought this might just be a personal bias. Since I
> learned to juggle with the reverse cascade, I thought that this
> explained my higher level of comfort with it.
>
> I am not so sure now. I think there are some legitimate advantages to
> the pattern in terms of sustainability and resistance to degradation.
>
> Now, of course i realize that it is much less well-suited to higher
> numbers. The accuracy and height requirements of five make the regular
> cascade seem like a better and more natural choice. But when it comes
> to regular old three ball juggling, anything I do feels a bit more
> stable with a reverse cascade.
>
> Claw catches especially go much more smoothly for me in reverse, and I
> can juggle the reverse in a much, much tighter, faster pattern.
>
> I think that this goes back to the issue of where and how the balls
> cross. In the reverse my props' trajectories cross as they are
> falling, meaning any collision is less likely to cause an
> unrecoverable disruption.
>
> Also, it seems like the pattern just keeps the balls farther apart in
> general. I wonder if there has been any experimentation with these
> issues by jogglers.
>
> At the very least, it warrants some further exploration.

I spoke with BruceBailey [1] at the WJF II in Vegas about his
juggling style. He was doing a lot of 5b reverse and tricks from that
base pattern. I asked him aobut his juggling and this is what he said
[2]. It turns out he had learned to juggle alone and did not meet
another juggler for some years. So when he learned 5b he learned it
reverse. Without contact with other jugglers, he assumed the 5b
reverse cascade was the way to juggle 5b. The end.


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D7Y2h6PHPDpE&feature=3Drelated
[2] My memory of this conversation is not that good. I just want to
vaguely illustrate a clear point.

www.icantstopjuggling.blogspot.com

BTW, I didn't know about your blog until now. I've subscribed to your
newsfeed.