Tutsdays | [Poi] Behind the Head No Beat Catch

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I welcome you back to another edition of Tutsday, the weekly tutorial series brought to you by the Flow Arts Institute.

This week, we have a treat for you poi spinners out there.  We caught up with the founder of Spinmorepoi.com, Willow Solow at Kinetic Fire 2015 as he demonstrates a cool poi technique that could help add some steez to your performance or flow. Willow is known for his meticulous exploration through his techniques.  So it should come as no surprise that he also has an awesome app in the iOS and Android markets (aptly named Spin More Poi) that features a “random poi video” button. This could really come in handy in those situations when you want some inspiration but don’t know where to look.  

In the caption of his May 2015 video, First You Take A Concept, Willow says “You take a concept and work within it, alter the density, the body spaces, and any other variables which are available.”  This is true for any technique.  You can discover all sorts of cool tricks just by exploring the patterns and techniques that you already know.  

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This technique is a toss, so for now, this is better learned with just one poi.  By all means, increase your difficulty level to suit your needs.   

1. We will start the trick by learning the path that the poi needs to travel.  This is accomplished by doing an extension where your hand reaches about the height of your neck.  

2. As you get a feel for this, try to minimize the influence of your hand near the top of the extension by letting go of the poi.  Be sure to grab the poi as it falls to maintain the pattern.

3. Drill that until you can comfortably release and grab the poi while maintaining the extension.

4. Once you are comfortable with the release and catch portion of the extension, we can move on to the toss.  

5. This is accomplished by merely leaning your head and neck into your extension pattern.  

6. Begin to draw your extension and release the poi as close to your neck as you can.

7. Catch the poi on the other side of your head, with the same hand facing thumbs down in reverse grip.

8. Catching in the thumb-down orientation gives you a big target and more range to move your receiving hand than in other catching positions. It’s crucial!

Practice and drill your catch and release and eventually you can add this technique into your repertoire.  Willow ends the video by demonstrating just of the few of the many ways this move can add more flair to your flow.

Thanks for checking out this week’s edition of the Flow Arts Institute’s tutorial series, Tutsday!  I hope to see ya next week!

Until then, join Willow in the SpinMorePoi Facebook group and keep on spinning!


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