Wednesday, 18 October 2017

WT17 R4 combo

tl;dr read bolded parts

Previously, I intended to use R3's clip for R4, but things turned out differently. I didn't expect my R3 to score so well (thanks judges! I'm happy my efforts were appreciated). Anyway, I wanted to show some different type of material for this combo, which is critical for late rounds of WT.


Most subtle part - ending has [fl ia - index ss] x 3 (one-finger cont ss variation), and also hardest part of the combo - I'm still not sure how I managed to get this trick so cleanly for this draft, I prayed hard.

This combo is based around fingerslots 24 and uncommon variations of thumbcross (TC). As basic TC IA and MA rev are overused, I tried to find different harder ways to apply TC.

0:01 - 0:04 (slomo 0:27 - 0:32): square pass 'rev' aerial and wrist bounce. Was annoying to control the square pass 'rev' after the wrist bounce.

0:04 - 0:07 (slomo 0:32 - 0:39): pass behind thumb (thumb-index cross, easy, but fits linkage theme). PP rev ~ palmspin rev - mirr PP ~ palmspin rev continues 'rev power' effect. I wanted to transition to midraimobak instead of midbak, but wasn't consistent enough.

0:08 - 0:10 (slomo 0:39 - 0:44): slight slowdown between midbak and PD IMA ugh. I thought of refilming it, but any drafts with that part done better would probably have other parts worse. PD IMA to 24 (ring up) > pass rev 24-13 - annoying linkage. Continuing with 24 use, PD fl PA rev 24 (ring down) - 24 (ring up), with changing position of ring increasing difficulty and rarity a lot. Inv sonic 24 and thumb-index cross T4 wiper (the TC doesn't really do much for difficulty of the trick, but it fits into theme).

0:10 - 0:13 (slomo 0:44 - 0:51): TC linkage part - diagonal plane-ish around rev T4 thumb-index cross and T2 thumb-mid cross > thumb-mid cross pd TA ~ fl sonic rev to 14. Getting the transition between the second diagonal around rev and TC pd ta without fatal error and then to fl sonic rev took a lot more practice than I'd expected, I was training this part for past month or more daily (still not as good as I want). I tried doing this linkage with completely PD TC around rev, but I wasn't skilled enough.

0:13 - 0:16 (slomo 0:51 - 0:58): some pass variation with T4 on ring. T1 cross direction change after it, I wanted to do this part better too .-. Subtle thumb-mid cross after the sonic rev 12-23, doesn't add much difficulty but contributes to linkage theme.

0:17 - 0:23 (slomo 0:58 - 1:10): swuck > square pass ~ usual fl ta index ss - [fl ia index ss] x 3. While the usual fl ta index/mid/ring ss are not hard, changing one finger makes a huge difference, as my personal record for fl ta index ss is 97, whereas I struggle to get past 5 fl ia index ss. Thumb-mid cross aerial/spread-like trick with T4 to continue theme of TC use.

Compared to R3's 'hard trick' focus, this combo is more of based on linkages with difficulty spread throughout. The margin of error for fl ia index ss cont is really small, and doing it with decent technique was very hard for me (especially at end of combo without easy setup spam linkage before it).

I'd be happy if people picked up their mods and tried some of the 24 and TC linkages, and I'd have achieved my goal if spinners are inspired to experiment with different applications of existing ideas in their own combos.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

WT17 R3 combo

tl;dr - skip to the two slomo vids and bolded parts in the 'highlights' section

There needs to be distinction between 'tricks which look hard but can be done in a few days/weeks' and 'tricks that don't look that different, but need many months/years'. e.g. dual pass T4 to x12 - 30 minutes on 1 day - i.e. not hard; fl ma ring ss to x10 - 1 hr a day for a year. The power highlights used in R3 are a lot more difficult than fl ma ring ss, as I kept practising power daily for 2016 and early 2017.

Naturally, I'd get quite annoyed if people dismissed the tricks I spent so long practising as 'just commonplace power stuff'. Before you say 'oh he recycled a bit', please read below (especially bolded parts). I don't have 120 fps vids yet, but I'll try to get them in the coming week.



DL link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4V5qSRN2Zi-Y25sRlJPczF6TDQ/view

Highlights:



0:06 - 0:08 (0:40 - 0:44): Mirr pp rev - pinky ss ~ mirr pp rev ring - ss. The highlight idea is mirr pp rev - pinky ss (which is far harder than the ring ss version and has not been used in any combos before); with the ring ss variant added to contribute to visual effect and raise difficulty.



0:20 - 0:25 (1:09 - 1:19): Fl ma ring ss aerial 1.0 (not fl ta rel, the aerial is fl ma - hit by curled ring finger, with difficulty incomparably higher than if fl ta rel was used instead). Pinky DIP spread (fist spread?) - fist spread x 2 - curled pinky/knuckle 'handbust' (fist bust?).

No simple setup before finisher. Fl ma ring ss aerial 1.0 represents past 2 1/2 years of power trick training condensed into a few seconds, it's first time I've used it in normal combo.

Controlling fl ta rel to enter pinky DIP spread was hard, because the previous fl ma ring ss has to be restricted to limited range of rotation angle.The force/angle of previous fist bounce and exact pen position have to be far more precise for the curled pinky 'handbust' to be done.

Fist spread - curled pinky 'handbust' failed a lot even when I thought I had it down. For other high level power, I could easily distinguish between decent control and mistakes. Curled pinky 'handbust' is probably the first trick whose margin of error between success and fail is so fine that sometimes I can't perceive it. Linking it in the way I did was incredibly traumatic, although doing a separate x1 of it probably isn't *too* difficult. When I was upgrading previous breakdown from normal handbust to the curled pinky variation, I thought they would not be that different - I found out how wrong I was while filming OTL


Fl difficulty discussion:

Estimation of my practice time after mastering basic fl:
  • Low level - index pun new, fl ta ss - under 1 year to get to solid usable level
  • Mid level - fl ta ring ss, fl ta index ss, fl ia ss (my R2 finisher) - extra 1 1/2 years
  • High level - fl ma ring ss, fl ma ring ss aerial 1.0 (not fl ta rel, uses different method to pun new rel), mirr pp rev ring ss, mirr pp rev pinky ss (my R3) - additional 2-3 years in addition to previous mastery of mid-level
From meeting and talking with experienced spinners who tried these tricks - menowa, supawit, katts, ppm, sekai, zo.xoa, airgear, P - all agree that there is a huge gap between high level power and mid/low level group, which is reflected in the number of spinners who can do them.


Rest of material:

0:01 - 0:06 (0:29 - 0:40): Rev fl using mirr pp, kagami's +0.5 rotation fl ia rev, back hand spin, +0.5 rotation fl ma rev and dual pass rev T1 variation. Usually, kagami (and his copiers) give the  +0.5 rotation rev spin tricks a 'linkage effect'; so I tried giving them 'power trick effect' instead.

0:11 - 0:14 (0:48 - 0:54): Could've done the PU thumb raimo bak (PU fl ta rev ~ east sonic rev?) variation at better angle, effect isn't exactly what I wanted. West sonic rev > thumb-pushed ss rev to 23 > inv sonic rev 24 ~ PD fl pa.

0:14 - 0:17 (0:54 - 1:01): PD fl pa > pinky fxxk, COP has to be in different position between these tricks, which increases hand movement. Pinky fxxk caught at end of pen for wiper 23-24 ~ perpendicular plane fl ra to 14. I wanted to combine common fxxk and pd around in a harder and unusual way using 24 and 14, unfortunately effect of perpendicular fl ra isn't really what I wanted.

0:17 - 0:20 (1:01 - 1:08): T1 cross rex trick, T2 cross devil's shadow > pd around rev T4 - some less common uses of thumbcross. PD around rev should leave hand less.

Thoughts when creating this combo:

I made this breakdown to display hard trick skill through use of (at the time) the hardest variations I could manage. Structure could be improved, but having a lot of difficult highlight effect sequences tends to do that. As usual, there's many parts which I wish I could do better.

In WT17, a lot of people are trying to spin like their opponent when they'd fare better if they'd spun like themselves. There's also a lot of easy or ineffective fingercrosses, overuse of fxxk and levers, and other 'obvious tricks' to get attention from audience and judges; despite these things being neither difficult nor unusual. Flexibility does not equate to skill.


Current WT meta seems to be 'get attention with obvious tricks, but too lazy to practice genuinely hard stuff or think of more creative applications'. Grinding for years to use absurdly hard esoteric sequences which last 5 seconds (but look very similar to common tricks and are rarely appreciated) seems to be against this cheap attention-grabbing mindset.

I want to break the boundaries of what people imagine human skill to be for PS - because of this, my R3 is far more like myself than my R2 is (or my R1, to a lesser extent). Making something that represents your dedication and love of spinning is a lot more satisfying than copying someone else.

If this combo stays in your memories for some time or left an impression on you, I'll be happy ^^

Thursday, 10 August 2017

WT17 R1 combo

Hello everyone, haven't posted here in a while. Anyway, this post will discuss my r1 combo, and I'll cover WT17 combos throughout the tournament as they come out in future posts.


DL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4V5qSRN2Zi-dmhNOF9GdzgtaFE/view clip is cropped to 1200 x 900p, so the Google Drive player has it on 360p; it has proper resolution when you download it.

The selected draft with (comparatively) less bad control turned out to be the one I filmed at hospital accommodation instead of at home where I am used to recording, so I didn't get chance to adjust setup much. As a result, the lighting or exposure is not ideal -._-. The parts below are from rejected drafts which turned out clearer.


Starting (0:00 - 0:03 of actual combo): basically pinky fxxk idea translated into 14 slot, I still need to work on making this more like an around rather than an aerial. Added ring spiderspin (ss) rev 0.5 before the mirr powerpass too.



0:04 - 0:06 of actual: raimo bak 12-34 (over middle and under ring finger), a bit like bak and east sonic combined (?), which is fairly uncommon. Kept previous finger positions for inv sonic 34-14 ~> mid ss rev 0.5 to add to the effect of the ring ss rev earlier; the catch in 24 ring up was pretty annoying because pen kept getting stuck or there was excess wrist motion.



0:06 - 0:10: east sonic 12-34 > extended spiderspin rise (mirr powerpass rev on mid+ring ~ pinky ss → index+mid ~ ring ss → fl ta ~ fl ia ~ mid+ring ss). Wanted to try less common way of linking into power sequence; ext ss rise is also quite hard. 

For comparison, mid+ring ~ pinky ss is far harder than index+mid ~ ring ss (about 3x difference in records). Index+mid ~ ring ss is a bit harder than fl middlearound ~ ring ss, which is far far harder than fl indexaround ~ mid+ring ss (entirely different levels of practice and margin of error). Doubt anyone except powertrick addicts will really appreciate this as actual experience, but trivialising power sequences as 'just same power tricks' is quite stupid.

Next clips from random webcam filming of another draft, not from actual WT video.



 0:11 -  0:13: aerial hai tua and ss on different fingers. Different effect with aerials; and counter used for unexpected transition to non-power stuff.




0:14 - 0:16: middle fxxk - powerpass rev. fxxk in simple linkages is overused, so I tried linking it so something harder and more unusual; needs to work on control for this sequence, hand motion is less than earlier drafts but still way too much. Putting difficult tricks right after each other with no filler is fun, but quite annoying to record (especially late in combo).




0:17 - 0:20: pinky fxxk ~ index fxxk - pd ta ~ pd fl ia x 3. Definitely the least consistent part of the combo which I put as ending to maximise the difficulty, hand went out of frame when recording in so many drafts because it tends to move up during pd fl ia cont. Not satisfied with the index fxxk - pd ta transition in the actual combo, guess I'll work on that type of linkage.

Anyway, I wanted each part of the combo to show a variety of unusual hard tricks and harder variations of different linkages with less common structure, while having no filler material or easy links. Should definitely work on control, but this draft is probably best overall out of the over 20 drafts I filmed for it, for my current level.

Good luck Group H members and rest of participants!


Monday, 16 January 2017

Power trick learning and difficulty categorisation

Just thought I'd discuss approaches to learning power trick and group common power trick sequences in difficulty. Of course, this post is purely my opinion and should be taken as recommendations or guideline only, you can learn in whatever order you wish to.

A lot more power variations exist that haven't really been mastered by anyone, as you can generate endless amount of 'power tricks' by mix and match fl around and/or topspin variations.

Playlist of my power clips and tutorial and slow motion clips

In watching these videos, other people's tutorials and your own practice, you should pay attention to: COP position relative to fingers and pen's angle of rotation. Consistency, control and higher personal record are basically the same (improving one will improve the others).

Preferably, you should get a COP marked mod (easier to track pen's movement visually) that is easily visible over your background; length more important than excess weight - 21.5-23cm 16-20g would be good for people with 17-20cm hand length. 

In doing fl, you can consider tricks/short sequences as 'highlights' (harder), and 'filler' (easier material to extend length, maintain and regain control)




^Old video of some simpler power trick sequences, part 2 here.

Learning order:


If you are aiming to make decent length (10-15 second) fl sequence as your main focus, then your priority should be:

1. fl ta rel (i.e. fl ta ~ index spread to air) - the most important filler trick to extend length of fl combo, used to recover control if you mess up previous trick or highlight material. If you master fl ta rel, it is easier to do 10 [fl ta - ss] aerial than 10 [fl ta - ss] cont without aerial, so fl ta rel is very useful. fl ta rel without using index cannot really be used for regaining control, so it's recommended to learn fl ta ~ index spread to air method.

2. mid and pinky spread - filler material, and for linking into slightly harder tricks (like spread - fl ta - palmspin or spread - fl ta - spiderspin).

3. 1+2 - Once you can do x 5-10 fl ta rel and mid/pinky spread, practice doing spread sequences with fl ta rel in between the spreads at various intervals (e.g. [fl ta rel - pinky spread] cont)

4. After 1-3, add aerial hai tua, [fl ta - palmspin] as highlights; with fl ta rel+spreads as filler for control and length. [spread - handbust - spread] is also useful; you should also learn fl ta cont and index bust cont at this point.

5. After you have learnt tricks and sequences described in 1-4, you can spend more time on harder variations. Generally, linking with hai tua is harder than similar linking with aerial hai tua, which is harder than similar linking with spread, (e.g. hai tua - fl ta palmspin harder than aerial hai tua - fl ta palmspin which is harder than spread - fl ta palmspin).

Example of short sequence with tricks listed in 1-4:


Note: hai tua is not as useful when learning to make fl sequences, as hai tua is more of a highlight linking due to its difficulty (e.g. [fl ta - palmspin - hai tua] cont is far harder than any spread/aerial hai tua sequences). Learning aerial hai tua - hai tua is recommended as it gives a pretty nice visual effect and ending feeling.

If you are aiming to make a condensed strong finisher, your learning priority will be different.  For example, you can ignore 'logical progression', and skip learning spreads or fl ta rel, because spreads/fl ta rel will not directly help in making a short condensed hard sequence; instead you might choose to train pun kan, hai tua and [pun kan - hai tua] cont. 


Rough difficulty grouping


Easy - for beginners, got to start somewhere: fl ta rel, fl ta, spreads, index bust, fl ta, powerpass; fl ta rel and spread sequences, powerpass and spread sequences

Normal - for most spinners: fl ta - palmspin, index bust aerial, mid bust, aerial hai tua, hai tua; spread and handbust sequences, aerial hai tua - hai tua, fl ta rel - fl ta palmspin, powerpass - palmspin

Hard - for those who do fl a fair bit: index pun new, fl ta - spiderspin, pun kan, ring bust cont, hand bust cont, [fl ta - palmspin 1.0] cont; [aerial hai tua - fl ta palmspin], [hai tua - fl ta palmspin], fl ta rel - fl ta spiderspin, index pun new aerial

Lunatic - for people who are a little crazy: fl ta - ring spiderspin, fl ia - spiderspin, mid/ring/pinky pun new, [fl ta - ss 1.0], [fl ta - palmspin 1.5/2.0] cont, aerial hai tua/hai tua - hard category trick (e.g. [aerial hai tua - index pun new aerial] cont; fl ta spiderspin - hai tua - fl ta spiderspin, [pun kan - hai tua] cont etc).

Extra - give up now, what are you doing to yourself?: fl ma - ring ss, mirr pp rev - ring ss, special variation aerial of fl ia ss/fl ma ring ss/mirr pp rev ring ss, [fl ia - ss 1.0/1.5/2.0]; [fl ma ring ss/mirr pp rev ring ss - hai tua] cont, [pun kan - spiderspin] cont, fl ra - pinky ss, pun kan 1.5......

??? - [unexplored level?] for things currently possible only in imagination. Of course, I intend to change that eventually.

Further discussion

Spinnerpeem established that ultimate aim of power tricking mastery is to give sense of stability - the impression that you are in total control of the mod and that even if you filmed x 200 of the trick, audience gets the feeling that you can do far more (even if x 200 is your personal record).  

For some trick variations, skill in one variation translates quite well to other variations (e.g. mastering index bust helps mid bust; index pun new helps mid/ring/pinky pun new; fl ta - ring spiderspin helps fl ta - index, mid or pinky spiderspin). However, there are some places where you might expect previous skill helps where it does not (e.g. fl ta ss mastery does not help fl ia ss, fl ia ss does not help fl ma ring ss, fl ta palmspin does not help index pun new - I talked to ppm [TWPS] and he thinks same as me for these tricks).

For adding extra rotations, I've concluded that for palmspin fl ta and index pun new: making the palmspin 1.0 rotations instead of 0.5 gives 4-5x cut in record number (x 251 vs x 51 for palmspin fl ta; x 120-150 vs x 25-30 for index pun new). 

For spiderspins, the difference will be larger because there is less room for error as spiderspin literally has less physical area to be done on than palmspins, so difference is about 10x cut. (200 vs 22 for fl ta ss; 202 vs 20 for fl ia ss). For ring ss variations, the difference is greater than 10x. 

Adding rotations to aerial portion has a smaller change in difficulty (for my variation that doesn't use thumb in doing aerial for fl ia ss, fl ma ring ss and mirr pp rev ring ss, below), I estimate the difference in 0.5 rotation aerial and 1.0 rotation aerial is roughly 2x.



Of course, you can do something like [fl ia - ss 1.0] aerial 1.0 which would raise difficulty by enormous amount (especially because the worsened control from the higher aerial will greatly impair ability to enter into the extra rotation spiderspin after it, and vice versa).

The 'cheat method' of doing certain power tricks by using small aerial instead of topspin - pause windy's vid below at random intervals, and you will see mod entirely leaves hand - doesn't change difficulty much for usual fl ta palmspin or index pun new, but it reduces difficulty by a fair bit for spiderspin variations (and looks uglier unless you can control it perfectly at minimal amount like spinnerpeem does).


Some spinners choose to practice harder variations over simpler ones to raise the harder variations to higher numbers than the simpler ones - A13x disliked the appearance of his [fl ta - palmspin] cont, so he trained index pun new and [fl ta - ss] a lot. Spinnerpeem did not learn mid/ring/pinky spreads because he simply doesn't need to use them. I really like [fl ia - ss], [fl ma - ring ss] and [mirr pp rev - ring ss] so I trained them lots and lots, so my technique of [fl ia - ss] is better than my palmspin/pun new variations; and my [fl ta - ring ss] is far weaker than my [fl ma - ring ss] and [mirr pp rev - ring ss].

I apologise somewhat for the slight showing off in certain areas of this post, but I hope you learnt something from it ^^







Friday, 11 November 2016

Judging system idea (credits to Bula)

Bula's suggestion: To have separate judges for each criteria aspect, rather than each judge judging all criteria. For example, taichi and HAL would judge only execution, I would judge only difficulty, fel2fram or RPD would judge only creativity.

For effectiveness and presentation: it is probably fine if all judges graded them, as they do not require as specialised focus/knowledge/high skill level to evaluate, and are not weighted as highly as exec/diff/crea.

Whereas specialisation is old idea applied to many areas of life (medicine, manufacturing etc), this is probably first time I recall it mentioned to me (but I would not be surprised if it was discussed in passing by other spinners before). Nonetheless, credit goes to Bula for stating this idea, when I write this post.

Note: this post discusses his suggestion and related aspects rather than judging in PS in general (as applicability of number scoring to artform like spinning or whether PS can/should even be judged, the deficiencies in judging criteria regarding finesse and fine finger movements for execution, how strictly the original vs creative borderline should be applied, what difficulty is considered 'unbelievable', more than enough for pages and pages etc).

As skill levels in PS (in refinement, technical material, trick/linkage range, difficulty and variations) have increased hugely since typical judging allocations of 'each judge scores all categories' method, which has been used since WT07, specialisation is definitely needed to ensure proper evaluation of various aspects of spinning. Whereas most arts (performance types like music, ice skating etc) or sports do not use specialised judges for different criteria areas, it is quite clear in current PS environment (and has been so since around 2009) that level gap between good spinners' areas of focus compared to areas they do not focus on has increased, and that existing materials shown in PS have also increased enormously.

As spinners focused on creativity probably have better idea of existing concepts, they will have better assessments of creativity and be less likely to think old variations are new. Similarly, spinners who are very focused on technical material aspects probably underestimate the weight of errors in execution or deficiencies in finger positioning/finger movements; whereas spinners who do not focus on using unusual/hard variations are unlikely to be able to separate something that is truly difficult from something that is just a bit hard.

Of course, Bula's system also means each judge has less work to do (as they do not have to judge in all categories), which reduces workload and should increase consistency in scoring within each judge due to lower mental fatigue. As judges selected for each category are specialists/focus on those aspects, there will probably also be less variability in scoring and higher accuracy (i.e. no more menowa WT15 R3 9/10 execution from PSH judge saying combo was dynamic so score was justified, or something like that).

Largest 'problem' with this system is that it ends up narrowing perceptions (reducing open-minded approach to exec/diff/crea) to what the selected group of specialists think, which may decrease innovation. However, I feel small group of specialists in each area should give a better result than having -coughcough- 'strange ideas' contributed from large group of non-specialists.

Another issue with this system is determining which spinners are specialised enough to judge each category (but I feel spinners generally have good idea of who has good control, who is creative, who has hard material - because while individual preferences may be different, community gravitates towards admiring small group of a few dozen or so good spinners who are great at their respective focuses).

There's some spinners who will make combos that will confuse everyone, like fel2fram (who no doubt has top level creativity and difficulty, but his execution is hard to evaluate because we do not really have 'ideal image' that his direction of spinning should appear like), but such out-of-the-box geniuses will always go beyond existing logic.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

This is power V5 commentary

Hardest by fair margin and most filming time dedicated for this compilation, way more than any solo or previous ‘this is power’ videos. Just some comments about material used and frustration involved.




Estimation of success rate based on raw clips of attempts, which have one try every 4-6 seconds, so 10 min raw clip to get 1 successful draft → 100-150 attempts. As comparison, most of my 9 year's solo's combos could be landed once every 5 min or so (50-70 attempts) after my hand was fully warmed up.


0:00-0:08 - half tap aerial > pun kan with coffee packet, I find it easier to start pun kan on strange objects (like inktube, toothpick etc) this way than usual ta start. Just a funny introduction clip, kind of like solo introductions.

0:09-0:20 - [fl ia - spiderspin 2.0] x 4 and fl ia aerial 1.0 combo, added extra rotations to spiderspin and aerial variations, very fun and far harder. Usually fl around - topspin and aerials have 0.5 rotations, I have vid from 2 weeks ago of [fl ia - ss 1.0] x 15 (below) and I’d say it’s at least as hard as ordinary [fl ia - ss 0.5] x 100 (at least you’d need to master the technique to point where you can do 100+ perfectly and have very good idea and feeling of pen’s position and rotations). Aerial with 1.0 rotations rather than 0.5 doesn’t give as large difficulty boost, but I’d estimate [fl ia - ss] aerial 1.0 x 10 is about as hard as aerial 0.5 x 20.




Compared to rest of clips in V5, this one was easy to land (about 5 minutes excluding warmup time, so 50-80 attempts roughly).

0:21-0:27 - [knee bounce - spiderspin] combo, fairly difficult and more of ‘gimmick’ depending on some luck and calmness (skill needed to align hand for spiderspin, but luck needed to have pen spinning in horizontal plane and rising right up from knee bounce). A significant upgrade on the ta rel - knee bounce combo at 0:19-0:28  in ‘THIS IS POWER V3’ (below) from 2013.




Took about 10 minutes to land, 200 attempts roughly (as messups often happen on first knee bounce in 1 second so higher tries per time)

0:27-0:37 - [ex spiderspin - fl around spiderspin] x 2 fall variation, this was really hard to record, final segment not as controlled as I wanted. While I had mastered [fl ia - ss], [fl ta - fl ia - ss], [fl ma - ring ss] and [index mid mirr pp rev - ring ss] to high level while training them in past 2 ½ years, I am still developing way to do [mid ring mirr pp rev - pinky ss] and [fl ra - pinky ss], so I kept messing up on them. Easily one of the hardest clips in this video.

Took 95-100 minutes (most of a Saturday morning) recording to land twice, so 400-500 attempts per successful take.

0:38-0:44 - ringbak pop spin and pun kan rev - bakspin combo, inspired by vine clips from katts [JEB]. I had another take with 1.0 bakspin after pun kan rev, but control of ringbak pop in it was worse, so it was rejected. Very fun to try this sequence and many variations possible.

As I’m not that good at pun kan rev - bakspin yet, took 20 minutes to get decent take, so 200-250 attempts.

0:45-0:56 - [mirr pp rev - ring ss] and [fl ra - pinky ss] combo with bonus [fl ma - ring ss] aerial 1.0, using all my favourite craziest variations of ring and pinky ss. Transition from ring ss to fl ra pinky ss is strange due to ring finger movement. I had another 2 drafts filmed with the fl ma ring ss aerial 1.0 leading into fl ra pinky ss (instead of fl ma ring ss in the actual video), but control was worse overall so they were rejected. Difficulty of this sequence with aerial 1.0 - fl ra pinky ss nearly as high as the ex ss fall variation clip.

For the aerial 1.0 - fl ra pinky ss clips, landed twice in 60 minutes, so 350-400 attempts. The selected clip with aerial 1.0 - fl ma ring ss was easier, landed once every 10-15 min so roughly 120-160 attempts.

0:57-1:17 - 1p2h power + rev power combo with [mirr pp aerial - palmspin rev], [fl ta rev - ss rev], RH mirr pp - LH pun kan, and antigravity ‘hai tua’ variation. Wanted to try some new rev power on RH and linking LH palmspin fl ta cont in middle of combo, far harder than the 1:01-1:22 1p2h fl combo in my 8 year solo (below). Took way longer to land this than I should have as computer crashed 5 times 40-60 minutes into recording and wore my mind out even more T_T. Very frustrating to film this as left hand kept messing up the palmspin fl ta due to RH’s bakriser being slightly imperfect, even though I could do this exact transition consistently by itself.



Used an entire afternoon and early evening (4 hours) to get to half-passable control, after I’d calmed down. Roughly 30 min to land successful take, maybe (hard to specify as there were many 3 or 4 drafts with worse exec that I really didn’t want to use). Roughly 400 attempts per take I suppose.

1:18-1:24 - 2p1h [fl penaround aerial - fl penaround]? Feels strange to not have feeling of mod on hand. Not as hard as you may expect after you know what feeling and movements you need.

Took 10-15 min to learn and get x 3, got the x 4 2-3 min afterwards, so 100-150 attempts.

1:25-1:29 - [ss - pun kan] x 3. After ction's WT13 R1 [palmspin - pun kan], I suggested doing it with ss instead with sekai, who filmed a nice x 2 of it (below). Very hard to control, mastering ss variations and pun kan helps only a little bit as it’s based more on eye/pen/hand co-ordination level. Landed x 3 three times, used most controlled (comparatively) one.



Roughly 10 min each, so 120-150 attempts.

1:30-1:39 - fl combo with LH ‘assist’: RH [mirr pp rev - ring ss] - LH spiderspin rev - RH [fl ia ss - mirr pp rev ring ss] inspired by conversation I had with ohzers (old UPSB member) back in WC12 times, ta rel - wrist bounce - fl ia ss, and ction’s WT13 R5 finisher 2 arm pun kan idea. Quite happy with how this one turned out.

15-20 min per successful take, so 200-250 attempts.

1:40-1:45 - octuple pd ta, upgrade of 9 year solo’s 2:01-2:05 septuple pd ta with better control. Hard to teach people to do this trick.



8 min, so 80-120 attempts.

1:45-1:49 - 2p2h RH [fl ta - ss] x 4 LH [fl ta - palmspin] x 4, failed final one on either hand half a dozen times or so. Had to focus on left while keeping right on autopilot, but left does palmspins slightly slower than right’s spiderspins, so it felt strange.

15-20 min, so 200-250 attempts.

1:50-1:59 - fc fl combo with crossed index+middle fl indexmiddlearound - ring ss, technique needs improvement to reduce extent of ‘cheat’ aerial used. Very very hard to do as pen keeps getting stuck after fl around (far harder than fl ma - ring ss or fl ra - pinky ss). This was far harder than fc fl combo in 9 year solo which did not actually use the crossed fingers for spinning.

Practised this for hour practising before day I filmed this clip, so roughly 100-200 attempts.

2:00-2:07 - [fl ma ring ss 1.0 - fl ma ring ss 0.5] x 2 combo, adding 0.5 rotations to ring ss in fl ma ring ss is ridiculously hard. Difficulty jump for fl ma ring ss 1.0 vs fl ma ring ss 0.5 is bigger than fl ia ss 1.0 vs fl ia ss 0.5 (IMO bigger than jump between fl ia ss 1.5 and fl ia ss 0.5 even)

This clip as hard as [fl ma - ring ss] x 20-25 for me. Took 10 min ish, so 100-150 attempts.

2:07-2:16 - pun kan x 13 clip from before, probably one of hardest tricks to develop technique for.

2:17-2:20 - plush toys of Reimu and Marisa from Touhou project.

Monday, 24 October 2016

difficulty in PS

Wrote this after thinking about the pure idiocy in difficulty judging (and public perception) of difficulty of various combos and tricks in WT and WC. Like really, of course mediocre judge will consider things which are not that difficult to be 'difficult beyond imagination' because the scope of their skills and imagination are both mediocre; and since trick A and trick B are both hard 'beyond their imagination', judge will give both 10/10 difficulty even if there is enormous difference between them...

OTL. Anyway, time for actual discussion. *Sorry for wall of text rambling, but it's interesting I promise!*

For lazy people, tl;dr version is: difficulty determination should be based on practice time rather than rarity of the trick/linkage, but there's heaps of variables affecting practice time, so best thing to do is practice more to get better personal evaluation xD


Strongest finisher by fel2fram (2-hand interlaced around/twirl fall variation? unsure of naming conventions)

What are the most impressive feats or tricks in PS history? From before 2008: sunrise's perfect thumbspin 15.5 with pencil is probably craziest trick every recorded (I still am unsure how much practice or skill would be needed to replicate it), and cloud traveller's midbak 1.5 x 12 with mx deserves honorable mention. However, before 2008, index bust x 10-15 was considered incredibly difficult, with hunlanlin holding world record of x 17 before spinnerpeem joined the scene.



From peem's erasing of the boundaries of difficulty which everyone else was constrained by, his explore M fl combo and his WC10 finals combo stand out most. From 2010 until 2013, fel2fram rewrote the comprehension of creativity and possibilities in linkages entirely, making many variations and concepts that are still barely understood, much less explored. A13x's dual pass T4, fel2fram's interlaced 2-hand around variation, menowa's spiderspin variations, xound's fingercrosses in WT15 also stand out.



However, consider this: since 2008, why has no one even come close to sunrise's thumbspins, but many many spinners are able to do bust x 10-20 or more (with fair numbers of spinners reaching 25+ or more busts in their first year)? When TEK uploaded peem's video of 50+ palmspin fl ta, other hard trick experts at the time were still in the < 10 range, but it did not take long for spinners who'd spun less than 1 1/2 years to reach 300+ palmspin fl ta (tony from HKPSA and yaoss from MYPSC).

Is the typical 1 year spinner of now better than the experts of 2008? Does the typical 1 year spinner of now have some magical technique of training busts or have more practice time on that trick? Most likely not, but the seeming 'degradation' of power trick difficulty for more basic variations (index bust, fl ta, spread, fl ta palmspin, aerial hai tua, hai tua) is probably associated with world's 'belief' of what is possible and impossible; i.e. if spinners believe certain feats are achievable with certain practice amount, then it contributes to becoming self-fulfilling prophesy (and vice versa, if certain feats are believed to be impossible, then this belief is strong enough to deter people from trying or even increase their actual failing rate). Of course, more available resources (decent quality demonstration videos and tutorials) plays a part, but generally I do not consider the majority of tutorials to be that helpful or well made, and many spinners are unable to elicit maximum details from slow motion videos either.

The key point of contention in difficulty is 'practice time required to master the trick' versus 'how many people can do the trick' (or linkage) in question. Personally, 'how many people can do the trick' is not that relevant when considering tricks of high difficulty, and is further obscured by trends/popularity (e.g. rex trick is quite simple to do, but was considered amazing when rex showed it in WT11 R1; similarly menowa's WT15 R3 combo gained much attention for its angled around variations but is far easier than his WT15 R2 combo or even his WC14 R2 combo). Furthermore, if people believe trick is too hard, few people will attempt it, which reduces estimation of 'how many people can do the trick', leading to overestimation of the trick's difficulty. Therefore I prioritise 'practice time required to master the trick' as being of far greater importance in difficulty consideration than merely 'how many people can do the trick'.



Difficulty can also be considered in terms of spinners' ability to devise techniques for tricks that are not yet in their mastery. This is highly linked to the spinner's current skillset, and the similarity of the trick/linkage they are trying to learn. For example, pinkybak 2.0 cont is quite similar to pinkybak 1.5 cont, so mastery of pinkybak 1.5 will help greatly. This can be applied to linkages and more extreme examples, such as applying fl ta cont technique to do PD fl TA (which allowed me to reach pd ta > pd fl ta x 4 in my 5 year solo with less than 30 minutes experimentation, and increased to pd ta > pd fl ta x 7 in 'THIS IS POWER V5' despite me never devoting deliberate practice for this trick in the past few years). Certain tricks which are more different to existing tricks commonly done are harder to devise techniques for, but may not actually require as much practice time as expected (e.g. dual pass T4, which I managed x 13 of after training for 30 minutes; whereas fel2fram's 2-handed interlaced around variation seems impossible to do smoothly even though perfoming it sketchily is not that hard).

On the other hand, slight variations which are fairly common to mastered linkages are difficult because hand's muscle memory defaults to the common linkage instead of the desired variation (e.g. east sonic and west sonic variations used by iteza - see below video 0:04-0:05 linkage, and hash, slofis' inv shadow+arounds in Pearls 6th combo). Of course, spinner with very good ability to control fingers will not be set back by the defaulting muscle memory phenomenon, but generally even experienced spinners have trouble with understanding and performing these slight variations immediately, so they might take a while to master them completely. However, this raises the question of whether a spinner who was not as constrained or influenced by trends to do common material would find east and west sonic variations etc to be hard (we can probably never fully resolve this question, just as innate considerations of appeal in art and music are influenced the moment we learn language, by every comment and every person we interact with and so on).



Regarding practice time, it is possible to stumble across efficient technique quickly (usually by accident) which allows mastery of trick in short time (e.g. Vora's palmspin fl ta supposedly reached 100+ in several weeks or less, which might be a joke on his part; or nadhif's rapid learning or pinkybak 1.5 and palmspin fl ta). Practice time is also probably influenced by belief of what is possible, as said before. However, practice time varies greatly not just between spinners (even if generally we can come to agreement of what tricks/linkages are hard), but also within the same spinner in tricks he/she considers difficult.

While many spinners (and myself) consider dual pass T4 and say, fl ia - ss cont or fl ma - ring ss cont all to be quite difficult and rare tricks, the practice time required for these 3 is very different. For me, dual pass T4 to 10+ took half an hour, whereas fl ma - ring ss to 10+ took daily practice of 40 minutes for nearly an entire year (both tricks being trained in 2014-2016 period, after I'd spun over 7 years), so clearly there is vast difference in difficulty despite both tricks being rightly considered 'hard'. Of course, maybe someone else would not find the difference as large as I do, but it would require more spinners to master both these unusual hard tricks, which is unlikely to occur to any significant extent.

Of course, placement of trick/linkage in combo impacts difficulty, as doing harder trick/linkage later is more difficult than doing it earlier. Logically, one should practice the hard trick/linkage itself separately quite well before trying to use it later in combo (if you do not, you will have less chances to practice it when recording as you reach later point in combo more rarely than earlier point, and your mental stress will also be increased).

The role of innate finger flexibility and muscle memory in difficulty is also interesting. For example, mastering one or two flush sonic and side flush sonic variations makes learning other linkages in 14 slot far easier. Furthermore, as a spinner with below average middle and ring independence (I cannot make spock sign which separates middle and ring finger properly on right hand), I can still perform most flush sonic and side flush sonic variations in 14 without thumb 'assistance' cheating, so innate flexibility is not necessary for these, even if it is helpful. Also, fact that left hand which hardly trains deliberately can do many 24 and 14 linkages by using muscle memory of right hand reinforces idea that 24/14 linkages are based on muscle memory rather than finger flexibility. Of course, training to acquire the muscle memory and appropriate pen rotation angle/speed/finger movement requires significant time.

In contrast to this, fingercross most likely requires innate finger flexibility (which can be trained by stretching, but risk of injury and takes long, long time) and also muscle memory, but I cannot fully comment on this as I cannot do fingercross of ring+pinky or middle+ring on my right without my left hand forcing the fingers to cross.

Anyway tl;dr version is: difficulty determination should be based on practice time, but there's heaps of confounding factors and other variables affecting practice time, so best thing to do is practice more to get better personal evaluation.