Monday, 13 November 2017

WT17 R5 combo

I wanted to show a wider range of skills this time, and I think very few people expected me to use 1p2h or fingercross (fc). I filmed more drafts for this round than previous ones, still wish I could do it better. Setting up angle for 1p2h is hard, first person (headcam?) is probably better but not really practical for WT-grade breakdown since my head moves .-.


Better angle of 0:01-0:07:

Alternate angle of 0:15-0:22 1p2h:

0:01 - 0:07 (slomo 0:26 - 0:38): flush sonic > fc21 IA rev, sonic 34-24 ~> thumb-pushed MA rev to 13, fc21 pass 12-23 (pen goes under index), fc23 ma ~> bust, square pass + fc23 inv tpass 123. I can't cross to usable level on right hand, so I trained fc on LH for quite a while. It's very fun doing stuff that I thought I'd never be able to do.

0:07 - 0:12 (slomo 0:39 - 0:48): inv side flush sonic + 0.5 rev spin on index PU to PD, kagami's +0.5 spin rev thing ~ pinky spread rev to LH. Could've made this part harder, but my consistency wasn't good enough.

0:12 - 0:15 (slomo 0:48 - 0:53): mirr raimo bak rev (interrupted start) 23-12 - is not a shadow. fl ma ring ss - fl ta ext - fl ma ring ss. Haven't used fl ta ext - fl ma ring ss in combo before, having hand go from PD to PU gives different effect to usual ss stuff that's always PU.

0:15 - 0:22 (slomo 0:53 - 1:09): demo vid above, powerpass - twirl rise T'3 - 1'2 - T'1. LH uses thumb, index, then thumb; RH uses ring, mid, then index. Not as smooth as I wanted, oh well. It's surprisingly hard trying to get consistent rotation speed as normal spinning for this part.

Next - some LH transfer > RH inv tpass rev index+pinky over thumb.

Ending - twirl rev rise 1'3 - 1'2 - 1'1. LH uses index, RH uses ring, mid, then index. Gives very different effect to the previous 1p2h twirl section. Followed by t-powerpass T1-T4.

My aim when making this combo was to show greater diversity of skill, especially in families of tricks I did not show before and that people did not expect. I feel diversity is important for WT, because it makes sense to pass someone who'll show interesting different stuff in next round over someone who'll just recycle similar stuff as before.

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:


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: 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 ^^