There are lots of theories about how to take tricks that you have learned and incorporate them into routines, or “combos”. I want to explain my thought process on this, and I hope you will see that combining tricks turns a few cool moves into a really amazing Astrojax performance! It’s very important to understand that you are trying to compose a symphony of moves, not one-note sambas. I find it interesting how people ask me, “What’s your favorite trick?” or “What’s the hardest move you can do?”. I tend to frown on those questions because I believe that learning individual tricks is great, but combining them is like hearing multiple instruments in an orchestra. You want to be able to blend tricks in many intricate ways so you can bring variety to what you do.
Now, that being said, I’ll share how I tend to create combos. You have to first know the trick you are learning inside and out. Think about the trick you are learning and keep the following three things in mind:
- What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
- How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
- How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick?
Now I can use these three simple steps below to analyze any trick, but the easiest for me to write about is the Venus:
1. What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
As you can see, you do a Vertical Orbit to start this move. But look closer. You can do a Vertical Orbit in two different directions to start a Venus. You can have the end ball go over the left OR right side of your arm. This now gives you two different ways to do this trick (and then more options to link it into other moves).
2. How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
I understand this step sounds a little weird… I’m not really an English major….but hear me out. Every trick has the Jax moving in a certain motion while “inside” the trick. In the case of the Venus, the center ball is going over your outstretched arm while “inside” the trick. Now what can you do with this? You have three options that are really easy to see. First, you can let the trick go as normal and simply let the center ball go over your arm. Second, you can wait for the center ball to come over and grab it with your other hand. From here, you have limitless possibilities like Lollies, Wheelies, or even Thrillers. The last option I’ll discuss here is to let the Venus go a smidge more than usual and grab the end ball when it comes back around your arm. With this, you can go straight into Pong tricks as well as many other moves.
There are many more ways you can “hit the abort button” on the Venus Trick and I challenge you to find more ways to do this.
3. How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick?
This means that when finishing a trick, the Jax are configured a certain way which allows one to link it into other moves without having to go back to Basic Orbits. Tricks are truly mastered when you can execute a certain trick and then move straight into other tricks. If you watch the best yoyoers, they are able to combine quite literally 10 to 15 different moves seamlessly from the time they throw the yoyo until it comes back to their hand. You want to do this with Astrojax as well.
So what can you do with the Venus??? Well, I’ve already covered some of the most basic ways to abort the trick mid-flight, but when you do a complete Venus, you are back into a Basic Vertical Orbit. However, you can choose to keep the rotation going to do what is called a “Infinite Venus” by using your outstretched arm to keep the Venus in motion. I’ve kept a Venus going for as long as a minute and it’s a really cool move visually with Blue Diamonds. You can use Vertical Orbits as a bounce into another move, but the rule of thumb is to only use one Vertical Orbit. Basically, the end ball goes down once in “one” Vertical Orbit.
On my profile, I’ve been toying with the idea of making “Combo Theory” videos, basically deconstructing some of my favorite combos that I do so you can see what tricks are used and how to perform basic combos. I’ve made one video so far in this series and plan to do more in the future:
Well, that’s the basics of my Astrojax Combo Theory. As I have mentioned before, the idea can be used with any skill toy. While a part of my university’s juggling club, I was able to get my hands on many new toys and by using these steps, I’ve become proficient with lots of different skill toys.
And as usual, I’m always around the AP-Club forums and on Facebook and ready and willing to answer questions about Astrojax and other skill toys!
This is Theferrell, signing off.