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 Butterfly Variations
Author: Shyft 
Date:   03-31-02 09:05

I'm finally getting my butterfly fluid, and have started to reverse it. Initially, when I did the figure 8...I would go under first, coming up from the bottom of each loop. Reversing it, I've been coming down from the top of the loops. I'm curious as to which most of you out there do? Does one lend itself to fluid execution more than the other? Is it just personal preference?

-"The things most people call impossible is just stuff they haven't seen yet."

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 Re: Butterfly Variations
Author: Ryan (Mellors) 
Date:   03-31-02 18:18

I started with the reverse butterfly, doing it for almost six months before I realized it was backwards. Switching to the regular butterfly let me link into other tricks much easier. but they both have their advantages.
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 Re: Butterfly Variations
Author: ICU812 
Date:   03-31-02 18:23 me ignant, but I'm not sure I understand this whole "reverse" butterfly thing. Do we have any videos or anything like that to illustrate this?


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: Butterfly Variations
Author: Robin Spehar 
Date:   03-31-02 22:25

Never even thought to do it backwards. Just did. Interesting. Seems to me that "forwards" is naturally a smoother motion, however it's still possible to do a really smooth "backwards". I'd recommend learning forwards first as it fits better. Once your accomplished, doing it backwards is no challenge.
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 Hope this helps!
Author: remy 
Date:   03-31-02 23:36

okay...I'm running on exceedingly little sleep here, but I'll give it a shot.
I know it's on contact juggling:part one--both tricks are explained, although the reverse butterfly is not in as much detail. here's the concept, from the very basics on up...
A butterfly is not simply a windsheild- wiper style arm movement. Although this basic back-and-forth motion is an important part of the learning process for the trick, as your butterfly develops and becomes more polished, it takes on the shape of a figure eight, or infinity sign.
I'm going to put us all on the same page right now, reguardless of skill level, by making an analogy:
Imagine that you are going to draw an infinity sign, or, if you're not sure on the whole concept of infinity, the number eight laying on it's side. (get a pencil and paper if you like, it will help if you aren't too familiar with this whole concept.) You start from the far left corner and draw slowly, starting by curving downwards and to the right, and continuing along to draw the entire figure using one steady line. By the time you return to the starting point on the far left side, you've drawn a complete infinity sign-- the same pattern as is followed by your hand in a well-formed, standard butterfly (right hand from the juggler's point of view.) The pattern that you followed as you drew the line (and the pattern followed by the trick, as I hope you've all inferred by now) can be divided into 4 distinct phases--Letting go of the analogy for a moment, the 4 phases of motion in the butterfly occur in the following order:

1)down and right
2)up and right
--the ball here reaches the outer right-hand edge of the trick, and begins moving back to the left--
3)down and left
4)up and left.
With me so far?
(If not, and you think I'm crazy, I'll provide help at the bottom of this post.)
"wow!" you're saying. "What a crazy girl! I don't start a butterfly moving DOWNWARD!! I move UP and RIGHT!" Alright, alright...I agree--you probably don't really START by moving downward--at least not on the very first repitition of the trick. This is because many people START their butterfly more towards the physical center of the trick, at the beginning of phase 2 of the motion , rather than at phase 1. But despite this starting-position discrepancy, in a well-formed butterfly, subsequent repititions of the trick will have a more rounded, downward-and-right motion at the far left--the "beginning" of the trick as I've defined it (phase 1 of the motion)--take a look at your own butterfly--you'll see it, I'll wager.
Phew! that only took several pages...alright, kids, take a deep breath, stretch, get some water...
Now for the REVERSE butterfly.
We're going to draw the infinity sign again, but this time, moving upwards from the left hand side. Now the pattern you're tracing is the reverse of the original butterfly--still divisable into 4 phases of motion, but a different set of them:
1)UP and right
2)DOWN and right
--the ball here reaches the outer right-hand edge of the trick, and begins moving back to the left--
3)UP and left
4)DOWN and left
Ending up back home at the sternum.
"Okay, maybe she's not all that crazy..." you mutter to yourself. "but she does spend too much time drawing infinity signs. and why would I need a stupid reverse butterfly? mine's very nice as is, thank you very much!" I'm probably not the only person here who thinks the reverse butterfly feels kinda weird and unnatural. Nonetheless, it is a great way to lead into any trick that begins, for example, by moving left and down, like the back-to-palm transfer, moving from the right to left hand. (this trick actually employs a variation on a reverse butterfly in its excecution, so if you do this trick regularly, the reverse butterfly should already be laying dormant in your muscle memory). Transitioning into other tricks is the most practical use I've found for the reverse butterfly, but it is VERY good for this: it really helps keep your tricks flowing smoothly, and is especially important with 2 balls, a situation where you aren't always able to get a hand into some unusual and inconvenient spot in order to transfer the ball into it--the reverse butterfly is a good way to keep the hand and ball in a convenient place to do tricks.

Now, as promised: HELP ME!! I'M LOST!!!!
"4 phase" jargon got you totally and completely lost?
Draw along with the instructions for the standard figure 8/infinity sign butterfly. Once you've drawn the infinity sign, you can divide up your drawing to show the four phases graphically: draw a vertical line through the middle of your infinity sign (this line should pass through point where the infinity sign crosses over on itself, right in the center.). then draw a horizontal line through the middle of your infinity sign (this line should pass through the same crossing-over point, as well as the right and left extremities of the infinity sign--the places furthest from the crossing-over point on the right and left sides of the figure). The drawing should now be divided into four pieces: the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. We're going to label these 4 pieces, in the order that they were drawn: the bottom left corner, label (1). the top right corner, label (2). the bottom right corner, label (3). the top left corner, label (4). each of these boxes represents a phase of motion in the butterfly, and each has a different kind of curve in it, see?
now trace slowly back over your infinity sign, starting at the left hand extremity and working downward.
you will pass through each of the four phases (corners of your drawing) and your pencil will mimic the path taken by the ball if you were doing the butterfly. t he motion of both your pencil and the theorhetical ball goes like this:
passing through phase 1) down and right
through phase 2)up and right
-->if you were doing the butterflythe ball here reaches the outer right-hand edge of the trick, and begins moving back to the left--
through phase 3)down and left
and through phase 4)up and left.
each of these motions is different from the other, and therefore each constitutes a different "phase" of the trick. it goes from moving one direction, to moving another, to moving another. I hope I've put you up to speed. now go back and read the rest--the explanation of the reverse will make sense if you understood this.
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Author: remy 
Date:   03-31-02 23:45

okay, like I said, I'm running on very little sleep. I misread your question entirely and, remembering the painful time I spent figuring out the whole reverse butterfly thing, jsut spent the last hour explaining the mechanics of the whole butterfly/reverse butterfly. The difference between the two used to give me lots of problems--I think, maybe, I was responding to ICU182 when I wrote that monster. "the reverse butterfly for dummies", or something. I guess I'll stick it in the essays section or something. perhaps it'll help somebody.
anyway, to actually answer your question and not bore you to tears with pages upon pages of technical stuff...I perform both, and they both really do have more fluid places when combined with other tricks. the back to palm transfer, especially, employs a reverse butterfly as part of the trick..
hope that helps
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 Re: oops...
Author: ICU812 
Date:   04-01-02 00:29

holy cow, that's as thorough a response as I think I've seen in a while. Thanks!


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: oops...
Author: Shyft 
Date:   04-01-02 01:56

Actually remi.....that was perfect ;). Explained everything I wanted to know. Tho I find it odd that you think the reverse is awkward...cause it's the one I natually fell too ;). Anyway, thanks for the help

-"The things most people call impossible is just stuff they haven't seen yet"

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 Re: oops...
Author: Ferret 
Date:   04-01-02 16:05

Damn Remy........well done.


"you can give any sleep deprived Lass a question.........but Remy will bring it to life."

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 Re: Hope this helps!
Author: Ferret 
Date:   04-01-02 16:30

There You go Remy.

Your writings are now up in 'Essays'

Once again, well done.

Love the writing style.

You can give any weasel a ball........but The Ferret will bring it to life.

Keep 'em Roll'in
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 Fingers and Planes
Author: Rich Shumaker 
Date:   04-01-02 18:52

Very impressive Remy. Very Impressive.

I wanted to add something to this thread because at the top level the thread is about Butterfly Variations.

The 2 things that can radically change a butterfly, fingers and planes.
From the time I started CJing people have cradled with 2 fingers or 3. This is brought up in Vol. 1 and I was quite impressed that it was covered. I call the 2 finger style 'Amber style' as that is the first person I saw using it. Her style is much more extreme then others because she would actually curl all her other fingers under and only use 2 fingers to CJ. Index and Middle fingers.

So there is a 2 finger cradle and 3 finger cradle. But most people don't explore the other 2 finger cradles. Mr. Spock or Vulcan cradle. And the ever poplular pinky cradle. Which is a difficult one for me but in time it should get better. So try moving the ball using different cradles it will change the butterfly.

The second thing to try is get out of the wall plane or the standard plane. Move your arms on a 45 degree angle. Then try 90 degrees. Again I can do this stuff but I would not be considered an expert. Probably a novice. Butterflies at your side in the 90 degree plane have a much different appearance. Also doing 2 at the same time and moving them through the planes(not of hell but of space) makes them look wild.

Have a great day.
Remember to warm up before trying this stuff. It will really test your muscles because of the stranger then strange movements. Unless of course you are a ballet dancer.

Rich Shumaker
The Other Contact Juggler
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 2 or 3
Author: remy 
Date:   04-01-02 22:24

just as a semi-amusing side note:
the reason the 2 and three finger cradles are covered so thoroughly in the part 1 video is because, between the two of them, one perfers a 2 finger cradle and the other perfers 3--it's a pretty old joke-argument at this point (I think I was the first person ever to recieve the "only a sissy needs 3 fingers" joke) :)
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 Re: oops...
Author: remy 
Date:   04-02-02 01:54

he he
thanks for the compliment

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