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 Beginner needing help
Author: Janet 
Date:   04-01-02 08:47

Hey everyone,

I have just started contact wise cracks please. I need help with the Butterfly. I can flip from a crade to palm but i cant flip from palm to a cradle because the ball keeps rolling off the back of my hand when i flip it up. Any tips for how to stop this??

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 Re: Beginner needing help
Author: Veikko Sariola 
Date:   04-01-02 10:35

Hi Janet!

I strongly suggest that you read Ferret's first five steps. It can be found in the essays section. I was about to write a long post, but then I remembered that Ferret explains it all far better and thourougly than I :) (and hit del on the whole post)


Welcome to the wonderful art of contactjuggling! And don't be afraid to ask anything from the community, we never whack down newbies. The 13yr quakelamers have spoiled the reputation of the whole internet ;)

- Veikko / Pestis
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 Re: Beginner needing help
Author: Ljane 
Date:   04-01-02 11:54

Rather than trying to do it how you see everyone else doing it try thew easy way first.
Toss the ball from the palm to the back and from the back to the palm. get used to catching it on the back of your hand, I know it is hard at first. then when you are getting used to it start to chase the ball with your fingers, until you are eventually doing a butterfly. It takes a lot of work but the results will be amazing as im sure you know.
Hope ive helped.
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 Re: Beginner needing help
Author: ICU812 
Date:   04-01-02 14:53

Yes yes, I started around December, and am still learning a lot. The best thing to do is to keep it very simple in the beginning. Just practice tossing it back and forth and holding it in the cradle all day. The more you practice holding it in the cradle, the easier it will be to catch it in the cradle.

Also, it's been mentioned somewhere on the site (see 1b palmspin under "moves") that it might be a good idea to pick up the 1 ball palmspin and isolation early on.

I just recently really started working hard on getting a basic isolation down, and just this weekend received my first "Oooooh it looks like it's floating comment" which made me blush like a 10 year old school girl. Anyhoo, don't worry about anyone here biting your head off, at least not until you've been around for a while.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: Beginner needing help
Author: Aaron A. Gitzen 
Date:   04-01-02 16:27

All the posts written above are spot on advice. You need to practice holding the ball in the cradle in order to develop the control.

Once you have control of the ball in the cradle position you will be able to stop the ball on the back of your hand.

There are a couple of ways to do this, and there is sort of a progression that you should follow when developing any control point, which is what the cradle is, it is a place where you can control the ball.

1) Start out by placing the ball in the cradle position and simply balancing it there. Pay special attention to what position you arm is in, relative to the back of your hand. Remember that you will have to bend your arm to butterfly the ball, so you need to practice the cradle with your arm in several positions. Practice holding the ball in the cradle and moving your elbow up and down. Once this is solid move onto the next step.

2) Place the ball in the cradle and walk around. Sit down, watch TV, whatever. People will think you are a little strange, but thats okay. Get comfortable with the ball in that position. Just remember that one day you will be blowing their minds with the tricks that you can do. You want that cradle to become intuitive, you want to develop the muscle memory to be able to always come back to that balance point on the back of your hand. The best way to do that is to just spend as much time in that position as possible.

3) Okay you dont' have to wait to go onto this step, but this is the final way to test yourself. Toss the ball in the air and catch it in the cradle position. You can probably already do this to some degree, but can you do it 100 times in a row without dropping? That's what I would shoot for.

I'm 99.9% certain that if you do all these things, you will progress pretty quickly. So good luck, keep trying and feel free to post whenever you run into a block.

By the way I use this progression whenever I want to develop a balance point, as do a lot of people. So this advice doesn't just apply to the cradle on the back of your hand. Lets say you are doing a trick where you roll the ball on the inside of your forearm and stop the ball on the elbow. In order to successfully build the control to do that trick, you would need control of the ball on the point where the ball stops, on your elbow. So guess what its' the same thing! You start out by placing the ball there on the elbow, then holding it there, and finally throwing it and catching the ball on that position. Same thing, just a different balance point on your body.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just dont' want to be there when it happens."
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 Replied once but power went out
Author: Rich Shumaker 
Date:   04-02-02 01:26

I agreed with everyone once, before my power went out. So I will agree with everyone again.

I have seen this issue before and every time it has been a lack of control on the back of the hand.

Practice all the things everyone else said.

You might also want to download my lesson from
I always recomend starting at step one even if you can do a smooth roll. That way you get better back of the hand control.
My steps are different then Ferret's. But I recomend reading Ferret's steps as well as seeing my video. Also getting your hands on any videos you can will help. Like David Pennington's, or Contact Juggling Vol. 1 or Sphereplay.

The more people that give you advice the more likely something will make sense.

Have a great day.

Rich Shumaker
The Other Contact Juggler
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 Hey Rich
Author: ICU812 
Date:   04-02-02 01:38

Rich, just wanted to let you know that aside from my experience with seeing Labyrinth I taught myself the butterfly based on your video. And for quite some time I thought of you as a celebrity. So I bow my hat to you sir for giving me direction in getting started here, despite the fact that you had no idea I existed.

Speaking of celebrities how is it that this Michael Moschen character never posts here? We ought to see if we can get him to write something here sometime. Wonder what he's been up to since the early 90's.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: Hey Rich
Author: Ferret 
Date:   04-02-02 02:05

I'm not gon'a touch this one people.

Someone else may want to. Just make it civil please. Rich that means you.

(why doesn't MM post.....*snort*)

what I'm wondering is how we can work this into the FAQ without offending anyone

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 Re: Hey Rich
Author: Robin Spehar 
Date:   04-02-02 02:21

What's MM been doing since the 90's? coreographing, working, and deveoloping new stuff. What he does with spheres and rings is truly awesome but he has new pieces that involve straight lines that blow my mind. One of my favorite pieces is him moving two straight shiny rods of metal-- incredible. I posted a few months ago urging everyone who could make it to go to his show in Escondito on April 6th (yep this Saturday!!!). Too bad there's alot of stress regarding this wizard of a human-- I think a lot of people are missing out as a result. Probably aren't any tickes left but look at the "Moshcen in CA" post in the logs for info.
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Author: Lance Coombes 
Date:   04-02-02 02:36

That stick thing was one of my favorites too! I was talking to some friends after the show and told them that it was amazing what he had created for performing with two stupid sticks! Not that any of it was that technically difficult, but that he had thought of it at all! They disagreed and said that it WAS technically difficult. I proved them wrong by taking the most difficult trick and performing it within 5 minutes of practice with to pencils.

The tricks did not impress me. The creativity behind them impressed me. I could learn that whole routine in a month and have it down pat. But if I had never seen it and somebody gave me some sticks and said "do a routine with these", it would take me ages to come up with that stuff! Really impressive!

It gives me some insight into his feelings toward cj. However, he simply needs to know that there is a lot of creativity in cj and that we HAVE come up with new and interresting ideas that he never explored.

He gave me a lot of inspiration to look into new props and new ideas of what can be done with things that I usually take for granted.

Imagine that there is some clever signature here.
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 Thx for the compliment
Author: Rich Shumaker 
Date:   04-02-02 02:55

My wife tells me I am bad with compliments. So I want to thank you Jacques very much for the high praise. I have learned a lot since that video and from what people say in posts and things like that. The Ernest Teaching style is old school these days. But when I learned it, it was new.

To Ferret, thanks. Ferret this is sarcasm at it's finest. I really want to thank you for putting the MM issue in my court. By the way does Mistress Meghan come here anymore. I think she is MM and MM is not. But I digress.

Michael Moschen is an extremely talented Manipulator of objects. Contact Juggling was a term coined by James Ernest to describe a style of ball manipulation in which the ball stays in contact with your body. Hence the term Contact Juggling. Moschen almost boycotted the 1991 IJA where he was the featured artist and had been paid a fee to perform and speak. This is because the convention was having James Ernest there teaching Contact Juggling what Mr. Moschen considered "His Trick".
Moschen has taught workshops on dynamic manipulation but has been far from forthcoming about this information. He has never published any books or videos teaching any of his abilities. He can be seen in the video "Moschen in Motion" and both "Labyrinth" and the "Making of Labyrinth". The Labyrinth movie and documentary can both be found on the DVD.

From 2nd hand sources I have heard that Mr. Moschen was originally upset that he was being "Ripped Off". He also thought that people should go invent something new and not just do someone elses old tricks. Finally in recent years I have heard something I remembered hearing a decade ago which is, "Don't Use my Prop!" referring to Crystal(Acrylic) balls.
Contact Juggling is the most controversial artform to come along in Juggling in a 1000 years. If you don't believe me go to rec.juggling and read the years of debate.

As a personal note. I gave up Contact Juggling for longer then most of you reading this have been doing it. I did this because I found merit in Mr. Moschen's argument. This is a decision I truly regret. It is also the reason that I posted this post. Even though Ferret asked me too that was not my driving force. I feel that I have unfortunately had the most first hand experience with this "issue".

I am not trying to sway people either way in regards to Mr. Moschen. I am trying to give people the facts as I know them from my perspective.

To summarize I will put a piece of an email I received within the past year. I am omitting the name of the person but you will see what I am talking about with controversy and Contact Juggling. The first part is my question the second half is the reply.

>Just wanted to drop you an email and ask if you are having and Contact
>Juggling at the festival of New and Experimental Juggling?

I personally find the term "Contact Juggling" offensive, as I consider it to
refer to James Earnest's plagiarisation of M.M.'s original work. Therefore
we wouldn't have workshops in "contact juggling".
As far as ball manipulation goes, we had one of the leading experts in that
field (after M.M. of course), Remi Laroussinie (stage name Imer) from
France, as a guest on the very first festival. I hope we can feature him
soon again.

So to summarize. I have never met Mr. Moschen. I have met James Ernest and I am forever in his debt. I have taught anyone who ever wanted to learn, except a good friend and I appologized later to him. For me Contact Juggling has been awesome and I love it. If there was a law that said I couldn't do it I would be in jail.

How was that Ferret?

Rich Shumaker
The Other Contact Juggler
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 Re: Thx for the compliment
Author: Mistress Meghan 
Date:   04-02-02 04:51

I'm still around.
I just don't post much, as I get the forum on email, and its more time than I normally have to log in to reply.
(found out the hard way that I couldn't just reply to emails. All that time I thought you all were ignoring me when really 90% of you never got the messages)

Live is busy. At the rate I'm going I'm never going to make it to any CJC.
oh and by the way, I thought the competitions were a good idea too Rich.

~*Mistress Meghan*~
P.S. ~*MM*~ is me. MM is debatable, but the curley cues means its me and not Mr.Moschen
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