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back of arm roll/chest roll
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xdavidx



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 40
Location: Greensboro, NC

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:10 am    Post subject: back of arm roll/chest roll

I've watched several tutorials about the chest roll, but none show how to get the ball started rolling. I've tried and sometimes I can even get it around the chest, but I don't know how I really do it. I usually just flick the wrist back and let the ball roll, but that way doesn't give me any control over the direction the ball wants to go. What's the trick?
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:23 am    Post subject:

try instead of getting the ball to roll across your arm, move your arm under the sphere. ok, start in the cradle with both arms out parallel to the ground in somewhat of a circular shape. Now, get the sphere rolling similar to an arm drag isolation by pushing your arm under the sphere, kind of making an X with your arms. Keeping your arms level is key to controlling it. Oh, and start with something BIG, not your normal play sphere. A basketball or volleyball is good for learning, then gradually work down to something smaller. The bigger ball with a larger surface area is MUCH easier to control, and will teach you the movements needed so you can start controlling smaller and smaller spheres. I can do chest rolls with a 2" now, and a friend of mine (hi, kittie..) can do it with a marble... I think she said that was because of a bet. Anyway, that's kinda how I learned and tips I got that worked for me, then I got to where I got the sphere rolling with less and less motion on my part so it looked more floaty, but crossing the arms really helped in the beginning.
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject:

oh... lean back too. pushing your arm just gets the sphere moving, then your body kind of takes over to keep the momentum going. hmm... well, hopefully that will help you get something figured out. I looked back on what I said, and it didn't seem real clear to me, and I know what I was trying to say... maybe someone else can explain better or shoot a little video, that would help immensely I think. If noone else does before, I might try to tomorrow after I get to work where my camera is.
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PorcuBrine
Chitter-chattering, wee magical heather bear



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 815
Location: Edinburrr

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject:

Quote:
kind of making an X with your arms



Don't cross your arms. Never cross your arms. It means you'll never get straight arm chestrolls or 2 ball chestrolls, it will make behind the neck harder to learn, plus it looks awkward and ugly.

Instead hold your arms at shoulder width, raise the hand with the ball an inch or so above your chest (like in my chestroll video) this means that the ball will obey gravity and roll down your arm towards your chest. To get it started just give a little push forward with your arm and lean back.

Practice a lot, this isn't an overnight move in the slightest...Unless you're cannonballjames who can apparently get it smooth with a 2" in a month

Oh yeah and don't cross your arms.
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:48 am    Post subject:

well, I learned it from a guy who's been playing for like 15 years, and he does crossed arms, straight rolls, multiple loops, behind the neck, and going from all of them in a continuous motion... maybe it didn't work for you, but don't rip someone trying to offer advise, that's just rude.
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PorcuBrine
Chitter-chattering, wee magical heather bear



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
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Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:58 am    Post subject:

maybe so, but there's a definite grace to an uncrossed arm chestroll which is missing from one with large arm movements and if you can do a straight arm chestroll I cannot conceive why you would ever need to cross your arms.

I learned faster as soon as I stopped crossing my arms over and from the jugglers I've spoken to, the uncrossed takes preference every time, I calls as I sees and I put forward the advice that I found helpful.

I wasn't being rude with my last comment neither, I may be a sarcastic bastard some of the time but that was genuine amazement from me as that's the fastest I've ever heard of anyone pick up such a move to such a competency level.

Remember the internet is full of ambiguity, you don't need to assume the worst unless someone makes their opinions truly transparent.

I stand by my statement, uncross those arms.
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:13 am    Post subject:

well, I apologize if I took it wrong, it just sounded rather rude to me. That is how I learned it, keeping my arms closed in like that made a tighter track for the ball to roll on, and thus got the ball around quicker, and after I had that I was able to open my arms up father and farther, until now I don't cross my arms at all on a full arm roll. I found straight arm rolls really hard at first, but learning the circled full arm rolls got me used to keeping the ball rolling on the surface, so then when I opened all the way up to straight rolls, they came easier to me. When I do a straight arm roll I usually do mine palm up. This is mainly because I can't do them palm down yet... but anyway. I start with the sphere in my right hand, straighten my arms out, but keep my body leaned kind of on my left side, then I shift my weight right and straighten my arm out more to get the sphere rolling, lean back, and let it roll across my chest and down the inside of my left arm. And possibly I was misinterpreting the initial question, I was describing how I learned full arm rolls in a circle, not straight line. But for learning circular arm/body rolls, I stand by my statement, at least to the degree to say it worked for me. Try it, if it doesn't work for you, try something else. Not everyone learns the same.
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daydream
MoM Mobsta



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 731
Location: Vancouver

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject:

it's fairly well established within the juggling world that crossed arms in a chest roll is 'bad technique' however, that being said, styles can be created by different interpretations of the same move.
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silver



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 487
Location: bristol, south west england

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject:

xdavidx try lifting just your fingers, this should give you the control to put the ball on the right path to go where you want it.

i think i'm going to have to post a topic on the right path. It's a way i've found effective in teaching.

a quick summary

If you set yourself up so that the ball has an easy path to follow, it doesn't take much effort to keep it there.

An example would be a chestroll, to form the right path i advise forming a circle with your arms, fingers nearly touching elbows level with your fingers and shoulders, shoulders open so theres no lumps,(try hunching your shoulders and dropping your elbows and see how lumpy the path gets! are you going to try and roll a ball around that? well yes, i am, for the challenge of it, but thats a different thing!) your hands should be far enough forward so you are forming a circle, and theres no sharp corners at the elbows. leaning back a little will provide a more usable path across your chest, (but also stress your lower back more than is good for it, so be aware that excessive practice could leave you sore.) This should make chest rolls a lot easier.

I'll think more on this and put up a more in depth analysis in a while.

anyway, happy practicing.
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silver



Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 487
Location: bristol, south west england

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject:

hi james, I appreciate the kindness and willingness you are showing on the forum in helping people out. thank you.

It's absolutely fantastic that you've picked up contact so quickly. it's not that easy for everyone.

Trouble is this doesn't mean you've picked up any depth of understanding of the moves you're now trying to teach. share your experiences, we will all profit by them, but be aware that your own experience is limited, your pupils have a right to know how much understanding you have about what you are saying, so they can value and weight advice accordingly.(just like you value a person who has been doing contact for 15yrs with his arms crossed for chest rolls. it kind of forms part of michael's style but it's not very pretty to my eye)

The answer to xdavidx's problem is to lift just your fingers, the ball will start to roll, and if the rest of his body is set right he'll have to do very little to complete a perfect chestroll/armroll. well, after several thousand repetitions and lots of personal experimentation anyway. Pushing your arm under the ball is a very valid technique for getting a back of arm roll out of a novice, it also has some fantastic uses in a routine, it's essential for an isolated btn roll, but trying to push through into a chestroll upsets balance, body and ball track as soon as you start. makes life harder.

crossed arms or not? aesthetically and technically i can see real reasons for not crossing the arms. i think it comes about out of sloppy technique. not getting the ball across the chest cleanly, dropping the receiving arm down to the chest and twisting the body to complete the move. not the way i'd advise anyone to start learning, but i will be spending some time to see if there is any value in using x-arms as a teaching technique. i will also break my no x-arms rule until i find something aesthetically pleasing from it.

As for myself, i have been teaching and analyzing contact for 10 yrs, practicing for 15. I earn a good living from performing contact. It is a large part of my life (mathematically about a 1/3 )

Perhaps holding off for a little while with the advice and letting the more experienced teachers post would prove more beneficial to you and those we're trying to help. By all means share your experience and thoughts, but a little less 'bull in china shop' approach might be called for in this reasonably placid forum.

Silver
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Look!_This_Chånges!
Messing with Heads



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 784
Location: Underneath my ball

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject:

Silver's way right with the whole Just the fingers thing. Lifting just the fingers, gives the ball plenty momentum to roll, but at the same time, doesn't screw up your position. All you want to do is start the ball rolling, not try and chuck it down your arm as fast as possible, and say: Hey!! I can do it perfectly now!!

Another tip I found, was once the ball gets over your wrist, you're going to want the ball to start thinking about heading towards your chest. Pointing your thumb towards the floor causes the ball to roll 'inside' your track more, so it will stick to your chest, and roll nicely outwards to your hand (Note I said outwards, not downwards). If the ball stays on top of your arm, it's gonna roll over your shoulder, quickly followed by towards the floor, unless you manage to convert it into a behind the neck or shoulder roll.

The best way found so far for learning body rolls is to break them up into little bits. Start by simply trying to balance the ball in various positions around the roll, especially where there is no natural stall, and get used to the action of correcting the balance. (I know, you won't balance it for long, but you'll get used the idea of correcting) after this, continue by rolling the ball up one arm (In fact, learn both. it'll better you later on if you're not afraid to suck with your weaker hand now.), using just the fingers to start the ball rolling. Don't worry about it falling off at this point, just make a mental note of where it's falling off.

Now, remember how you had to correct to keep the ball balanced where there is no stall point? that's pretty much what you have to do as it's rolling. this is gonna take you about 4-6 months. I've not seen anybody have a clean and smooth chestroll in a month. yeah, you can pull it off, but it won't look nice.

there are a few other little pointers, like as the ball is going over your chest, puff it out to give the ball a nicer, flatter tray to roll over. Elbows shouldn't go down. that just increases gravity's pull on the ball. if you want to control the ball, try moving your arms/elbows upwards. Leaning backwards also gives the ball a flatter path as it rolls over your chest.

Crossed arms looks rubbish. there, I said it. You want the roll as long, as slow, as smooth, and as effortless as it can possibly be. A faster roll gives an audience less time to take in what's happening. Also, crossed arms closes you off to anybody who's watching (We're talking body talk). Silver, really intrigued to see what you come up with experimenting with crossed arms. the only time I've done anything remotely good with crossed arms and a chestroll, has been with back arm, or genie, or whatever those rolls are called nowadays, but the roll was rather fast. I'm talking arms crossed like a genie here as I did the chest roll. it can be nice to go into a bridge roll as well from the second elbow, and pirouette with the ball...

Try moving just one of your arms at a time as you roll. really opens you up, and makes the roll look even more effortless.

Also, watch videos of people with smooooooooth chestrolls, to see how it should look.

One last thing, there should be a certain position in which to hold your arms, that will lead to a chest roll without ANY movement from you what so ever. Get this super slow, and this is like the holy grail of Contact. truly effortless body rolling. to help build up to this, try doing a chest roll as you're sitting on the floor, or against a wall. this'll cut out the possibility of moving from your legs or waist.

Silver, 15 years!? That's five times as long as me... So, where's the commemorative 15 year video? ah ha, Christmas, I see... good answer...
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject:

I wasn't meaning to come off as an expert my any means, just as someone who has just been through the same things recently, explaining what worked to help me learn. Agreed, crossed arms is not as aesthetically pleasing, and I don't mine like that now, but I do believe that it was an asset in helping me get the concept at first. It was a tool to help get me closer to the final goal. I definitely value the tips of the experienced, because you obviously know what you are doing. And not to say you are or anything, but sometimes with me at least, things that I've done for years and have become second nature, I kind of forget exactly what I did in my first days, and explain what I do now. If you asked a professional baseball player for tips on hitting homeruns, he might explain his swing, his stance, etc, assuming that you are to that point, but if you've never tried hitting a baseball ever, you probably should start with a tee instead of someone throwing a ball at you. It doesn't look as good, but it is a step of learning. 100% agreement here that crossed arms does NOT look pretty. Arms in a nice circle or U shape with the ball rolling slowly around the surface is definitely the goal to get to. But is that the easiest way to learn it? Personally, I don't think so, and that's all I meant. I learned with the ball making a tight fast circle, but I don't do that now. But when I tried learning them slow with my arms separated, I couldn't get it. I was shown the arm crossing thing to learn, and first try I got the sphere around my chest. Not down the other arm, but farther than I had before. But eventually I got it and had the feel of the ball rolling all the way around, then I uncrossed my arms and got more of a proper circle shape. Is the crossed arms pretty? No. Did it help me learn? Definitely.

Nice tip on trying this against a wall, I hadn't heard that before, going to try it today. I don't know why, but for some reason when I do my rolls, I tend to kind of rise up on the balls of my feet. unconciously, I don't even realize I've done it until after. So maybe if I'm against a wall that'll help stop that.
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Spazzle



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 97
Location: Sunny UK

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject:

In the very early days I learned all my basic 1 ball moves from Brineys youtube tutorials alone. Gotta admit i practiced about 100 times and only got the ball the whole way round was when i noticed somebody crossing their arms in a vid and gave it a try. Still bloomin awful at that move but i still can only get it back to my other hand (stopping is another matter!) with crossed arms. In my opinion there are some moves in which newbies absolutely have to start with bad habits to have any chance of doing them correctly and with grace in the future. After all bad habits are usually there because its easier than doing it properly. Of course the key is you have to know its a bad habit which is where forum quibbles come in very handy. Everyone learns with bad habits unless your learning from new with professional training or straight from Drews book anyway.

Basically all im saying is from my own personal newbie experience i tried bodyrolling the correct way for days and days with no luck at all - as in it would absolutely not roll where it was supposed to no matter how many time i watched brineys vid and tried to copy. Twas crossing my arms in the end that gave me any kind of feel for them and im getting closer to Brineys style now at last.

Loving the tip Ed of raising one arm then the other - I thought there was something really cool bout ur chest rolls but couln't place it!
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Cannonballjames



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Branson MO

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject:

wow... tried the back against a wall thing... I can't say I recommend for initial learning, but after a few tries and getting it all the way around, it looked way cool! That is going to smooth my rolls down a lot, and being as stationary as possible gave it an awesome weightless look. I don't know if you meant to combine them both, but I did it sitting against a wall, so I couldn't move anything except my arms a little. I'm sure getting that solid is going to help making doing pirouettes look amazing.
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Look!_This_Chånges!
Messing with Heads



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 784
Location: Underneath my ball

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject:

I have to say, learning anything with bad habits is not a good idea, even just to get the hang of a move in the first place.

Bad habits take longer to unlearn, than good ones take to learn in the first place. Why waste your time learning two techniques (bad one followed by good one), when you only need learn one (good one followed by... whatever move you want to try next!)

Can understand the logic behind that thinking, though. Confidence with a move sure does help someone's desire to learn and practice more, just to the detriment of time spent practising.why practice for say, 6months and learn one move, when you can practice for 6months and learn two. Some bad habits are necessary to the learning process, though, such as the little push with your empty hand when learning a pyramid, or holding a ball in place when you first try to balance a ball on your head.

Pros and cons, baby, pros and cons...

Which way to learn? you decide.
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