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learning Contact, DVDs books or other
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Do you prefer learning from a book or a DVD?
 38%  [ 7 ]
 61%  [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 18

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Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 988
Location: Bristol UK

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: learning Contact, DVDs books or other

Obviously my favourite choice for learning would be from other people who are teachers, but assuming that there is no teacher around, which is true for most of us.

Do you learn better from Books or DVDs?

Feel free to answer this one for movement skills in general, not just Contact.
- I don't mean this to be a direct comparison of specific contact books and DVD's more a comparison of the relative merits of each different media
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Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 89
Location: chile

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject:

at least i start learning by myself and then i found a dvd on the web and watched it a little and help a lot to figure out postures to make the ball feel it more like if it was part of the body...

but then i got your book and realized that you miss a lot of things on video like for example learn to balance the ball in every spot of your body and to make figures closer and further from body... like those squares 3d in your book...

so i think in conclusion i prefer learning mmmm, from mmmm, i dont know lol i mix from everything i guess

and by teacher unfortunately i havent cj with another person
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Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 586
Location: USA

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:07 pm    Post subject:

I think both together. Visually, it's good to see the move performed and broken down. Conceptually, details like what dpizarro mentioned need to be elaborated in written form for reference.
"If we don't come down hard on these clowns, we'll be up to our balls in Jugglers!" - Hot Fuzz
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Messing with Heads

Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 753
Location: Underneath my ball

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:10 am    Post subject:

I've been thinking a lot about this.

if the option was there for both together, like a DVD accompaniment to a book, that'd get my vote, but I still prefer book.

The problem with DVDs is, they're boring. they get outdated very quickly. there's too much of a possibility that you'll show a move, and it'll be crap. people will copy exactly what they see, rather than reading a description, and then using their imagination to fill in the gaps. I know, a lot of you young'uns these days want it all, and want it now, and forgotten how to use your imagination, but damn, it's a powerful tool.

How many people actually watch juggling DVDs over and over again? I don't. maybe a few times, and then it goes on the shelf, and comes out about once a year or so, for nostalgia purposes.

when learning from a DVD, you're trying the move at the same time. ok, listen to instructions, and then try. by the time you've finished trying for yourself, the DVD has moved on to something else, and you didn't get the whole instruction and demonstration, because you were concentrating on not dropping your acrylic. having to keep pressing pause and play and rewind is a bit annoying. With a book, the page stays open. no buttons to press, you can go at YOUR pace. you can revise any time you like, you just have to move your eyes back along the lines of words. no effort at all.

everytime you read a book, there's a chance that you will absorb an extra little nugget of information everytime. something you missed before, just through interpreting those printed words differently.

a book isn't going to break when you drop an acrylic or two on it.

A book is timeless. How many people still learn from James Ernest's Contact Juggling? ok, maybe not a good example, but I can guarentee that Multiball Contact will still be going strong in years to come. structure is all important. I've watched so many learning DVDs where the structure just didn't exist. it was too busy teaching variations, rather than technique.

To me, learning from a book has more magic to it. example, in multiball contact, it shows you some formations, but doesn't go into huge detail about what can be done with them. this has just removed the limits of what people believe is possible. I've had hours of fun looking at a picture of a shape made by balls, and then working out, or stumbling across different ways of making it move, finding the links between one formation and another, working out from my own initiative what I believe to be fundamentals of different moves, almost every week I make a new discovery, and the feeling of happiness and enthusiasm that comes from this is immense. every time. I wouldn't have done this with a DVD. I would have been shown a routine, and it would have stuck in my head, and I would find it harder to break the boundaries of that routine, and would have become just another copycat juggler. at least this way, I can say: I discovered this myself. Other people may well be doing the same things with balls, but I still have my self satisfaction.
With practice, You too could be like Ryan Mellors...
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Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 140
Location: Southampton, UK

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:31 am    Post subject:

I'm with LTC here. I'd much rather learn from a book than a DVD (though book with DVD accompaniment would be best).

Books you can take anywhere, read anywhere, and digest at your own pace. I've always found teaching DVDs to feel a bit rushed, and find myself continually pressing pause/rewind to watch important bits over and over, making it hard to practice at the same time.

With a book, I can also sit down in a comfortable environment, put on some appropriate music, practice, read/re-read bits of the book as needed, and have a constructive practice session. With a DVD, I'm forced to be in whatever room the TV + DVD player are, I can't have background music on, and I have to fiddle with a remote control.

I've also found that books contain far more information. The equivalent of Drew's book in DVD form would be many many many hours long, and would be much more fiddly to have have to jump back and forth in the DVD to find the bit I was interested in.

Bulleted lists of tips also work better in books. You end up reading them several times, and absorbing more each time. With DVDs, I tend to think "oh, I've seen this bit", and just skip to the next one.

I also like the fact that books tend to teach moves and techniques, but not style. Everyone I've seen videos of here has a very distinctive style, and learning from a 3-hour DVD from someone would mean that I'd end up copying their style too, not just the moves themselves (they'd be almost impossible to separate I guess...every single 1 handed palm isolation has been different!).

DVDs do have some advantages though, which is why I'm a fan of them as companions to books. They let you grasp how some moves should visually look. Describing how a continuous figure of 8 butterfly shape should look is pretty hard, but simple once you see it. Same with a lot of Pich's antispin stuff, and some of the large multiball morphing - describing the pattern and movement of the balls is much harder with words than video.
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Chitter-chattering, wee magical heather bear

Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Edinburrr

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:44 am    Post subject:

cheers suicas, I was having trouble putting what I thought into actual words but that covers my view nicely.

It seems as though more dedication is put into producing books, so we see 'all-encompassing' works like 'the ball/club encyclopedia' and 'multiball contact'.

I've watched a lot of contact DVDs and some of them really do seem a bit slapdash, unscripted teaching sections, editing which makes it harder to understand what's going on (criminal practice).

However if done well a DVD can be invaluable, 'CJ part 1' stands up as an example of a well done introduction. Yes it may be going a little out of date but it's been around a fair while and smells a lot fresher than Ernest's book.

Also on a point raised by Ed, The only DVD which I have wanted to watch on a sort of regular basis is In Isolation, which still manages to inspire me after many watches.
Now all gatherymost to amuse it and have a tilty elbow or a nice cuffle-oteedee - Oh Yes!

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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:06 pm    Post subject: Book vs dvd

I am a very visual person so I need the dvd, but I always prefer the combination of book with dvd for things I want to learn.
Life finds a way.
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 988
Location: Bristol UK

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject:

Thanks for the feedback, keep them coming
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Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 353
Location: France

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:31 am    Post subject:

Al I know in magic I learned through books...I enjoy to visualize some technical points and making them alive in my mind...
Plus you don't have the risk to clone someone else xork through books ^^
As for cj, I learned mainly through videos though, until Drew released his book :O)
I second what has been said about II dvd > very very inspiring for me, not so much about the moves (which are great!), but mainly about the SMOOTHNESS of the manipulations.

to all the coins I dropped...
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Fargo

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject:

I think if you do a youtube search for contact juggling you can find a lot of videos that showcase the dangers of DVD's. They make it very easy for people to learn how to do a trick without understanding why the trick works. I'd be willing to bet that that that lack of understanding of your own movement with the ball is why so many of those videos are completely flat and lifeless. I think books are much better at getting people to truly understand what they are doing.

So yeah, I think you'll probably learn faster with a dvd but with a book you'll gain a deeper understanding of the principles involved.
That's terrible, it must be like losing a tiny see-through child.

--Brine Child
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Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 89
Location: chile

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject:

after reading other opinions i made may choice anf a i prefer the book learning... many arguments in which they are correct in my opinion, maybe the fascinating of videos is that it encourages you to do the same thing and make something as beautiful as that persons... but, videos dont teach the science like LCD said.. i prefer books

or maybe a dvd which shows you a book and turns the pages by itself lol
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It's Fruit of the Loom

Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 2050
Location: UK, Hastings

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject:

Swear I replied to this thread already :S

as a beginer I need to see the movement. so video/dvd. there is a lot of web videos by real good contact manipulators now. so beginers have so much more there to inspire them. years ago there were silvers videos and a couple gems from the states to keep us noobs inspired and full of ideas.

now I want theory, technique, training methods, imagintive ideas, philosophy, etc. a book can do that. but tbh not all books are any good. so as long as the bar is being raised...(right now it is and it isn't at the same time if you get my drift)...I'll be up for either. a combo would be interesting.
With practice, Contact juggling is as good as a Ungody Sphereplay nose fight inside a post box
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Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Denver, CO

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:55 pm    Post subject:

LimitsToContest wrote:

With a book, the page stays open. no buttons to press, you can go at YOUR pace. you can revise any time you like, you just have to move your eyes back along the lines of words. no effort at all.

I hadn't thought of it this way before, but this reasoning makes perfect sense. It might seem like a video would be easier to learn from, because you simply have to mimic a motion as you're seeing it performed in front of you, but the interface of the book is much easier.

Very inspired post Limits.
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Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 96
Location: UK

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:47 pm    Post subject:

Well so far all I've used is the internet so I guess that's what works best for me! The first page I came across was silvermans page by accident and I thought 'Ooh, I have to learn that!'
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Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 468
Location: San Marcos, Texas

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject:

I love Drew's book. I have it book and I have the Sphereplay DVD. I like the book a lot better...I can go at my own pace without the hassle of rewinding and fastforwarding or pausing. It can go with me anywhere. Doesn't matter if I drop my ball on it.

The only disadvantage of a book is that you can't immediately see what the move looks like in motion. But it's not really a drawback to me because I can imagine what it looks like, and if I can't I can just look up the specific move I want on this site.
Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean I
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