Watch the video above to learn how to do the basics of Claymotion Juggling with easy to follow steps and explanation!
Prefer a written tutorial? Well, you're in luck, that's what this is! (But seriously, the video is probably going to be more helpful!)
Claymotion Juggling. What is it? Why is it called that? Do I need clay? Is it hard? How do I make it look good!?
These are all the questions I'm going to answer for you today!
The great thing about Claymotion is that you don't have to know ANY other juggling to learn it. Not even the 3 ball cascade! It's a completely different style of juggling so it doesn't require any previously learned special tricks.
What is Claymotion?
Claymotion is a style of juggling that emphasizes START/STOP motions. Unlike regular toss juggling, Claymotion is all about the pauses that are created and the balls are not always in the air! It has nothing to do with clay or stop motion animation.
Why is it called Claymotion?
Claymotion gets its name from a British juggler named Richard Clay. Back in the 80s, he started exploring this style of juggling. Someone thought it'd be fun to name the style after him and came up with the confusing name "Claymotion" so we could forever confuse it with things like Wallace and Gromit.
How to Do Claymotion!
The bounce is the base of many Claymotion tricks. So let's start there!
Step 1: Before you dive into the trick, you have to learn how to properly hold the balls for Claymotion.
Hold one ball between your thumb and index finger. We call this the THUMB POCKET. In Claymotion, if you are only holding one ball in your hand you should usually be holding it in the Thumb Pocket.
Step 2: Add a second ball by cradling it in the rest of your fingers with your pinky on the edge. We call this the PINKY POCKET.
Step 3: Throw a Multiplex. A Multiplex is a term used when you throw two ball at once form the same hand. Throw both balls up out of your hand and catch one in each hand. This is known as an "even split multiplex". Practice this on both sides.
Step 4: While holding two in one hand (like above), add a 3rd ball to the other hand. Remember, hold this solo ball in the THUMB pocket. Do the same multiplex throw as Step 3, catching the middle ball in the other hand. You only throw the two balls in the multiplex, THE SOLO BALL DOES NOT THROW. Throw the multiplex from the other hand now. Remember, do not throw the solo ball.
Congrats! You're doing The Bounce! Now for the important part. Claymotion is all about the smoothness of the trick. Just doing the steps above will not necessarily create the cool effect that is essential to Claymotion.
Here are a few tips to smooth it out:
-As you throw the multiplex, lift the solo ball to the same height as them. You're not throwing it, but you're lifting it up with them to create the illusion that you are throwing it.
-Try to make the balls all peak at the same height.
-Try to make your catches soft as though you were catching an egg.
-The throws don't have to be very high. I only throw the balls 2 to 3 inches out of my hand.
That's the bounce! I recommend working on it in front of a mirror to get the visual effect down!
Ready for a variation?
THE CLAW BOUNCE
The simplest variation of the Bounce is by adding a claw catch to it!
Step 1: Do the Bounce, but this time, when you throw the multiplex catch that solo ball in a claw catch. That's all there is to it!
The first variation we're going to learn is called Takeouts. It involves dragging the solo ball above the multiplex in a circular motion.
Step 1: Takeouts is just a variation of The Bounce. So we're going to start in the same starting position as before. Star with two balls in one hand and one in the other. Throw your multiplex, but this time catch the ball that just threw a little higher than usual.
Step 2: Drag this ball across the top of the two balls and up and around in a circle, right back to where it started.
Step 3: Repeat on the other side.
Yeah, it's that silly feeling.
Tips to smooth it out:
-Start to throw your multiplex when the ball your dragging gets to the "top" of the circle. This should create a nice rhythm and look.
-All the smooth tips you did on the Bounce apply here as well!
UNDER ARM ORBIT
The next variation we'll learn is called Under Arm Orbit. It's very similar to takeouts, but this time we'll be dragging the ball UNDER the multiplex. I highly recommend watching the video for this one, as it's a bit hard to understand in written form!
Step 1: Start in the same starting position as The Bounce. Throw your multiplex just like normal. This time, when you catch the solo ball (the hand that just threw), drop it down under your other arm. Your arms should be crossed.
Step 2: This is the hard part. You want to throw your multiplex and quickly bring your arm out of the way so you can drag the solo ball up and around the multiplex to catch the ball.
Step 3: From here, you just repeat on the other side.
To smooth it out, you apply the same techniques we talked about in the previous tricks.
OVER ARM ORBIT
The final variation is called Over Arm Orbit. It's just like the Under Arm Orbit, but this time you're going over your arm (clever name, I know) to orbit the multiplex over the top.
Step 1: Start in the same starting position as The Bounce (again). Throw the multiplex, but as you do drag the solo ball up over the top of the multiplex and back underneath (crossing your body). You'll catch the inside ball as normal.
To smooth this one out, again the same techniques apply. It's especially similar to Takeouts in that you should start to throw the multiplex when your arm is at the TOP of the orbit.
Those are the basics of Claymotion Juggling! I hope this helped, and if you had a hard time understanding the written directions, I really recommend watching the video above. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here!
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Juggling Balls: The New JH Pro Juggling Ball
Juggling Clubs: Henry's Loops