As a reader you probably have no idea of how to link a flower with a blog targeted at sports.
Thinking of a living flower, there is no connection to sports… right? But this does not apply to flowers made out of plastic.
The sport I’m referring to is a type of juggling. But instead of balls, sticks are juggled. The origin of this special kind of juggling is not quite clear: Some people are of the opinion that the sport originated in China; others, in Africa. Nowadays there are many variants of juggling sticks out there, like devil-or flower sticks.
The first thing you need is the toy itself, which basically consists of three sticks. As the name gives away the manipulating or center stick is called the “Flower-stick” as the tails look like the shape of a flower. Side- or hand-sticks (one in each hand) are used to control the flower. From this point on, all you have to have are three key characteristics: patience, ambition and imagination.
At first sight, I have to admit, juggling looks pretty easy. But as with all things – it is not. When I first tried it out, I was sure my flower was going to die because I dropped it several times. The improvement comes step by step. At first it is important to become acquainted with the equipment – get the right feeling for the sticks in order to let the flower rotate. The fundamental trick is called the “Tick-Tock”. Therefore you have to hold the sticks parallel in your hands and rest the flower stick between one hand-stick and the floor. Now, move up the hand-stick on which the flower rests – the flower will begin to rotate – and stop the movement when the flower will rotate around its center. Now the second hand stick comes into play in order to stop the rotation of the flower. Catch the flower and continue lifting the stick up again so that the flower rotates in the other direction again. As a tip, start doing this trick on your knees, this will increase your control. Mastering the Tick-Tock is basic and if you have done so you can step it up.
There are no limits set for your imagination – the flower can be rotated like a propeller, one handed, behind your back, between your legs and so on. To get an idea of how to play flower-sticks, check out this video recorded at Rostock’s harbor.
If I have aroused your interest, you might want to know where to get those sticks. To be honest, it is quite hard to find them in toy or sports stores. Sticks can be ordered via the internet though for approximately €20. Some friends of mine who are really passionate about playing flower-sticks founded a club that offers workshops and sells sticks. Feel free to visit: http://erlebnisrotation.wordpress.com/
Equip yourself with a flower and don’t let it drop!