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Another diabolo triangle

In my first blog post I mentioned a skill triangle that consists of Technique, Creativity & Presentation. This week I’d like to share another diabolo perspective I’ve given some thought.

The elements
You can divide your play up into 3 elements. The Sticks, the String, and the Diabolo. They all have a certain level of “basic presence” (i.e. the diabolo acting as a counterweight, or the sticks to control the string). When you’re doing a trick, you are shifting the balance between these 3 elements. We’ve all been doing tricks without realizing there’s some kind of “model” behind it, so what if we use this model to build tricks, rather than using the model to analyze your tricks? Hopefully, this will lead to new moves.

An example
Let’s take the basic magic knot as an example. You need 1) the axle of the diabolo to make the knot around, 2) the string to make the knot, and 3) the stick to support the hanging string. Obviously, the level of String manipulation overrides the Diabolo and Stick element. You can see 1) and 3) as the basic presence of the Diabolo and Stick elements, respectively. Now if we break this basic move down into its elements, we can try to change it into something more interesting.

Option A) Let’s up the Stick element ante by throwing in a suicide (no pun intended). We can now create a quicker, instant magic knot.

Option B) Another possibility is to incorporate the Diabolo element by throwing in a sun (instead of a suicide) to change the style of the trick from static to flowy.

You can also boost the String element itself further, but I’m leaving that up to you guys.

Option C) The real interesting tricks begin when you’re combining 2 or even all 3 elements of the manipulation triangle. Let’s take the basic magic knot again and increase both the Stick and Diabolo element by deliberately missing the string during the suicide. Then, you can swing the diabolo back to OS (open string), which makes the trick more visual.

Missing elements
Another way to use this perspective is to decrease the basic presence of 1 or 2 elements. You have probably done it yourself without realizing it. At some point we’ve all tried to control the string with our fingers instead of the sticks by taking both sticks in one hand and the string end in the other. Recently, I have been trying to take out the counterweight effect of the Diabolo element by catching the diabolo in a grind in the middle of a suicide trick, instead of on the string. At first, it’s pretty odd to do stick releases with semi-slack string; however, I believe it’s possible to create some interesting moves with this concept.

Direct download (right click, save as).

It would be cool if software engineers could design diabolo simulating software using a GUI where you can slide a button to either of the 3 corners of the triangle, or more interestingly, in between 2 or 3 points.

And the body…
Arguably, your body can be seen as the “4th element”; however, since diabolo is a hobby for me, I approach it as a skill toy most of the time. Therefore, I’m using this model to create new tricks here. Body movement is more style related – which is a whole different topic for me to blog about!

Discuss this article.