Author Topic: A discussion on sharing progress  (Read 2179 times)


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A discussion on sharing progress
« on: February 15, 2018, 12:18:21 AM »

The following post is dedicated to my grandfather, who sadly passed away earlier today. His passing urged me to reflect upon many decisions I have made, not the choices I made that resulted in something bad but rather the opportunities I failed to seize when it was truly needed, the good moments I never had rather than the bad ones that I did experience.

For an extended period of time now I have been communicating with many daiboloists and sharing my progress with 5 diabolos and other aspects of diabolo, both online and in person during conventions. Notably, I have been talking to Guillaume and as with many other diaboloists we discussed the topic of sharing our progress and the impact it has on the worldwide community. As with everything in life it would be nice to be the first at something, to take ownership over something, especially after you have worked incredibly hard at it. With diabolo we have come to do this by working in private and releasing videos of our progress on the internet. These pristine videos have many unique tricks executed to perfection, all spliced together in a video file which has a clear date of upload, that way we know when somebody is the first to discover something new in the world of diabolo.

Unfortunately, while here in the west diabolo is often a fun hobby that a select few take up as a full-time job, the diabolo community in Asia is completely different. I dot mean to say that people do not take diabolo to be something enjoyable (if it wasn't fun nobody would bloody do it!) however the many competitions going on in Asia often have a negative side effect that I believe is overlooked, people hide knowledge from each other in order to outperform their peers. In theory this can be constructive, people working harder and harder to be better than one another, yet it is often overshadowed by a certain form of isolation and a lack of creativity.

"Sharing videos is incredibly beneficial to the community as a whole." This statement is true for most tricks, however 5 diabolos is not just another diabolo trick. Mastering 5 diabolos has been a dream of mine for many, many years. I record every session I practice this 'trick' and I've have amassed over 6TB of data over the years. To this day I have been very secretive about my progress, this is because I wanted to showcase 5 diabolos only once I have mastered it, I wanted to take full 'ownership' of it. I didn't want to release a forgettable diabolo video, I wanted to shock the world with something completely new, I was going to give it my all or nothing at all. Unfortunately real life got in the way and something that I could have learned from start to finish in a matter of weeks/months has turned into a 4 year ongoing project of self-improvement. While it would be tempting to say that the fault lies just in things getting in the way, it would also be a lie. A large part of why I hadn't learned this skill long ago was been the fact that nobody has done anything like this before, or so it seemed back pre-2016.

Before 2016 the landscape was completely unrecognisable, nobody dared to be stupid enough to spend such a large part of their life on something that seemed, quite frankly, impossible. The idea that an indivicual could consistently start 5 diabolos on their own seemed ludicrous. Then on January 5th 2016 the diabolo world, and particularly my world, got turned upside down. Pen Zen (彭湛) set the bar so high you'd need binoculars just to see it. Not only did he get over 50 catches of 5 diabolos, he did so unassisted! Immediately I thought to myself that had I seen that video a couple months earlier I would have been able to match it or even beat it. This was the first time I really found out how much help a single video can give. From one video I could extract how long my string should be, how big the shuffle could be, how high my arms should be, how fast my hands need to move, how fast diabolos need to be spinning etc... I felt somewhat fooled and that only drove me to even more secrecy. I was working on the hover at the time (as I have been for the past 4 years apart from a small break at the start of 2016 where I tried the hover-stall start) and I had to make sure that nobody knew about it. I thought to myself that had Pen ever found out he would have an upper hand on me and I didn't want that to happen. My own ego crippled me, instead of being an honest person and working with him for the betterment of the both of us as well as the community I found myself working against him. This is how I feel many competitions in Asia make people feel (and if this is not the case then please correct me as I may be misunderstanding a lot) and it is why I am so resentful towards the idea of them.

Not to worry however because in no time Terry (as I am informed 廖旺旺 likes to be named) started appearing. It started off with a couple of videos here and there of a young diaboloist doing tricks with 4, then he started uploading pictures of the 5D hover and now he is zipping away doing 5 diabolos and tricks with it like it's nobody's business. This is another person I saw as an opponent and another person I thought I had to hide my progress from. It turns out that he had a similar idea, which is why even to this day he has not uploaded a single clip of himself running the 5D hover. It's only in retrospect that I realise how damaging that was to us and the diabolo community as a whole. As it stands I am walking blindfolded in a dark room looking for a black cat that I KNOW for certain is there but have no idea how to find. I have no idea if my progress with the hover is fast or slow, whether I need to practice the hover more or whether I should practice the opening, whether I should open into 5 or whether I should throw 1 or 2 higher and then try opening (etc...).

It's only today that I finally realise I need to grow a backbone, a pair of testes and make my contribution, because this trick is not for me to own, this is something everyone should be able to enjoy and I would never wish on anyone to feel the pressure and isolation that I felt due to my own self-inflated ego and selfish tendencies. As mentioned before I have been spending a bit of time recently talking to Guilaume, sending each other attempts and analysing every aspect of what may or may not be going wrong. Not only did I find that thanks to our conversations he was able to progress to a level in weeks/months that took me years but I also found that I was enjoying the process of sharing and am improving from our discussions to this very day. As he progressed I will admit to having a certain small feeling of discomfort, a feeling that all my work is being undermined by someone else, that somebody is working off the back of years and years of hard work. This feeling subsided quicker and quicker each time he sent me a video to the point where it is completely overridden by the amazement of getting closer and closer to an incredibly difficult skill and the excitement of what the next step could be. I feel that the only next step it to make my contributions more frequent and make this situation more open, the only reason I felt that nagging feeling weas because nobody has any idea what I have managed to achieve! This is a simple answer yet I managed to closet it from myself for years. I no longer feel that I will fail myself if I do not become the best in the world at 5 diabolos, I will only fail if I let this become something unenjoyable, something that is destructive rather than constructive. I will only fail if I continue on this path of secrecy who's rewards is far outweighed by its damage. As a results I have attached a link to my contribution, one of my best all round attempts at running 5 diabolos on my own. I am in a position where if people take this and run with it and exceed my level then I will only be excited as it will give me an opportunity to learn something faster and with more enjoyment. I'll be helping not only myself but another person, and I think that's a really good thing.


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Re: A discussion on sharing progress
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 09:26:50 AM »
<3 Ronnie. Like I have always said #sharingiscaring /


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Re: A discussion on sharing progress
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 10:06:26 AM »
<3 Letting go, you set a great example <3
"The string...the inertia...the hours"


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