Author Topic: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"  (Read 4636 times)


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"Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« on: November 30, 2009, 08:52:48 PM »

I was explaining a trick to my coworker a few weeks ago, when he interupted me with this question, "Why do you call it a 'trick'?"  He went on to say that he was offended when someone referred to his martial arts moves as "tricks" and that the word "trick" implies that we are fooling people by "tricking" them.  It basically puts it on the same level as card "tricks", many of which don't require any skill and can be taught in 5 minutes.  I agreed.  We don't do "tricks", we do "highly complicated moves" that require skills that can only be honed through countless hours of diligent practice.

I know nobody will change what you call the moves you make, but I thought some of you might like to ponder this point and leave comments of your own.



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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 10:26:34 PM »
-a cunning or deceitful action or device; "he played a trick on me"; "he pulled a fast one and got away with it"
-a period of work or duty
-an attempt to get you to do something foolish or imprudent; "that offer was a dirty trick"
-antic: a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
-magic trick: an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers
-whoremaster: a prostitute's customer
-flim-flam: deceive somebody; "We tricked the teacher into thinking that class would be cancelled next week"
-(card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner

I suppose there are a couple of the 'definitions' that could be applied to diabolo. A cunning action for instance would apply, as well as an illusory feet, for those who don't juggle or diabolo some of the things (from simple to advance(magic knots for example)) really baffle and amaze others. In no way does the word 'trick' have to mean we are 'tricking' them, this is one of those words that has developed to mean different things in different cultures, the most obvious for me is skateboarding.

On a side note, what you have said about card tricks is a bit daft, there are many diabolo 'tricks' as well that you can teach someone in a few minutes that really don't require any skill. Card magicians also do highly complicated moves that have to be honed after countless hours of practice, some of David Blaines slight of hands are mind blowing, he certainly didn't just learn them in a few hours.

Also I have never ever heard anyone refer to martial arts as tricks, it sounds like he might have a small paranoia on such a thing. Theres plenty more to add on this subject but the last customer has just left the building so I'm going to lock up now.


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 11:21:29 PM »
Highly Complex Manoeuvres sounds the best to me :P
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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 01:47:16 AM »
Never bothered me before. Now it forever will. Thanks. ;)


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 03:09:17 AM »
eh, wasn't this kind of discussed before?

I'm liking this though:
I was talking to a magician the other day and I really like this quote 'magic is just tricks whereas juggling is magic'


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 11:17:55 AM »
In my opinion we are tricking physical laws, :)

I get angry when someone says to me 'get a job' or something like this, people can call it trick or whatever. They normally call it: 'wtf was that?!?!'. or even 'stuff'...

Just to add something useful i will give the Spanish Royal Academy point of view


1. m. Cada una de las mañas o habilidades que se adquieren en el ejercicio de un arte, oficio o profesión.

2. m. Ardid o trampa que se utiliza para el logro de un fin.

3. m. Ardid o artificio para producir determinados efectos en el ilusionismo, en la fotografía, en la cinematografía, etc.

4. m. Cencerro grande.

5. m. Arg., Bol., Ur. y Ven. Juego de naipes tradicional con baraja española.

6. m. pl. Juego de destreza y habilidad que se ejecuta en una mesa dispuesta a este fin con tablillas, troneras, barras y bolillo.

I'll save time just translating the first one as good as i can

1. Each one of the abilities or skills that you/someone get/adquire while you are developing your art, work or job

This looks to fit, or someone wants to talk about if diaboloing is an art, :P

By the way, check the fourth meaning
4. Big cow's bell, xDDDD never heard about that

edit: what an awfull attempt of translating a passive sentence we have in here, sorry
"The string...the inertia...the hours"


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 05:54:29 AM »
We may do 'highly complicated moves' but everyone will always call it a trick.
pretentious 12 year old


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 08:25:05 PM »
This is a good thread. Jason, I know where you are coming from. People these days are rarely amazed by anything and they seem to think that money and upgrades can accomplish anything. Anymore, everything comes with "training wheels." It's the result of technology mixing with lazy western culture. There are not many skilled people anymore (especially in the western world.) Thus most people's reactions to things like the skateboard, diabolo, rubiks cube, etc consists of: "oh! How fun! I'll have to get one of those for my kids/nephew/grand daughter/etc." In this sense, it bothers me when people call it a "trick." However, were a fellow diabolo-ist to use the term, trick, it would not bother me in the least.

Next time some oblivious moron calls my diabolo maneuvers tricks, I'm gonna falcon punch 'em. Or maybe whip out the old Regan-Smash o' Doom! "How's that for a TRICK!" I'll shout.*grin*   


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 10:54:38 PM »
It doesn't matter how stupid your trick is, to execute it every time perfectly again will take practice.


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 08:17:43 AM »
First of all i believe that this is a cultural thing. Different languages we use tend to define word associated with English word "trick" in slightly different ways. Now this is causing me again to ask dictionaries how natives define the word trick. Which again is apparently associated differently than in Finnish (my native). In finnish we would have the word "temppu" meaning a trick, but it's more universal and not associated deceitful ways of doing something. Where as the word "taikatemppu" would mean a magic trick where the deception takes place. Also there are more words towards scamming and cheating which also can be used. So when we in my country talk about tricks they aren't associated like english person might associate them. Now i understand English from my native Finnish background and i have the feeling that i can't ever understand English like natives would, no matter how much i try.

Now that was to point out that since we are from different cultures here we might mean slightly different things when we use a word trick. So move-trick terminology probably will not bother me that much, ever.

Other point. As a magician who has been performing 12years (realized that yesterday and felt really old and grumpy about it) I still don't define all what i do as tricks. I would define my "temput" ("tricks") in three levels. Manipulation, Trick and Miracle.

1. Manipulation would be more like juggling, that's where i wan't to show how good i am. Mostly showing sleight of hand things etc. which usually aren't tricks but can be combined with tricks if i would want to. So basically those are moves you make but aren't in form a trick.
2. Trick, deception kicks in. Trick in technical level is consisted of moves. But usually the moves are hidden and the performance is the one that makes the trick. If you want to weaken the effect you do manipulation (now this will make you look more skilled but the trick will remain as a trick).
3. Miracle is hardest to explain. But this is THE strongest you can get. It's really rare. Like if i do card tricks 3 hours straight in a restaurant i most likely won't hit the miracle level, not even close.  But performing 70gigs in a year gives me 1-5 miracles. For miracle usually you would have to hide your tech away totally, set the mood and find the right people. These are the ones you remember for years and feel happy, it's when peoples worlds crush totally. It's really hard to describe how it happens but when you're there you can feel it. Oh i so hope i could hit miracles every time.  ;)

There are also other ways to define magic tricks but i can already see myself going off topic. But i think you didn't completely get the point of easy magic tricks. If you focus only on technical side of it, yes you can learn it in 5minutes. But i would seriously doubt anyone to be able to execute the trick even adequately on the performance side. Now in magic you should always think two sides what you see and what others see. Even the most simple move can give the best effect. The skills are how you do the trick, not how much it took you to learn the basic concept of it. I hope you get my point.
«Diabolo, whiter than the whitest!»


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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2010, 06:31:00 PM »

Thanks for setting me straight on the magic trick topic.  I didn't mean to imply that card tricks were rubbish.  I shouldn't have drawn the parallel.

My main point was that as a diaboloist, I don't feel that I am fooling anyone into believing that something is happening that isn't.  For instance.  I throw a diabolo in the air.  The crowd sees that I threw a diabolo in the air.  There is no ambiguity over what I did.  With most moves I perform, it is clear to the audience what is happening.  They may not understand how I do it, but they are not being fooled into believing that I'm doing something that I'm not.  Now, I understand that magic knots and some other tricks may be really difficult for the audience to understand.  In that case, I may fool them into thinking that I did something that is "impossible".

Please understand that I don't use the word "fool" in a negative way.  It's just the only word that I could think of right now. :)

I apologize if I offended anyone.




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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2010, 06:36:30 PM »
Please understand that I don't use the word "fool" in a negative way.

If people misunderstood the word "fool", Mr. T would have been sued to the point of living in a cardbox by now.

I agree with you Jason (:

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Re: "Tricks" vs. "Highly Complicated Moves"
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 07:49:50 PM »
Thanks for setting me straight on the magic trick topic.  I didn't mean to imply that card tricks were rubbish.  I shouldn't have drawn the parallel.

No no, it's great that you did draw it parallel.  I'm not offended in anyway, i feel like this is a good discussion.

The line between magic and diabolo isn't that big. If you think the elevator trick for example. That's a one move that fools people. Mostly this happens when you're showing diabolo to people who have never seen it before. They don't realize that the prop itself is spinning real fast which causes it to raise against gravity. Yea the secret behind it is really simple but it is magic in the same way that some really simple trick is magic. So i kinda feel like the fooling people is closer to diabolo than we really realize.  Now when one learns to do diabolo with fixed axle and you go show him gyroflop with bearing diabolo he is fooled again (preferably with 3x bearing so that the sound doesn't ruin the magic). What he knows about diabolo doesn't apply anymore since we have new technique behind it. So yes at some level diabolo too is tricks and not always moves.

One more example i was in this juggling festival during last october. We were playing with revolution kit and after a while one juggler came to ask me how we can make the spinning diabolo to turn like that since hadn't been able to do that before. Basically he was fooled over a simple trick. You should have seen his face when i told the "secret" behind it. Just some bearings sticking out of cups. ;)

I agree with you Jason about fact that most moves in diabolo are pretty self-explanatory but there are also tricks that could be considered fooling. Usually it's about some new parts in your diabolo but there are also things that rely much on presentation. Also the previous point i tried to make was that as i come from different culture background i don't associate word "trick" anything related to fooling (that's probably because i haven't learnt to associate it correctly yet, i hope i can improve my english).

«Diabolo, whiter than the whitest!»


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