When I started going down the throws and poi manipulation road I found it really useful to think of training and drilling new patterns in Juggling terms. In my opinion it takes more amount of time to have a clean manipulation pattern than is does a non manipulation poi pattern (although this not true in every case).
So the first term I want to talk about is flashing a pattern – this is the first step in learning a pattern. For this blog post we will use the reverse no beat throwing weave as the pattern which is being learnt. The reverse no beat throwing weave consists of six throws, to flash this pattern you need to throw all six parts of the pattern cleanly without adding any extra beats. To put it another way it is one round of the pattern.
Secondly you need to qualify the pattern – to qualify the reverse no beat throwing weave, remembering that it consist of six throws, you need to throw 12 throws cleanly without adding any extra beats, all six parts twice. In other words it is two rounds of the pattern.
The next step is being able to run the pattern – which is to be able to sustain a pattern basically indefinitely. I recently managed to keep the reverse no beat weave going for 5 minutes and I think i could have kept it going for long, I got a bit bored and stopped. I personally think that being able to run a really difficult pattern which you have been working on for a couple of months or more is one of the best feelings. It’s that feeling that keeps me so interested in poi and juggling.
Once you can run a pattern and you know it is a pattern you can rely on then you can call it a base pattern – a base pattern is a building block for when you want to switch off and flow through patterns. You can use a base pattern to come up with new and interesting variations which will take you back to trying flash that pattern and the circle continues. The more base patterns you have the more variations of those patterns you will want to learn.
I hope you find these terms as useful as I do.