Poi Lessons - The Basics.

These lessons represent the basics of Poi and a little more besides. It is an attempt to dispel the confusion that surrounds Poi moves be that the structure, the nomenclature or the demonstration itself. It would be silly to try and get every single move demonstrated so have opted for showing you the basics. Once you have gotten those you won't be needing a teacher anymore anyway, you will be your own. Good luck, enjoy.

Good Equipment

  • Practice with something soft... You are going to get hit in the head, arms, legs, groin and other places.
  • Avoid poi with strings and tails for practice sessions. Great for playing with, not so great for practice.
  • Fire Chains are a whole other matter. Pay attention to the blog (home page) for more on this.

General Advice :

  • dont pay too much attention to names.
  • always try to reverse moves which you learn.
  • if you are really struggling with a move, try something else.
  • don't force behind the back (BTB) moves.
  • practice both with and without music.
  • don't be big headed about your skills or people will think you are a fool.
  • use a 50/50 approach if you are going to practice for 1 hour, do 30 mins of stuff you love and 30 mins of stuff you don't.

The Lessons

What follows is a series of seperate lessons using flash objects to show poi moves in a user friendly format alongside animated gifs to show how the move looks in real time. I have grouped them into basic families for ease of understanding and because these families are pretty close to being fundamental to the art form. I have tried to put them into some sort of suggested order but after a certain point this logic breaks down and it is all subjective.

Weaves

The weaves are a beautiful flowy family of moves that follow each other around in a figure of eight pattern. This figure of eight pattern is found throughout poi. They can be performed slow or fast, tight or loose and are best viewed usually from the side of the performer. They can utilise various numbers of beats and just scream KUNG FU!! Stance and plane control become increasingly important the further you progress with these moves especially the behind the back ones.

The Weave

The Weaves are a beautiful set of moves that chase themselves around and around in a figure of eight. Perfectly tranquil and drifty when that is required but they can be blasted into action with the merest hint of speed and vigour... Read More

Reverse Weave

Yes... quite... its the weave but its in reverse. Meaning that the poi are now traveling in an upwards direction in front of you. Its not easy when youve oly just learned it forwards but keep trying, youll get it... Read More

180 Weave

The 180 weave is a beautiful little move that is a joy to perform. You should learn it from left to right and back again. Once you have it both ways its a heck of a lot easier to progress to the 360 weave which is just a sublime thing indeed... Read More

360 Weave

360 weaving is hard to explain. Timing is an all important part of this move. Study the demonstration and note how my hands seem to be steering a wheel, thats how you turn. Once you have turned 180 you go into a rvs weave... Read More

5 Beat Weave

The 5 beat weave is accomplished by doing a 3 bt weave and leaving it there for a little longer. This will be difficult at first as there is a folding of the arms / wrists which is not immediately obvious. The pictures should... Read More

Buzzsaw

Buzzsaw is simply a weave which goes on the inside of your arms, it requires either short poi or a supple spine / neck but is not the hardest move in the world to achieve by any means, try to get it both... Read More

Isolated Buzzsaw

The Windmill, involves you doing a weave, turning your body 90 degrees and dropping one hand after another over each respective shoulder like above. Do it messily at first to get used to doing a weave... Read More

Basic Windmill

The Windmill, involves you doing a weave, turning your body 90 degrees and dropping one hand after another over each respective shoulder like above. Do it messily at first to get used to doing a weave... Read More

5 Beat Windmill

The Windmill, involves you doing a weave, turning your body 90 degrees and dropping one hand after another over each respective shoulder like above. Do it messily at first to get used to doing a weave... Read More

Basic Fountain

Same as the windmill but different, this time there are legs and things in the way. If you can do a split butterfly, imagine that kind of timing but with a weave. If not do a weave then just turn your body... Read More

Basic Crosser

The crosser is a very cute move that crosses over to the other side of your body when you are doing a weave, turn to the side as your arms are crossed then go into the move. It will take a few shots if you arent used... Read More

3 Beat BTB (behind the back)

The thing to do with this move is to learn it by inches. You also need to know the btb weave really as well. Try to control the weave when you leave it for the extra beat and notice your progression. It will be very small... Read More

360 BTB Weave

This move is like so complicated it could have whole website of its very own nevermind a page. The timing required is split second; stance, footwork and control are all hugely important as well, with virtually no margin for error... Read More

Basic Hyperloop

This move is like so complicated it could have whole website of its very own nevermind a page. The timing required is split second; stance, footwork and control are all hugely important as well, with virtually no margin for error... Read More

Basic Flower

Flowers are named after the pattern the move creates with the fire or light. The fire trails make petals around the performer and are thus accordingly named. There are many variations on the simple flower, all of them beautiful and mostly achievable too... Read More

Basic Corkscrew

The Corkscrew is performed in much the same way as a windmill would be, except that it is done in a horizontal plane . Its hard to avoid hitting your self in the chest / stomach but it is definitely worth it... Read More

Check out this radical Yo Yo Video. It's made by the legendary Willow2x Otherwise known as Kyle Williams from Wirral in the UK.

Butterflies

The Butterfly family of moves involve the poi travelling in opposite directions to each other. They are very beaty moves and feel great to perform when the beat is strong in the music. They look like some sort of optical illusion and are best performed when facing the audience. There are many similarities between how you can play with them and how you can play with weaves but they are essentially a different family of moves.

The Butterfly

The Butterfly looks like a flat circle beating in front of the performer. It is not actually a flat circle, it is crossed. One hand remains just above the other one as well. The point is that from the spectators perspective... Read More

Low Split

The split butterfly is about timing, get the basic motion first of all, then play with your timing. Start with a butterfly, then when the Poi are at the at the very top of their swing, do this. Congratulations you have just done... Read More

High Split

Its got a few other names this one but they escape me for now, call it what you want, this is how to do it. Its much the same as with the low version but you drop the poi over your shoulders, rather than put them behind your hips... Read More

BTH Butterfly

This is much the same as the bth move. The timing is the same but you have to get your ass out of the way this time and its harder to hold the move there for a few beats, without looking like you've got a dodgy lower back... Read More

TTN - Thread the Needle ?

The arm motion you're going for with TTN looks like pulling back the string on a bow and arrow. Begin with a butterfly. As your swing starts to come down, thrust your left hand straight out from your body while over and past... Read More

1 Hand Butterfly

Yes.. you can do a Butterfly with one hand. It isn't even that difficult once you understand the two handed version. One way to do it is to start with a normal Butterfly like in the example and on the down beat (where your hands come together) pass one poi... Read More

1 Hand BTH

The one hand behind the head butterfly is achieved by paying special attention to the planes that the poi are swinging in. Committing to the move is also essential, you really do have to throw the poi back there. Iit feels as though... Read More

Butterfly Swap

This move will really mess with your head and will raise some questions for you as to wether or not there actually is a forwards and reverse butterfly. The way to do it is to do a butterfly and set yourself up to do an ordinary one handed one... Read More

360 weaving is hard to explain. Timing is an all important part of this move. Study the demonstration and note how my hands seem to be steering a wheel, thats how you turn. Once you have turned 180 you go into a rvs weave... Read More

Check out this radical Yo Yo Video. It's made by the legendary Willow2x Otherwise known as Kyle Williams from Wirral in the UK.

Wraps / Stalls / Throws

Wraps and stalls involve the poi changing direction somehow, when the poi hit a part of the performer before changing direction it is called a wrap, if they don't it is called a stall. It isn't exactly as simple as that because stalls are more than just changing the direction of the poi as a well performed stall can sometimes look like it is defying gravity. Whatever, they all look amazing, wraps are instantaneous and stalls just take it easy, they ain't in no rush at all :)

A Basic Wrap

A basic wrap from a weave move, the fact that it is a single poi wrapping makes you end up in a butterfly as the poi changes direction and thus the poi will now be travelling in opposite directions to each other. This is an important concept about... Read More

Double Double Wrap

A further demonstration of how the complexity of wraps (and any move) can be increased. When you perform this move you go through the full cycle of wraps so that you end up doing the exact same move that you started off with... Read More

Spiral Wrap

A beautiful (double) wrap that is an absolute joy to perform, it is a little different from ordinary wraps because the poi "chains" are doing some wrapping of their own rather than just the heads... Read More

Butterfly Throw

Some text from the actual lesson page itself that describes what the lesson is banging on about. This actual text however is some filler for layout purposes and I'm running out of stuff to say now so I will shut up coz I'm boring myself... Read More

Butterfly Throw to Weave

Some text from the actual lesson page itself that describes what the lesson is banging on about. This actual text however is some filler for layout purposes and I'm running out of stuff to say now so I will shut up coz I'm boring myself... Read More

BTB Weave Throw

Some text from the actual lesson page itself that describes what the lesson is banging on about. This actual text however is some filler for layout purposes and I'm running out of stuff to say now so I will shut up coz I'm boring myself... Read More

Check out this radical Yo Yo Video. It's made by the legendary Willow2x Otherwise known as Kyle Williams from Wirral in the UK.

© - Do More Poi 2007, 2008, 2009.

Home | Poi Lessons | Yo Yo Video