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An Intro to Responsive Counterweight Yo-yoing

A thumbnail drawing of a yo-yo and text that says "Responsive Counterweight Tutorials

Responsive Counterweight style is a combination of modern responsive yo-yoing and counterweight yo-yoing. It’s become my favorite style recently, and I love sharing tutorials for it on this Responsive Counterweight playlist.

I’ve heard good feedback on these tutorials, but a few folks pointed out they were looking for something that helped get them started in the style. So I recorded a ten minute long introductory video to teach all of the basics of Responsive Counterweight play.

For this video, I used a PLPTS yo-yo:

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3 Tricks From Double Or Nothing

A photo of a person doing the yo-yo trick known as "Double Or Nothing"

I recently posted three tricks that all start with Double Or Nothing. A few folks have asked me to share tutorials for these three elements, so I thought I’d round them up here.

Straight Jacket Escape

Wow, I just realized I’ve never posted a tutorial for this trick on Youtube, but I have published one on Patreon. You can watch that video here (even if you aren’t a subscriber).

Straightjacket Escape is a move that starts from a Double or Nothing, but then converts into something that looks like a Mach 5 mount. Usually I like to do this mount, then release the yo-yo from the mach 5, but it can be used for all sorts of other things too.

Purple Monkey Dishwasher (Double Or Nothing Variation)

Purple Monkey Dishwasher is a move where you start in a wrist mount, hop the yo-yo up, then quickly move your hands above and around the yo-yo before catching it back on the wrist mount. It’s like a jump rope. I shared a full tutorial on Purple Monkey Dishwasher, plus some variations at the very end of this video:

Here is another slow mo version of it:

@doctorpopular I was so happy to finally land this on video. The song is an original song i wrote with a friend last year. #yoyo #yoyotricks #slowmotion ♬ original sound – Doc Pop

Gerbil Or Nothing

Gerbil or Nothing is a variation of Skin The Gerbil that takes place entirely in Double Or Nothing.

And here’s another one that shows the steps a little slower:

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PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog: Bus Flow

A drawing of Doc Pop standing in front of a bus. He is holding a spray can in one hand and a yo-yo in the other. A graffiti tag on the bus behind him says "PopCast"

In the newest episode of PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog, I teach an original trick called “Bus Flow”. This is an extremely smooth and flowy trick, along the lines of Skin The Gerbil. Bus Flow has mostly intermediate trick elements, with a few advanced moves at the end. So if you are an intermediate player looking to push yourself a little, this is a great trick to work on.

This is my first new video since the Desert Island Yo was released, so I talk about that a little bit as well.

Also in this video, I talk about a graffiti handstyle that developed here in San Francisco that was an inspiration for the trick I shared. The style is called “Bus Flow” or “Frisco Flow”. Here this short video by Dregs One:

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Anxiety Style

Text that says Anxiety, but it has a lot of extra symbols and characters surrounding it.

Josh Yee has been experimenting with a new way to find trick elements. He calls it “Anxiety Style”.

Well actually, he calls it:”A̶̡̗̖̣̥͈̠̮̝͙̔̀̏̒̐̀̐̀̄͊̏͐̈́̿̓ ̵̱͇̞͛̽̊̾N̵̛̯̣̘̲̻̜̠̯͎̩̼͇͖͔̒͐̌͛̉̋̑̈́͂̈́̈́̉͆̕͝ ̴̢̟̲̬͉̳̮͙̯̼̱̠̻͉̺̪̰̦̰̈́͒X̷̰̘͇̠͚̹͈͖̻̲̭̀͆̽̈̔̃̆͜ ̸͇̒̽̀̍͆͗̅̋Į̴͍̺͈̳̤͕͖̜̙̙͋̋̈̈̈́̉̎̓̈́̌́̌̈́̐̈́̇͊̚̕͝ ̷̭̟̖̼̻͍̭̙̦̌͑͂́̀̾́͐͂̽̂͆̓̕͠ͅḘ̴̩̜̗̪͉͚̒̓͂̒̏̌̂̋̓̊̉̿̀̅̇͋͘͜ ̷̨̠̥͉͍̮̖̮̼̺̝͇̲̃̅͐̑̇͛͜Ţ̴̤̣̮̬͓̬͔̤͍̲̖͌̄̉̐̌̋̑̾ͅ ̴̣̼͔̫̤̯͖̯̬͈̩͔̗̼̠̤̀̔̓̅͗͆̿͐̃͜Y̷̢̮͎̫͇̳̼͖͔̳̘̰̆̒͒͋͌ͅ style”

The basic idea is that you push yourself into overly complex string positions to force you out of your comfort zone. Here’s an example from his Youtube page.

Along with this video, Josh shared a fantastic description of his thought process. I’m sharing it below:

Hey y’all!
I wanted to present to you something I’ve been working on for a while that’s pretty unique and something that has opened up a new style of exploration of tricks for me.

I started a unique trick approach about a year ago with the idea of “solving a puzzle”, with a heavy influence from cubing. In solving cubes, there are many points where patterns are “familiar” and the solver knows how to get out of that part of the puzzle. I realized this could be done with yoyo tricks as well. Within many complex mounts, there are points where elements will feel “familiar” with a direction that you know well enough to get out of that section.

I started experimenting with trick formations that seem ridiculous, abnormal, overly and unnecessarily complex, with the goal to have those sections as starting points, and having to use my past yoyo mount and element knowledge to challenge myself to “solve” and exit those formations.

The result is something that is more for the player than an audience as a lot of these tricks won’t look very “pleasing” or flowy, and are purely meant for the thrower to solve and have fun with.

There are definitely parallels with the “Fully freestyle” tricks that MarkMont has dived into, but with a different approach.

The term A̶̡̗̖̣̥͈̠̮̝͙̔̀̏̒̐̀̐̀̄͊̏͐̈́̿̓ ̵̱͇̞͛̽̊̾N̵̛̯̣̘̲̻̜̠̯͎̩̼͇͖͔̒͐̌͛̉̋̑̈́͂̈́̈́̉͆̕͝ ̴̢̟̲̬͉̳̮͙̯̼̱̠̻͉̺̪̰̦̰̈́͒X̷̰̘͇̠͚̹͈͖̻̲̭̀͆̽̈̔̃̆͜ ̸͇̒̽̀̍͆͗̅̋Į̴͍̺͈̳̤͕͖̜̙̙͋̋̈̈̈́̉̎̓̈́̌́̌̈́̐̈́̇͊̚̕͝ ̷̭̟̖̼̻͍̭̙̦̌͑͂́̀̾́͐͂̽̂͆̓̕͠ͅḘ̴̩̜̗̪͉͚̒̓͂̒̏̌̂̋̓̊̉̿̀̅̇͋͘͜ ̷̨̠̥͉͍̮̖̮̼̺̝͇̲̃̅͐̑̇͛͜Ţ̴̤̣̮̬͓̬͔̤͍̲̖͌̄̉̐̌̋̑̾ͅ ̴̣̼͔̫̤̯͖̯̬͈̩͔̗̼̠̤̀̔̓̅͗͆̿͐̃͜Y̷̢̮͎̫͇̳̼͖͔̳̘̰̆̒͒͋͌ͅ style comes from some fellow throwers who exclaimed that watching this style gave them anxiety. And as someone who also deals with anxiety, the name hit close to me and ended up sticking.

In the end, Anxiety style is:
1: Create the most abnormal and unfamiliar sort of mount set up you can make. Make knots, add wraps, do something weird.
2: work step by step to find your way out, looking for things that are familiar along the way.
3: Complete the solve, and exit in a simple element (trapeze, gt, tower, any “standard element”)

I hope some others will give this kind of trick approach a try! If you give it a go, use the tag #anxietystyle on IG so others can see It!

Much love.

M̶͚̀̀̊̀̿̎̋͐̾̐̔͐̃̌͋̉̓̃̚͝E̷̗̣̹̖̰̳̙̘̰̟̺͓̗̣̔̈́̇̂̈́͐̅̀̔͜͝ͅO̷͓̙̻̝̭͓̗͚̠̹͍͈̥̥̞͆̅̌̇̈́̍̿Ẉ̷̧̭̬̩̤̗͖̗̱͖̣̳͙̪͉̺̤͌̒̾̈̏̈́̆͐͒̿͐̓́̌́̌̏͝ͅ

– Josh Yee, August 7th, 2023

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A tool for making yo-yo slipknots?

A photo of a yo-yo string that has several slip knots on it. Near the string is a plastic tool that can be used to make the slipknots.

The folks at Adegle have made a tool for quickly creating slipknots on yo-yo string. I thought this was silly at first, but I guess it could be handy if you are making a huge batch of strings, or if you are a 2A or 3A player who is looking for a way to consistently get your strings knotted at the same length.

The “yo-yo string knotter” is available as a 3D printable file on Printables.com. If anyone ever makes a version of this tool with a built in string cutter, I’ll be glad to buy it from you. I’d love to see a sleek metal version of this tool, sort of like Zipline’s knot-removal tool.

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PopCast: Falling Leaves

The newest episode of the PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog was shot during a short camping trip at Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. I talk about bears, yo-yo concepts, and my favorite bird app (it’s not Twitter).

The main focus of this episode is a trick called “Falling Leaves”, which I made up while on this vacation. So I’m sort of teaching Falling Leaves as I’m still figuring it out myself. I think I’m known mostly for my yo-yo moves and concepts, not my tricks, so I’ve been trying to branch out into longer tricks and combos.

Here are some clips of Falling Leaves in action: