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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.


– 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 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:

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New Clip video for the Populist

I’ve made a new clip video to help show off my newest yo-yo, The Populist. The Populist is the first bi-metal yo-yo I’ve produced and was designed in collaboration with my Patreon sponsors.

It’s been really windy in our neighborhood lately, so I ended up shooting this over a few mornings, while the air was a bit calmer. This gives the yo-yo a foggy early morning feel, that I felt went well with this wonderful song by Benjamin Mørk and a classic 4:5 aspect ratio. I feel that ratio helped add to the intimate feeling of the video, like we are just hanging out and yo-yoing together.

I’ve also posted a full PopCast video about the Populist and some behind the scenes of this clip video.

And here’s the Populist on my site:

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National Yo-Yo Day Sale

June 6th is #NationalYoYoDay, so I’m running a huge sale on Icarus yo-yos and more! I’ve also released a small batch of Cerakote Weekenders! Here’s a quick set of links to items on sale:

$15 off an Icarus!
$10 off a Moon Rock Icarus
Some Bolt Yo-Yos are on sale

These aren’t on sale, but a small batch of Cerakote Weekenders are now available.

An amazing looking finish on a Weekender

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The Method Makers interview with Paul Escolar

Artwork by Paul Escolar that says "Method Makers" and has a drawing of a broken beer bottle laying in front of the text.

The following is an interview that Paul Escolar for The Method Makers in 2018. The interview was online for a few years, but disappeared after a big update to their site in 2021. Sadly, Paul passed away a few months later. I recently reached out to The Method Makers to see if we could try to get this interview back online, and a TMM contributor was able to find the original emails. Below is the unedited interview with Paul Escolar.

-Name, where ur from, how you know Tsyonsyn

Name is Paul Escolar, from Alameda. I know Chons from the old party days in the 2000’s when he was doing “The Fcks” DJ Gigs in San Hoe w/ Cellus. They all thought they were going to be the next Trap Daft Punk, and I believed it too – Still do. Good times, good times…

-I googled you and you are really fucking good at yo-yoing – do you still do that? How’d you get into that and where can I see that live?

I am currently “retired” from that scene, but I was sponsored and worked for Duncan Toys for over 15 years, now I just do occasional contracted design work for them. I’m also known for creating most of the standard and fundamental modern yo-yo tricks kids do today. I also demonstrated, and judged contests all over and ran one of the most prestigious events in the country for the last few years out at Golden Gate park. Believe it or not the Pre/Post Parties I through for that community were lit af.  I got into yo-yos since I was a kid – been throwing for 20 years. I don’t film or play yo-yo in public these days, but if you want a private lesson, come holla at me, haha. Also dead serious about all of this and I can go on and on about yo-yo’s, but its lightweight square shit, even to me, so lets just talk about art!

-Were really impressed with your illustration work. How long have you been drawing, and how did you develop the style of work that you create?

I appreciate the compliment and It’s/I’M totally still a work in progress, still learning and experimenting a bit every day. I’ve been drawing since I was a Kid, I went to the Academy of Art for Art Direction in Advertising but at the end of all that I just ended up wanting to illustrate, do graphics, and work on personal art. Still not sure where I’m going with it but stoked to see where it takes me. So far the waves have been amazing.

-Do you do any work in the street (Tag, Throws, scribe etc)

Unfortunately, I have never done any work in the street. It seemed intimidating to me back then, but I always paid attention and have mad respect for anyone who gets up everywhere. I slap stickers around sometimes, but I’ve always been low key discouraged since there’s such talented community of Artists that already exist in that world. I just enjoy being a spectator and fan, but I’m open to mural work at this point in my life. Holla for any plug on commissions and ill throw in a yo-yo lesson, lol.  Also, side note – I’m too lazy to be carrying around markers, and cans and shit.

-How would you describe your style of work?

Hmmm, Alot of the shit I share is very personal and emotional… at least conceptually. But from an aesthetic stand point maybe its considered “Low Brow Graphic Illustrations”?, I’m not sure about labels. Under the visual surface of it all; it is very social, emotional and self narrative. I try to tell what’s going on in my mind or what I’m going through in my life with one image that hopefully tells the whole story.

-Are there any major influences in the artwork that you create?

I find inspiration and influence in everything; Music, movies, fashion, etc. As Far as art, there are way too many to name. My favorite modern artist of all time is Matisse, but I’ve taken alot of my inspiration and influence from Barry Mcgee, R.Crumb, ESPO, Mike Giant, The Hernandez Brothers, Geoff Mcfetridge, and Others…. maybe it’s visible in my aesthetic?

-Where do you create most of your work? (In your Studio, Coffee shop, etc.) Can you share photos of where you create if possible, and describe what we’re looking at in these photos?

I work from home, in private, in solitude… I zone out and zen the fuck out. Most of my illustrations are part of a very meditative and cathartic process, I keep those sessions pretty low-key but sometimes I have my sketchbooks and computer when i’m at a coffee shop or chill bar, and I’ll just get it out. The times I’m out of my batcave, wandering or partying, I’m just keeping tabs, taking mental notes of things I see, taking actual notes for ideas, and staying inspired by everything and anything. The end result is some* of the work I share on Instagram, but most of the time I just be hoarding alot of it to myself.

-What inspired that piece you drew of Tsyonsyn – shits fucking hilarious!

It was his birthday, I missed the party and I wanted to let him know that i’m not an asshole, so I drew him into the most offensive caricature ever, oopsies! Accurate tho, no? hahaha.

-Tell us a joke.

I was just actually about to google “What’s a funny joke?”, haha. fuck it.

-Ask us 1 question.

If Method Makers was a a 4th Gen iPod (The one with just the scroll wheel) what would be the 5 top played songs in the iTunes playlist? Also, “What’s your poison?”

-Would you be open to do collaborative projects with us? Art shows, Prints, apparel production, air guitar band?

ALWAYS! I fuck with everybody making whatever, whenevers. As long as I keep moving, and making shit, I’m happy. Prints, Shirts, Shows – sure. Air Guitar Band? – Fuck it, …I’ll play bass. let’s sesh!

Right on for reaching out to me Neal and The Method Makers, really excited on joining the band. I really appreciate it everything!


Images above were drawn by Paul Escolar. The original interview, “Family Ties With Paul Escolar”, was first published on Thanks to The Method Makers for finding the original email and allowing me to publish it here.

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Slow Streets, a new clip video of responsive counterweight tricks

A man hiding behind a small christmas tree.

Slow Streets” is a brand new yo-yo video that was shot on Sanchez Street in San Francisco. It was edited by Edition Yo-Yos and features one of my original songs.

Unlike my other clip videos, this one focuses entirely on “responsive counterweight” tricks. This style combines elements of freehand yo-yoing with modern responsive play. For this video, I’m exclusively using a Doc Pop Edition Thing, by Toybania and myself.

“Slow Streets” yo-yo clip video

If you enjoyed Slow Streets, then you should also check out this episode of PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog for behind the scenes footage with Edition Yo-Yos and trick tutorial for Floops.

Behind the scenes episode of PopCast

The Thing is now available on my store too:

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What Makes Doblé Yo-Yos Special?

A view of the Doble Arial from the side, so you can see the thin axle connecting the two yo-yo halves.

Inspired by #FixedAxleFebruary and some of the questions I got during our last YoIP! Virtual Yo-Yo Club, I put together an episode about the Ariel Yo-Yo by Doblé. This is one of my favorite yo-yos in my collection, up there with the Doblé Titania, which I hope to do an episode about in the future. 

In this video we also have a clip from Nate Martsolf about his Fixed Axle February Contest

For the yo-yo history nerds, I’m attaching a few more images of the Ariel, along with website screenshots, archived links, and patent drawings. Enjoy. 

A screenshot from Doble's website. It shows a photo of an Arial yo-yo and the text says 

"The Ariel fixed axle yo-yo features a patented friction system, a .078 inch diameter music wire axle, and a conventional twisted cotton string (tether). This design allows for long sleep times, superb control, and extended tether life. The Ariel weighs approximately 57 grams (depending on wood type and finish), and is balanced to eliminate the cg offsets caused by wood grain density variations. The Ariel has been unofficially slept for 60 seconds, breaking the world record of 52 seconds for fixed axle yo-yos.

    The unique design and performance features are covered under U.S. Patent Numbers 5,254.027, 5,389,029, and 6,066,024. The Ariel is returned to the hand from the sleep condition the same way as other yo-yos, by a slight jerk of the tether, creating a momentary slackening. There is a transition in frictional drag torque as the tether is lapped into loops spiraled between the brass lapper disks. The tether cross section changes from circular to an oval shape resulting in an increase of pressure between the tether and the lapper disks. This phenomenon allows for very low frictional drag torque during the sleep condition and the transition to high frictional drag torque during the recovery from sleep. All the surfaces interfacing with the tether are smooth, resulting in long tether life. Another innovative feature is the hub, which is a material with high mechanical stability. This material allows for a small diameter axle to be press fit into the hub, with the capability of adjusting the gap between the body halves by rotating the two body halves relative to each other while pushing or pulling. This allows an adjustment of the skimming pressure between the lapper disks and the tether. This gap adjustment allows an optimization of frictional drag torque to either maximize sleep time or increase looping ability. The interior surfaces making contact with the tether are smooth and thus will not grind up the tether as conventional yo-yos having radial ribs to provide friction. It is recommended that, now and then, the tether be removed and paraffin wax applied to the interior tip of the tether. This is best achieved by rubbing the wooden tip of a pencil on a bar of paraffin wax and then inserting the wood portion tip of the pencil into the loop at the end of the tether and rotate the pencil to transfer the wax to the tether. Your Doble yo-yo will perform smoother and the string life will be extended."