Xah Lee's Juggling Progress Report

By Xah Lee. Date:

My Juggling History

I've been juggling intensively for 2 years in 1987 – 1989. Usually practicing more than 4 hours a day every day. My juggling repertoire includes ball juggling, ball bouncing, double-baton twirling, devil stick, Chinese-yoyo, rope walking, and unicycling. These are the days in Montreal, Canada, in my late teens.

The few act that i do relatively good at performance level are 3-ball tricks juggling, double-baton twirling, and unicycling. With the unicycle, i was able to fluently do: jump-start, back-peddling, one-foot-pedling (left or right foot, moving continuously forward), and tire-walking (sit on the seat, push the tire with your feet so that the unicycle moves forward). The unicycle trick i was learning then was to stand-still, which i thought is possible but haven't seen anyone done it.

For the ball juggling, the max number i can do was 4. I mostly wanted to be a 3-balls tricks/technical juggler. (was dreaming to be the greatest juggler) Of the few quality 3-balls tricks i recall can do are:

I have not juggled since 1989, until 2005. In 2005 (age 37), i started to revisit juggling. (only ball-juggling) After a few months, i find it somewhat miraculous that most of juggling skills came back. I am able to do all the tricks i remember. The agility of youth is probably gone, as well the mastery of some moves, but i don't feel there is any skill loss at all. If i wanted to, i can easily pick up any specialized mastery i had.

Also, this year i discovered the amazing siteswap, which really is a product of the progress of technology of communication. With siteswap and juggling simulation software, i discovered fantastic pattern variations, generated systematically by computer. Such list of variations are far beyond what pitiful variations that can be conjured up by a juggler's imagination. (the burst of juggling pattern variations due to siteswap is truly a by-product of computing technology). I started to try pattern variations with 4 balls such as “4-balls tennis” (53444). I also actually started to practice 5 balls up to 70 throws in 2005. One thing i realized about this experience is that, even if one do not intend to be a number juggler, increasing numbers or practicing siteswap patterns actually does help one's overall juggling skills.

My Juggling Progress Report

The following is a juggling progress report, i'm starting to create and fill up today. (this page will be updated weekly.)

2-ball left-hand, right-hand

3-ball tricks

4-ball siteswap

4-ball tricks

4-ball Tricks


Tricks to learn