…to jam in the gym. So, as Lori nailed-up, Jake was already working on brushing, kicking, and spinning catches. No warm-up, just shred out there. Lori finally feeling ready, was given z’s and both just continued the momentum of passing, rolling, brushing, tipping, and catching as fast as two people who are jammin’ against the clock could go. Noteworthy moments were when Jake and Lori tried to do some ground moves to each other, Jake’s phlaud pulls, and Lori’s upsidedown moves. We were trying to dream up some co-ops for eventual demos that we are trying to schedule for the not-too-distant future. By the time our 55 minutes were up, both were exhausted, sweaty, hot, and happy. A strong contrast to the driving rain and cool temps outside of the gym. Move of the jam: Lori’s utl set to spin one way, to a utl pull under other leg…you’ll just have join us to see what we’re talking about. 😉
Announcing Heinsville Polls. At least once a month Heinsville will post a new poll seeking to root out popular opinion on important topics like: What’s the hardest catch? Which spin is better? Do you point your toes? And preferred wind speed. These questions are meant to educate, entertain, and inspire. Don’t miss your chance to weigh in!
This month’s Poll. Which catch is most difficult: Gitis, Phauld, Scarecrow, or Pancake?
Sunny Daze! Jammin’ Craze! I was out there too much to video the dropless shredding that was going on… but, you can get a taste of it by watching some of the great moves by these folks. – LD
Crushed…My first big prelims in Vancouver 78, and I lost a half-point on the variety check-off sheet because I didn’t do a brush and another half-point for not doing a roll. I figured I better work on this, and by Fall 1979 I had basic brushes and rolls down, thanks to Corey Basso and Skippy Jammer. But it wasn’t until I became a bench-warmer for Stanford Ultimate that I jumped to the next level with these skills by brushing and rolling on the sidelines.
1. Play by yourself often, practicing rolls and brushes where you have room to run and hopefully some, but not necessarily nice, wind. Visit San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and other good wind-spots on nice wind-days as often as possible.
2. Face the wind. Know where you are in relation to the wind at all times. Learn to feel it like a sailor.
3. As Skippy says. remember that the object of a roll is not to get it from one hand to the other (bounce, bounce), but to roll it along the body as if it’s on Velcro, pulling it along your arms by moving your body in the opposite direction of the roll with “touch-Zs,” turbo rolls excepted.
4. Step into and follow-through on all brushes and kicks, as you would in tennis, volleyball or baseball.
5. Decrease the margin of error by wearing size twelve shoes for better surface-area for kicking. I’m a size 11.
6. Seriously, try brushing the disc steeper at times, a skill I learned watching Dave Marini and JJ (John Jewel) in 1978.
7. Step into the disc when brushing so if it goes too far you can get to it, always being ready for the missed hit….be on your toes and ready to sprint.
8. Don’t plan too much. The best part of this game is to take advantage of the hand dealt to you. If you plan to do a roll off of a set but it’s there for a kick or a scarecrow catch instead, go for what’s there. Don’t force it…go with the flow.
9. When you’re indoors, compensate for no wind by running faster to make your own wind, and by setting rolls and brushes steeper.
10. The force of the brush should be inversely proportional to the Zs on the disc. For example, you’re middle-jammer in a 3-person MAC-line (Midair Attitude Correction). The disc comes to you with a slight angle and high Z’s – just meet it with your hand or body part…it’s riskier to swing at it or brush it hard when it’s not needed. On the other hand, hit it harder if it has low Zs. Learn how to adjust the disk with a cuff as needed for better options in MAC-lines..
11. Cuff often when you’re sweaty and you have a steep, high Z disk.
12. The meek will not inherit the kick. Be aggressive. Pretend you’re the batter in 6th-grade kickball.
13. Play the spontaneous wind game with your friends, but also learn when to give space to your partner for individual moves. Go on “brush runs” with your partners. . Be like Magic Johnson and make the players around you better…Set up your partners with good, easy brush/roll/kick sets and watch great, difficult things happen that you won’t remember after you do them… this is a good sign. Communicate frequently before and after you jam to enhance these opportunities. Also talk during spontaneous times (e.g. all-mine, all-yours, coming, etc…).
You know people say if you get lemons…make lemonade. Such is the way I started doing wipers (vertical upside-down rings). On a very windy day I was trying to bash flat counter, and was getting frustrated because when the nose got up at all it would blow up above my head and travel behind me really far. This technique is great to practice when waiting for a fellow jammer who is late or chronically on “Frisbee time”;-).
To get good at vertical upside down “drags” you face the wind. Keep in mind that the topside of the disc is directly perpendicular to the wind. The beauty of this technique in heavy wind is that the topside has no rim and therefore no “sail” for the wind to grab and move drastically. Also picture a person whom you have seen pass rings to another: the disc can only move forward once you contact and “hook” it. What this means is that if the throws or self-sets are set in front of you, you must have great wheels and sprint past the disc and pull it forward with you since it is both vertical and upside-down and therefore falling rapidly.
Simply put once you hook the disc you cannot move it backwards to go forwards, so it is best to start with the disc behind or to your side. If the disc is behind you, when you hook it, and it is spinning rapidly 2 miraculous things happen. First of all the wind pushing against the top “glues” it to your nail allowing a slight pulling movement and a feeling of power unlike any other in the disc world. For now you are defying gravity and doing a unique ring technique which looks mind-blowing, and leads into upside down rolls and kicks that will absorb the energy you transfer well, without moving too far away or blowing above your head! The second thing that happens is that you DISCover against the spin and with the spin moves do not hit your body parts because the disc is hanging off behind you like a ribbon!
To get started all you need to do is hold an overhand grip in front of you so you can see your thumb at 12 o’clock. You are looking at a the bottom of the disc and the nose is pointed at the wind 5-15 degrees depending on wind speed and rate of spin. Really cock the wrist and BAMM: snap it up above head slightly and look for the wind to move it back slightly- your only task is to find the top of the rim and HOOK it- but the disc must be slightly behind you at either side or behind you within arms length. The further behind you start- the more dramatic it looks when you hook it and let the ZZZs glue the disc to your nail- and play, experiment with it. It will hang as you move into the wind or as you spin around dragging it and I can turn 3 times sometimes if the spin and my technique is flawless….with the disc just hanging there the whole time!!! AWESOME!!!! Try it you’ll like it….
When you pass the disc back and forth behind your back and/or through your legs…it looks like your hands are windshield wipers…hence the name-coined by Diego Gamboa who informed me I had not invented this technique…and had been doing what he called drags for years. Left hand overhand grip is actually clock right side up-so you will doing counter UD drags-but after a while the direction of spin will become meaningless to you unless you do combos with rolls and kicks and under the leg brushes. When the disc is dragging against it will stick at really slow rates of spin allowing you to pull it in front of you to a beautiful UD roll… With high spinning discs it is easy to pull in front to a UD flat delay…and do whatever from there. For the opposite spin-grip the disc as if you were going to throw an overhand upside down throw to your partner and hold the disc at your side with your hand extended straight away from you… keep the disc perpendicular to the wind and snap… As you get good at this you will find yourself longing for your partners to throw you something you can hook right out of the air. It is especially gratifying to have it vertical, behind you close to the ground, falling away from you so can pull off the most heinest move: “Back from the Grave”. This occurs when there is no possible way you can reach the disc to even pancake save it much less do anything with it. Then PRESTO all of a sudden you are in control Back from the Grave…and you have made super duper lemonade out of a testy lemon of a throw…and the judges pencils snap off in disbelief…
For the newcomer to freestyle “bashing” and rolling the disc are essential skills to have. Of course the simple nail delay which allows you to control the disc and think, or set your next move is more essential at first…. The bash and roll will allow your game to rise to the next level.
“Bashing” or air brushing to increase the spin will allow you to regenerate spin to yourself, which is good to practice alone, or to just pass to your partner without catching and throwing. In fact if your partner throws to you as you bash to him/her you can start doing double disc routines where a disc is always in motion! For a right handed person, bashing counter spin is done at the ear level, while clock spin is done lower-more waist high. Left handed clock bashing is done high, while counter is done lower conversely. Keep in mind that a foot brush can also be done very close to the ground, with the right foot kicking towards the left foot for clock and straight ahead or to your right for counter spin. The most important things to keep in mind are 1) Keep the nose of the disc higher than the back, and the more wind in your face the flatter it can be. 2) The angle of the disc should be similar to the angle of a throw we would throw to a partner with a slight curve. A right handed backhand is usually released with the side being held higher than the opposite edge. This is due to the fact that the spin actually will “process” the disc and make it move towards flat. If you start with the disc flat in a throw or airbrush scenario, the increase in spin usually make it “turn over” and roll. That is why we keep the bashing angle in what can be known as the skip angle-that is the angle at which a throw would skip towards your partner. 3) So with the nose up and in the skip angle, hit the disc at like 5-6 oclock in a circular motion with the fleshy part of the palm where it meets the fingers. This means counter is angled away from you to right and high, while clock is angled away to left and low-for your right hand….and the opposite for your left side. 4) Practice by letting your delay go to the rim, until the disc is in the desired angle…and hit gently at first and more firmly in a circle to increase spin-do not hit through the disc but get into contact and accelerate with the force.
So now that we can delay the disc, and tip it in the middle, and then as it slows down we can bash it and speed it back up…we have another option open for more ways of controlling and playing with the flying disc. This is called the body roll, arm roll, or just the roll. If you get good enough people will yell, “Sweet rolls”. But it is not until you can roll all types front and back, plus the inverted rolls, that you may hear, “That was more rolls than in a continental breakfast!”
The body roll is a way of gluing the disc to your body and as it travels across, you are actually in control of it when it is spinning rather slowly. Therefore this move comes towards the end of a combo, after center work, and rim pulls which reduce the spin, and instead of the airbrush which would re-rev the disc. High spin or “turbo” rolls can be spectacular for passing to a partner, or through a hoop or under a leg in a 3-way jam, but at first stick with rolling the slowest of spins or your head may spin, or it may strike you on the chin.
Body rolls can be practiced by tossing the disc up in a 45-60 degree angle above your head and to the right or left-Remember to toss the left handed counter light set to your right side as it will roll to your left, and the ever popular right spin to your left as it will start on the left side but the right hand will be the last contact before it is set up for another roll or for a pass or to your own catch. Leaning back and having your chest extended up with your knees bent will help immensely. As the disc rolls you should extend the chest into it for good contact so leave some leeway in your chest to “push up”, but this same gluing to your body feeling can be created by pressing up with the legs slightly, so keep them bent. Also for a clock roll, have the disc rolling up your right hand towards the sky (away from the ground). Very often new players will roll flat in front of them, which can be frustrating because of gravity pulling at the disc. This fact coupled with the disc is not angled up causes the disc to fall to the ground. So try to roll from angled in front of you high onto your chest and back up the other arm towards the sky, and move your shoulder into it as if you were slapping someone. So for a clock roll the disc will start on the left above you falling/rolling down on your slightly back bent body, from your left arm towards the chest, and as the chest is touched by the disc begin to press up with the legs and “slap” with the right hand at the end causing the disc to glue to the chest past the shoulder up the right arm. For multiple rolls use the right hand as a flipper to send the disc back over to the left side to start it all over, or just have your partner next to you to receive the roll and continue it. As you get better, you can “weave” behind your partner and get back your own roll or even send it back to the far side to have it return to you again! For back rolls, as the disc comes past your neck and is about to go out of sight try lifting the opposite elbow and you will feel it go up in the air!
There are really only 2 basic cranks. Due to the magic of both spins and going against the spin (see Skippy’s Article) there end up being 8 different combinations. Doing the basic with the spin cranks are easy to learn.
Here’s one: delay counter on your left hand palm up. Now lift your hand up and twist at the wrist so you are delaying palm down. Continue the twisting motion until your elbow it pointing up and you are delaying palm up again (only now your hand is inverted). Now bring the disc back under your arm armpit, twisting your wrist so that it returns to the original delay position (palm up). Basically you pull the disc under your arm.
The other one is to reverse the order. This one is easiest counter right. Just rock the disc towards you and swing it under your arm. Once your hand is inverted lift up and untangle your wrist.
So taking the examples above and doing them clock makes 4. But it gets tricky when you do them against the spin. IE Doing the counter motions/hands with a disc spinning clock. Thus there are 8, 4 with and 4 against.
Here’s a tip to make it easier to get the motion. Delay a counter left. Set it up about eye level. Quickly invert your hand and let the disc land on your nail. Let it fall to the rim. It will naturally circle under your arm (hence with the spin). This will teach you how the motion works. Just remember a true crank is center all the way.
For most learning to go from a high Z rim delay to a center delay marks a whole new level of understanding in disc control. It means being able to bring most any angle throw back to the center, increased center control, and leads to understanding angle changes and off center tips. For me this skill took some practice.
To accomplish this task it helps to be able to throw a high Z steep angle to your self. To learn clock right hand throw a right handed backhand throw with tons of spin. It should come off on a steep angle, nearly perpendicular to the ground such that the bottom is pointing more downward than the top and the nose is pointing to the right. It should also be perpendicular to your chest plane. Now that the disc is in the air use your right hand and take it on a rim delay. Your palm will be facing to your left and your finger(s) should be curled under the rim. Let the disc hang in this position long enough to get it under control but not so long that it tilts around so the nose is pointing to your body. From here there are two common methods of getting to the center.
1: Give the disc an upward tug. As it lifts up hold your hand still so that the bottom of the disc rides along your finger nail(s). Once your nail is near center push hard to the left. The ideal location is it about 6 o’clock halfway between the rim and the center. As you push to the left the disc will flatten out. Once it is flat get the center delay under control.
2: Gently swing the disc forward. As the disc swings forward the rim will pull against your nail forcing the disc to level off. Once it is halfway flat move your nail to the center and gain delay control.
To learn counter left reverse the right/left directions as if looking in the mirror.
Once you become proficient at this maneuver try it on a different angle or the opposite hand. Example, once the disc is on a rim delay let it drift around on your nail until the nose is pointing upwards to the left perpendicular to your chest plane. The motions are the same. Give it a tug so it rides up your nail. Now push right at 12 o’clock between the rim and the center. It will flatten out as before. Note: you may have to duck your forearm below it to keep from knocking it off your finger.
The biggest thing to learn is that the location to press in with changes based on the direction of the nose. It’s always 90 degrees ahead of the spin from the nose. So, with clock spin, if the nose is pointing away from you (12 o’clock) push it out so the disc rides up your nail, then push towards you at 3 o’clock. With counter spin you’d push at 9 o’clock.
Once this becomes second nature try flattening the disc directly from the throw with a tip. The physics are the same. Just tip it up 90 degrees ahead of the spin from the nose. You can also try to flatten it out from a rim delay to a flat set. This set it the beginning to many moves and catches such as a scarecrow and a one and a half btb.
Most jammers will tell you that you need to learn to delay before you can jam. Unfortunatly the learning curve for the delay is very steep and often turns people off before they start to feel the rewards of jamming. Fortunaly there are two tricks that anyone can do with a small amount of practice but a huge amount of fun.
This is how I learned to jam. Mike Esterbrook would thrown me zzzs and I would let it drift onto my nail. If I felt brave I’d try to keep it in the center but mostly I’d let it fall to the rim. While it spun there it I would pass it under my leg, behind my back or anywhere else I could think of. Eventually it ran out of spin or I hit myself with it and it would plop to the ground. When I got a little better I’d use my left hand to hold it at my left side and grab it behind my back with my right resulting in my first completed series!
To learn the rim delay is simple. Find someone who can throw the disc with a good amount of spin. When they throw it to you let it float onto your index finger’s nail. The trick here is to make sure only the nail contacts the disc. This is where fake nails help the most. Now that the disc is on your nail hold your hand up with your finger pointing to the sky. Let the disc circle slowly around being sure that only your nail contacts the disc. Holding your finger bent to a 45 degree angle will help but however you do it be sure to keep your nail in contact. The disc will spin round and round and eventually run out of juice and flop over. You have just completed a rim delay.
It won’t take but 5 or 10 of these and you’ll get the feel for how the disc moves and how to keep your nail instead of your finger in contact. Be sure to try both hands. Once you are ready try passing it from hand to hand. Once that is easy do it under your leg. You are now freestyling…it’s as simple as that. Add a catch in there and you’ve completed a series. Pass it on the rim to your friend and you can co-op. Really there’s nothing to it.
This is my favorite of all moves. It is one of the easiest moves to execute yet honing this skill can take a lifetime. To practice brushing toss the disc in front of you almost perpendicular to the ground. If there’s alot of wind make the set a little flatter. It should go up a little ways, 2 or 3 feet and then come back down to you. When it’s in range hit (brush) it with the palm of your hand so as to add spin and send it back up 2 or 3 feet. Repeat until you lose control, pass it to a partner or catch it. That’s all there is to it. The real tricks here are 1: try to add spin when you hit it. Hitting it with the wrong spin or no spin will kill its flight (at least if you don’t know what your doing). 2: run after it. Even the best players can’t keep the disc in front of them the whole time. And who would want to, the fun is in the challenge. Chase it around and bash at it for as long as you can. You’ll find that shortly you can keep it in the air for quite a while.
Once you get the hang of brushing to yourself try and brush it to a friend. There are two ways to accomplish this. One is to toss the disc up with much less of an angle so that the nose is pointing towards the target. Then when you brush it the disc will float over as if you threw it there. This move really impresses non-freestylers. The second way is to brush it so that it arches over you your friend. This is akin to throwing a major angle up into the air and over to you friend. If your friend is cool she’ll try and brush it back and suddenly you are co-oping again. Funny how it always come back to co-oping.
Putting them together:
Now that you can brush and rim delay try putting the two together. Take a throw on a rim delay. If it’s clockwise spin take it on your left hand. Let it spin around until the nose is pointing to your partner. Then drop your left hand out and brush it with your right. (Reverse g the hands for counter spin). It should float over nicely to your partner who will catch a triple spinning gitosis…sorry I’m day dreaming again. As long as it gets to her you did your job.
Now try the same trick but to yourself. Take it on the rim delay and do a few moves. Once it slows down wait until it is pointing away from you on a steep angle. Then drop out your delay hand and brush with your other hand. Keep on brushing until you’re expression is complete, then go for a catch.
Last trick, go from a brush to a rim delay. This one is a bit tougher so I saved it for last. Remember how I said to always add spin? Well if you can do this well enough you should be able to take it on the rim again and do some more rim tricks. There aren’t many tips I can give on this one but I will say that once you get it you will feel unstoppable. It means that no matter what throw you get you can do something with it because you’ll be able to add spin when every you need it. They call this maneuver a rerev.
Practice, practice, practice. 🙂
Well, beyond that, here’s what helped me in the beginning. You can do
this by yourself.
1) Develop a two handed throw to your self that is flat (parallel to the
ground) and floats down gently. Start by placing each hand on the outside
of the rim, one hand close to you, the other on the far side of the rim.
Throw your hands and arms out to the sides, popping the disc gently up in
air, about a foot or two in height above you head. Practice this skill
alone, without attempting the delay, until you get the disc to float very
horizontal and with as much spin as possible. Like a spinning top, the
more RPMs the disc starts with, the more stable and easy to control it
will be. The flatter it is, the easier it will be to balance and delay.
Once your self throws are stable, you are ready to proceed. Side note: If
your right hand is the one close to you, your spin will be
counter-clockwise. If you left hand is the one close to you, the spin
will be clockwise. One spin may be easier for you to throw and one spin
will be easier to delay at first. Make observations about your tendencies
and what works best for you.
2) Make sure the contact with the disc is with your fingernail, however
small it is (artificial nails are not necessary in the beginning). Hold
you finger, slightly bent, so that the nail itself is close to parallel
to the surface of the disc. This way the spinning disc will slide on your
nail. Apply a silicon spray lubricant to the disc to further reduce
friction between the disc and your nail. As soon as the disc contacts
flesh, there’s major friction involved, usually leading to loss of spin
3) Next, connect the above two skills. After you release the disc into
the air, reach up to the disc with your delaying hand and try to make
contact with the disc as close to the time when it is transitioning from
popping up to floating down. The disc is traveling slow at this time.
Spot the center of the disc as it’s above eye level. Keep your finger
kind of springy to absorb the contact of the disc with your finger at
this time and follow the disc’s descent with your arm to slow its further
descent. If you can keep the disc above eye level at this time, you can
continue to spot your finger on the bottom of the disc and track your
centering attempt. Eventually your eye-hand coordination will develop,
allowing you to stabilize the disc below eye level, without seeing your
finger on the bottom of the disc. A clear or translucent disc can also be
helpful at this stage.
4) Finally, make small circular motions with your arm and finger, in the
same direction that the disc is spinning. This motion will help correct
any non-horizontalness of the disc and helps you track to the center of
the disc to maintain the delay. Over time, these motions become so
refined that you will not even realize that you are making them.
Eventually you will replace step 1, with that of a throw from a partner.
Make sure your throwing partner is throwing you the same spin that you
practice with or everything will seem awry. If your partner can make a
hovering throw, again try to make contact with the disc at a point in its
flight where it is transitioning from flight to fall. Let your finger and
arm give with the disc as you receive it, acting as a shock absorber to
slow its momentum to a standstill.
The whole process is learning this eye-hand coordination. Players have
reported different lengths of time to learn the skill from less than a
week to maybe six weeks. A youthful age and athletic tendencies will tend
towards the shorter time. Practice every day for at least fifteen minutes
and you will see results of increasing delay times.
Once you’re comfortable in maintaining a delay, ask questions about the
next level you want to attain.
And most of all, have fun.