Chops

Other Tutorials:

ExpertVillage (video)

     Chops is a fast paced trick in which you swing your arms diagonally across your body while holding a prop. The trick is most commonly—and impressively—performed with clubs, though learning to do the pattern with balls is a necessary prerequisite.

    To learn Chops, you need to break the trick down into its two basic components: the throw and the carry. Unlike in a normal Cascade (with which Chops shares a siteswap), the balls in this pattern are thrown in roughly vertical columns on each side of your body, instead of across. Therefore, the first step to learning Chops is to practice the underarm throw. Start by juggling the normal Cascade pattern, and then instead of doing a normal throw, reach your hand underneath your other arm and throw the ball straight up. After moving the hand back, resume juggling a normal Cascade.

    This can be a little tricky at first, but you should get the hang of it fairly quickly. Before moving to the next step, it is important that you are able to do underarm throws on each side without stopping.

    Notice that whenever you make the underarm throw,  you have to move your other hand out of the way. For the second part of Chops, the carry, you are going to exaggerate that arm motion. Instead of merely moving your arm to the side, you need to raise it up and the force it down across the center of your body.      Once you have the "chop" motion itself down, you can chain two of them together, with one chop leading into an underarm throw to set up the next chop.
    Start by just exaggerating two times in a row, and make sure you can make the carry quick and concise. The exact manner in which you carry the ball is up to you, as skilled jugglers often perform chops with slightly different styles. Once you have mastered the carry, you can cut down on the amount of non-"chop" throws made inbetween, until you reach the point where you can do the pattern fully. This may take sometime, since the speed of Chops makes the trick hard to perfect.

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