Kraken

Other Tutorials:

Beejay Joyer (video)

     The Kraken is a three ball pattern reminiscent of Mills Mess in which balls along the outside are claw-caught and then released in such a manner that they seem to stall in midair. This gives the pattern an odd, start-and-stop aesthetic that is fairly unique among Mills Mess style tricks.

    To learn the Kraken, start with one ball in each hand. Cross your arms such that your dominant hand is over your non-dominant hand, and then make a vertical under-the-arm throw from your non-dominant hand. As that ball reaches it peak, make a vertical throw from your dominant hand and then uncross your arms, claw catching the first ball with your dominant hand while catching the second ball with your non-dominant hand (the balls have each been caught by the hand that did not throw them).
    Practice this on both sides. To add in the third ball, start with two balls in your dominant hand and one ball in your non-dominant. Cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand, and then make a vertical throw from your dominant hand. Once that ball reaches its peak, make a vertical throw from your non-dominant hand and then uncross your non-dominant hand (leaving your dominant hand where it was before). Claw catch the first ball with your non-dominant hand, and then make a second vertical throw from your dominant hand (your non-dominant hand should be above it). This will clear space for your dominant hand to catch the second ball (the vertical throw made from your non-dominant hand before it uncrossed). The third ball will then be caught from above with your non-dominant hand.
    As shown, practice this on both sides. For the next step, you are going to do the same throws shown above, but instead of simply catching the last ball with your non-dominant hand, you are going to first make small throw from your non-dominant hand (which should still be facing palm down), clearing space for that hand to claw catch the last ball. The throw from your non-dominant hand should be very light, and in fact more closely resembles a simple drop. After your non-dominant hand claw catches its ball, you are going to cross it underneath your dominant hand, which itself is going to cross over and catch the ball dropped from your non-dominant hand. Thus your hands will end up crossed in the opposite configuration from when they started (note that the animation below cheats, since it doesn't uncross and recross its hands when it begins a new cycle).
    Practice this on both sides. For the next step, we are going to add in the final throw of the cycle. Perform the throws described in the previous step, but instead of simply catching the last ball with your dominant hand (the ball that was dropped by your non-dominant hand), you are going to make a throw from the outside of your body toward the center of your body using your dominant hand. You will then cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand and catch the dropped ball previously discussed. The ball just thrown from your dominant hand will be caught by your non-dominant hand.
    As shown, practice this on both sides. At this point we have completed one full cycle of the Kraken. From here, you might intuitively be able to figure out how the cycles connect, at which point you will be able to juggle the full pattern. If however you are not quite able to see the continuation, there is one more step to practice. Start by juggling one full cycle (i.e. juggle the previous step) and then, instead of simply catching the last ball with your non-dominant hand, you are going to make a vertical throw from your non-dominant hand along the outside of that ball, clearing space for your non-dominant hand to catch it. At this point your dominant hand should be crossed over your non-dominant hand. As that outside vertical ball just thrown by your non-dominant hand reaches its peak, you are going to make a vertical throw from your dominant hand and then uncross that hand, claw catching the vertical ball thrown from your non-dominant hand. You will then catch the vertical ball just thrown from your dominant hand with your non-dominant hand.
    As shown, practice this on both sides. Notice how the final claw catch mirrors the claw catch performed at the beginning. That last claw catch signals the beginning of a new cycle (on the opposite side of your body). To juggle the full Kraken, simply make another vertical throw underneath the claw-caught ball, and repeat the same throws and catches that you've been practicing in the previous steps. By this point, your brain will likely be familiar enough with the pattern to repeat the cycle on its own, but if you get stuck, simply refer back the previous steps. The Kraken has an odd rhythm that will take some practice to master, so expect to spend a decent amount of time working with this pattern.

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