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At least they're not juggling baby geese
April 16, 2014 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Combat Juggling is a thing? Yes, Combat Juggling is a thing.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Combat juggling? As usual, comic books predicted reality.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 3:56 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Battle-clowning plays a critical role in some Pratchett novels... The horrors the guild enforcers can inflict with a ladder and a bucket of confetti!
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:16 PM on April 16


That looks really really silly. I'd play.
posted by DGStieber at 4:43 PM on April 16


Is this full contact? What's to stop me from winging my 3 clubs at three opposing players' heads (assuming I'm willing to be 'out' or whatever)?
posted by axiom at 4:45 PM on April 16


[walks in with clown makeup and three bottles of Faygo] Um...wait...what was on that flyer?
posted by lumosh at 4:51 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Ooh, I've actually done this!
Once I belonged to a local juggling club (don't judge me), and we would occasionally do combat. It was a lot of fun, and blood was invariably spilt.
posted by bstreep at 4:59 PM on April 16



Is this full contact?

The rules say:
"A foul occurs when a competitor hits another competitor with either their club or any part of their body. The competitor who fouled will have their team penalized by a 1 point deduction."
There's a bunch of different game types and it's not clear to me that they all even use points though.

What's to stop me from winging my 3 clubs at three opposing players' heads (assuming I'm willing to be 'out' or whatever)?
If you attempt an uncontrolled attack (such as striking with your clubs without looking or using excessive force) you may be penalized by either being reduced in rank, taken out of the current round, taken out of the current game, or taken out of the tournament. Your fate will be determined by the results of your indiscriminate actions.
Also, the things that keep you from deliberately hurting other people when you're not playing this game should still be in effect during the game.
posted by aubilenon at 5:01 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not about to join a combat juggling league to attack anyone or anything. I was posing a hypothetical, because the video was pretty thin on details of how the game actually is played. Also, are those clubs actually very dangerous? I thought they were just balanced empty plastic -- not completely harmless, obviously, but they don't weigh very much. If I'm wrong than attempting to bat them out of the air in the vicinity of a bunch of other people seems ill-advised.
posted by axiom at 5:10 PM on April 16


Also, are those clubs actually very dangerous?

If you really took a good swing with one you could certainly do some damage. But they're not that heavy and you probably won't hurt someone accidentally. Some parts are harder than others. The handle usually has a hard plastic ball on the end, though some have foam there instead.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you're really serious, you should ditch the clubs and play this with torches.
posted by aubilenon at 5:35 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


This sounds awesome. I'd love to see footage of complete matches to see if it's so awesome it makes me join a juggling club.

> Once I belonged to a local juggling club (don't judge me), and we would occasionally do combat.

I never belonged to a juggling club, but myself and siblings learned juggling around the same time, and... well, disrupting other people's practices had occurred from time to time.

> Also, are those clubs actually very dangerous? I thought they were just balanced empty plastic -- not completely harmless, obviously, but they don't weigh very much.

Dubé's stock beginner clubs (Airflites) are ballparked at 248 g each. Higher-quality clubs are graded by weight, but are vaguely within the half-pound range. Most of the mass at the far end of the stick.

They're a solid mass of material that extends your leverage when you take a swing at somebody. In other words, a club weighs considerably more than a wooden yardstick. Are you okay with getting whacked with a yardstick?
posted by ardgedee at 5:39 PM on April 16


Most of the mass at the far end of the stick

Center of gravity is usually more like 55-60% of the way down. That's still most-at-the-end I guess, but if they're too end-heavy, the handles whip around really fast and bruise your hands. My homemade torches have that problem. Plus they're also just too heavy.
posted by aubilenon at 5:46 PM on April 16


I guess what I'm saying is that if you're really serious, you should ditch the clubs and play this with torches.
Or knives.

Seriously, though, this would have done so much to motivate me to work beyond bean bags.
posted by Songdog at 5:51 PM on April 16


When we played it we were allowed to pick another jugglers clubs. Which made the most popular move into a kind of bump and grind, where you bumped your opponent out of the way to catch one of his flying clubs. I still marvel that nobody I know of got whiplashed into coma...
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:14 PM on April 16


Nothing worse than the TV drive to make every human activity competitive. Nothing like crowning a winner to drive ratings.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:31 PM on April 16


I guess what I'm saying is that if you're really serious, you should ditch the clubs and play this with torches.

Or knives.


Chainsaws.
posted by The otter lady at 9:56 PM on April 16


I'm used to combat juggling played as a solo game, everyone for themselves.

I usually got annoyed by it because I don't like getting whacked in the face, but I do like to pass clubs with people, and when everyone else is playing combat there's nobody fun to pass with.
posted by nat at 11:03 PM on April 16


Juggling baby geese....that sounds delightfully whimsical.
posted by davidmsc at 11:42 PM on April 16


A much less formal form of this is played at juggling clubs conventions across the UK, generally called Gladiators. It's everyone out for themselves, and other than "don't deliberately hit people with your clubs" there are no rules. I'm pretty sure it'd be a terrible spectator sport for non-jugglers, but it's tremendous fun.

Club gladiators is probably the most common, but at bigger conventions you can also see unicycle gladiators.

For other circusy sports, see also volleyclub and unicycle hockey.

Nothing worse than the TV drive to make every human activity competitive. Nothing like crowning a winner to drive ratings.

Yeah, the WJC gets a lot of stick for that from (some) jugglers. The WJC is trying to formalise juggling as a sport, pushing technical competitions with a set book of tricks/techniques and scoring that looks a lot like gymnastics, and turning common games into things that a wider audience might like as a spectator sport. They argue that it'll raise the profile of juggling, bringing more people and money into the hobby. Their detractors tend to argue that they're sucking a lot of the fun and creativity out of juggling, and shifting the focus to a particular attitude and set of skills that Jason Garfield -- the main force behind it, and definitely not a guy who shies from self-promotion -- happens to excel at.

It can't be denied that some of the videos that come out of their technical competitions are amazing though; this one of Olga and Vova Galchenko's 7+ club passing is just jaw-droppingly impressive.
posted by metaBugs at 1:31 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


> I do like to pass clubs with people, and when everyone else is playing combat there's nobody fun to pass with.

Hm. How about matches between two 2-man teams? Team members would have to pass across each other (a + arrangement if seen from overhead), and try to knock their opponents clubs out of the air. I don't know if that would make for extremely short matches or what; I'm used to non-combat juggling in patterns like that usually leading to chaos pretty quickly once somebody flubs their timing.
posted by ardgedee at 3:44 AM on April 17


That video might have left me with an interest in learning more if there had been any actual footage of a competition between two jugglers, rather than slow motion and passing shots that never lasted more than five seconds.

Maybe actually show me the thing you're telling me about?
posted by dry white toast at 9:34 AM on April 17


ardgedee: I've actually seen combat with pairs of passers. If you go to a festival with a club that passes a bunch (I think this was at Mondo, the Minnesota-area festival, which is close enough to Madison that their high number of passers were around, and Minneapolis has a bunch of passers too), you might get to try it. Definitely shorter matches than the singles variety, but it was pretty funny to watch, anyhow.

Here is a link to some video of singles combat at the IJA. I don't think it says much about what the WJF teams-all-official-and-sportlike version would be though. Still some fun high tosses and grabs and etc. Watch the background especially for the good stuff.

This is also a video. Not actually pairs passing, but a little teamwork in the singles version ;-) Plus Jochen (the older guy) is half of Get the Shoe, one of the most entertaining juggling acts I've gotten to see live (also possible at a Mondo fest? dunno).
posted by nat at 10:48 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


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