Friday, 21 December 2012

Which Style of Play Suits Me?

A few of the new guys have been asking about different styles of play and what they were. All this talk about 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, yet not many people really know what they represent.

What's 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A?!?!?!?!?!
Today, with the help of Duncan Crew Singapore member Firdaus, we’ll show you the 5 categories of yo-yo play which is commonly seen in national and international competitions around the world.


For most of us, when we think about yo-yoing, the first idea that comes to mind is to have a yo-yo tied to your finger, and you get to do tricks such as “Rock the Baby”, or “Walk the Dog”…simply put, these are some of the most basic ideas, or tricks, of yo-yoing.

The style that requires you to just use one yo-yo tied to your finger while you do string tricks is referred to as “Single-Hand Tricks“, or “Single A“, or “1A” for short.

Duncan Crew Member Firdaus doing Eli Hops with a Duncan Mayhem
Probably the most common style to date, most players start off with this style, and then progress on to harder, much tougher tricks afterwards.

To put it into visual perspective, here’s a video of Singapore 1A Superstar Christopher Chia winning the 1A Champion title at the 2011 Asia Pacific Yo-Yo Championships!


So now that you’ve got an idea of what 1A is, lets move on to 2A. Another common style of yo-yoing that normally involves a trick referred to as “Loop the Loop”!

Sounds simple? Wait till you try it with two yo-yos!! And no, I don’t mean purely doing double loops, I mean doing even the more hardcore stuff, things like “wraps” or “tangler". You may not know the names of these tricks now, but when you start entering the world of “2A” or “Double-Handed Tricks”, you’ll soon be familiar with these particular trick names.

Firdaus rockin "Behind the Back" loops
To master this style, it takes a lot of patience and practice, but once you get a trick down, it’s incredibly rewarding!

Now, be prepared to be blown away! This is the freestyle of 2012 Asia Pacific Yo-Yo Championships 2A Champion, Shunsuke Kawakami. Not only is his tricks flashy and eye-catching, they require much time and practice to perfect.


So after 1A and 2A, naturally, comes 3A. But what is 3A? It’s definitely NOT playing with 3 yo-yos. Instead, 3A is the art of playing the style of 1A, with TWO yo-yos!
Don’t get it? This picture might help.

Two 1A yo-yos being played at the same time isn't easy at all!!
3A, which is a lot harder than the first two categories, is not an easy style of play to master, which is why few tend to dive deep into this style. Currently, there are only a handful of Singaporeans who exclusively compete or perform this style, so if you want to pick up 3A and be one of the best in Singapore, now is the time to start!

Here’s a video of Asia Pacific Yo-Yo Championships 2012 3A Division Champion, Wong Chak Wing, tearing up the stage with his amazing 3A prowess!


So we’ve come to another exciting category/division, one which some of you may be familiar with. Recognize the style from this picture?

Firdaus tossing a Hayabusa
That’s right! 4A is otherwise known as the “Offstring” category! Like the name states, this involves NOT tying the yo-yo to the string, and then tossing it into the air, and let it balance on your string like an acrobat on a tight rope!

Now, Singapore is well known for having one of the World’s BEST offstring players, Lim Aik Hwee of Duncan Crew Singapore! Here’s a video of him tearing up the stage at the 2012 Asia Pacific Yo-Yo Championships! Check out those massively insane Offstring tricks and recaptures! Absolutely mind-blowing!


Now, we’ve come to the last category of the five competition styles of yo-yoing. 5A, also known as the “Counterweight” Division, or “Freehand".

Firdaus rocking "Electric Fans" with a Duncan Freehand Zero
Invented by 5A legend Steve Brown, this style involves tying the finger-end of the 
string to a counterweight, which is then tossed around during tricks.

To better understand this style, here is Iskandar Shah, one of Singapore’s Top 5A players tearing it up on stage during the 2012 Asia Pacific Yo-Yo Championships. Here you’ll see him doing a particular style known as “Double Dice” which involves TWO counterweights instead of one!

There you have it, 5 amazing styles of play, all of which can be achieved with good and dedicated practice.

SO … … … Which style are YOU??

Why don’t you guys start testing out these 5 styles and who knows, you might just become one of Singapore’s next top 1A-5A players in the near future!

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