Merry Christmas World!!!! I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Christmas or celebrating the coming of the end of the year in spectacular fashion regardless of your beliefs! Here at Poi Dojo we have been working very hard to bring a brand new website to you and finally here it is… so WELCOME!
At the brand new Poi Dojo you will find pages specific for Rope Dart Tutorials, Poi Tutorials, Inspirational Videos and Photos, as well as Performance Shows. We also hope to keep your interest and your thirst for inspiration piqued with Weekly Photos and Videos to demonstrate what other artists around the world are doing.
There’s plenty to read on the topics of object manipulation and more on our blog as well as in our gear recommendations and make sure you check out the gear that Poi Dojo is producing too! Lastly, don’t forget to keep up to date with where we are using “What in the World is Poi”, our global tracking device and vlog of Poi Dojo adventures and travels… teaching, playing, performing and producing poi and other object manipulations is what we do best!
We hope that you will find the mingling of circus and martial arts to your satisfaction and in the coming year we will be bringing a new Poi Dojo Curriculum, as well as brand new performances which you can book. We will also be endeavoring to continue bringing you more useful and interesting videos as we continue our investigations into the fields of movement arts and how we can relate a whole range of juggling implements to the motion of the body.
But for now please hove fun browsing around and don’t forget to check back in frequently for changes, updates, new videos and the like…
I’m sorry It’s been so long since the site was updated. I have been working very hard on various projects which include the new website, serious training, performance development, new toy construction and even a DVD. I won’t say more until all is finished I just wanted to update you guys and let you know that I am working hard and am trying to get everything out as quickly as possible at a quality that we can all be happy with.
Firstly the website, this has been a much larger task than initially anticipated. I was basically teaching myself how to build the new website as i built it and as such ran into some problems. but never fear i have called in some help that should be coming in the next month and with a bit of luck we will be back in business soon. I will definitely have the new website up by the end of the year at worst but i would like to have it long before that.
I can’t say for certain as I am traveling a lot throughout the summer months going to all sorts of things; Berlin Juggling convention, Europen Juggling Convention, The Swiss Alps Play Poi Retreat, Burning Man and many more places. So if it seems like I am neglecting the site at any point in the coming months that’s probably because I am! I’m out having too much fun and keeping busy learning more skills so that i can then pass them on to you!!! Woot!
From October this year though I will be back in Granada and diving head first into the Poi Dojo stuff and making sure you can get as much information from this site as possible. I dream of making this site a fantastic resource for you and i hope you can help me do that. I would love you feedback and suggestions, so please send me an email at:
Cheers all and I hope to meet you somewhere in the world.
I wish I had written this just after the convention when it was fresh and I could remember everything and everyone but at least I have finally gotten around to it eh. So Dresden Juggling Convention, my very first Juggling Convention outside of Australia and also my first paid gig as a performer and teacher. What can a say about this festival apart from… IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!
To begin with I want to say a huge thank you to all the people involved in organizing and putting it on (especially Peter and Janine), they put in hours of work to make the whole thing run smoothly and make the weekend incredible for everybody… Prost! I’d also like to thank all the people who showed an interest in Rope Dart and poi and came to my workshops, I hope you had as much fun at them as I did. Finally I’d like to thanks anybody who taught me anything at all, whether it be a new poi trick or something about German culture it was well received and I feel I am an improved person for having learnt it. But enough of all that, on with the story…
Dresden was a trip of firsts for me, my first juggling convention in Europe, my first paid gig, my first time performing in a show. I saw my first game of gladiators, my first game of unicycle hockey and my first UV glow toy party. It was the first time Diablo has ever blown my mind, the first time I’d seen partner contact staff, and most importantly the first time I really truly realized just how much stuff there is and how much I still have to learn!!!
For those who haven’t been to a juggling convention just picture your school gymnasium and now take out all the kids and then fill it with tons of jugglers and people of all sorts of disciplines playing non-stop with their respective toys… it’s a beautiful sight and one that fills me with a huge sense of elation. So, after staring down at the gym floor from the stands for a while I eventually ventured down and joined the throng. From that moment on everything is a blur of juggling, spinning, dancing, learning, watching amazing feats of dexterity and feeling my mind reel for three days solid. Seriously it was all input, input input; I was trying to absorb everything that was said to me and I could feel other things falling out of my brain as I tried desperately to shove more in (bye, bye childhood memories… hello split time cross horizontal stalls to plane change). I was like a bull in a china store that’s being ridden by a kid in a candy shop… I felt nothing could stop me and I wanted it all! For the length of the festival I feel like I took advantage of every moment as best I can but all too soon it was over and people were packing up, I made sure I was one of the last to be kicked out of the great hall, I want to feel the lingering juggling vibe that was wavering but still present even after the hall had been emptied… thank you Dresden, thank you all.
So, instead of going on a holiday during the long weekend and subsequent days off I have I have begun work on the new site. I have been planning on getting to this for a long time but this is the first time i’ve actually made any headway. The progress is slow so far but there will be more exciting things to come. Don’t expect the site to be finished until April at the earliest but it’s coming people! I’d like to have it out and funtioning prior to my visit to the British Juggling Convention on the 15th of April.
If you have any requests for functionalities you’d like to see in a skills/toys/information sharing site then please send an email to:
So, 2011! Well that’s pretty crazy! I’m sorry I’ve been so slack recently but I promise to be better from now on. In the works at the moment is a brand new Poi Dojo website which will hopefully be up and running in a few months time. Along with that we’ve also got a bunch of new tutorials and some incredible footage from my time in Morocco being put together for your viewing pleasure. But for the moment it’s 2011 and there is so much now open to us.
I brought in 2011 spinning poi on the beaches of Essouira , Morocco. My time in Morocco and especially in the Sahara has given me something I’ve been lacking for the last few months (and a big reason for my laziness)…. Inspiration!!! Having so much space in the desert and beautiful environments to spin in has given me a new drive and determination to bring you guys the best poi you can see as well as teach you how to do it. I’m putting together a short film so you can understand a little more about what i’m talking about.
Anyway where was I… oh yeah, Inspiration. I have come up with some crazy ways of spinning poi, expansions on stuff i’ve already spoken to other people about and things I’ve seen other people do but generally it has to do with using your space more effectively and frequently. I won’t say too much for now as i want to put it together into a coherent and easy to learn format for you. So for now, just be excited about serious improvements, serious learning opportunities and my full serious face (only kidding, that’ll never happen). But just so that I leave you with a little bubble of excitement, here are some pictures from my recent jaunt in Morocco.
I also want to leave you with a taste of what I’ve been working on, in the form of an assignment. I want you to, while spinning your poi, try to change planes as often as you can. see how you can do it, from where, to where, which move to what other move. you should leran how to take control of your poi anywhere in space.
You should always enjoy spinning; remember this is supposed to be fun!
Apart from the fact that you are improving yourself, feel free to lose yourself in the motion of your art form. It really is amazing how your mind can empty. After you’ve had a bit of a go you’ll understand and you’ll see how the motion flows out of your body. The true martial arts masters spend their whole lives trying to achieve true enlightenment, a noble pursuit and one that can be applied to poi. While you may never achieve enlightenment through poi (although who’s to say you wont?), that first time that your mind completely empties and all you see are shapes in your mind will be an amazing experience. Your hands will no longer control the poi because they have simply become an extension of your arm, your mind is now directly linked to it and it has become a part of you, so just let yourself move freely and express your emotion through your art. Now I hear you say “Chris, that’s all well and good for performance or mucking around, but what about learning and practice!” fear not practice can also be just as fun.
The first thing to keep in mind when practicing is… IT’S PRACTICE!!! It doesn’t matter how much you suck. The second thing is never, ever, ever tell yourself that you can’t do something. I have been trying now for about a year to do reverse 5-beat weave. While I can easily do a forward 5-beat (and have been able to for some time), reverse I have simply not been able to get… YET. But I will someday, and I continue to persist with the notion that with practice, I will eventually achieve that skill. The third tip is, don’t focus on what you can’t do, and focus on what you can. I always find when I am trying to learn a new trick that if I am really struggling with it and I am getting frustrated, the best thing to do is to leave it and just spin freely with the stuff that you do know. Re-visit the tutorials on this site and try to determine what it is you are doing wrong and then slowly correct yourself. I learned nearly everything I know by teaching myself at home off the internet and through DVD’s I bought and I had a blast! Learning at home gave me the confidence to spin in public, and now I practice everywhere! Train stations, walking down the street, in the park, on my breaks at work… literally everywhere! It gives you a fantastic sense of freedom to be able to spin wherever you are and this in turn will increase your happiness and the level of fun you have with your poi. It might take you a while to get to this stage (you might never be comfortable doing it everywhere), just make sure you find the ‘something’ in your poi (or whatever your discipline) that gives you that happy and serene state of mind.
… and always remember, RELAX and the motions will follow.
Leaning any circus art, no matter what it is, always has one thing in common… Repetition!
If you want to learn and you want to get good there is really only one way and that is through constant repetition and practice. Now, normally when someone suggests this (aka a teacher) the whole class groans and goes “Awww do we have to?!” but what I have found with all the circus arts that I have attempted to learn is that this is not the case.
Not only is it fun, it’s also fun when you stuff up (except of course when you hit yourself in the nuts… ouch), you can constantly observe how you improve and enjoy the gradual process of advancing your skills. What is life if we do not manage to constantly achieve our goals? So start small, find a trick that you think looks cool and you think you can do and just give it a go. It wont work for you straight away and that’s ok, just be aware of those little changes in your spinning that gradually bring you closer and closer to your goal. If you find it hard that’s ok, all that means is that the sense of achievement when you finally get that trick will be even more fulfilling.
I remember when I first really began to nail spiral wraps, it was amazing!… ah, memories. Now I have other things that I work towards. Find your weaknesses and build towards your strengths. Always remember the old saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” it may be one of those annoying sayings but the reasons it’s said so often is because it’s true! You will always encounter lapses in your resolve to practice and that’s fine. Take a break if you need it, I suggest trying something new and then coming back to it from a whole new angle, the most important thing is that you don’t make excuses not to practice. Remember, there is no such thing as a good excuse; it is just that an excuse… and it’s really not worth letting them get a hold of you.
So just get out there and give it a go, and if it doesn’t work out first time, try again… and again… and again … and again… aaaannnddd, SUCCESS!
Here at Poi Dojo we are constantly striving to develop our bodies and our skills.We endeavour to combine martial arts, circus arts and dance into a beautiful form of movement and artistry.
My name is Chris Kloester and as founder and developer of the Poi Dojo movement I would love to share my vision with you. I’ll start with a little bit about myself and my background. I was born in Melbourne, Australia and struggled most of my life with concentrating and focusing my energies into the tasks before me. My life changed significantly when I travelled Europe in 2007. I became a driven person with a goal and a purpose and I was introduced to circus arts. Walking down Las Ramblas in Barcelona I saw people every day out being human statues or contact juggling or spinning poi and I was entranced and inspired by the idea. Upon my return to Australia I resolved to immerse myself in this culture and it has been the greatest source of enjoyment, inspiration and motivation in my entire life.
In the years between 2008 and now I picked up Tai Chi and Wu Shu, and my inspiration again jumped. Through these martial art forms I also learned the power of discipline and constant practice (but more on that later). What I discovered was that the beauty and elegance of the martial arts motions and forms could be applied to poi and with practice, any circus art! So, I now work tirelessly to mesh these two stunning forms of performance together into one outstanding movement. I hope to be able to share my knowledge of poi, contact juggling, rope dart, Wu Shu and Tai Chi with the world to help you to experience and enjoy these wonderful activities as I have.