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A Theory about the knots: - Basics -

In 2004, I taught diabolo to a small group of people on a weekly basis. They say that you learn the best when you teach and I think that's true. That small group experienced my first lecture about doing knot tricks with diabolo. I'm proud to present the same ideas from 2004 to you!

Let’s begin with simple stuff - more advanced material can be found in other articles. Let us start by doing the inverse trapeze. If you don't recognize the trick, this is the perfect time to check out and learn the trick and continue reading after you have learned this. So the mess of the rope, which we call the knot (some say magic knot), will open if the diabolo is thrown in certain way. In this case you swing it little bit to the side and throw it up, allowing the diabolo to be released from the knot. There we have it - our first knot trick!

Now we shall extend on this trick a little. We can think of it this way: there are three ways to throw the diabolo from the knot situation; from the left side of both sticks; from the right side; and from between (or middle) of the sticks. Technically, while the tricks appear different, the sides do not matter, as the trick is basically the same. Now you can try this: do the inverse trapeze, swing it to left and throw it up. Repeat the same trick to the right. But if you try to throw it from the middle, the knot doesn't open. The string is on the wrong side (or darkside)! You will need a different knot trick for the middle to work. In some cases you will have to throw the diabolo from the side sometimes from the middle.

You may forget this if you do not try this out, so here are the exercises:

1. Do an inverse trapeze, throw it open from the both sides. On the other side you'll have to put your stick under the other stick to get it work. [video]

From the first exercise we learn that the side does not matter if the knot opens from the side. So there will be many ways to throw the knot open.

2. Do an inverse trapeze and then trapeze. Throw it open from the middle. Try to make the trapeze on the other stick as well. Try variations. [video]

What we learn here is that it does not matter on which side you do the trapeze.

3. Do an inverse then trapeze and then inverse again. It opens from the sides. [video]

Here we just make longer chain of trapezes and open it up.

4. Do an inverse, trapeze, inverse and trapeze. This one opens from the middle. [video]

Even longer chain of trapezes and it still opens.

5. Do an inverse, inverse and trapeze. Opens from the side. [video]

This is actually same as the chain in the third exercise but the order is different. So we learn here that you can change the order of trapezes and inverses and still it opens from the same side.

That is the first lesson of knots. I believe you can start to see the theory of knots forming. But wait, this is just the beginning! There are many more things that do not affect the knot in any ways and many that will. We will continue to discuss this in the next essay.

This is basically a tool for creating your own knot tricks. There is a simple logic behind it and you can easily create tricks by experimenting with the knots. The most important thing from here is that if you do an inverse trapeze, the knot opens from the side. If you then add a trapeze, you will get a knot that opens from the middle. If you add another inverse it will open from the sides again. While simple, there are many variables at work here. Now I will give you some time to try these out and begin to understand the theory.

Until the next time.

-Marko (Original text), Duncan (English)

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