Please can someone offer a detailed explanation of how to do this? All books I've read give the most incredible descriptions.
the chop is actually, believe it or not, a throw UNDER the opposite arm, except that the emphasis is not on the throwing arm (or club), but rather on the opposite arm under which you are throwing, which is holding a club, and which will be the next throw. you bring that arm down with some heavy-duty flair, while minimizing the tiny little actual throw which is going on underneath it.
now, step away from your terminal, and pick up your beanbags, which i trust are always close to hand. begin a 3-ball cascade. choose a hand which will begin working on the trick. got it? right. (or left, doesn't much matter). now, at some point in time of your own choosing, in the cascade, rather than throwing the ball when the time comes, still holding it, bring it diagonally down and across, to the center line of your body, in the distinctive chopping motion. from there it is tossed up to the opposite hand, and the pattern continues. the more angle you get on this, the better it looks. practice this with one hand, then the other, and then both, until you are chopping solids. nice long sweeping carries, or chops.
now that you can do this, notice that what you are ACTUALLY doing is not only holding a ball and carrying it in and down in front of your body. what you are actually ALSO doing is making the throw just before the carry (from the opposite hand, to the one that will be making the chop, thereby divesting itself of it's ball, so that it may catch this little one i am taking about) a tiny little throw UNDER the arm which will catch it. this arm is easy to go under, because it is moving in, carrying it's little chopping ball. does this make sense? go watch someone do chops, and maybe it will.
ok. you can chop with balls, and indeed, it is recommended, before you pick up something sharper. when you do move on to clubs, and knives and torches, it might be easiest to start with doubles, since they are a bit slower, and give you more time to master the move. again, start working with one hand, until you can chop everies that way, then do the other hand, and then put it together, into solid chops. moving from double spins to singles looks really good.
chops look great when the knees are bent a bit, legs wide, and shoulders square. get as much length on that chopping move as possible, minimizing the little throw. think . think benihana. think bruce lee.
Note that you get a completely different trick if you completely change the emphasis -- you can emphasize the under arm throw, making that the long one, and the you get that cool trick where you look back and forth as you juggle under your arms.
Get VERY good at under the arm throws for both sides. Now try to do all under the arm throws. This looks clumsy. "Stylize it" and you've got chops. (For this last step, watch someone who can do chops.)
Now with clubs, start with one under the arm throw and move into chops. Hold the club near the nob or you'll get very choppy chops. (pardon the pun) Sometimes it helps to have a wide stance.
If you turn your hand up and outward (With the right hand, it's a counterclockwise turn from the normal catching position.) the club will land in a normal grip about 1/3 of a spin sooner than normal. I'm sure there are gobs of neat things to do from here. This trick can get painful to learn because of the likelihood of wrist bones getting hit.
I will try to explain reverse chops as clearly as possible. To do a reverse chop with a pin, your arms must be crossed. One simple way of wing this is to toss one pin a little to the outside of the SAME hand. Then, reach across and catch that pin with the opposite hand. Make sure you reach OVER the other hand or you can't do a reverse chop. Take the hand that is over the other hand and quickly whip the pin in front of your face in order to restore normal hand orientation. Obviously, this quick pull across should be something like a reverse chop. Perhaps you don't have to start with crossed hands.... but I think it is easier to start like that for me. It looks real impressive if you can do this every time.
about chop throws: it helps to throw the club at a *slight* angle-- so that the plane the club SPINS in, rather than being exactly vertical, is cocked slightly to the right.