Steven Ragatz discusses doing "kick-ups"

I decided to post a note entitled "kick-ups (or how to cover your ass when you drop a club)".

"European Kick-up": The European kick-up is set up by placing the club on the foot with the bell pointing on the outside, away from the leg. The handle of the club should be slid up the top of the foot as far as it can go without letting the club slide off. If you are looking at your foot from above, your foot points to twelve o'clock and the bell of the club points to about two. Keep the toes flexed to help keep the handle on the top of the foot. Bring the knee over the toes, keeping the heel on the ground. The further the knee is brought forward, the better. With one quick and smooth motion, bring the heel straight up in line with the shoulder. The upper leg remains fairly still. All of the action is done with the lower leg. During the kick, keep the toes flexed and the heel up towards the shoulder. When done correctly, the handle of the club hits the inside of the lower leg, giving the club a nice spin. This trick is easier with long clubs or clubs with the soft foam ends that help the club grip the leg. Short, slippery clubs will work as well, but you must really get the knee forward so that the club as something to grip when you kick.

"American Kick-up": The American kick-up starts with the legs crossed, one in front of the other. By bending the front knee, a space between the legs is formed. Place the club between the feet so that the handle is resting on the back foot ant the heel of the front foot is just in front of the club handle. Once again, the bell of the club points away from the body. If you use the right foot for the kick, the position is left over right, both feet pointing towards twelve o'clock and the club, bell out points towards ten. Once the club is set, the wait on the front, non-kicking foot. Lift the kicking foot's heel in line with the opposite shoulder, stepping away, putting all of your weight on the front foot. If you don't step out of the way, the club may kick-up into your face. This kick-up tends to make the club go straight up into the air. This kick-up will work with both short and long clubs equally well and is quite feasible to do this move on slick floors. This is a nice move for a juggling routine "stop" because you can set the club in position with out looking at your feet. Just pop the club between the knees and keep juggling.

"Toe Kick-up": Place the club handle pointing at six o'clock--the bell about an inch away from the tip of your toe. By stepping on the top of the club, the handle will flip up to the knee. Place the hand on the lower leg so that it is ready when you step. This is a nice move because it can be done completely blind. You don't have to spot the club at all since it doesn't actually fly in the air. You can get multiple spins by stepping harder.

"Heel Kick-up": This is the same as the toe kick-u except that you use your heel instead of your toe. Have the club pointing bell first at your heel about one inch away from the heel. Place the hand on the back of the calf so that the handle flips right into the hand.

"Side Kick-up": Same as above but from the side, inside or outside.

It is a good idea to learn how to kick up clubs in several different ways with either foot. There are few things in a show that look sillier than watching the juggler kick the club around the floor trying to get it arranged so that he can do his one kickup. Don't labor the drop, get that pin back into the air as quickly and as gracefully as possible.

"Three Club Kick-up": When you need a trick to show off at festivals, bring out this one. European and American have the same pin configuration except that the pin direction is opposite as explained above. The first club is set as for the single club kick-up. Set the second club inside first. Get the bell as close to the foot as possible. The third club is set so that the bell sits on the ground in front of the other two.

The handles are crossed and stacked on the foot. The European config. looks like this:

			3   1  2
		   F	|  /  /
		    O	| / /
    		     O  |/ /
One is on the bottom, next two and three on top. Really get the knee over the foot and get all three handles to catch the inside of the leg. Once in the air, you have to get the cascade established very quickly. The configuration is the same as a three club flashing start.

Kick-Ups / Juggling Information Service /
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