The H-staff : Dragon, Double Staff and Hoop Moves Collide

The H-staff : Dragon, Double Staff and Hoop Moves Collide

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Once in a while, some of us want to explore something new, testing formulas that blur the lines between momentum, body movement and new shapes.  The existence of “Innovation Corner” is to showcase to you these options that you may not have known otherwise!  In today’s article, I present you with the H-staff.  At first glance it looks like a very unwieldy letter of the alphabet, but as one begins to fold the parallel lines into diagonal patterns around the body, a mesmerizing effect unlocks.  Lets explore what makes this prop unique and the characteristics that bring this shape to life.

What makes it special?
The H-staff appears unwieldy because many of the standard moves are limited by the “wings” of the H.  As a matter of fact, if you approach the H-staff in a traditional way, you may find yourself confined to a few moves.  What makes this prop so special is how it challenges a person to think outside of the box and then to use those moves as the standard. Instead of typing about the flow of this prop, allow me to show you it in action.  I brought the H-staff to a flow arts retreat, Wildfire, and recorded the first few minutes of spinners testing it out for the first time.  Below is the Wildfire test spins as well as my explorations with this prop.

Wildfire H-staff

Introducing the Fire H-staff

Technical Strengths:
All props are like a family of brothers and sisters.  The H-staff  should feel like a distant cousin to those who have dragonstaff, double staff, contact staff and hoop as it borrows techniques from all of these.  One of the greatest technical strengths of the H-staff is in the way the open spaces can be pulled around the body to create a mesmerizing illusion.  It can also do the rolls of a dragonstaff with an added benefit that the wings can be caught and reversed at any time.  Because of the length, this staff can feel a bit heavier thans but if the techniques come from the core of the body to drive the staff, it can be fluid, redirectable and quite controllable.  As with all new props, the possibilities have only begun to expand.  There is a Facebook group dedicated to unlocking the potential of this prop.  Visit below and join in…

The original H-staff comes from a “SPIN ALL THE THINGS” philosophy when a wrought iron folding wall was taken apart and then spun mercilessly.  I say mercilessly because the wrought iron prototype delivered knock out punches with every mistake!  The original form looked like a tic-tac-toe board, but it was a much less fun game to lose at.  So instead of wearing a football helmet, several prototypes evolved to capitalize on certain techniques, mostly double staff.   After a few versions, the finished “fire” version of the H-staff was set into existence through the collaboration of the creator (the author writing this article) and Ninja Pyrate.

Ninja Pyrate upgraded the H-staff to be modular and portable.  It can be disassembled and placed in a bag for travel.  With 6 points, the user can mix and match between fire and glow head options.

In Closing:
The H-staff was created for large audience performances.  As a performer myself, I have noticed that the crowds love large, weaving props.  If you are interested in getting a hold of this inspiring and amazing little prop, Ninja Pyrate has it here!

Next article, I will be focusing on another prop that pushes the envelope forward.  Do you have something we should know about?  Message me at: Flowpulse [at] gmail [dot] com!

We are scientists of momentum.  Remember, if your experiment doesn’t go right, it’s not wrong. You just need to add or subtract a couple variables!  Keep exploring!

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Ken Hill

Ken Hill is a lifelong fire dancer, musician and martial artist. He is considered an innovator in the art of freestyle nunchaku and runs a regular instructional video series, Nunchakutricks. He has instructed his art at various fire festivals in the US and travels with Quixotic to showcase his innovative style of fire spinning. at Nunchakutricks