As I’ve been watching the information flip across my screen defining paths of tools and rotational forces and geometric shapes, I find myself in an interesting series of thoughts around styles of conceptualizing and integrating patterns we learn. While I certainly don’t have the time to have read every post that comes across the group, I find that most of what I read or skim on the Poi Theory FaceBook Group seems to be focused on linguistically distinguishing the physics of the poi.
What I’ve recently noticed is that while I can have a comprehensive visual model in my head that defines the experience the poi is having, what I’m really doing in creating that model is giving the poi a voice by describing it’s experience. There is no doubt there is utility in that.
What I think is of more value for a student of poi like me is to understand what is felt by the person manipulating the poi to create the desired results. Ultimately, the operator of the tool is the initiator of the pattern or motion. In my own comprehension and learning, a model is very much outside of my body and something I imagine in my mind’s eye. In contrast, understanding how the pattern feels in my body allows me to actually execute the move.
Knowing the path and Walking the path are two different things.
To hear the voice of the poi and see their path clearly, for some, does not in any way translate into the kinesthetic sensations.
And that is where a great instructor and/or coach can help because that person will translate what you see in the words, pictures and videos into the actual steps you need to take as a student to embody the learning. Not only is it critical to understand what the physics of the tools are, to instruct and educate those who struggle, it is also critical to articulate the gestures and motions made in the limbs and trunk of the body as related to the tools to create the desired results.
For the instructor to understand the physics of the move and be able to describe that is to know the path. For the instructor to be able to explain how to manipulate the body to create the aforementioned physics is to walk the path.