Before learning to juggle with 4 clubs, it is essential that you can at least have a solid 3 club cascade pattern. This will get you used to juggling with clubs as well as getting the right spin, accuracy and timing. The other strong suggestion is that you learn to juggle with 4 balls, as this will help you get used to the pattern, the accuracy and the timing.
Double Spins: The first thing that needs worked on is being able to throw a club so it spins twice in the air before being caught again. When you are juggling with 4 clubs, every throw will be a double, so it may be worthwhile spending some time going through all the 3 club tricks you know and trying them out with double instead of single throws. This will give a whole new lease of life to your old tricks! It is worth noting that it is best to throw the club twice as high so that it spins at the same speed as with the single throw, rather than try to keep the same single club height and throw it twice as fast. It’s much safer, and also gives you more thinking time! You may find it easier to start with a normal cascade pattern then introduce one double spin, and build your way up from this, or just try from a 3 club start – the choice is yours, but it needs practiced lots and lots as it will affect every throw you make with your 4 club patterns!
Numbers Club juggling (eg 4+ clubs) is much harder than with balls or rings as they take up more room and have to do a certain amount of spin so that you can catch them again. It will therefore take a bit more time and energy to learn properly, but keep practicing and persevering and it will be achieved!
How to hold 4 Clubs: No problem, you already know this one! When you have juggled with 3 clubs, you have always started with 2 clubs in one hand. Practice starting a 3 club cascade with your weaker hand holding the 2 x clubs to get you warmed up for holding 4 clubs.
4 Clubs are juggled using a pattern called The Fountain. You learn by juggling with 2 Clubs in just your dominant hand, then you can practice using just your weaker hand. It may be helpful to have 2 Clubs which are one colour and 2 Clubs which are another colour, so that you can make sure that these Clubs do not cross over to the other hand.
The same “fountain” rule applies for any even number of objects you care to juggle (eg 6 clubs is 3 club juggling in each hand, 8 balls is 4 ball in each hand etc).
2 Clubs in One Hand Tricks
Try learning these tricks with just 2 clubs before you try doing a 4 Clubs Juggling Fountain. Although it is possible to do with single spins, please get used to doing double spins as it will make life a whole lot easier for you!
2 Clubs Clockwise and Anti-Clockwise: Throw the two clubs in an anti-clockwise motion, then practice throwing in a clockwise direction.
2 Club Columns: Throw one club up in a straight line, move your hand across and throw the next club up, then return your hand to catch and throw the first club, then catch and throw the second club. Each club goes up & down just like a lift/elevator!
According to Wikipedia – “Charles Hoey was the first to juggle 4 clubs, though he could not stop juggling without dropping. When performing on stage the curtain had to be closed while he was still juggling so the audience wouldn’t see him drop.”
Now you are ready for 4 Clubs! Pick up two in each hand. The fountain requires each throw to start near to the middle of your body and the throw goes toward the outside of your body (in other words, your left hand goes anti-clockwise, and your right hand goes clockwise)!
Variations of the Fountain Pattern
Synchronous Fountain Throws: Throw a club from each hand at the same time with an inward scoop so that the Clubs circle outwards. As they peak, throw the next two up. Then just keep going!
Staggered /a-sync Fountain Throws: This is harder than synchronous throws, as you have much more to concentrate on (it also feels a lot quicker, but it isn’t!) You are still juggling two Clubs in each hand, but throwing from each hand at a different time.
Putting it all together! You now have 4 different directions (plus the ability to throw from each hand at the same time (sync) or at different times (staggered/a-sync). This gives you the following possibilities:
- Fountain where both hands go Anti-clockwise
- Fountain where both hands go Clockwise
- Fountain where one hand goes Clockwise and the other hand goes Anti-Clockwise (then switch direction on both hands)
You only need 12 Catches to call yourself a 4 Club Juggler Vclub (3 repetitions of 4 clubs). Persevere and it shall be within your grasp one day…
First Tricks to Learn
Switching between sync and a-sync: Start by juggling in a synchronised fountain pattern (eg two clubs thrown at the same time). After a few throws, do a triple spin throw in your dominant hand. This delays the hand by a beat and knocks your pattern nicely out of sync. To get back into sync throw another triple in one hand only.
Columns: Throw a Club up from each hand, then shift both hands to the left a couple of inches, and throw the next two clubs up in the air. Now go back to catch and throw the first pair of Clubs, then catch and throw the second pair of Clubs…and keep going! It takes a lot of effort to make this one look effortless!
Wide Columns: Now try throwing one Clubs from each hand over to the left side of your body, then quickly move your hands to your right side and throw the other pair of Clubs. How wide a gap can you manage successfully?
Single Spin: Now you are welcome to try all of the above using single spin (but throwing to the height of a double spin – so it requires less wrist action). This pattern looks a lot slower and more graceful than the much more speedy double spin!