Proper Hand Position:
The first thing you have to master is proper hand position. When catching a Myachi, you'll need to use what we call the "Lotus Position". Keep your hand flat as though your palm was resting on a table. Spread your fingers apart slightly, leaving between half an inch and an inch between each and make sure you keep your thumb up!
We can't overstress the importance of proper thumb placement. Your instinct will probably be to tuck your thumb under your hand, a Myachi affliction known as "Droopy Thumb Syndrome" (DTS). By keeping your thumb up and level with the rest of your hand, you will radically increase the size of your catching surface. You'll be surprised how often that extended thumb helps out your catch.
|Like this, except your hand instead of mine...|
The first move you should learn is a trick we call the "Halfpipe". In this move, the Myachi never leaves your hand. It's all about learning to move your hand without disturbing the Myachi itself. Begin by swinging your hand side to side in a "U" pattern, kind of like a skateboard riding a halfpipe.
As you do, you will be turning your hands up at the sides to keep the Myachi from sliding off. The more you do this move, the faster you'll be able to do it. The faster you do it, the more you will feel the Myachi pressing against your hand.
The force of the Myachi pressing against your hand is what we call your "Mojo". Physicists call it "Centripetal Force", but "Mojo" just sounds cooler. By mastering your Mojo, you'll be able to keep that Myachi on your hand no matter where it moves. This move might not seem all that exciting at first, but it is essential if you want to achieve true mastery with your Myachi.
Mastering the Catch:
Your next move is the signature trick of Myachi. This move will help you to master both the throw and the catch on both your right hand and your left hand. To truly master the game you'll need to have a confident catch even on your weak hand so this move is vitally important.
Start with the Myachi on your strong hand (right if you're right handed, left if you're left handed) in Lotus position. Hold both hands out in front of you with your fingers pointing forward and your arms bent slightly at the elbows. Stiff arms don't move very fast so always make sure you keep your arms loose for this move.
Now that you're in position, you'll want to cross the Myachi under the opposite hand. So if you've got the Myachi on your right hand, reach under the left hand, crossing your hand at the wrist. From here, toss the Myachi up and catch it on the opposite hand while uncrossing your arms.
That's the first half of the move. To finish it off, do the same thing the other way. So now, if the Myachi is on your left hand, bring your left hand under your right hand, toss the sack up and catch it back on your right hand.
At first this will be slow and clumsy but with a little practice you'll start to develop a rhythm going back and forth. The more you practice, the faster it gets. The faster it gets, the cooler it looks. Just remember never to sacrifice accuracy for the sake of speed. Dropping never looks cool no matter how fast your hands are moving.
Using the Whole Body:
All too often people think of Myachi as a game that is played on the back of the hand. While it is true that much of the game is played on the back of the hand, Myachi is about full body coordination. The only rule of the game is "No Palms Allowed" so to truly master the game you'll want to use as many parts of your body as you can when catching, stalling or striking.
One of the easiest moves that uses something other than the palm is a move we call the "Lotus" (not to be confused with Lotus Position). This is a move where you trap the Myachi between your wrists.
Start with the sack on the back of either hand. You'll begin by tossing the Myachi a few inches in the air. Now bring both hands together, pinching the Myachi between your wrists. Be careful not to use the palm of your hands at all or this move doesn't count.
Once you have it trapped, you can toss it back up and catch it on the back of the hand where you started.
Testing Your Balance:
Odds are that we really haven't challenged you yet and that's okay. There's always a tougher trick to master. For your next trick you'll be bringing your lower body into the game as well. This move is called the "Under the Leg" and the name pretty much says it all.
This time you'll want to start with the Myachi a bit further out on your finger tips. The closer the Myachi is to your wrist, the further under your leg you'll have to reach to get a good throw. Once the Myachi is in position, lift your leg (it really doesn't matter which one) being careful to ensure that you don't lose your balance as you do.
Now reach under your leg with the Myachi and toss is straight up in the air. You'll probably find it easiest to throw from one hand and catch with the other, but to truly master this move you should be able to reach under your leg, throw, pull your hand back from your leg and catch on the same hand you started with.
There are dozens of variations on this single move so it's really important that you master this one. This move will be pretty easy if you're unusually flexible or unusually thin. For everyone else it might be a bit more of a challenge.
Mastering the Catch:
Now we're moving into the truly tough stuff. Your next trick is called the 360 and very few people get it on their first try. You'll need an accurate throw, a quick hand and a soft touch.
Start with the Myachi in Lotus Position on your strong hand. Toss the Myachi up about ten inches in the air. While it is floating in front of you, you want to trace a circle all the way around the Myachi with your hand. Once you get all the way around, spread your fingers out and catch the Myachi on the back of your hand.
The key to this move is separating the motions. If you try to everything at once, the Myachi will fly off to the left or right and will be really difficult to circle around and even more difficult to catch. Start by tossing the Myachi straight up and before you even bother to go around it, make sure it's going straight up.
Also, be sure to soften your hand up for the catch. You have to move fast to get around it and you have to move slow to catch it. The most common problem people have when learning the 360 is the inability to slow their hand down fast enough to absorb the catch. Just let your hand drop a few inches with the Myachi and before long you'll be moving on to 720s and 1080s.
Taking it to the Next Level:
So you've got a few of the basics. Not bad. If you're looking for more challenges you won't have to look very hard to find them. You can check out all the Instructional Videos on Myachi.com, you can see more awesome fan tutorials on You Tube, you can order the full blown Myachi Instructional DVD from the Myachi Store, or you can create new tricks and combos of your own. There is never an end to the challenges.
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