Friday, September 30, 2011

Myachis That Changed the World: Number 10

by Crazy Ivan

I've had it in my head for a while to write a series of posts about the most influential Myachis of all time.  To be fair, I've gone a bit grandiose with the title.  As far as I know, no single Myachi has yet changed the world.  Well, there was a Royal Tiger that played a pivotal role in taking out Osama Bin Laden but the details of that one are still classified.

This series will be focused on the much smaller world of Myachi and the sacks that made a pivotal difference in the way that Myachis would be made in the future.  I'll be grabbing certain sacks that I deem cornerstones of Myachi's history and presenting them over the next week or two in hopes of further illuminating the evolution of the game from an idea in Myachi Man's head to the reality we see today.

I've ranked 10 sacks by their influence but I should point out in advance that my rankings were necessarily arbitrary as were my choices of which Myachis to include and which to leave out.  It's impossible to objectively quantify the influence one development had on the future of the game.  If you take issue with any of my rankings once this whole series is published, please feel free to make your own top 10 ranks (preferably annotated) and I'd be happy to publish a few of those as responses to this series.

I'll begin with a sack that I just can't seem to leave off of any top 10 list of Myachis I put together...

  #10) The Calvin 

I should admit that the Calvin barely belongs on this list at all.  Part of me is force fitting it in here because it's my all time favorite Myachi and I think it belongs on every list of Myachis.  But part of me also sees a significant turning point that the Calvin allowed.  The Calvin was the first Myachi to really show us the absolute importance of breaking a Myachi in.

It's not an absolute, mind you, more the culmination of a long trend.  We already knew that a broken in Myachi was far better than a brand new one.  We already used the term "yummy" to describe a really nice Myachi and we already all had our own personal methods of breaking them in.

But up to that point, it was seen as the extension of an absolute.  A broken in Slater was a spectacular jammer but a brand new Slater was already a pretty good jammer.  A broken in EO Shag was a good jammer, but nowhere near as good as a broken in Slater.  Similarly, a brand new EO Shag was not as instantly jammable as the fresh-from-the-box Slater.

In other words, up to that point, we all would have agreed with the following statement:

If you take two brand new Myachis, one of which is a better jammer than the other, and you break them in equally, the one that began as the better jammer will still be the better jammer.
That was so universally excepted that we never would have bothered to make such a statement.  You just knew that.  Every sack gets better as you break it in, but one sack won't leapfrog over another if both of them are broken in.

But then along came the Calvin and changed everything.  If I had to rank the 1.0 series in order of jammability, it would probably break down like this if we were talking about brand new, never before jammed with Myachis:

  1. The Dawg Diggity
  2. The Black Butter
  3. The Red Stripe
  4. The Purple Haze
  5. The Juice
  6. The Leopard Lime
  7. The Calvin
  8. The Royal Tiger
  9. The Eye of the Dragon
But if we were to take those same 9 Myachis and break them all in to a point where they could be said to be "yummy", the list would break down more like this:
  1. The Calvin
  2. The Dawg Diggity
  3. The Black Butter
  4. The Red Stripe
  5. The Purple Haze
  6. The Leopard Lime
  7. The Juice
  8. The Eye of the Dragon
  9. The Royal Tiger
Notice that most of the Myachis in question stayed in the same spot.  The Leopard Lime and Juice swapped places because shag fabrics have a slightly bigger metamorphosis than phelvits and the Eye of the Dragon moved one place ahead of the Royal Tiger since the Royal Tiger has a characteristic stiffness that it's almost impossible to yummy up.

But the Calvin moved a whopping 7 places, all the way from the 3rd worst jammer to the undisputed king of the series.  Had it not been for that realization, we may have continued to underestimate the importance of breaking in a sack for a lot longer.  More importantly, if we hadn't known this there are some Myachis that might never have come into existence at all.  A few of those might have been Myachis we could have done without (the Vette, for example), but some, like the PigSkin, the Black Rose and the Diesel are Myachis much beloved throughout the movement.

If for no other reason than it taught as the value of patience when it comes to Myachis, I nominate the Calvin as the tenth most influential Myachi in the history of the game.  Keep checking back with us to see the rest of my nominees.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown Down

by Crazy Ivan

Last week I wrote about an awesome website that I'd stumbled across that allows visitors to post videos of world records.  I made a call to action from the Myachi community to flood the site with Myachi records (and a few people responded).  I then went home and showed the site to the House of Skills and everybody agreed that it was exactly the kind of site made for us.

It's a relatively young site so there are plenty of huge categories of tricks that haven't been added yet.  Mav and Animal immediately started thinking about longboarding records they could try to set.  Monk came up with some cool ideas for flair based records.  I just stared at the huge collection of skill toys on the side of the room.

My first thought was to use as many of them as possible in a minute.  Animal and I discussed my plan of attack and we tried using them in a few different orders and combinations.  We filmed it three times altogether, but by the end of it, we came up with this video:

Well, no surprise, it didn't take long for somebody to give my new record a day in court.  My new friend Brian (who inadvertently alerted me to the site's existence in the first place) wanted to show off his skill toy collection too, so he put up a video where he used 23 different skill toys in 60 seconds.

There was some question as to whether all of them counted, but to be fair, their is a similar question as to whether I spun the basketball long enough to consider it "in control" as well.  It doesn't help that the ball itself is all but off camera throughout the finger spin.

Given the questionable nature of a few of our toy usages, it could be said that both of us are actually tied at 19 toys a piece.  But in reality, he has the record and I don't.  Even if it were officially marked as a tie I wouldn't be comfortable with that.  I need to up the ante.  The gauntlet, as they say, has been thrown down.

I've got a lot of items in my in-box, not the least of which is this blog and getting the Trick of the Day videos under control, but I can't let his 23 toys record stand.  I'm careful about how I phrase this because the guy who broke my record and I have way too many common interests to be anything but friends, but there's nothing wrong with a friendly rivalry here and there.

So be on the lookout for my next record breaking video in the near future.  And, while you're at it, be on the lookout for Brian Pankey's record breaking-breaking video shortly after that.

1000 Apologies (and a Few Excuses)

by Crazy Ivan

I guess I don't have to point out that this blog hasn't been updated in nearly a week.  I would think that was pretty obvious.  What's worse, there hasn't been a Trick of the Day posted yet this week.  One could be forgiven for thinking that I'm a first-class slacker.

But the truth is a bit more complicated than that.  As Myachi Masters, we all have a number of different responsibilities.  Because Myachi employs such a multi-pronged approach to promotion, we all find ourselves wearing a number of hats from day to day.  Our duties essentially break down into three broad categories:

1) Good Will - This is normally the bulk of my job.  We're proud of the fact that at Myachi, the relationship isn't over when the sale is made.  We go out of our way to try to stay connected with our customers and add continuous value to their Myachi purchase by providing things like this blog, the trick of the day videos, the forum, contests, etc.  Basically, this is the part of the job where we try to turn Myachi players into Myachi Maniacs.

2) Administrative - This is the least exciting but often most important part of the job.  In a company this size there is always a mountain of logistics and paperwork to overcome.  This includes stuff like human resources, inventory, scheduling, ordering, new product development, promotional meetings and marketing.  This is the bulk of Kid's job, though I often find myself immersed in it as well.

3) Sales - Ultimately, this is what keeps the doors open.  This is the part of the job that most people think of when they think of 'Myachi Master'.  This is the part where we actually go out and teach the game, promote the company, visit the stores and sell Myachis.  As important as the other two categories are, this is the only one that actually brings dollars into our bank account.

During the busiest times of year, there is a ton of work in all 3 categories.  So much so that even a dozen full time Myachi Masters can't handle it.  During the summer and the holiday season we could probably keep at least two dozen busy.

But in the slower times there is less and less to do.  One would think that would mean that during the slower times I'd have plenty of time to do things like blogging and filming tricks.  One might think this was the ideal time of the year to focus in on the blog and the forum.  But because of the seasonal nature of our business, we also have seasonal employees.  Some members of the team only work for us during the busier times and during the slower months (September and October for example) they're off doing their own thing.

That means that those of us who are still on full time staff have to wear a few extra hats.  A person who, say, normally fills much of their day doing Good Will stuff might suddenly have 20 hours a week of administrative work and 25 or 30 hours of sales work in a given week.  And when that happens, unfortunately some things get moved to the back burner.

As much as I hate to admit it, this blog is one of the first items to be shelved in favor of the other stuff.  The fact is that the company can operate without this blog.  It can't operate without somebody there teaching people how to play or delivering the orders to our retail locations.  The blog is only important if we're doing the other two jobs.

Well, as you may have guessed, this week there's been a lot of category 2 and category 3 stuff for me to do.  On top of that, I had some work to do to make sure that Pinky's birthday was legendary.

I'd love to say that all of that is behind me and I'll be back to 2 or 3 updates a day now, but the next few weeks look to be every bit as hectic as the last few.  I'll be trying some new ideas when it comes to time management so hopefully we won't have another 5 day lapse on the blog, but I'm afraid I can't promise anything more than an update a day between now and then.

It pains me to leave you, the loyal reader, hanging like that.  A lot of you have been with us for quite some time and I think it's fair for you to expect a new entry on this blog every day.  After this long of giving it to you, I'd venture to say that we owe you a new entry every day.  We're looking at some ways of spreading this responsibility around a bit, but my guess is that for the next month to 6 weeks I'll be struggling to keep this thing regularly updated.

But you can help, and you can help in several ways.

One is, of course, to write a guest blog.  The best entries on this blog have come from readers anyway, so I'm always to happy to see more entries from the MMFLs, Katanas and Hunters of the world (among others, of course).  Getting the viewpoints of people in other parts of the movement is great for the reader and it also makes my life a little easier so it's a real win/win if you're a fan of writing.

But if not, you can help simply by suggesting topics.  Sometimes the hardest thing about writing a blog entry is thinking of what to write about.  I don't want to get repetitive on this blog (although I don't think this is the first 'sorry I haven't blogged' article I've written), but I also don't want to overlook the topics that are important to you, the loyal reader.  If you have an idea for an article or even a question you'd like to see answered, by all means send it to me.  You can email me at with your ideas (or guest blogs).

The third way that you can help is to simply be patient.  Keep checking in with us.  We may have lapses again in the future when this blog will go unchanged for a day or two.  Just try to forgive us for all the hectic insanity that goes along with trying to create a worldwide movement and check back in the following day.  And remember that everything we're doing is designed to help expand the Myachi movement.  If I'm not blogging, it's always going to be because there's something more pressing that demands my attention.  It's never going to be because I just chose to neglect you.

Except on Pinky's birthday.  I can admit that I actually did have time to blog yesterday and instead I went out and got stuff for Pinky's party.  But Pinky is the only thing that comes before Myachi for me and she only has a birthday once a year so that won't crop up again very often...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Choosing My Jammers

by Crazy Ivan

One of the last things I do before I leave the House of Skills in the morning is pick out my jammers for the day.  Like many of you, I have a pretty substantial collection of Myachis.  I would love to say that I just reach into a pile, grab the 5 or 6 Myachis that my hands land on and stick them in my pockets.

But in reality it's far more complicated than that.  Complicating matters is the fact that I have to find the right balance of jammability.

As we all know, Myachis take a little effort to break in.  Some break in quickly and others break in slowly, but as a general rule, the more you jam with a Myachi, the more jammable it becomes.  This is true for a Zoot Suit (a notoriously tough sack to break in) the same as it is for a Black Beard (the extreme other end of the scale), it's just that one has a much longer timeline than the other.

So if I wanted to make the decision as easy as possible, I'd simply grab the 5 or 6 most broken in Myachis I have in my collection and go from there.  But I can't do that because once a Myachi is really, really broken in, I start worrying about losing it.

And I lose Myachis all the time.  Whether they're claimed by elevator cracks, gutters, protrusions on buildings or the third rail, Myachis just get lost.  You kick them wrong, they start flying away and you watch in painfully slow motion as they move toward a spot you know you'll never get them back from.

Of course, I could solve this dilemma pretty easily too.  I could just take the sacks that have reached that "too-valued-to-use" echelon and set them aside in a special pile that I don't pick from.  Then I could just take the 5 or 6 best jammers that weren't too jammable and use them.

But that doesn't work either.  There are two reasons, of course.  One is that I often find myself in a spot where the "Myachi Mastery" thing to do is to give away a Myachi.  If I run into some cool cats on the train, for example, and they're really good at the game, I'll usually hook one of them up.  If all I've got is my best jammers (or the best ones I'm willing to use), I'd be pretty hesitant to just hand them off.

There's a more important consideration as well, of course.  If all I ever did was used my best jammers, I'd eventually run out of good jammers.  At some point I'd lose all the ones I was willing to lose and wouldn't dare to carry any of the other good jammers with me.  Then I'd wind up with nothing but tough jammers.

The balance I choose is somewhere in between.  I always keep at least one spectacular jammer with me (something like a Yellow Jacket, a Hounds Tooth or a Member Solutions).  That's my peak jammer and it's there just in case I wind up in a tough game of MYACH that I can't afford to lose.  That one stays in my back pocket unless it's absolutely needed.

The other Myachis will be something of a spectrum of jammability.  I'll have a few good jammers (because you never want to teach somebody the game using brand new sacks) and a couple that are on their way.  I'll jam with them throughout the day and inch them ever closer to the promised land of SUMPOY.  This way if I lose a great jammer, at least I've got another one on its way.

Lastly, I'll grab a tough jammer.  When I'm on the train or in line or something, I like to have a Myachi just to fidget with.  I won't necessarily jam with it; sometimes I'll just rub it in my hands or fold it over repeatedly.  This is the first stage in yummification so I always try to have a few that are at that spot.

And yes, that whole process goes through my head every day when I grab my Myachis.  There was a time when I just had 6 or 7 and I simply carried all of them.  The decision was simpler back then, but that doesn't mean it was better.  Sometimes the good old days are more "old" than "good".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mastering the Weak Side

by Crazy Ivan

Back in April, I wrote a blog entry about using "Adds" to make your repertoire of tricks more dangerous in a game of MYACH.  The list included variations like moves where you have to keep your foot off the ground or moves where your arm can't go above your head; things that make moves tougher but don't actually change the move that you're doing.

The most common, most effective and most important of these is the "weak side" variation.  It is a commonality in almost all skill toys that what you master on the right side, you must then master on the left.

There are a ton of reasons for this, of course.  The most important is that being able to do moves on both sides open you up to new moves.  If you can do a 720 on the right hand but not on the left hand, you're going to have a lot of trouble hitting a Double Wolverine.  If you can Clipper Delay on your right foot but not your left, good luck mastering the River Dance.

Mastering moves on the weak side is also a great strategy in MYACH.  Something as simple or common as a Mantis might not be worth much in a MYACH game, but if you shift that over to the weakside elbow you may have just earned yourself a letter.  Even people who are pretty good at weakside Mantis probably aren't 100% on it or even as close to 100% as they are on their strongside.

There are other benefits to mastering moves on both sides, of course.  One is the simple fact that it doubles the number of challenges that face you as a fan of Myachi.  We all know how fun it is to master a trick that once seemed out of reach and doubling the number of such potential successes is probably reason enough to justify the effort by itself.

But if that's not enough for you, consider just how physically beneficial it is to have equal use of both sides of your body.  Sure, you might not find a lot of day to day situations that require a left-armed Mantis, but you'll constantly find yourself in situations where it would be nice to be as good at catching with your weak hand as your strong.

If you want to dig a little deeper, we can talk about the mental benefits of ambidexterity as well.  As I'm sure you know, the left half of your brain (essentially) controls the right side of your body and the right side of your brain (essentially) controls the left side of your body.  By doing activities like Myachi, juggling or playing an instrument; activities that require engaging both sides of your body; are vastly superior mental exercises than those that favor or exclusively use only one side of your body.

This might seem inconsequential to you know, but emerging research keeps showing this huge and undeniable association between juggling and having a healthy brain late in life.  It's easy to take your brain for granted when you're young, but the older you get (trust me on this one), the more you start to worry about your hardware going obsolete.  The primary mechanism that juggling uses to keep your brain limber (it is currently believed) is the manner in which the exercise crosses the midline of the brain.

On a less important and more practical note, mastering your weak side will also make it easier to teach Myachi to others.  I find that if I'm teaching a right handed person, they learn much easier if I do all my tricks switch.  It makes sense if you think about it; this way I'm mirroring what they should do.  They don't have to look at my right hand and reverse the image in their minds before trying it.

A good Myachi player should strive to be ambidextrous.  Back when I was earning my living as a juggler I used to spend about 20 minutes a night practicing writing with my left hand.  I kept all my practice sheets so I could see how I improved over time.  To many this seemed like a wasted effort, but I've always been of the mind that learning something new is a benefit all by itself.

So as soon as you finish reading this (and you're close), try this out.  Do a 360 with your strong hand.  Then do a 720 and if you've got it, do a 1080.  Keep going to whatever level you top out at (1440, 1800, etc).  Now do the same thing on your weak hand.  You'll see right away that you've been neglecting it.  Even if you can pull the 1080 on the weakside, it will be clumsy and uncomfortable.

And then get to work fixing that.

Attention Record Setters!

by Crazy Ivan

I have a Google alert set up for the word Myachi so a couple of times a day I get emails from Google when their little spiders pick up the word Myachi anywhere on the internet.  Most of the time, the emails just include links to this blog, the forum, a You-Tube video or an Ebay auction, but once in a while I come across something really cool.

Such was the case this morning when I got an alert about a website called  It's an online database where people can submit world record attempts and video for any manner of challenge.  Some dude decided the other day to upload a bunch of his personal Myachi videos to get the ball rolling on Myachi representation on the site.

Seems like a pretty cool guy.  His name is Brian Pankey and he's a pretty accomplished juggler and skill toy enthusiast out of Springfield, Illinois.  He picked a dozen or so tricks and decided to set records for the most done in 30 seconds or a minute.

Now, I don't think for a second that this dude thinks he's the fastest in the world at this stuff.  I'm sure he's seen videos of people going a lot faster, so I'm assuming his main goal here was to get the database going.  So the least we can do is respond to the challenge.

I've already submitted a video to break his "Cold Fusions in 60 Seconds" record.  He'd done 67 (like I said, no illusions that he's the world's fastest) and I did 180.  My personal best is actually over 240, but I wanted to make sure that I could get my first video out without a drop so I didn't go for broke exactly.  I'll be adding a few more videos throughout the day, but I can't do it alone.

Which brings me to you.

We've got to run up these records, guys!  He's only put a few records up so far, but as we all know, there are hundreds of other tricks that we could submit.  Besides, it should be fun trying to run some of these numbers up.  I'm sure there are several people reading this blog who could beat my trifling 180 Cold Fusions in a minute.  And many if not all of you could beat some of the records that our boy Brian set.

The submission process is super simple.  You can upload your video to You-Tube and then just link it on their site.  You can sign in with your FB account or create a unique one.  The site's rules insist that everyone be at least 14 to submit, so be sure to play by the rules.  I'm not sure, but I think you only have to be 14 to create an account or submit, so if you're under 14 you could still set the record and then have somebody else upload it for you (there's a spot on the submission form where they can still give you credit for the record).

So a quick thanks to Brian Pankey for making us all aware of this seemingly very cool website and a thanks in advance to all the Myachi Maniacs that are going to go out there and crush Brian's records!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Note For Collectors

by Crazy Ivan

There are varying degrees of "rare", as the Sackthology proves decisively.  Some Myachis are rare because they're really, really old.  Some are rare because we only made a small number of them.  Some are rare because you had to be at a particular event to get them.  Some are rare because they were mismade in some subtle way.  Still others are rare because they were mispackaged.

It is that final category that I want to bring your attention to today.

As you all know, the most recent series was a co-release of two series, the 5.1 and 5.1x.  The 5.1x series is packaged in doubles; there are two Myachis (and a bonus DVD!) in every package.  The sacks that are available in the 5.1x are unique and can't be purchased in single packages.

There are 6 different two packs with a total of 12 different Myachis.  We tried to pair them up so that every series had one really cool looking sack and one really good jammer.  The Fishbones and Boneyards are awesome to look at, but if you're just learning the game you're better off jamming with the Missile Commands or Shadow Boxes or whatever that came with it.

There are 2 of the 6 packages that break that rule.  The Lumber Jack Red and Lumber Jack Black (Gray) are both spectacular jammers and really cool looking.  The Wonderland and Cupcake are both great corduroy jammers and have a really sweet look (if you're in to the whole pink polka dots and flowers thing).

Strangely enough, those two packs have something else in common.  It's a distinct packaging anomaly that you don't see in any of the other four two packs.

In the Wonderland/Cupcake Combo, the Wonderland is generally on top and the Cupcake is on the bottom.  That is the case in about 80%-85% of the packs.  But there are these little oddball ones here and there where the order is reversed and the Cupcake is on top of the Wonderland.

The same is true of the LumberJacks, though the percentages might be even lower on those.  In the Vast majority of packs, the Lumber Jack Red is above the Lumber Jack Black, but in a small number (perhaps as low as 5%), that order is inverted.

Up until now, we haven't seen a similar mismake on any of the other 4 two packs in series 5.1x.  The Boneyards are always where they should be, as are the Fishbones.

So what does that mean to a collector?  Not much, to be honest.  In some far flung year in the future, an unopened inverted 5.1x pack might be something of value and it might not be.  Very few collectors are going to the trouble at this point of keeping a sack from each series in the blister, so there won't be a sudden surge in people clamoring to get these mismakes.

But it is a new mistake.  We'll be doing a lot more of these two packs in the future and it's possible (even likely) that we'll get a handle on that issue and there will be fewer and fewer similar errors goings forward.  The 1.0 series actually had quite a few upside down blisters compared to all the future series.  The 5.0 (the newest series from our new manufacturer) had a similarly high error rate compared to the 5.1.

I'm not sure what advice I would give to a collector on this one, but I should confess that I'll be picking up one of each of these inversions to go in my "mismake" collection.  I can't speculate on the value they'll have to anyone else in the future, but it's pretty safe to speculate on the value they'll have to me.

Does Cool Fade?

by Crazy Ivan

When I was in Tennessee, I met an old man that was a real talker.  I'd already taught his granddaughters how to play so while they're with mom picking out colors, he struts up and starts chatting with me about their vacation.  He tells me about their cabin and about the dinner theater they'd gone to the night before.  Then he tells me about his fateful horseback riding incident.

"I was riding the horse, you see, when I started to lose my balance.  My right foot was wedged in the stirrup pretty good and I tried to free it as I was falling, but it was no use.  I flopped over one side with my foot caught in the other."

"Wow," I said with complete credulity.  "Are you okay now?"

"Yeah, luckily for me at about that time the Wal-Mart manager came out and he unplugged it."

It took me a second.  Bones had caught the punchline quicker than me and started cracking up and only then did I put the whole joke together.  I guess he'd drawn me in with how seriously he presented the set up.  We all had a good laugh, his family bought a two pack and two singles and I had a good story to tell for the rest of the day.

But as I reflect on that story I can't help but think of some of the other really cool grandpas and grandmas I met over the summer.  And it occurs to me to wonder (since I'm getting old), why do cool grandparents stick out in my mind so much?  Surely I've met millions of grandparents by now.  I meet cool moms and dads and they stick in my memory as well, but not as much as cool grandparents.

This seemingly innocent line of thought actually got me worried this morning.  I started to consider the possibility that the reason I remember cool grandpas and grandmas is because they're a rarer occurrence.  It makes perfect sense, I suppose.  I meet cool kids by the truckloads.  For every, say, 10 or so cool kids I meet, I meet about 1 or 2 cool parents.  And then for every 10 or so cool parent I meet, I meet a cool grandpa or grandma.  Would it be completely insane to assume that means that coolness fades as you get older?

Well, I guess there is another possible explanation; I just meet more kids than parents and more parents than grandparents.  The nature of my job pretty much demands that.  I mean, usually when I'm teaching a kid how to play Myachi, there's a mom or dad nearby, but sometimes they hang back and look at something else and sometimes there's one mom for 5 kids.

So to answer this question, I think we're going to have to get at least a little bit scientific.  We've got to define cool.

Normally this would probably be really hard.  I don't think that everybody in the country could ever agree on what it actually means to be "cool", and even if they could they probably couldn't quantify it.  And that's what we need.  We need a way to assign a number to coolness so that we can compare the relative coolness of people at different ages.

Luckily for me, I'm gonna bypass the hard part, though.  I'm not worried about how the country defines "cool", I'm worried about how a Myachi Master defines "cool".  And that's actually pretty easy: How willing are you to try something new?

That's pretty much it.  For my purposes, if you're willing to try something new and have fun with it, you're cool.  If you're willing to look kind of silly in public because you're busy having fun and not caring what you look like, you're cool.  If you're willing to embrace the curve balls life throws at you, you're cool.

And when you put it like that, I think the answer is both sad and obvious.  Cool definitely fades as you get older.  Think about it, a really young kid is pretty much trying new stuff every time they walk out the door.  Everything's pretty much new to you, so you have no choice but to embrace it.  As we get older, far too many of us start carving out niches.  "I'm good at this kind of stuff but not that kind of stuff," or something like that.

And when I look back on the coolest parents and coolest grandparents I've met, the common trait between them was their willingness to try something new and have fun.  They were willing to be bad at it (and some of them were) and eager to be good at it (and most of them were) but one way or the other, they were embracing the moment and enjoying what life was giving them.

So in closing, if I had to boil this whole long winded post into something a little more digestible, I could do it in one sentence: Stay cool; life's more fun that way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Less and Less Computer Time

by Crazy Ivan

You don't have to be all that astute to have noticed that I didn't blog over the last several days.  You might also have noticed that no Trick of the Day went up Friday or Monday.  You could be forgiven, in fact, for thinking that I'd forgotten about you altogether.

But I haven't.  I've just had less and less time to spend on the computer.

In Myachi, we like to keep a lot of irons in the fire at any given time.  Our in-store sales still account for the lion's share of our profits, but there are a lot of other angles we take in the Myachi Movement.  We're always hard at work looking for new customers for customized Myachis.  We're always hard at work finding new vendors in hopes of spreading the Myachi Movement ever farther afield.  We're always hard at work looking for more gym classes to take over.

And sometimes, all of this stands in the way of me being able to blog regularly.  Needless to say, this week has included some of those "sometimes".

Monk has been rocking it out over the last few weeks signing up new schools.  He's spent much of the last three weeks visiting different schools and talking with principles, athletic directors and gym teachers about bringing in the Myachi program.  He's been having great luck with it as well, having already signed up at least half a dozen schools.

Of the many consequences to that is that he's been able to spend far less time in the stores.  I've been making up some of the shortfall so I've been spending a lot more time recently at FAO and Toys R Us.  For what it's worth, I've been having a blast with it.  It gave me my first chance to work with Metal and Strike, which has been mad fun.  For those that aren't aware, Metal is hilarious at least four or five times an hour.

I've also gotten to work with Mav and Animal, which I haven't done on a store level in over a year.  Working with them is awesome if for no reason but all the new tricks and challenges they show we every time I do.  Mav has me working on some crazy foot splits and merges and Animal has given me a few new directions to go with my 3 Myachi juggles.

As much fun as I'm having, I'm also painfully aware that I've had to neglect the blog.  It seems like about every fifth article on this blog is one about me regretting not being able to blog more often.  I would say that I'm just going to redouble my efforts, but that's not realistic.  If I'm already devoting 14 hours a day to Myachi, I can't exactly double it (and work 28 hours a day?).  I would write a bunch of articles when I have the chance and then schedule them to drop throughout the week, but I feel like the quality would plummet if I was trying to force myself to write 6 or 8 blog entries in a single day (or even a single sitting).

The solution is pretty obvious to me.  We need more authors on the Myachi Blog.  It so happens that Animal and Bones are both really talented writers.  Kid has a way with words and so does Monk.  Pinky always has some interesting insights on the Myachi movement and we still haven't talked Myachi Man into writing a blog for us just yet.

So rather than making an unrealistic promise to double my efforts at writing more blog material, I'll offer the much more feasible promise: I'll triple my efforts at getting more writers on this blog and that should be way more effective.

Until then, I hope you've enjoyed this long-winded excuse.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Contest Quickie

by Crazy Ivan

I announced a new Back to School contest the other day, but it seems that I wasn't the only person thinking about back to school contests.  Our boy Kickstand (reigning NY area Myachi Champion) had a similar idea.  He's hosting a You Tube contest on the Myachi forum that has a back to school theme.  Click here for the details.

I've mentioned it before, but there are always a few maniac-sponsored contests going on through the "contests&records" section of the forum.  If you aren't a member yet, click here or go to and click on "Forum" (it's under the "Think" heading) and sign up.  There are Myachi players from all over the country there and pretty much every afternoon and evening there are a few people on the video chat throwing down games of MYACH and making a few trades.

Still waiting on the first entry in our Back to School creative writing contest, so get to work on those over the weekend.  I'm looking for a Member Solutions for the grand prize, but even if I can't find that, there will be a sick Pakisack in it for the winner.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life at the House of Skills

by Crazy Ivan

The other day I was on the phone with Myachi Man.  While we were talking I stepped outside and started juggling the soccer ball that Monk always leaves on the patio.  I'm terrible at soccer-juggling, but as I am the type that always wants to learn something new, I figured I might as well get some practice while I wasn't using my feet for anything else.

Myachi Man got an important call so he asks if he can call me back in a few minutes.  "Sure", I reply and then hang up.  With a few minutes to kill, I decide to hop up on the slack line and practice my two footed mounts (strangely, these are much tougher than one footed mounts).  I kept this up for about ten minutes and then MM called back and we continued our conversation.

While I was on the phone with him, I went back inside where Animal was hard at work mastering a ring-spinning trick.  I gave him some advice on that as I finished up my phone conversation and then headed upstairs to talk to Monk about a few things.\

When I got there, he and Maverick were challenging each other to do tricks with a little tin of mints.  They were trying to do a Wolverine to a Stiff Arm to a Mantis to a Faceplant with it.  Keeping in mind that it's round, less than half the size of a Myachi and weighs almost nothing, you can see where the challenge comes in.

Obviously, I hopped in on this.  I note with pride that I actually got it on the first try, though I tried a few more times and couldn't hit it again right away.  Monk and I talked business for a few minutes, but as we did Maverick abandoned the little tin and fetched a footbag from his room.  Before I knew it, he, Monk and I were in a circle, hacking as we discussed scheduling changes and upcoming school events.

Once we'd cleared everything up on that end, I went down to the basement.  I was itching to play guitar and since I was technically done working at that point, I spent the next half hour practicing jazz riffs.

At some point, it occurred to me that this is not how most people live.  Most of the people I know have one or two hobbies that occupy their time.  At the House of Skills, our hobbies tend to be hobby-collecting.  In any given day, any one of us will probably be practicing at least half a dozen new skills.  In any given day, at least one of us will learn a new trick or accomplish something we've never done before.  On any given day, at least one of us will set a personal record and occasionally even a world record.

There are some disadvantages to having 6 roommates, especially when you live in the basement apartment and your roomies stay up late doing foot tricks and dropping juggling props.  I think that living at the House of Skills would drive most people crazy after a few weeks.  They'd tire of having to scoot around somebody on a balance board on their way to the fridge.  They'd tire of dodging Nerf darts when they cut through the living room.  They'd tire of hearing several voices erupt in excitement every time somebody bests a new challenge.

But for people like me (and here's hoping that's a very small fraction of the world's populace) there could be no better place to live.

8 Years In Myachi


Tuesday, September 13, 2011 marked my 8-year anniversary in the Myachi Movement. My collection has reached over 100 sacks. In a little over 5 years on the Myachi Forums, I’ve amassed almost 8,000 posts.
For a while now, I’ve realized this day was coming, and I thought it’d be fun to write a guest blog for the occasion. I didn’t want to sit here and write about everything I’ve done or anything that’d sound egotistical, but the best idea I had was to create a top-8 of events.  Let me explain, though, that these will be events related to my time in the Movement. Some people may not agree with them, and some people may not even know about them, but these are just a few of the things I’ve experienced in my time.
Anyways, here are what I feel are the top 8 events in my 8 years in Myachi:

8. Fire Island Yellow      
Starting things off is a single sack in my collection, the Fire Island Yellow. It’s not the fact that it’s a great jammer or a Pakisack, but the story behind it and the meaning of the sack. A few years ago, I asked Pinky if she could get me all of the Masters’ autographs on something, even if it was just a plain piece of paper. Being the awesome friend that we all know Pinky is, she not only got a Myachi autographed for me, but she hooked me up with a free Fire Island Yellow, had all of the Masters jam it out, AND had them all autograph it. I’m also very lucky that so many of the Masters happened to be in the same place at the same time. Myachi Man, Kid Myach, Crazy Ivan, Pinky, Animal, Maverick, and Chunk the Monk all autographed this Fire Island. I’ve never met any of the Masters yet, but I do have autographs from some of them. Part of collecting is the story that comes with each sack, and this Fire Island definitely has a good story.

7. Jammer of the Year Awards     
In at number 7 is the annual award ceremony of the Myachi Forums, the Jammer of the Year Awards. When the JOTYA’s began, in 2007 believe, I was voted by my peers as the winner of the first (and thus-far only) Myachi Lifetime Achievement Award. This was important to me not only as a win in the JOTYAs, but because it showed that I had earned the respect of my fellow Maniax on the Forums. Later, for 2008, I was co-winner of the Forum Award with Downtown Myachi. Winning these awards showed me that my hard work had not gone unnoticed.

6. Profiles in Mania     
Early this year, perhaps in February, I got a message on Facebook from Crazy Ivan. Basically, he outlined an idea he had to profile some Maniax on the blog, and he chose me as the first to receive this honor. He asked a couple questions and put it all together into an awesome blog entry on the Myachi Blog, published on March 9th. It outlined my time in the Movement, the things I had done, and what I was known for in the Myachiverse. Since I’m from Ohio, many people in the Myachi Movement may not even know about me if they’re not active on the Forums, but being profiled on the Myachi Blog may have helped get my name out there a bit. The second Maniac to be profiled was none other than Downtown Myachi, which means I’m in good company, if you ask me. The biggest thing about it for me, though, was receiving recognition from one of my favorite Myachi Masters and, once again, seeing that I had earned the respect of others.

5. Toys ‘R Us in Parma, OH     
On the morning of October 20th, 2009, I went on the Myachi Forums and saw a topic posted by Animal, titled “Dear MMFL.” He explained how Myachi (series 4.3, to be exact) was about to be carried in over 100 Toys ‘R Us stores across the country, including, as he put it, “one very important TRU – Parma, OH.” This marked the first time in my Myachi Mania that a Cleveland-area store carried Myachi (as far as I know). After all the time I spent pointlessly and selfishly telling the Masters to come to Cleveland, finally I could walk into a store and buy a sack in person. When I finally made my way there, I picked up a Straight Jacket and a Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm remains in its blister. The only time I’ve been to that TRU since was to pick up some baby stuff for my sister’s baby shower. I took a look around and didn’t notice Myachi anywhere. But even if only for a short period of time, Myachi had finally found its way into my area.

4. Myachi Leader     
I don’t even remember offhand when this took place. Long story short, on the Forum a while back, I received a promotion to the moderator position of Myachi Leader. Along with the other newly-appointed Leaders, it became our responsibility to keep the Forums clean, enforce the rules, and watch out for spamming. This showed me that the Masters not only respected me, but trusted me in a position of power. There have been times when I’ve gotten problematic or abusive of my power, but over time I slowly began to develop and try to become a better Leader. I enjoy being one of the guys to keep an eye on the place and take care of things, and I’m honored to have this opportunity.

3. Downtown Myachi     
One of my fellow Leaders is none other than Downtown Myachi. Hailing from Sarcoxie, Missouri, DTM is a respected guy who’s liked by everybody. Somehow, we began talking and became friends. Although we’ve never met in person, he’s one of my best friends and we know each other really well. We’ve been there for each other through tough times and we talk pretty often. If not for Myachi and the Myachi Forums, we’d never have even met.

2. The New Myachi Forums      
I began Myachi in 2003. At the time on the old Forums, not much was going on. Aside from a friend I had in middle school who had gotten into Myachi but soon lost interest, I didn’t really have anyone to talk Myachi with. Honestly, I had started to lose interest in Myachi in general. It had been a while since I’d really jammed, or even checked the website. This all changed in 2006 with the creation of the new Myachi Forums. At some point I had signed up for the Myachi e-mail list, and as fate would have it, they sent out a mass e-mail announcing the creation of the new Forums. I joined up on July 11th, 2006, and have now been an active member for over 5 years. Not only have the Forums given me a chance to be included in the Movement, but they’ve also introduced me to some of my friends.

1. 2003 Gravity Games in Cleveland, Ohio     
This is it. THE event. I talked my mom into taking me to the Gravity Games when they were here in Cleveland back in 2003. We made our way downtown and on down to Voinovich Park at North Coast Harbor. Oh, man, was it crazy. Booths lining up and down the way, a giant halfpipe, a skate/bike park… it was like heaven. Sadly, I don’t remember how everything went, but we made our way through most of the booths getting free posters, stickers, anything they were giving out. At one booth, I even got an autograph from Doug Brown, a local professional skateboarder. I actually used to skate with him at Rollerworld here back before he really made it big.
Anyways, at the SoBe booth, which was pretty packed, people were tossing things on the backs of their hands. It was simple – if you caught one, you could keep it. I made my way through the crowd and put my hand up, and one of the guys hit me with a toss. I managed to catch it, and took a look at it. I read through the flipbook, and learned about Myachi.
Honestly, at first I wasn’t really interested in it. I figured it was just another free thing I got that’d end up in the bag with everything else. But later on, we sat down for a moment and I took it back out and gave it another thought. It seemed like a cool idea, having this toy that you could take with you anywhere to play with. I started getting into it, checking out the website, and so on. The sack I got, a SoBe 2003 “Sobe Yourself,” is probably the worst-looking sack in my collection. It’s been broken open and sewed shut, half of the SoBe tats have fallen off (but I’ve managed to save most of them in a plastic bag), and it’s so dirty it’s almost a dark gray color. To anyone else, it’s probably junk, but to me, it is THE most important sack in my entire collection.

Plenty of people have made offers for my Glow in the Dark or Red Swirl, and I’ve got plenty of rare and collectible sacks, but nothing will EVER mean more than this SoBe 2003. It was the beginning, it was the first, it was the original, it was what introduced me. Without it, I wouldn’t know about Myachi and life could be totally different for me.

So there you have it. These 8 events/items are, in my opinion, the top events that I’ve experienced or witnessed in my time in the Myachi Movement. They’ve shaped my opinions, introduced me to friends, and built my skills. These are just a handful of the things I’ve been through, and I’m sure there’s plenty more awesome memories yet to come.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Back to School Give Away

by Crazy Ivan

I can only speak for myself, but it seems to be like it's been too long since we gave away some free stuff.  We had a great response to the puzzle contest we did earlier in the month so there's no doubt that we'll do something like that again in the near future, but I wanted to shift gears a bit for this next contest.

In the last few weeks, virtually all of Myachidom has gone back to school and I wanted to do something "Back to School" related.  I figured the most appropriate thing would be to give everyone some homework.  But don't worry... this is voluntary homework.  Not only that, but you're not shooting for an A on this assignment; you're shooting for a free Pakisack.

This will be a contest for our creative writers and I know from past contests that we have quite a few talented ones amongst our regular readers.  What we're looking for in this contest is a short piece about Myachi and school.  It can be a true story about you playing Myachi in school, or maybe about spreading the word in school.  It can be about a Myachi club you started in school or about getting in trouble for jamming in math class.  Heck, it doesn't even have to be a true story.  It could be a story about the time that ninjas took your school hostage and you had to save the day using nothing but your cunning and your Red Shredder.

So here are the rules for the contest:
  • All entries must be between 250 and 1250 words.
  • All entries must be received before Midnight on September 28th (Pinky's Birthday!)
  • A small panel of Myachi masters will select the overall winner.  All judges decisions are final.
  • By submitting your entry, you are granting Myachi permission to publish it on this blog and reprint it in the future.
  • Entries should be e-mailed to and should be included as the text of the e-mail, not as an attachment.  For security purposes, entries received as attachments may not be opened.
  • You can enter as many stories as you'd like.  If you plan to submit multiple stories, please send each one in a separate email.
So go crazy, get creative and have fun.  True stories are preferred, but any story that is fun and captures the essence of the Myachi movement will have a really good chance of winning.  I'll have the submissions in by the end of the 28th (a Wednesday) so I will announce the winner the following Friday.  I'll also be printing a few of the best entries that didn't win throughout the day on Friday.  The winning entry will be published at (or about at) 6:00 pm on Friday the 30th.

Good luck to everyone!

In the City...

by Crazy Ivan

So first off, let me offer up an apology for not blogging yesterday.  I had a super busy day in the city and a meeting last night so I was never able to carve out a few minutes to throw together an update.

Next, let me apologize for not blogging today.  Okay, so technically I'm blogging right now, but I've only got a few minutes before I've got to head out to the city today.  Incidentally, I'll be at Toys R Us Time Square and FAO today so if you're in the NYC area feel free to come by and see me.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be spending a little more time in our retail sections, which is pretty typical for this time of year.  One of the consequences of that is that I won't be able to blog quite as often... or at least quite as early.  I'll try to find some time this evening, but the two or three posts per afternoon that I write when I'm in the office will have to be put on hold for a little while.

The other result of it is that the trick of the day will be late going up again today (and tomorrow).  It'll still go up today, but it will probably be posted around 8 o'clock or so rather than 1 or 2.  I suppose that's to be expected when you have as irregular a schedule as we have in Myachi.  The only thing consistent about my job description is inconsistency...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Not MYACH?

by Crazy Ivan

I have a general rule that if I'm ever asked the same question several times in a short period, I go ahead and address the question on the blog.  The way I figure it, if 3 or 4 people bothered to email me about it, there were probably several more that wondered it, but never bothered to articulate their curiosity.

So the question I've gotten several times over the weekend was in regards to the tournament we did on Saturday.  Specifically, why wasn't there a MYACH tournament?

Well, there are actually several good answers to that question so I'm going to tackle them one at a time:

1) There aren't enough MYACH players

There are plenty of people out there that play MYACH, of course, but in any given tournament, odds are against us bringing a significant number of them.  It would be nice if we could send out the Myachi helicopter and pick up all the great MYACH players from around the country and put them together in a no-hold-barred throw down of epic proportions.

But in reality, when we do a tournament we can only count on a small percentage of the Myachi players in the area to show up.  In that group, odds are that only a few of them will really be accomplished MYACH players.  The few that are would obviously dominate everyone else so if fewer than half of the competitors are solid MYACH players, less than half of them would stand any real chance of winning.

2) Everybody Wants to Play

In the lead up to last weekend's tournament, the question I was most often asked was "Will I stand a chance?" or, from the parents of an interested maniac, "Will he/she stand a chance?"

As it was, I could confidently answer "yes".  Because we were focused on things like Big Air, Golf and Long Toss, you didn't have to be a absolute trick master in order to participate.  If the focus of the tournament was MYACH I would have had to tell most of the younger (or newer or less trick-oriented) players that they really didn't have a chance to win.

3) Too Many Arguments

Alright, so the two reasons above are good, but the clever reader will be saying right now, "Okay, so you can't do a tournament that's just MYACH, but couldn't you add MYACH as one of the disciplines?  Couldn't it be one more wing of the tournament like Big Air or Golf?"

That's true, of course.  But there are still other problems with MYACH competitions.  Any of you who regularly play will probably be able to attest to the fact that there seems to be a 3 argument minimum for most people when they play the game.  Al will say that Bob pinched and Bob will deny it.  Carol will say that David didn't go all the way around it on his 720.  Ed will say that Felicia palmed it on her Dagger and Gina will say that Hank was practicing before the set.  Meanwhile Ike will try to call a trick that is officially banned and Joe will call some trick he made up and then insist that nobody is "doing it right" and that they should all get lettered.

You can overcome this, of course.  You just have to have a judge overseeing every move everyone calls, sets, defends or makes.  That is very doable, but it takes as many judges to do one MYACH tournament as it would take to do four contests in other disciplines.  This leads us to the next issue...

4) It Takes Too Long

A good game of one on one MYACH between two equally matched players lasts about 25-35 minutes.  If both players are missing a lot of sets or hitting a lot of defenses, it can last twice that long.  If you extrapolate out from there, you can imagine a MYACH tournament between, say, 24 players taking all afternoon.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but it's a big undertaking.  We couldn't do a tournament like that at a place like Funky Monkey (the venue where we held the tournament this weekend) because places like that will only let us use their space for a couple of hours at a time.  On top of that, many of the parents that were bringing our contestants out were at their limit after 3 hours of competition.

5) We Already Know Who's Going to Win

Consider any group of Myachi players you know.  It could be your group of friends or a group of people you know in school or even just a random selection of Myachi Maniacs from the forum or our FB page.  Now think about all those players and ask yourself which one would win in a game of MYACH.

Odds are that you already know who it would be, right?  Perhaps there are two contenders that might win, but at the very least you know that most of the group will not stand a real chance at winning.  So even if we had a blast doing that, the end would be an anti-climactic foregone conclusion.


Now, all that being said, I should explain that I agree that a MYACH tournament would be fun, awesome and worth having.  But to make that work, we would need to find a time and place where we could get at least a dozen really good MYACH players together.  Unfortunately that is tougher than it sounds.  The goal of the tournament we did this weekend was to bring together as many Myachi players as possible, but I'm willing to bet that several of the ones that showed might have elected to stay home if they knew that they were going to have to beat Mantis at MYACH

The Science of Myachi

by Crazy Ivan

The first thing I do each morning when I get to the office is check my messages.  This might seem like a pretty straightforward responsibility, but in addition to checking my personal messages, I've got to check Myachi's messages and those include (but are not limited to):
  • Messages left on Myachi's Facebook page,
  • @ Mentions on Twitter,
  • Comments on the Blog,
  • Messages over YouTube,
  • PMs on the Myachi Forum,
  • Emails to both my Myachi accounts,
  • PMs on
  • Comments on our YouTube videos.
On a Monday after a busy weekend, this can take well over an hour.  Most of the messages fall into a few easy categories such as "Is X a fair trade for Y?", "Where can I find rares?", "What stores near me carry Myachi?", "Has anyone invented this trick before?" or "How do you do a...?".  I have some fairly standard answers to some of these inquiries and for a few of them I just direct the questioner to a link to an older blog entry on the subject in question.

But once in a while I get a message that is so cool or unique that I feel like I have to share it on the blog.  That was the case a few days ago when I got a YouTube message from a Maniac who had a unique idea of how to spread the word in his school.  He was going to use Myachi for his science project.

There are a lot of ways one could do something like that, I suppose.  Myachi intersects with physics quite a bit and lessons on centifugal force and momentum could easily be wrapped up in a Myachi demonstration.  But his idea was even cooler; not only does it give him a groovy science project, it also helps to answer a question that all Myachi players wonder: Which Myachi has the best grip?

I'll be filling in the details once I hear more about it, but the idea is to take Myachis of several different fabrics and measure the friction that each one creates.  I'm not sure how he'll be measuring it, but I can think of a couple ways off hand.  If he does it right, he might even create a measurement the rest of us can use when describing the grip of a Myachi.  Like, if he finds a way to quantify it we might end up with a "Gription Quotient" and we can describe our Myachis by their relative GQ:

Oh, so your Gray Beard has a GQ of .715, huh?  Not bad, but it's nothing compared to my Yellow Jacket and its .804
 Anyway, I hope to be able to add some more details (and maybe even some pictures) once he's a bit farther along with the project.  At the very least, I'll be letting everyone know the results of his experiment.

In case you're curious about what science-minded maniac came up with this idea, check him out on his You-Tube channel.  I'm just saying that he looks like the next MythBuster in the making...

Tournament Recap

by Crazy Ivan

Well, I think I speak for everyone that was there when I say that the 3rd Myachi Tournament at Funky Monkey was a huge success.  Much fun was had by all, many trades were made, many tricks were done, many Myachi Masters were met, many friendships were made, many prizes were won and many legends were molded.

Unfortunately I can't give you the play by play recap I hoped to, as I was not present for the actual competition.  I'd hoped to break down each discipline and point to all the strengths and weaknesses and moments of bitter rivalry, tense preparation, suspenseful action and joyful victory.  I'd hoped to paint the picture of sweat covered brows wrinkled in consummate concentration while the eyes below them were locked on airborne Myachis.  I'd hoped to draw you through the escalating apprehension as the championship progressed such that your heart was pounding by the time I finally revealed the outcome.

But I wasn't actually there.

I showed up at the Funky Monkey about half an hour before things got started, but by the time everyone else got there we realized somebody had to head back to HQ for all the people that would be leaving the tournament early (or showing up thinking the competition was being held at our place).  Since I'd been there hanging out with everyone the longest, I figured it would be best if I was the one that left.

I've heard a few stories trickling in since then, but I don't really know what all happened.  I know that Omega hit an unbelievable series of shots in the Golf game, but ultimately a girl who was brand new to the game ended up winning it and tying for 3rd place overall.  I know that Gold hit some crazy combo with an insane run of flexibility moves to win the Best Trick category.  I know that the contestant were so good at catching that Myachi Man had to start bouncing sacks off the underbelly of satellites in the Big Air competition.  And I also know that Kickstand dominated early and often and ultimately took home the big prize.

Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while already know how awesome Kickstand is, so I won't bother rehashing all of that.  But I must say that I was really fired up when I heard that he won.  By the time I left (minutes before the competition began) he hadn't even shown up, so I didn't know he was coming.  When the guys started trickling into HQ after the tournament and I heard he won it all, I was really stoked.

Now, I know that I shouldn't be "rooting for" anybody.  I should be an objective 3rd party that would have been just as happy no matter who won.  And in truth, I'd have been pretty fired up for anyone there.  Everybody there was pretty awesome and they all deserved something pretty sick for their efforts.  But we were giving away a Clear at this thing.  I wanted to make sure that went to somebody who would truly appreciate how awesome it was.

To put this in perspective, I should explain that even the other Myachi Masters are jealous of Kickstand for that pick up.  Animal and Monk were salivating over it the other day before MM brought it to the Funky Monkey.  That's a sack that virtually every Myachi player would love to add to their collection.  Like I said, I would have been happy no matter who won it, but I'm all the more stoked that it went to the competitor that had been in the game and collecting Myachis for the longest of anyone there.

As I said above, I can't really go into the details.  I'm just hearing things second hand so rather than trying to piece it all together, I'm calling upon the people that were actually there.  I want to piece a few things together using the words of the contestants so if you were there and have a story about the competition that you'd like to share, send it to me at and hopefully I can work out a little patchwork of eye-witness reports.

Oh, and since I never actually got around to saying it, "Congratulations, Kickstand!"


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Missing the Tournament

by Crazy Ivan

Well, I was hoping to post a riveting recap of the action today after the tournament was over.  I probably still will, but it won't be a first hand account.

Unfortunately I'll have to miss the tournament.  I was there for the beginning, before the games began, but once Monk, Mav, Kid, Myachi Man and Animal showed up we realized that we'd have to send somebody back to HQ.  A lot of the players were saying that they were planning on heading to HQ later on and many of them won't be able to wait until the tournament is over.  Also, Kid was saying that a few kids had showed up earlier in the morning thinking that the contest was being held there.

So I drew the short straw and had to head back to the office.  I'm chilling there now, wishing that I could be up there watching the action unfold.  There were already a bunch of contestants there when I left.  Gearz was the first one I saw, but the Kidz Crew was already inside jamming out (and spreading the word to all the other customers at Funky Monkey).  Before long Knock Out and Smaster showed up.  Gold came a bit later.  A couple of the local maniacs trickled in and a few showed up from Jersey.

There were at least 20 participants there when I left and there may have been a few more coming.  I left right before noon (the scheduled start time) so there was plenty of time for a few late arrivals.

The prize wheel was a big hit as soon as Kid Myach busted it out, as was the new Golf hole.  Turns out that it makes sacks like the General, the Push Pop and the Boneyards all that much more valuable because they slide really well on the surface of it and make it much easier to sink a shot.  Luckily we had a lot of people come in with their whole collection so plenty of them had good slide sacks.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it all winds up and I don't want to make any predictions now, but I saw some incredible freestyle skills this morning (Gearz has gotten way better since the last time I saw him, by the way).  I also saw some pretty sick Golf skills out of many of our Long Island maniacs and with the paddles there everyone was rocking out some big air catches.  Should be a spectacular tournament.

We're also providing a little free entertainment for the waiters at the restaurant next to the Funky Monkey.  They saw Gearz throwing down an Instep>Duck>Instep and went crazy.  So, of course, when Maverick got there I asked him to throw down a quick shred for them.  He proceeds to hit the most incredible foot jam I've ever seen him pull off and the crowd erupted.

The first half hour was a lot of fun so I can only imagine how much fun it'll be once the games begin.  I'll get a debriefing from all the guys this afternoon and I'll fill everyone in on the details.  I'm sure you're just as curious as I am about who's going to win that Clear so I'll alleviate the suspense as quickly as possible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Games at HQ

by Crazy Ivan

Going to work every morning is pretty easy when 'fun' is the whole point of your job.  Each day I show up at an office with a pinball machine, a basketball game, a video game, a ping pong table and more Myachis than you can shake a stick at (I know, I've tried to shake a stick at all of them and it always breaks).  Heck, as of a couple of days ago, I can even get my sugar rush on while I'm working.

But yesterday HQ just got cooler by a full order of magnitude.  And it's not just because we got another ping pong table (though we did).  We also added a few more groovy toys to the mix and I can't wait to get a full day here so that I can play with them.

What kinds of toys?  Well, since you can already see the pictures on this article, there's no real way to build suspense, so let me get right to it.

Many of you have played Myachi golf with us before, so the idea behind these suckers is pretty obvious.  They're made to play "corn hole", but they're excellent for Myachi golf as well:

Can't really tell from the picture, but this sucker has little lights in it as well for night golfing...
There are two of them so you can actually play across a room from your opponent and it adds a ton of new variations to the old game.  Also, with some Myachis you get mad ammounts of slide off the surface so you can add whole new elements to one of the most beloved Myachi games of all time.

But as cool as that is, I think it's trumped by the other new decorum at HQ:

And yes, that's exactly what you think it is...
The new Myachi wheel of skills here allows us to take the freestyle game to a whole new level.  We'll be debuting it at the competition tomorrow at Funky Monkey (be there or be envious when you read about it on the blog).  It spins just like a wheel from a game show and the individual tricks can be changed out for beginners or more advanced players.  We were pulling combos off of it the other day and had a blast, though we didn't have anywhere near enough time with it before we had to head out.

I'll be posting a new "Tour of HQ" video in the next couple of days since it's undergone so many changes in the last few weeks, but rest assured that if you come in, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

North Shore Jam

by Crazy Ivan

Just got finished with our engagement at North Shore Middle School and since I know that several of the students there are also avid readers of this blog (shout out to Momo and Shamrock!), I figured I'd give a quick recap.

We've been doing gym classes for several years now and they are consistently the most fun assignments we do in Myachi.  But this one was unique; it was the first time we ever did the same school two years in a row.

It was a bit different.  Most of the students already knew the game and had some sick skill.  Even most of the 6th graders who were new to the school were familiar with Myachi, as it was big in all the elementary schools they were coming from.  I actually felt bad for the sprinkling of kids who were seeing the game for the first time today.  They were learning Cold Fusion and Under the Leg while others were learning Double Wolverines and Flying Clippers.

Today's crew consisted of Kid, Animal, Monk and myself, but we were only able to teach half the student body today.  Tomorrow we'll be back to teach the rest of them and I'm looking forward to it.  I'll be fresh off of watching the first football game of the season (and hopefully watching my fantasy TE racking up some points), but more than that I'm back in the swing of things.  It was a little weird going back into a school after almost 4 months of hiatus.  But by 3rd period today I was back in the groove and went into auto-pilot.

There's one more reason I'm stoked about it.  I met a really cool kid at the school who, in addition to being a Myachi prodigy, also professed a love for juggling.  He wasn't in our class today, but he'll be there tomorrow... and he promised to bring his juggling pins.

Sorry I didn't update the blog earlier and sorry the trick of the day is running so late, but sometimes the duties of a Myachi Master stack up.  Luckily we jugglers are used to doing half a dozen things at the same time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You Should Take This Quiz

by Crazy Ivan

Actually getting the Wednesday quiz up on Wednesday because life just isn't fun unless you're doing something different from time to time.  Enjoy:

Candy at Myachi HQ

by Crazy Ivan

It makes perfect sense.  There are kids at Myachi HQ.  There should be candy there as well.

We got to talking about that the other day.  Surely our customers would appreciate an enormous selection of brightly colored sugar when they walk through the door, right?  Surely we could make a profit if we loaded up on enough junk food to give a hippo diabetes and then sell it to all the Myachi maniacs who frequent this establishment, right?

Well, there's only one way to find out and that's to buy a bunch of candy.  And yeah, we did that:

Pictured above: A ruined appetite
There's actually some kind of healthy stuff, too, but for some reason wants to orient the picture sideways when I try to insert it, so you'll just have to settle for less than half of our now massive candy collection.

I'm sure that our customers will appreciate it, but now I've suddenly been trusted around an almost unlimited supply of candy.  This will not end well for me...

Going Back to School

by Crazy Ivan

Well, it's only fair.  Nearly everyone who reads this blog had to go back to school in the last couple of weeks so there's no reason why I should be exempt.  We just got the official word yesterday but it looks like Kid, Monk, Animal and I will spend the next couple of days doing my absolute favorite assignment in Myachidom: Gym class.

When I was in school I wasn't a big fan of gym.  I loved to play dodge ball and I was pretty stoked when we did anything basketball related, but most of the days it would just be running track or learning about nutrition or something like that.  I can say that in 12 years of gym classes, I never got to anything as fun as spending a whole day playing Myachi.

But that's what the lucky students at North Shore Middle School can look forward to on Thursday and Friday.  We're taking over the gym and planting the Myachi flag smack in the middle of it.  We'll spend the day teaching tricks, having contests, giving away prizes and showing off.  On the whole, that's even more fun than dodge ball.

We actually did the same thing at the same school last year so this year we'll have the added benefit of many of the students already knowing some tricks and having some skills.  There will be 6th graders that were in elementary school last year along with plenty of students that moved into the area or transferred schools since last year, but I'd expect that the majority of the people we meet this week will already know the game and at least know a few basic tricks.  This will allow us to crank things up a bit and teach some much tougher stuff than we did last year.  It also opens new doors when it comes to contests as well.

Schools are always the most fun venues for Myachi.  You've got a captive audience so unlike FAO Shwarz or Dollywood there aren't any roller coasters or giant pianos competing with us for attention.  What's more is that we're dealing with people who are fresh out of Algebra class and about to head to Geography so they're always eager to have as much fun as humanly possible.

I'll give a recap tomorrow or Friday once the whole thing wraps up, but I thought I should warn our loyal readers that the blog won't be updated tomorrow afternoon (I'll try to get something up in the morning though) as I'll be in the middle of teaching a class at that time.  The Trick of the Day video will also be coming in a bit later than usual, but probably no later than yesterday's.


by Crazy Ivan

I Started doing the trick of the day back in December, but at that point I was just linking videos that Myachi had already uploaded.  We already had a few dozen moves so I figured I'd mix them in with some of the maniac-submitted videos and we'd be able to put together a new trick every day.

That didn't last long, of course, so before long I had to start recording new videos.  That began on January 12th of this year so I've been at it 5 times a week for 238 days.  That's a total of nearly 170 moves altogether.

I'd love to say that this has been an error free streak, but I'd be lying if I did.  There have been (to my knowledge) 4 errors thus far, the most recent of which was yesterday:
  • The Samurai: I never even mentioned this, but after I recorded the Samurai video I looked back and saw that I'd messed the trick up.  My brain had fuzzed out or something and I did (essentially) a Drop of Death from a Cradle.  The Samurai is supposed to grind down from a Mantis.  I've got a video up showing a completely different move.
  • The Missing Trick: On the week I first returned from Tennessee we were doing one-fingered tricks.  With all the driving, unpacking and catching up, I completely missed a day.  I promised to make up for it over the weekend but I didn't have my camera.  By the time I did it was too late to get the trick up in the same week so it never went up.
  • The Grasshopper: Just spaced on the name on this one.  There's a move similar to the Grasshopper called the "Flying Guppy" and when I did the trick I misidentified it.  I said it wrong on the video, I titled it wrong and even loaded it into You-Tube wrong.  Went back and changed what I could, but it will still serve to confuse anyone watching it.
  • The Melon Stall: This was yesterday's trick.  When I was putting together the update on the Tricktionary I noticed that I still didn't have a video for this basic move, which was why I did upper body stalls this week.  I put up the Melon Stall video yesterday just to be reminded that I actually have already put up a video for that move a few months ago.  I filmed a rerun.
I suppose that 4 mistakes in 238 days isn't the worst record we could have.  That's an average of one mess up every 8 and a half weeks.  Once every couple of months.  With these numbers I could easily just brush it off as human fallibility and be on my merry way.  Except for one thing: 3 of these errors have been in the last 19 days.

After a single error in 8 months I manage better than one per week!  I can only imagine how chaotic this whole thing is going to get if I let this slide continue.  I'll wind up posting tricks backwards or something before it's all over.

So here's the deal: I'm going to redouble my efforts here and turn over a new Trick of the Day leaf.  No more errors from here on out.  I've got a super busy week this week so I probably won't be able to enact this right away, but I'm going to fix the four errors listed above.  I'm going to refilm the Samurai video, add another one fingered trick and refilm the Grasshopper and call it by the correct name.  Too late to do anything about the Melon Stall video, but since I repeated a trick I suppose I owe everyone another move this week anyway.  I hope to have this all done by week's end but with a big school event coming up Thursday and Friday I may have to wait until the middle of next week.

...Hopefully I won't have screwed up again by then.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tournament Prize Announcement

by Crazy Ivan

I haven't talked about it yet on this blog, but I'm willing to bet many/most of you have already heard that we've got a big tournament coming up this week.  Any Myachi fans that are in the NYC area are strongly encouraged to come out to the Funky Monkey (in Greenvale, LI) and test their skills at Myachi Golf, Big Air, Long Toss and Freestyle.  How strongly encouraged?  How about this strongly encouraged:

Yeah, that's right.  That means exactly what you think it does.  The overall champion at this tournament will be walking away with the most valuable Myachi ever offered as a prize in any contest in the history of Myachi.  The Clear.

This one will be coming from Myachi Man's personal collection and he's in the proccess of driving it up right now.  I'd like to think that he's got a caravan of unmarked SWAT trucks around him, a helicopter flying overhead and Batman patiently observing from a remote location, but in reality he probably just has it in a box in his trunk.

For those of you who aren't familiar with exactly how rare this thing is, it has a trade value of 305 (for comparison, that's about 61 times as valuable as a common).  There are only 30 in circulation in the world, it was made over 12 years ago and I once turned down an offer to buy my Clear for $2000.  Seriously.

Anyway, if you were on the fence about coming to the tournament, get off the fence and come to the tournament.  Sorry to all the people who are too far away (no way to Skype in on a Big Air contest), but for those of you who are close enough, you owe it to the people who aren't to show up and win this Myachi for them.

I'll have more details about the contest later on in the week, so keep checking in.  We're getting started at 12 noon so you probably want to get there early and make sure you're signed up and everything before we get going.  There will be a bunch more prizes (including gift cards redeemable at Myachi HQ) and plenty of impromptu games of Fu and MYACH.  Winners will be featured on the blog on Monday along with a full recap of the day's events.

If you have any questions about the tournament, feel free to direct them to my inbox:

Starting a Myachi Club

by Crazy Ivan

The signs over the highway on the way to HQ this morning were sure to remind us that school starts today here in Long Island.  Judging from my completely unscientific sampling of Facebook friends, they're some of the last kids in the country going back to school so I'm guessing that most of our readers have been back for at least a few days now.

Going back to school has its pros and cons, of course.  On the downside you've gotta get up early in the morning and stay up late doing homework.  On the upside you have an awesome STWAKOJ opportunity (there's also some kind of education or something that they do).  This is especially true for those of you that got into the game over the summer and will be introducing it to your extended network of friends for the first time, but it is also true for the more long term jammer as well.  Sure, your friends might have seen the game before, but I'm sure you've learned a thing or two since then.

There are a lot of ways to spread the word at school.  You can jam between classes, of course.  You can bring your Myachi to practice for pretty much any sport.  You can get a circle going outside after school lets out.  But one of the most popular and most effective ways is to start a Myachi club in your school.

That's not the right idea for everyone, of course.  If you're the only person in your school that is into the game it might be too early to start a club.  You can't have a one person club, after all.  But if you've got a group of friends that are into it already or if Myachi is already semi-known in your school, a weekly club can be a spectacular vehicle for expanding the reach of the Myachi empire.

Running a Myachi club is a lot of fun and it can be a really effective way of (a) getting people into the game and (b) keeping them in the game for a long time.  It's extremely rewarding for the person who gets it all started, but it can also be a lot of work.  If you want to do it right, you'll be taking on the huge responsibility of making sure that it is fun and fresh every week.  Ask yourself if you'd have time to make it a club everyone would look forward to going to every week.  Be honest with yourself about the amount of spare time you'll be able to devote to it.  If it's an hour long club you'll have to set aside more than an hour a week to it.  You'll need at least twice that much time to prepare for each week's meeting (assuming that you want your club to be awesome).

We'll talk a bit more later this week about what you can do to keep a Myachi club fun week after week, but before we get into details about that, let's tackle the important topic.  You've thought it over and decided that you've got plenty of time on your hands, plenty of eager members-to-be and plenty of ideas for your weekly meetings.  But how do you get things started?

The actual procedure for starting a club will be different at every school, of course.  In my experience, the best person to talk to about finding out those procedures is the school's secretary.  They always seem to be accessible and know where to point you if nothing else.  Sure, the principle will know as well, but they're usually scarcer than the secretary.

Most schools will require that a teacher or coach "sponsor" the team in some way.  They'll have to be at the weekly meetings or, at the very least, have to put their seal of approval on the idea of the club.  For some people this is the hardest step in getting the club going, but the easy way out is to just start teaching your teachers how to play the game.  If you teach 5 or 6 of them, odds are pretty good that at least one of them is going to fall in love with it.  In fact, I'm willing to bet you already know which teacher at your school would be most likely to love it.  A good rule of thumb here is that when in doubt, try the gym teachers.

So the things that you'll (probably) need to get started are:
  • A few friends that want to join the club
  • A teacher or coach's support for the club
  • The school's specific procedures for starting an after school club.
Once you've got that, your club is well on its way to getting started.  Once it's been approved, everything is official and you know what day you'll be meeting, it's time to start advertising your club.  You can put up signs in the school and tell everyone you know, but the most important way to grow membership in your club is to have a ridiculous amount of fun at the first meeting.  If everybody spends Wednesday talking about how much fun the Myachi club was on Tuesday, you'll find a much bigger crowd showing up next week.

Obviously, the next logical question is "How do you make your club fun?" but to tackle that one I'll need a whole new blog post.  Keep an eye out later this week...