When I first met these two Hawaiian glove gods [IM] Puppet and [IM] Mez, their use of “Web Theory” embodied their styles so naturally that I had to rename it for them. I, Jest, do hereby officially dub this the “Infinite Movement Theory.”
This theory is the outline for a very useful, but fairly advanced practice tool. It is to be used in the lab to take your learned moves and sequences, break them down to their bare bones and reconstruct new patterns and combos.
Doing this will help you increase dexterity, smooth out transitions, combat glover’s block and begin to define a unique style without sacrificing cleanliness and proper basic technique.
To start off, we have to establish a way to visualize or represent our moves on paper. The simplest way to do this is to think about individual moves as counts on a music bar. Music comes in all sorts of time signatures, but a very common time signature for EDM is 4/4, meaning four beats per measure. This means that we can count 16 beats in the span of 4 measures. If we think about our moves in place of music notes, we have 16 beats to fill with moves that could be timed like full notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes or shorter. The only limitation is how fast you can move.
For the sake of keeping the Infinite Movement Theory simple, we are going to assume each 8 count in the song will contain exactly 8 moves, so each permutation will be the same length, 1 beat.
For an explanation on permutations and the Infinite Movement Theory, check out the tutorial series I made to go along with the article.
This theory begins with the idea that number permutations are specific orders for numbers. If we label our moves, styles or classifications as numbers 0-9, we can recall exact illusions and patterns that we have previously labeled.
For example, the finger roll is made of 8 movements. Each finger individually has a job to accomplish in a specific order to create the wave illusion. If instead of executing this movement sequence in order of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, you reordered which fingers fire at certain times, you can create an entirely different illusion using the same movements and numbers. By changing the order to 4-5-6-3-7-2-8-1, it is now an entirely new sequence and illusion to build onto your show. You’re using the same finger movements, just in a new order.
Stretching this sequence into infinity requires a bit more imagination. By taking your most complex trick or combo and breaking it down into 8 beats, you should assign numbers 1-8 number to the corresponding movements and practice that permutation over and over. You will then build muscle memory for the pattern.
The first critical step is outlining the base network of your patterns and flow. The first way to begin expanding the 8 count combo it is to cut it in half so you have 2 separate 4 counts.
Example: 2,4,3,3,6,7,8,5 —> 2,4,3,3 | 6,7,8,5
You can also “grow” them into 2 entirely different 8 counts by adding stops in between them (the underscores represent stops).
Example: 2,4,3,3,6,7,8,5 —> 2,4,3,_,_3,4,2 | 6,_,7,_,8,_,5,_
I started with one 8 count and used that as a model to build 2 completely different permutations. When you execute these numbers as movements, they will play out to the viewer as different ideas all together, rather then seeing how the second 2 eight counts are related to the first one.
This is an abstract idea that is best used while practicing, creating and expanding your move-pool. Trying to use this right away in a show will result in a headache. But I personally endorse this theory to help your growth and expansion. This is, at its core, a way to visualize all the variations that are possible with finger styles and gloving.
I heard a saying from liquid master [DM] Houdoken that I think is fitting here. He once told me to “do the math.” By this, he meant that there are a seemingly infinite amount of variations to try out in even the most simple of movement types. The only real way to master this concept is to do the math.
All I have to say to that is, Jest Do it.