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A couple weeks ago I posted a video conjecturing a new framework for understanding how poi hybrids are constructed--namely that they are examples of poi motion retaining multiple combinations of timing and direction. I've had a couple holes in this theory pointed out to me and I've come to see additional holes myself, so I'm putting together a breakdown of why my theory was flawed as well as laying the groundwork for a new theory based both upon this feedback and my own explorations.
The foundation of that original theory was noticing that all the hybrids I was familiar with all seemed to pass through multiple combinations of the four basic timing and direction combos I'd spent years drilling: same time/same direction, split time/same direction, same time/opposites, split time/opposites. These all represent attempts to have at every 90 degree interval the poi/hand combination either as close together as they can get or as far apart as they can get while moving around a given center of rotation. We identify strongly with these four points of reference because they represent the furthest poles of the cardinal directions of our own anatomy: top, bottom, left, and right.
All of the unit circle hybrids fit neatly into this framework as they all obey the rules of the four combinations of timing and direction we're used to working with--in fact that's how each individual hand/poi combination is defined in the "driving styles" that build each hybrid. But as I noted before, the term "driving style" currently lacks a falsifiable definition, meaning that any one cycle poi move could be referred to as a "driving style" and thus at each new circle size the hand draws we have an entirely new set of these "driving styles" to work with. Because individual "driving styles" don't seem to repeat across circle size, they seem at odds with the popularly understood definition of "a basic type of poi movement" given that there appear to be a new set of basics at each circle size rather than extensible driving styles.
Things get a little rougher when we get above the size of the unit circle, however. One example that Tank pointed out to me was the idea of each hand producing extensions of different sizes and he's absolutely right--in fact this was the first type of hybrid that I learned. This can be though of as a single hand in static rotation (hand does not move) while the other hand/poi combination traces an extension in concert with the poi in static rotation. It was a stretch for me to originally claim that the counterpart to this move, the triquetra versus static spin constituted opposites versus same direction and it's an even bigger stretch to claim that somehow the hands in this position can represent both opposites and same direction depending on whether the poi are moving in antispin or extension. I really can't have it both ways.
Things get even stickier when one contemplates escape vectors from any triquetra-based hybrid. As noted in my hybrid video, triquetras seemed to break the even convention of timing and direction combinations given that they could never match any two points of convergence and divergence with any of the timing and direction combinations. To take one example, I can exit a triquetra vs extension hybrid with the triangle pointed straight up at the apex and switch into either same time/opposites extension or antispin flower by performing a CAP with one hand, but if I attempt to exit the hybrid at either of the other two vertices I have to let the integrity of the original shape drift to make it into any of the timing and direction combinations. Indeed, this is exactly what happens when we switch from triquetra to CAP: the vertex we exit into drifts into a point of balance with the nearest available combination of timing and direction.
But this is just triquetras--what if we switch to four-petal flowers? In that case timing and direction can be identified only from the motion of the hands. Once again, we have a system of understanding motion that isn't extensible. The rules operate differently at every size, making normalizations by timing and direction combination impossible. Without timing and direction combinations a constant across each circle size, my original hybrid theory is looking pretty washed up, but it's not the end of the story. I believe there is a way to look at the symmetry of poi and hand motion that encapsulates our traditional ideas of timing and direction while allowing us the infinite variation of timing separation we need to address all the possible combinations of flower and hybrid based movements both that currently exist and that could possible come to exist with practice.
Coming up next: what's a poi theorist to do? Break down the poi to the most basic elements of its motion and see what comes out of it.