Cultural impact on yo-yo style.

After watching worlds, I kinda realized that different cultures tend to have different yo-yo styles. Asia has a very technical and speedy style, while America has a bouncier and slacky kinda style. Mexico (Paul Kerbel and Luis Enrique, anyway) has a very showy style, and Europe has a great mix of all these things.

Have any of you noticed this or given any thought about why this is the case? Do you even think that this is a thing? Maybe it’s just me.

Yes it right in a way. Most people who are a group like Asians. Singapore China Japan basically. Then USA they have a similar kind of style.

This topic comes up in online forums all the time, and every time it’s just as pointless. The idea that “Asians”, or “Americans”, or “Europeans”, are these monolithic groups that magically share the same style is a pointless prejudice that’s as old as time. People might be more likely to be influenced by others in the same region, based on more exposure at local contests/clubs, but those barriers are collapsing with the internet and globally traveling contests like Worlds. Go watch more videos.

I tend to be able to tell whether it’s “American”, “European”, or “Asian” style of trick. This is more apparent when, say, you watch Asia Pacific contest footage, then watch the one from EYYC, then watch the American one.
I completely understand that each person plays differently, an American may play Asian speedy combo and stuff, but still there is certain “general flavor” of the styles that I can’t really put into words, but it’s there. Frankly, the internet still haven’t broken the cultural barrier, if there is such thing anyway.

I agree with every word you said, Owen. Asia is fast and technical, the US has more slack, bouncy, small combos, Mexico has all show and speed, Europe has everything.

The only thing that i could observe so far is that Asians train hard an search perfection so that they get recognition for their hard work.

As Americans/Europeans train hard on their own and then pretend that everything is easy and demand recoginition for their “supreme talent” to feel better than the others.

of course not everybody is that way but the tendency are there.

We currently are housing a Chinese exchange student, and we played a game of skip-bo with him. He hates to lose as in he won’t stand it. I don’t know if this would apply for all Asians, but it would make sense of theirs style scoring very well in contests. Their play style was refined to score exceedingly well in contests so they don’t lose.

I will agree that a lot of the asian players have a fast paced style. I’d hate to be next in line in a contest after them because mine is laid back. :stuck_out_tongue:

People who are influenced by certain things will tend to perform a certain way. With yo-yoing, reaction time and dexterity are both very important, so individual strengths are less important and the player’s mindset and view of their performances will be key.

If they’re going for as many points as possible through raw tricks, it doesn’t matter where they come from, it’s speed combos. But bland speed doesn’t get you much attention with fellow enthusiasts. A lot of Chinese competitors either aren’t sponsored or don’t participate in the kind of artistic performances you see in other regions’ promo videos.

In terms of cultural influences, that’s possible. You have more people who perform a certain way in a certain region, because of how they value skill. Western nations generally don’t value raw scores as much - there’s that ideal of style over perfection, because art is meant to be enjoyable. In East Asia, there’s more of an emphasis on having performance reflect a person’s skill. In the end, both sides need to find a middle ground in order to compete at worlds. Adding flair to choreography versus adding showmanship to a routine.

There will always be a signature style/flavor due to geographic boundaries. It might not be as obvious, but it can be as simple as where people buy yoyos, or what their sponsoring companies want them to do. It might be what type of tricks the local community prefers. Are you going to be more competitive with pulling off faster tricks than your friends, or try to make up new and crazy tricks?

As a comparison, video gamers in games like League of Legends or Dota also have differences between regions, purely based off of how people strategize differently. There’s so many ways to do things that following the local trends is an easy way to pick a style, especially when you’re cooperating and competing with the majority of people.

i think that’s actually LESS true than it was in past decades. as internet video quality has improved, players have seen an exponential increase in the ease of assimilating other trick styles.

10 years ago, just in the u.s., you really had regional yo-yo “dialects” born out of players’ constant exposure to each other as they developed. you had a distinct northeast style, a spindox style, a socal/dxl style… even an “idaho” style for awhile there.

these days i think most of that has disappeared. watching worlds (or even smaller contests), those players may be influenced by their local friends to a degree, but you also definitely see the top players’ styles cross-pollinating (and influenced by players with distinct styles from the past decade - yuuki, ando, senba, mickey, markmont, jensen, etc…). yeah, guys like kerbel and luis have some “big tricks”, but i think that’s more representative of a “kerbel and luis” scene than a “mexican style” by far. yeah “asian players” might seem fast and technical, but so do A LOT of u.s. and european players. i think the way we PRESENT our tricks might be more culturally-informed than the tricks themselves, which would be interesting to study.

mostly though, i think our human brains are wired to see what we expect to see.


^^^ Yep.

The internet killed regional styles. Made it soooo much easier for kids without a local player base to learn and get good, which is awesome, but those isolated pockets of players did some really cool stuff for a while.