I’m well aware that they are additional styles. I forget all the names and what the specifics are, but it’s certainly interesting to see where individuals’ creativity has come up with and all the new possibilities that have become a reality as a result.
Regarding specializing, I think that comes down to one of two major possibilities. Some people may only have an interest in one style as that’s what caught their eye. Not everyone needs to like the other styles of play. Then there are the people who show proficiency in multiple styles, but are choosing to focus on a particular style. Specialization removes a lot of distraction and lets time be used more effectively and efficiently.
Then we got guys like Jayyo, someone who is choosing to not focus on one style. I saw him compete i the 5 styles at CalStates2012. The guy is good, real good. However, he’s often not placing Top 3 in any of those categories(I think it did in 1 category). Regardless of how well Jayyo does in contests, having someone like him COMPETING is good for the yoyo community, as he shows an unwillingness to specialize and mad skills in all 5 main competitive styles. I felt Jayyo should have ranked higher in a couple of divisions, but that’s just my opinion.
When I first started out almost 11 months ago(1 day short today), I was only interested in string tricks, so 1A is going to be my style for now. Since then, I’ve grown and learned, and now I want to be able to do stuff in all 5 major styles. I can do a few 4A tricks and a few 5A tricks now, so I’m on my way. I’m trying to learn looping, which is coming along nicely but not as fast as I’d like. Yet, I still focus on 1A since that’s where I want to spend most of my time for the time being. I won’t be a Jayyo, but I hope to be OK enough at these styles to talk intelligently and perform reliably for demonstration purposes.
Also, when I started out, 2A looked really boring. I mean, you do have two yoyos moving fast so its very visually stimulating, but it seemed excessively redundant to me. Even watching it live can be a bit boring for the same reason. But if you’re not interested in it, it really makes a big difference in how it’s perceived. I decided that I should learn looping and eventually work my way to 2A stuff. I think this decision was good. Even though I can’t really do looping reliably with even my dominant hand yet, I am improving. Seeing it live at CalStates only reinforced that this decision to learn looping was a good choice
That’s not to say I’m not interested in the other styles outside of the Competitive 5. At the moment, I am not. For now, it’s better for someone like me to focus on very specific things and not spread myself thin. I also choose to remain open to the possibility of expanding my interests.
We also have to look at how yoyo is perceived outside of the community. First, the community itself is a niche element, taking in individuals from all the types of social groups, but in small numbers. While the numbers themselves are actually quite large, they are so spread out that it’s not common. Second, people know either string tricks or looping tricks, although they may not understand the concept of styles. The public is used to seeing string tricks, and they are used to seeing one and even 2-handed looping, although they may not know they have names like string tricks, looping tricks, 0A, 1A and 2A. As many contests are held in public places, the reality is that people on the inside LOVE it and people on the outside find it can be annoying. They are typically passing through the area and “oh hey, some yoyo thing”, watch for a few and then keep on their merry way. Even so, seeing 3A, they won’t really get into it. 4A seems like “showing off” and 5A is “I don’t get it”. But also, competitions only focus on the 5 major styles.
I think another aspect is that the styles outside the major 5 aren’t practiced by sufficient number of people to warrant their own unique divisions, which I guess why there should be a truly OPEN division that is for all styles not in the 5 major styles. Or maybe that’s why they save it for the Artistic division.
I think it’s ideal that players be exposed to everything they can be exposed to, including these other styles. I know it’s certainly been beneficial to me to see some of this.