Modern yoyoing "vs" 2A, why I'm concerned

(rizkiyoist) #1

We all know that 2A division is really cool and all, but why not many people are willing to learn? There should be a reason for that, and been doing 2A for like 3 years I kinda can see the big picture. The following is merely my opinion of what I’ve done and observed, and shouldn’t be taken as fact.

I think the problem lies on the modern yoyos themselves. They are too stable to teach you how to have control. What kind of control? Let’s say it’s like riding a bike.
Classic and older model yoyos are like normal bike, you need to learn how to balance the bike before learning how to do wheelie and such. Modern yoyos are like… bike with computer stabilization control. Put it this way, you want to go from location A to B, along the way the bike starts to tilt, but because it’s really stable it tilts really slowly, and before you fall down you already reached location B. This way you don’t have to be able to “ride a bike” to ride a bike.
Now let’s go back to yoyos, modern yoyos are really stable even when someone have no idea on how to control it, they can start learning tricks… when the yoyo tilts too much simply bind, end of the story. The tilt control comes later naturally after a few years of practicing, which I think is too late.
As with 2A, you will need to be able to really “ride the bike”, you play sloppy you will fail, no excuse. The problem is here, in 2A learn the skill first (full control on basic loops) and tricks later, with modern 1A you can learn the tricks first, sharpening your skill goes along with it. 2A will not give you immediate “one night learn” kinda thing, it takes a lot of time and that is very unlike learning basic 1A. When one learn basic 1A in like a week, they may expect to learn 2A in somewhat similar time, which is not, and then give up too early.
This is why I’m concerned about the way yoyoing grows right now, it’s not only about 2A but yoyoing in general. I see it going towards easy to play super stable yoyos that forgives bad throw (except 2A yoyos which are basically the same). New players may feel more accomplished upfront because it’s easier to learn tricks with stable yoyos, but I think they actually grow slower in the long run compared to people who were starting out with unstable older yoyos. I can’t say it’s entirely a bad thing because it keeps people from being turned down so they are more willing to learn, but in the other hand it teaches bad habits that will affect them in the long run.
That’s how I see it, again that was only my opinion.
What do you think?

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #2

Work! 2a is a lot of work and deserves mad respect. It’s easier and the gratification more immediate with the other forms. Short cuts are more appealing, in anything, not just yo-yoing. People want to believe that you can buy greatness. That’s why more people try yo-yoing than stick with it.

That’s my opinion based on my experience and no other stats. Agree/Disagree but my opinion is valid based on my experiences, your experiences may vary as your opinions. (That’s good by the way). :wink:


Like riding vert on a bike, which nobody does, because of the learning curve. Instead kids ride street and park, which is relatively easy.


I think a lot of people are picking up fixed axle instead of 2a.

I know I did.

I love kendama, playing with my OUT is like applying that type of focus to yoyo, whereas bearing 1A unresponsive yoyos are just a whole different style… Yet still one handed.

2A lost it’s appeal for me simply because it is two-handed. I like looping yoyos, and I like playing with looping yoyos, but no one competes 0A for obvious reasons… So that draws a lot of players to fixed axle, 4a, and 5a for ‘new’ types of play. Even 3a is gaining popularity because most people have two unresponsive yoyos to play with.

Fixed axle is becoming a competition worthy 0A, so there is more draw and incentive to learn.

Looping yoyos will probably become more and more niche, or so it seems, but I do believe the popularity may retain if not grow in certain parts of the world, most likely Asia. I could see 2A shrinking fast in the west - especially with the rebirth of fixed axle.

Maybe someone needs to come along and reinvent what 0A is to get people interested?

(Former National 4A Champion) #5

I agree with the OP. I think one of the main reasons that I mastered my offstring throws and catches was because I started out on a 1a yoyo. Once I learned it well on that, large 4a yoyos were a breeze.


As you said, it’s a learning curve thing.

The learning curve for 1a is extremely shallow… it’s very easy to pick up and learn some basics very quickly. I can teach a basic 10 trick ladder to pretty much anybody in a few hours or less.

2a is the opposite, it’s -extremely- steep. Just learning the basics is going to take you a long time… perfecting them will take months, not hours.

There is also a ‘level of play’ issue.

In 1a, because it’s fairly accessible, you can become a top competitor in a matter of a couple years.

2a it’s not going to happen. For the most part, the guys at the top of 2a have been there since the early 2000s and have. not. stopped. getting better… they’ve elevated the division to absolutely insane levels of skill, and catching them would either require a) a -ton- of time practicing or b) them quitting.



I’ve been yo-yoing for about 13 years, and practicing 2A on a fairly regular basis for the past 3.

I started getting interested in 2A because one day I was stricken by the awesome realization: 2A is dual-wielding. In video games, dual wielding with laser guns is significantly more awesome than a single gun. In real life yo-yoing, to be able to use two yo-yos competently, in my opinion, is pretty damn awesome.

That said, my style of 2A, visually, is really sloppy. I can loop consistently without messing up for as long as I need to, but my loops are very haphazard and erratic. That’s not to say I’m not in control of the yo-yos at every moment. But I’m not trying to make my loops look perfect, and I know that my looping will never amount to a competitive freestyle. My 2A is for walking down the street, swinging yo-yos around in circles because it feels awesome to be able to do it.

While I suck at 2A but continue to love doing it, I’ve thought an awful lot about how it compares to “modern” yo-yoing. Obviously, the hardware is different, and it’s a totally different skillset. Rather than focusing on making a yo-yo sleep for a very long time and composing intricate knots and flows, 2A is all about speed, response, and repetition. To that end, 2A is a lot more visually impressive for non yo-yoers: there are two yo-yos, obviously, but also they are moving extremely fast and in an extremely dynamic, even, acrobatic fashion.

In my observation, this attention to responsiveness has exuded extreme effects when 2A players perform other styles of yo-yoing. Consider Shinji Saito and John Ando. When I watch their unresponsive 1A, I feel as though their understanding of the yo-yo’s motion is acutely considering the nuances of responsiveness they’ve learned from 2A. They’re not making up string tricks and trying to smooth them out later. They’re executing smooth movements first, and extracting the tricks from the string second. It’s a totally different approach to thinking about how the yo-yo moves.

Just my $0.02


I’ll totally cop to the gratification vs. work thing.

I totally give 2A players (even the ones who are just starting out) all kinds of respect. I’ve been known to say that 2A is where the bosses live. :wink:

But I get a real kick out of 1A, so there’s no incentive for me at this moment to switch over. I don’t need my skills to improve at any particular rate as long as I’m having fun. I’m not a sponsored or competitive player, so every minute of play is just a minute of play. It’s never “did I get better?” but rather “did I have some fun?”

As long as 1A holds appeal to me, I don’t see venturing into 2A or even 5A very much. As soon as I want some extra kicks, I’ll try something out. The moment I look at my yoyo when I’m about to play 1A and go “Nah. Don’t feel like it.” I’ll pick up a pair of loopers or throw a counterweight onto something. :wink:

But yeah. 2A is legit.


I think fixed axle and more YYE buy “one get another free” sales will get me to 2A some day. I was pretty close to pulling the trigger on that last sale.

Just started getting into fixed but I think it will be my gateway to 2A eventually.


I can see by your signature that you take it very seriously and consider very few “yoyoers” to be the real thing. Take a deep breath and relax, because its a toy. The only rule is to have fun playing the way you want to. You enjoy 2a and that is great, but don’t try to force others to do something you love by belittling their method of enjoyment.

That said, 2a just doesn’t allow for creative combos that are only possible on unresponsive yoyos. When I want responsive fun, I play with fixies which still allows for incredible creativity, but also that challenge requiring accuracy and control.


Nail on the head. Especially with 2a, it feels as if there’s no more room left for innovation, which can be a bit of a demotivator.


I have mad respect for anyone who is able to even somewhat do 2a because it is the hardest division (in my opinion). But I just don’t have the interest in learning it, because as mentioned, it feels as if it is harder to innovate seeing as string tricks are where innovations happen most. Plus, the learning curve on it is more comparable to kendama, where it can take years to master. Its fun to watch, just not many yoyoers style.


The idea of learning 2a is hushed up for marketing purposes. People hear the message “better yoyos means better play.”


the difference being that 2a yoyos make all the difference in the world. in the case of 2a yoyos, it is true that better yoyos mean better play. you lose so much control going from modded raiders to 808s or the like. i get that for 1a, 3a, and 5a, different yoyos dont mean all too much, but in the case of 2a, even changing the type of lube will make a huge difference.

(rizkiyoist) #15

Nah, I think you’re getting my sig wrong. I’ve never tried to belittle others because they don’t wanna learn 2a, I’m just saying that to encourage more people to it. It’s more like “you look handsome if you wear that shirt”, not saying that you are ugly without it.
Clearly the language barrier is taller than I thought… this wasn’t the first time people get me wrong though, I have to be more careful. Thanks for pointing that out.


“I am here to make yoyoing more than just a toy; I am here to make it an art.”

- John Narum

(Former National 4A Champion) #17

i couldn’t agree more. especially for beginners like me, 2a yoyos are so temperamental.


I rather disagree with the OP. I think learning the basics of yoyoing on a responsive imperial shaped yoyo is important (up and down and the like). But looping is not necessary for 1a. It’s a totally different thing. They are almost two different things completely when it comes to some of the skill sets required. While I am not by any means a looping master I did do it for a while before 1a and I picked it up again during my 1a practice. I know just the whole up and down thing helped me tremendously when it came to picking up an unresponsive.


Some people label scribbles on rocks as art. Doesn’t mean its good. :wink:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to John Narum in any way in that last sentiment. John Narum has mad skills and creative expression. Yoyo is art, but its fun. Art should be lucky to have association with such a cool medium as the yoyo. ;D

Glad to hear that it was simply a misunderstanding! :slight_smile:


Though it is kinda sad that 2A is having less and less players. This sort of makes 2A kinda exclusive, and people start wanting to try it? So i think this sort of thing should not be a worry