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Old 2019-06-12, 01:42 PM   #1
finnspin
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Eli Brill and Chris Huriwai Beginner Tutorials

Two really good riders decided to start making beginner tutorials, so I thought I'll post them up. If I understand correctly, they both will post tutorials for many more basics, so follow them on youtube if you are interested. I'm definetely happy to see these two "pro" riders making tutorials.
Eli Brills "Unicycle School":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUNv6B6JBJ8

Chris Huriwais "Uniquest":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWUoIv1ftXc

Both have a slightly different methods, which is good, so everyone can take things they like and use them in their training. I hope they both follow through with their series, because the unicycle world was severely lacking a resource like this for the "basics" in a video format. (Because most people head to youtube for any questions they have nowadays.)
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Old 2019-06-12, 05:56 PM   #2
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Thanks, finnspin

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
I hope they both follow through with their series.
Indeed.


Incidentally, Chis Huriwai's PrettyGoodChannel is what got me started and I keep coming back to it.
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Old 2019-06-13, 12:50 AM   #3
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As there is probably some huge proportion of unicyclists who are beginners or aspiring beginners, Chris Huriwai and Eli Brill are probably smart, from an advertising standpoint, to start making beginner tutorials, though I don't think pedaling your first ten revolutions under the guidance of a superstar is really going to make much of a difference. I have been a fan of Huriwai's tutorials for a while, especially his Top Ten Easiest Unicycle Tricks video, though if I were a beginner, I think this video would be way more inspiring.
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Old 2019-06-13, 02:54 AM   #4
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Chris Huriwai and Eli Brill are probably smart, from an advertising standpoint, to start making beginner tutorials, though I don't think pedaling your first ten revolutions under the guidance of a superstar is really going to make much of a difference.
Did you watch the videos?

The fact that the two riders in question are elite riders makes no difference which is probably why they don't give a background of who they are in the videos. They made the videos purely to provide well structured, thorough videos for people searching on youtube. I don't think the videos were made for "inspiration" as the majority of people who come across these videos when searching for "how to unicycle" will never find out that they are watching riders who were top 3 in the world/world champion.
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Old 2019-06-13, 03:32 AM   #5
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I watched the first beginner tutorial by Huriwai for a minute or two. It seemed OK.

I had already been riding a unicycle for a couple of months before I thought of trying to learn about it on the Internet, so I am probably not the best judge of a good beginner video, but in my experience most people think they are too old or too fat to ride a unicycle, so that video of the fat guy learning to ride seems pretty good to me. The other basics of unicycling can be covered by pretty much anyone: get the cranks horizontal, let go of the wall as soon as you're ready to roll, fall forward, etc.

In Japan it might be different. I have heard that over there unicycling is just for schoolgirls. I asked a Japanese acquaintance if boys in Japan were forbidden from riding the school unicycles, and she said no, they just choose not to!
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Old 2019-06-13, 07:06 AM   #6
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I'm mostly excited for them covering more of the basic tricks. I often give workshops, and it would be really nice to just point people there to these two channels if they want to continue learning tricks. There has always been tutorials for some tricks out there, but spread around across many channels, and or difficult to find.

I've never gotten more than one small pointer out of a tutorial video, but someone giving an explanation somehow gives you more confidence to try. Many riders learned crankflips with a Shaun Johanesson tutorial, that gave mostly useless exercises, but a few good pieces of advice.

Inspiration is a different thing from instruction. So I encourage any fat old guy making a vlog about learning how to unicycle. There is honestly very little watchable videos from beginners, Seth's Bike Hacks being one of the few. The recipe is simple, if you don't have skills, you need personality to get people to watch.
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Old 2019-06-13, 08:41 AM   #7
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Highly skilled unicyclists rarely make good teachers because their skills are so far removed from those of a novice. They don't remember how hard it was to learn.

Eli's blue line is just plain wrong. Follow that advice to fall off every time, as he does himself around 1:30.

At 1:45 he does what actually needs to be done and doesn't fall off. The unicycle needs to be leaning backwards. I have found that pointing out this geometrical prerogative to the novice is by far the most important thing they need to know.

Neither Eli nor Chris explain this at all but at least Chris does say to lean slightly forward from the hips and don't hunch. This posture goes hand in hand with leaning the unicycle backwards, keeping the centre of gravity above the contact point.

People who learn quickly despite the misguided advice are those who observe rather than listen and notice their teacher's uni is leaning back. Those who heed the common suggestion to make their back an extension of the uni will never learn until they forget that advice. At least Eli and Chris avoided this rubbish.

Both of them also advise to put all the weight on the seat right from the start. This is something to aspire to but it can only be achieved once the rider is able to get the wheel more or less under them. Otherwise the downward force on the unbalanced uni will simply pop it out from under the rider.

The initial attempts are better with all the weight on the pedals and gripping the nose of the saddle between the thighs so the machine is forced to stay in more or less the right place. As soon as they manage a couple of revolutions, tell them to try to put their weight on the seat but don't obsess about it.
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Old 2019-06-13, 09:14 AM   #8
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Oh,the obligatory onetrackmind has a better method comment. Make your own video, it will be good to offer more methods and advice.

But maybe, just maybe consider that these methods have worked, and that there have been many times I and many others have seen riders only managing to ride after they finally put weight on their seat. Neither of them are obsessing about it. May not have been the tip you needed, but certainly is a common mistake.
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Old 2019-06-13, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
there have been many times I and many others have seen riders only managing to ride after they finally put weight on their seat.
If you read what I wrote again you will see that I suggest getting weight on the seat "As soon as they manage a couple of revolutions".

You said "finally put weight on their seat" which is a world of difference from what I wrote.

I stand by what I wrote about trying to put weight on the seat from the very beginning which appears to be what both Eli and Chris are suggesting. It is common mistake that often leads to the impression of impossibility and inhibits progress.

Moreover I note you said nothing about my "blue line" comment where I explicitly noted the parts of the video that showed it was incorrect. It amazes me how often uncyclists offer advice about riding yet fail to acknowledge the single most important aspect that the unicycle needs to be leaning slightly backwards for stability. Some even continue to argue to the contrary in the face of photographic evidence.

You could have addressed this but instead you made a thinly veiled personal attack, something people often do when they have nothing intelligent to contribute.

I have also come to realise that you have habitually denigrated any posts where people attempt to discuss the dynamics of unicycling in an effort to stifle discussion.

I suggest that if you don't have the ability to participate in such discussions that you don't bother to post on those treads and let the rest of us who can articulate such matters get on with developing our collective understanding.

BTW I have had a lifelong interest in mechanical dynamics. I have studied it at great detail along with more than a passing interest in Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, Cosmology and Evolutionary Biology, subjects in which I have a working understanding. Consequently, your naive concepts of "irreducible complexity" are an anathema to me.
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Old 2019-06-13, 01:10 PM   #10
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zzzzzzzzzzz......
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Old 2019-06-13, 01:36 PM   #11
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Based on my personal experience as a still fresh beginner, I did mentally object while watching the video when Chris advises to put your weight on the seat and to straighten your back (and also to use a wall).

But there's the fact that, aside from his level of expertise (3 times street world champion, no less!), his been teaching many kids for many years rather successfully.

So there's that
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Old 2019-06-13, 06:01 PM   #12
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Post

Well, in previous posts it generally sounded like you were suggesting not sitting down for far longer than the first few revolutions. In this you mentioned a few revolutions, which I missed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
I stand by what I wrote about trying to put weight on the seat from the very beginning which appears to be what both Eli and Chris are suggesting. It is common mistake that often leads to the impression of impossibility and inhibits progress..
Doesn't do that in my experience. That's where the differences in starting on a wall and launching into space are apparent. When you are holding onto something, learning to sit down while pedalling doesn't give any impression of impossibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
Moreover I note you said nothing about my "blue line" comment where I explicitly noted the parts of the video that showed it was incorrect. It amazes me how often uncyclists offer advice about riding yet fail to acknowledge the single most important aspect that the unicycle needs to be leaning slightly backwards for stability. Some even continue to argue to the contrary in the face of photographic evidence.
The blue line isn't the greatest analogy ever, but I think it manages to get the point of getting the center of gravity in front of the contact patch to start across. You are probably missing the hip joint, but for the purpose of starting from a wall we can ignore that. For other purposes, yes I see your point of wanting to be slightly bent at the hip. I don't think it's got much to do with stabilization (similar to bike forks), and much more of being able to move your upper body in both directions from there. But which of the effects is more important doesn't really matter, does it?

As said on Facebook and here, please, make your own video to add that to the tutorials available where you mention this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
You could have addressed this but instead you made a thinly veiled personal attack, something people often do when they have nothing intelligent to contribute.
Well, If you didn't completely ignore that Chris has taught unicycling to 100s of kids, and said
Quote:
Highly skilled unicyclists rarely make good teachers because their skills are so far removed from those of a novice. They don't remember how hard it was to learn.
I might have been a bit more friendly. But you choose to ignore evidence that different ways of explaining and learning do in fact work, and discredit people who have thought professionally, while everyone I know has come to their way of teaching through experimenting with methods, and seeing what works first hand on many subjects. But when they share their findings, you say that they are "completely wrong for beginners".

You choosing to ignore that, and the fact that some people learned very quickly with methods different from yours, is just as bad as the ignoring of the photographic evidence of people never being perfectly upright you were complaining about. (I absolutely agree with you that being perfectly straight isn't good in anything but pirouettes.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
I have also come to realise that you have habitually denigrated any posts where people attempt to discuss the dynamics of unicycling in an effort to stifle discussion.

I suggest that if you don't have the ability to participate in such discussions that you don't bother to post on those treads and let the rest of us who can articulate such matters get on with developing our collective understanding.
Here is my point of view on what happens quite often on this forum in an analogy: someone asks: " will a nail be fine to hang a picture on this wall". In response, he gets an explanation of the molecular structure of wood. I generally try to say: "yes, and don't forget to bring a hammer". I'm not trying to stifle discussion. I'm trying to help people learn tricks, not become a sports scientist. In my years of unicycling and doing other sports, I learned one thing: "intellectual understanding" is not necessary for most skills. What we can process unconsciously is much, much more important to our learning.

And sometimes, if people's theories on here don't line up with reality, then I point that out, usually coming from the practical side, not the theoretical. It's like the "according to science, bumblebees can't fly" bullshit that comes up every few years. No one needs to suggest an alternative theory to a bumblebees flight mechanics to say that clearly, the scientists model isn't right.

You talk about the "perceived impossibility to beginners". On this forum, you often get the impression that you need to be a scientist. And while a few really good uni cyclists are scientists, there are also many that aren't, which are just as good.
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Old 2019-06-14, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
I'm trying to help people learn tricks, not become a sports scientist. In my years of unicycling and doing other sports, I learned one thing: "intellectual understanding" is not necessary for most skills. What we can process unconsciously is much, much more important to our learning.

On this forum, you often get the impression that you need to be a scientist. And while a few really good uni cyclists are scientists, there are also many that aren't, which are just as good.
"Much more important ...."

You continue to give the impression that science is worthless and all that matters is experience.

Sure it isn't essential but I can't think of an established sport (or in fact any field of endeavour) that has not ultimately benefited from scientific analysis.

You attempt to discredit science because it is not part your skill set.
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Old 2019-06-14, 10:09 AM   #14
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But there's the fact that, aside from his level of expertise (3 times street world champion, no less!), his been teaching many kids for many years rather successfully.
Virtually anyone who persists will eventually succeed.

It took me two weeks at an hour a day. That was success for me but I was delayed while I thought of it as being upright as possible having been advised of it online.

The breakthrough came when I began to understand the dynamics. Those to whom I have conveyed that information succeeded in a single session.
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Old 2019-06-15, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
Eli Brills "Unicycle School":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUNv6B6JBJ8
Eli Brill demonstrates a free mount about 10 times in the introductory video. Every time, he remains holding onto the seat with his right hand. If I remember correctly, I learned to free mount throwing both hands in the air for balance. I'm curious how many riders, when they were just beginning, held the seat during the entire mount.
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