Beginner's Guide

Years ago Kea Verens and Marco van der Bijl started the website This website still exists, and is one of the greatest sources of information for contactjugglers around the world.

During that time, he wrote a book, Kae’s Guide To Contact Juggling, intending it to be an update of James Ernest’s “Contact Juggling”. He wasn’t looking for money, and wasn’t a great marketer, so the book never really took off.

However, it turns out the book has become a minor hit in the contact juggling world, with it being shared person to person.

The question arose, is it okay to amend the book? In short, his answer was “please, go ahead!”.

The license he published this book under was “You have permission to copy this book and share with friends. You do not have permission to sell this or any copies of this book.” That license sticks. Feel free to share the book, and to change it, but do not sell it or remove the license, or claim that it is your own work.

So on this pages you can find his text. I have divided some content, but tried to keep the main intact.

This text was written to show some of the moves that have developed in the years since James Ernest’s book came out. It is not a replacement. James’s illustrations are extremely helpful in most cases, and it is always advisable to learn different methods of doing the same things, so I would recommend that you at least try to get this book.

The instructions in this text are separated into chapters. I have arranged the chapters, and the moves in each chapter, in approximate order of ease. Well… you could learn Palmspinning before Armrolls, but that’s up to you - you do not have to learn straight through in order. Many difficult moves can be learned after learning only a few simpler ones, so I would recommend that you skim through the book once to get an idea of what you would like to learn, then start learning the steps that make up what you want.

The most basic list of moves you should learn might include Windshieldwipers, Palm-Palm, Palm-Back, Back-Palm and Back-Back Passes, and maybe a hold or two. That will give you enough moves to make an interesting routine that will mystify most non-jugglers.

The text is by far not comprehensive – almost every week, something new is developed by the contact juggling community. Usually, these new moves have to do with combinations with different arts – magic and toss juggling, for instance – but once in a while something new which is pure contact juggling comes along.

Each style of CJing in these pages is introduced with a chapter on “basic” moves. Maybe the word “fundamental” is more appropriate, as some of the moves are difficult, even for the advanced contact juggler.

Although it may seem so, I am not describing every possible move. A lot of moves involving combinations of patterns seemed a bit redundant for me. The same reason I prefer not to place an animation of a person performing a 4Stack in both hands on the lies behind my not placing similar moves in this move. Suffice it to say that almost every pattern that can be performed in one hand can be performed in the other hand at the same time.

Most of the two-handed moves that I describe are in the book because they involve using patterns that cross between both hands. Any two-handed pattern that involves patterns that do not cross between the hands is really two separate one-handed patterns performed at the same time.

However, that does not mean that, for example, spinning simultaneous 5Stacks while gripping another ball between the elbows is not a true 2-handed pattern. You could say that the held 11th ball is halfway through a transfer - especially if now and then you actually completed the transfer...

Original by Ryan - link to this photo

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