Posted on Leave a comment

MMWU3: Blogs, Early Access, Let’s play yo-yo

Mike talks about writing a few new blogs for his website, the idea of adding more early access content for newsletter subscribers, and a little bit about let’s play yo-yo.

Thoughts on Let’s Play Yo-Yo:
Memories of AJ Kirk:

Newsletter/Giveaway Sign up:

This week’s giveaway winner was Steven from California.

Posted on 4 Comments

Memories of AJ Kirk

It didn’t really sink in that fast. I was scrolling though instagram this afternoon checking out some tricks people had posted after jokingly posting a rough and rather awful sketch of a fake logo for one of the guys from the IRC and then I realized what I saw. There was a post by one of AJ’s closer friends about him passing away.

I was a few scrolls down by the time I realized what I had seen. Then as I scrolled back up in saw three more posts. Might have been more actually but it was one of those, “holy shit, what?” kind of moments where you were zoned out and something insane happened. Well something insane did happen, AJ Kirk passed away.

I’m in that place where I’m not sure what to think or feel about the news. I knew AJ, probably not as well as the people posting pictures of him or videos but I knew him. I interviewed him for my website yoyocourse (when it was still around) as a player highlight when his Ringmaster yo-yo came out. I chatted with him in’s chat room. I got in trouble with him asking Takeshi to sponsor my contest on air on YoYoRadio.

At the 2005 National contest he sat between me and my buddy Matt while my mom drove us all from the hotel to Bird in Hand to spend time at the precontest hang out. He was funny, talked the whole way there, made jokes about my handle Kite, and generally was a great dude. My mom occasionally mentions him when we talk about the days we used to go to yo-yo contests as a family.

I suppose I shouldn’t draw this on too long, I was more of an acquaintance when it comes to AJ Kirk, I would send him a message probably once a year but that was the limit. That being said, when I bumped into him at nationals a few years back, 2013 I think, he treated me like a long lost friend, I’m pretty sure he offered me a beer (or tried to take one, hard to say, we were in post contest mode at that point) but he was warm and welcoming. I watched him wander into random yo-yoer’s hotel rooms several times that night.

Heck he slipped me a beer in the parking lot while everyone was watching someone do 3A for the throwdown they do. Or used, to, I haven’t been by the contest in a while… At any rate, AJ, I’m going to miss you, you held a wide spread of fond memories of mine from 2004 to 2014. Rest in peace.

Posted on Leave a comment

Thoughts on Let’s Play Yo-Yo 013

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

This is something new, normally when I’m working on a Let’s Play Yo-Yo episode I don’t talk about it too much until it’s done and then all I really do is hype it up until I publish it. This time I’d like to pull back the curtain a little bit as it comes together. Unfortunately it has been over a year since the 12th episode was filmed, it finally got published a few months back because my buddy Andrew Woodford stepped in and edited the video for me. Andrew is a good guy, I’m happy he’s a local yo-yoer and friend of mine because I probably wouldn’t have the motivation to move forward with another episode without knowing he’s got my back if I need help editing.

That being said, editing isn’t truly the issue, in fact for me it’s probably the part I enjoy most about making an episode because I essentially get to focus on polishing a steaming pile into a smooth beautiful stone. Or for lack of a better analogy I delete all of my screw ups and leave only the best parts. This usually follows the Pareto principle, aka the 80/20 rule. If I film 100 minutes of footage about 20 minutes will be worth having the world watch. And even that is pushing it, so we usually dial it down into the mid teens as far as minutes of footage go.

The issue is time, I just don’t have extra time these days to run the production of this show like I used to. I would do anything (within reason, I suppose…) to be able to ramp this show back up to twice a month. It was so much fun and had so much momentum when it started out. It took me from being just that yo-yoer from Idaho who spams Reddit with his trick videos to something more. It was pretty crazy; I started to get treated like a minor celebrity, or what I thought it was like to be treated like a minor celebrity. Just the fact that people commented on my videos and enjoyed the content I was putting out was enough for the recluse I am to feel an ego boost.
These days if I am going to put out a video it has to be filmed on the fly, in a spare moment while my wife is shopping or doing errands or not at all. With two jobs, our son, and moving twice in one year (we’re going to a slightly bigger house with a spare room I will get to use as an office) it’s tough to find a minute or two to film. So I’m almost never without my camera these days, or at least my gorillapod (it’s a weird flexible, short tripod that you can set up almost anywhere) and cell phone mount. This makes it so that I can be out and about and film at (almost) a moment’s notice.
So that means this episode is going to be a tiny bit different than what you guys have come to be used to. There will be no red backdrop in this one, there won’t be quite as much joking around because, well, it’s weird to act like a goofball while I’m out and about without a little liquid courage, and it’s been a long time since I filmed the last one, so it feels a little rough. That being said once it’s all edited together it should be about the same quality as you expect, so I don’t see it being that big of a deal. For the most part from what I’ve gathered you guys just enjoy the format and seeing me suffer so it works out in the end! 😉
This time around I’m learning an insane trick, I know I say that a lot, but this one is truly insane. It’s a laceration to a darth vader picture trick. Whaaat?! How? Just breaking down the second of time that the string is whipping through the air and around your hands and going behind this hand’s index finger and over that hand’s wrist and around the yo-yo as it falls onto a string, but not too soon otherwise you get a knot. Well let’s just say it’s a challenge. But that’s good. I need a challenge. The challenge forces my brain to work. It makes me analyze a second of footage over and over and over again until my eyes are hurting and I want to smack the guy who made the video for not making a slow motion version of the trick being performed.
But even with that minor frustration of not being able to see what’s going on but kind of being able to see what’s going on, it just makes it all the more thrilling to finally hit the trick. Or at the very least, and where I am right now, to make small bits of progress. Right now I am measuring my success in the amount of information about the trick I’ve been able to dissect. At the moment I know everything that happens from whip to right before the catch. This is problematic in actually landing the trick. I have an idea of what is going on in the last fraction of a second before the yo-yo lands but rotating that in my mind and visualizing it happening from my point of view is important to pulling off the laceration portion. Without being able to visualize it I am just whipping the string around and praying something amazing occurs.
That being said, blind luck has paid off in the past, and with a little educated guessing about what’s going on I’ve actually been on the cusp on landing first mount twice. There is a bit of slack that is supposed to wrap around the yo-yo that is hanging down from my freehand index finger at the end of the laceration and it keeps getting caught on my wrist. Once I work past that I will be three simple mounts away from landing the trick and editing the video.
Until that point I just keep trying to land it. While my wife and I are grocery shopping I am flipping my yo-yo around. When we’re looking for something for our son to wear for his first Halloween I’m whipping the string in the air. When I’m supposed to be getting in bed and catching some Zzz’s I’m standing at the foot of the bed, looking at the trick being performed on my phone then trying to land it again. It’s exciting, it’s frustrating, and it makes yo-yoing feel real again.
I’m looking forward to writing about this process more, I am enjoying it, and I’m happy to see the response to the mentions of another episode coming out. If you have any questions or just want to show some support please feel free to leave them in the comments on this post or send me an email. Otherwise, I’ll catch you next time!


Posted on Leave a comment

MMWU2: Tie Dye, The Doctor, and Random Tricks

In weekly update number 2, Mike talks about an awesome new tie dyed shirt, some ideas for the website, how yo-yoing introduced him to Doctor Who, and a ton of random yo-yo tricks.

To stay in the loop and receive advanced notice of things he is doing throughout the week, product giveaways, and other special goodies subscribe to his newsletter at:

This week’s question about Doctor Who asked by:

Posted on Leave a comment

MMWU1: First Sale, Meeting my wife, and Trick Elements

In this first edition of Mike’s weekly update he talks about the new shop on his website, his first product sale, he answers a question about how he met his wife, and finally he shows you two yo-yo trick elements he has been kicking around for a short while.

To stay in the loop and receive advanced notice of things he is doing throughout the week, product giveaways, and other special goodies subscribe to his newsletter at:

This week’s question was asked by:

Posted on Leave a comment


[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]Mynti is trying to do the matrix so I thought I would film this for him[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]