Yo-Yo Ring Grinds (IRG)

I just thought I should mention something since a lot of people are starting to do ring grinds (largely due to Andre’s video for the Dark Magic). It’s important that you refer to them as “ring grinds” or “inner ring grinds” rather than “thumb grinds.” For one, you can use any finger to do them. Two, a thumb grind is actually a completely different trick! A thumb grind is when you grind the whole yo-yo on your thumb. In fact, I did the first thumb grind back in 2000 in the first Chicago Crew video! (You can download it in our videos section, the part is 2:40 into it. Edit: see video below.)

So, I’m just trying to prevent another widespread misspelled “kwyjibo,” or another “a plastic whip is a laceration, right?” epidemic. DocPop just released a video called “Thumb Grinds are Easy” that he let me watch before he released it, but I didn’t mention the name until it was too late!

2013 Edit: I’m sorry for coining this term. I think “ring grinds” (or rim grinds) is fine, and the same length as “thumb grinds.” IRG is kind of dumb, though.

Yo-Yo: Tommy Gun’s Trip to MWR 2004

About This Video

This is a video about my trip to MWR 2004. It is NOT heavy on tricks, so don’t download it expecting to learn all the new tricks. There is so much more to a contest than the freestyles. This video is an attempt to capture all that stuff that you normally miss out on in trick videos. There were other people going around filming tricks, so I had a feeling there would be other clip videos up and I didn’t want to be redundant.

I made this video partly for all the people who don’t get to go to contests, or who missed this one specifically. That’s why I put in footage of Dave announcing the winners and things like that that most of us take for granted. Stuff like that isn’t really *exciting*, but if you haven’t been to a contest you might like to see it. I tried to keep things relatively short though, so it shouldn’t be boring even if you were there. I filmed at rather odd times, so it’s kind of weird. We got to the BBQ pretty late so that’s one reason there isn’t more “day” footage from the BBQ.

The unfortunate part in filming a video like this is that I’m barely in it at all! The only part I’m in is when Rob and I were at Air Traffic playing with these tube toy things. I guess that’s ok though, since watching the video is basically how I saw everything since it’s from my perspective.

I went to the contest with my friend Jesse, so there’s some footage of him in this video. I also spent a lot of time hanging out with Rob Kitts, Justin Holinka, etc. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with Alex Berenguel, but I was busy catching up with all the people I hadn’t talked to in a couple years. I did get Alex to do some tricks, and a few are in the video.

Simon’s freestyle:
There’s a part in the video where I show footage of Simon’s first freestyle when his music was skipping. I hope no one misinterprets it and thinks I’m making fun of either him or the people who run the contest. It was no one’s fault, and they all did a great job on the contest. It was really a minor problem but it was kind of funny so I put it in the video.

I feel really stupid, but I accidentally misspelled Jesse’s name “Jessie” in the end of the video. Yeah. Sorry. That’s what happens when you stay up late making videos.


The only part of this video I was actually looking forward to making was the intro. After that I really had no idea what to do. I just sort of randomly chose songs to use, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

By the way, if your parents are within earshot when you’re watching this video, make sure they know that the song is called “Renegades of Funk” and not some other four-letter word.

If you’re wondering what the deal is with the song “Around the World,” it’s sort of an inside joke. If you’ve been in the yo-yo scene for more than a couple years you probably get it. It’s not really worth explaining, but it’s a running gag.

This video has footage of:

  • The drive to Minnesota
  • Dave Schulte’s BBQ
  • Talking around the bonfire at the BBQ
  • Some random announcements
  • Awards announcements
  • Playing with toys at Air Traffic
  • Stupid stuff we did in the mall

Many of those scenes are cut very short, so don’t think it’s going to be a really boring video. I tried to make it as entertaining as possible.

Since you can download the videos of The Stupid Trick Contest and the Freestyles separately on this site, this video does not have footage of either–although it has a few shots of Rob’s one minute freestyle and Simon’s first freestyle, but that’s it.

Yo-Yo: Stupid Trick Contest 2004 (STC)

Last Updated: 06/26/04

Note: I realize this page really isn’t needed, but the first Stupid Trick Contest (STC) was so much fun I just had to write about it. The first one was at Midwest Regionals in 2004. I made a video of it that you can download (currently on the homepage).


I got the idea for a Stupid Trick Contest sometime around 2001. Maybe even before that, but 2001 was the first time I really wanted to actually *have* an STC. At the Chicago Crew meets we used to joke about dumb tricks and show each other the stupidest tricks we could think of. I thought it would be really fun to have a contest to see who could do the dumbest tricks.

I had originally planned on holding an STC at Nationals in 2001. That was the first year of the AAA Throwdown (which I also made a video of). I figured we could have the STC right after that, but not everyone was there and some people went to do other things so I decided to wait. A little bit later Cappy showed me some really funny stupid tricks, so I really wanted to have the STC then. I went to see if people were interested, but by the time I got back a bunch of the people had gone to Denny’s to eat! So it didn’t happen that year…or any other year after that, until 2004 when I finally got everyone to do it. Unfortunately it was pretty late and a bunch of people had gone back to the hotel, but it was still tons of fun.

What is a “Stupid Trick”?

Really we’re looking for funny tricks. There are plenty of stupid-stupid tricks out there, but we want funny-stupid. It’s like the difference between campy movies, and just plain bad movies. Stupid tricks can be broken down into a few main categories (and maybe more that I haven’t listed). Here are some of the categories:

Picture Tricks

These are when you twist the string around to form a picture, sometimes incorporating the yo-yo into the picture as well. Some basic examples include Eiffel Tower, Confederate Flag, Darth Vader, Star, Spaceship, etc. These are typically stupid, but usually aren’t all that funny unless you have a funny or clever name to go along with it (see below). You can also add a little flair by doing these in a different style, such as slack or möbius.

Clever Name

Names can add a lot to the stupidness of a trick. Play-on-words are always great. Even a seemingly cool trick can be transformed into a funny stupid trick with the right name. Picture tricks can go from normal to awesomely-stupid. A great example of this is “Möbius Dick.” He did a “whale” picture trick, but möbius style (“möbius” is when you open up the slipknot and use it in the trick). That name, of course, is a play on the title “Moby Dick.”

Nothing Happens

These are some of my favorites, but they’re only funny and stupid if you know what’s going on. To a non-yo-yoer they might actually look like real tricks. The only trick I did in the MWR 2004 STC was an example of this. In a way it was a parody of the real tricks where you end up with a bunch of strings wrapped around, and then you pull your hands apart and everything drops out into a trapeze or something. My trick was just a houdini drop with a bunch of wrapping the string around my left index finger for no reason at all. It was completely pointless, which is why it was so stupid (in fact, I wasn’t even really wrapping it, just twisting it around in the air). Other examples could be Zerber or Rebrez (you can see Rebrez in the “BAC 2001” video).

Something that makes YOU look ridiculous

Remember “Texas Cowboy”? Yeah. I suppose it doesn’t always look stupid, but you’re taking a pretty big risk. “Dog Walks Man” is a great example because it makes you walk on all fours, which can never look cool. Pretty much anything “between the legs” falls into this category (e.g. “Platypus Schlong” or even “Dog Bite”).

Inside Joke/Parody

These are probably the hardest to describe. If you’re not really active in the yo-yo scene you might not get these. A possible example is when Mark did the “‘Contest Version’ Eli Hops.” He was clearly doing the trick completely wrong, but insisting that it was correct–this could be making fun of all the people who do Eli Hops incorrectly during contests (hands must touch!).

Just Plain Stupid

Some tricks are funny for reasons that can’t be explained. A really great trick that Rob Kitts showed me after MWR 2004 was “propeller.” It’s not worth explaining in text, but it was just so stupid it was hilarious. It’s too bad he wasn’t at the STC.


Well if you watched the “MWR 2004 Stupid Trick Contest” video you would know that “There are no winners in the Stupid Trick Contest, only losers.” It’s purely for fun, there are no prizes. Of course, some tricks are stupider than others (and therefore better). The best stupid tricks are the ones that fit into multiple categories. For instance, “Pizza” is a picture trick, AND it makes you look stupid (if you do it correctly). That’s an old trick though, so newer stuff like “Dog Walks Man” was great because it has a somewhat clever name and it makes you look really dumb. A great stupid trick that no one did at the first STC is “string bikini.” It’s a play-on-words, a picture trick, AND makes you look ridiculous!

Will there be more STCs?

Possibly. I would love to have more, the problem is that people don’t really purposely make up stupid tricks very often. We definitely want *new* stupid tricks. “Eating Spaghetti” is only funny so many times. I think there will be a rule that you can’t do any tricks that have already been done in previous videos.

Having STCs often would kind of ruin the whole thing. If I know I’m going to be at a major contest, I’ll try to post ahead of time so people can work on new stupid tricks and be ready for the contest.