I’ve really learned from watching Cate work and getting close to her and the people she’s worked with. Fortunately, I never have to say anything about her because she’s so good. We’re very honest. I suppose that’s the thing you need to keep, don’t you? - Andrew Upton

Scandinavian tales and creatures

Kraken is a giant monstrous beast that dwells in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. Known for its size and stormlike outbursts of rage, it will strike against any ship that crosses its path. With tentacles the size of tree trunks the Kraken will crush both wooden planks and the bones of man, and no survivors will be left in its wake.

Gymnastics Shorthand Guide: Vault

Hello and welcome to the first in a series of guides to gymnastics shorthand, also known as STC.  I’ll go in Olympic order, so starting with vault.  

As you know, there are 5 groups of vaults:

  • I: Handsprings with no salto
  • II: Handsprings with salto
  • III: Tsukaharas
  • IV: Yurchenkos
  • V: Round-off half-ons

There are only two basic ways you can get onto the vault: front handsprings, and round-off back handsprings.  This makes writing the first half of a vault very easy!

A few important things to note here: that upside-down Y shape is the symbol for a round-off, and is found across all apparatuses.  Best to remember it.  

Also, the squiggly vertical line denotes the number of twists (not rotations).  Two squiggles - so one backwards 3 shape - means one twist.  Three squiggles means 2, four means 3, and so on.  To make half twists, the next symbol should pass through the bottom squiggle, cutting it in half.  See how with the half twist, the arrow passes through the squiggle, but with the full, they’re directly connected?

Finally, where the twisting symbol comes in the sequence is actually important, because it tells you where it’s actually performed in the skill.  So in the round-off 1/1 on, you do the round-off first, the full twist in the back handspring, and then you hit the table.  Makes sense? This theme continues across all apparatuses, and is used to distinguish in-skills from out-skills.

Okay, so once our gymnast is on the table, she has to get off it again.  Let’s talk about repulsion without saltos (the flips are coming, I promise!).

It might look a bit complex, but don’t fear; it actually makes perfect sense.  That little . sign differentiates forward flight from backwards flight.  Again, this is true across all apparatuses.

The “v” sign means piked.  Unlike the other events, in vault, the default position is tucked.  If something is piked, you need to include the v.  We’ll get to straight (laid-out) in a moment.

Finally, take a look at how to add more twists.  Just add another squiggle, and, if necessary, put a line through it to cut it in half.

Congratulations, you can now write JO vaults.  But what about the real ones, with flips and fun? Here you go:

So, a front salto is an upside-down loop, and a back salto is a right-way up one.  I like to think of the back salto loop as looking kind of like a “b”, but honestly, I think that’s just wishful thinking.  You can add the loops together to make double or even triple saltos, a la Radivilov.

If your salto is piked, put that “v” symbol next to it.  Unlike with boring repulsion, Exciting Saltos have the “v” incorporated, like running writing.  With a straight vault i.e. most of them, make the line really long and straight.  This is actually convenient, because vaults like the Amanar have a fair few twists, and that long line makes room for them!

In all of the above examples, the twists have come last, because that’s how they’re performed.  Think about it as reading from left to right: the rotations start before the twists.  However, there are a rare few vaults where the twists come first.  Here’s an example: 

And believe it or not, you now know everything you need to, to write down every vault in the Code of Points! Just write down the relevant entry, then the relevant exit, as displayed above.

And now for some practice.  Give a couple of these a go.  Feel free to pause the videos or watch them in slo-mo, while you get the hang of it.

I think the other posts are going to come in instalments, FYI.  This is partly because I’m still learning myself, and partly because they’ll get wayyyy too long otherwise.

Happy STCing!

Scandinavian tales and creatures

Källrån (watchers of springs) are spirits who reside by springs and wells deep in the forest. When in human shape they usually look like a young woman or girl, but they normally take the form of a frog. A large frog or toad close to a spring means it belongs to the rån and if someone drinks from it without asking for permission they will fall ill or suffer misfortune.

Scandinavian tales and creatures

Trollefolk, also simply called troll or vittror, are not that different from humans, though they live secluded lives deep in the forests. Some of them have the tail or horns of an animal, which they keep hidden when others are nearby. They have their own farms, keep cattle, get married, and work and live just like humans. However, they are capable magic users and not part of the Christian community, and are therefore shunned and feared.  

Gymnastics Shorthand Guide: Bars, Part II

Whew, it’s been a long time coming! Semester is finally over, and now I can focus on the important things in life, like learning a form of shorthand that I’ll probably never use, and sharing it with you all.  I’m going to try commit to one installment per week.

If you need to brush up on your basics, check out vault and bars, part I.

So, you know about the basic bars shapes.  Let’s talk about release moves.  There are two types: single-bar and transitions, which are…exactly what they sound like.  I’ll write about single-bar releases today.

The three most common single-bar release skills are Tkachevs, Jaegers, and Giengers.  The Tkachev is the easiest to write:

You remember that the “U” means giant; the part that means “Tkachev” is the arrow coming off it.  This makes sense, because a Tkachev is a counterswing over the bar, sort of going backwards.  If you look at it from side on, the arrow shows the direction the gymnast flies.

Of course, there are a huge number of variations of Tkachevs – there’ve been some great gifsets floating around lately.  You can do them piked:

Or with a half turn:

And from a clear hip, a toe-on, a stalder, or an inbar:

Okay, now let’s talk about Jaegers.  The Jaeger always starts from a front giant.  It looks like this:

Recall the upside-down “U” is a front giant. The curly thingy that comes after it means “Jaeger” – the upside-down loop is a front salto, just like the upside-down U is a front giant.  Remember that this applies across all apparatus.  So, a Jaeger is a front giant, followed by one front salto (well, it’s more like a half salto, but we’ll let it slide) – it’s a good explanation of the actual skill.  The ^ means straddled.  If you do a piked Jaeger, draw a “v” instead, and if it’s laid-out, make the end of the salto curl long:

Jaegers are pretty easy, because there aren’t many common variations.

Okay, now for the Gienger:

Don’t panic! Everyone stay calm.  Let’s break this down. Giant (“U”) – backward salto (loop) – half turn (E with the line through it).  They’re all symbols we’ve seen before! So a Gienger is a giant, to a backward salto with a half turn. Incidentally, a Deltchev, which is a giant with a half turn into a forward salto, is written like this:

So, there you go! That’s how to write the most common gymnastics release moves.

In the next part, I’ll go into transition moves.

Hope you enjoyed! And if you have any questions, please drop an ask in my inbox or send me a message 😊.