The Finger Flick

Cards may be propelled a considerable distance by flicking them with the second finger. The card to be flicked is held either singly in the left hand or protruding horizontally from the top of the deck as it is held in a dealing position. The second finger cocks up against the right thumb and then shoots forward hitting the Southeast corner of the card with the fingernail. The action is identical to one

Back-of-the-Hand Flick

used by most schoolchildren in propelling expectorant spheres.

Holding the card or cards in the same position it is possible to shoot them forward by striking them with the unaided index finger or the back of the hand. This is a simple trick to accomplish but not nearly so pleasing as the finger-flick or butterfly swirl. Many hard objects may be used to propel the cards in a similar manner by striking the object smartly against the Southeast corner of the card. Experimentation will lead to strange and pleasing results.

Propelling card with a pencil

The Finger-Flick

The Finger-Flick

6. To juggle cards

To keep the cards in the air for a continuous juggling sequence is extremely difficult. In fact, the author knows of no other present-day performer attempting the effect with ordinary playing cards.

There are three major difficulties in performing this feat: the cards must be tossed from both hands; there is no time to re-grip the cards for each new throw, they must be tossed immediately on being caught; and the cards are so light as to make it difficult to control their flight.

To master the stunt it is necessary to practice throws and catches without regripping the cards. This must be done with both hands. After these exercises are mastered you are ready to practice juggling.

The basic pattern to be used is called the Cascade. This consists of throwing the objects to be juggled under one another from hand to hand in a continuous pattern.

Place two cards in the right hand and one in the left. Softly toss a card from the right hand to a point in the air about one foot over the left hand and, before it falls into that hand, the card held in the left hand is thrown to a point one foot over the right hand. Before this card is caught in the right hand the third card is now thrown upward to occupy the same space previously occupied by the first thrown card. If you still have cards returning to your hands after a few tosses, you are juggling.

It is also possible to shower-juggle three cards. Showering is a juggling term for a continuous circle of juggled objects. Each card is thrown from the right hand and caught in the left in this exercise. Start with two cards in the right hand and one in the left. Toss a card 51 into the air above the left hand from the right hand and immediately throw the second card in identical fashion. Before the first card falls into the left hand, the third card (the one originally in the left hand) is passed over to the now-empty right hand. As each ensuing card is caught in the left hand it is instantly passed to the right to be thrown out again.

7. Throwing cards with the feet

It is possible to sail cards from between one's toes.

The Foot Flick

The Foot Flick

The hows and wheres of practice; techniques to keep the fingers limber and a short medical study of card-thrower's arm and its relationship to tennis elbow, surfer's knobs, and Frisbee finger.

German Military Calisthenics

In any art, mastery comes only after diligent practice. Great instructors have stressed the importance of learning to practice correctly, lest untold hours be spent in inconsequential or even damaging exercises. How one practices is more important than how long one practices. Indeed, too much practice may have a deleterious effect on the student's physical and mental abilities.

Short practice sessions, not to exceed fifteen minutes at a time, are best. Two or three of these sessions will have a greater positive effect than a straight hour of work.

In addition, throwing a card involves musculature which is not generally used during one's daily activities. Too much practice in the early stages may be harmful. Caution is recommended to avoid injury.

The author refuses to take responsibility for the eager student who purchases this book and spends the next six or eight hours hurling cards at a photograph of Bill Bixby. Certainly, the author has sympathy for such excitement, but mark this warning well: it is not a wise practice.

It is as well to mention that the author refuses to accept responsibility for any personal injury the student may cause to himself or his fellow man.

Throwing cards is a potentially dangerous undertaking and each person must take the responsibility for his own actions. Although the author is a concerned, sympathetic, and emotional individual he refuses to feel guilty about monopedic casualties whose limbs were severed by a poorly directed toss of the card.

Once the student has passed the beginning stages he may increase the length of his practice sessions, but please note that this is not essential. Some masters of the art still use the fifteen-minute plan with no regrets.

Before the cards are even touched, a period of limbering and loosening is essential. Many of the martial arts—dancing or yoga stretching exercises—are excellent for this, but extra emphasis on loosening the wrists, arms and shoulders is important.

Masters of the exotic eastern disciplines have frequently drawn upon animals to set examples for human behavior. Yoga, kung fu and karate all have exercises and forms based on the particular movements of certain animals.

To acquire deadly accuracy with cards occasionally requires one to emulate animal postures. These may be used to assume the most advantageous position for a shot, to limber up before an assignment, or to scare an enemy into immobility before an attack.

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