I was having dinner this evening with my chess friends - I tell you, I've known some of these guys from way back in the 1970s - and somehow, our conversation suddenly turned to the yoyo. Don't ask me how it happened but it just did. Now, I'm no yoyo expert. Nay, I'm not even considered a yoyo beginner. All that I know about playing with a yoyo is to throw it and hope that it is able to spin up and down the string.
However, I do know a thing or two about people whose passion is playing with the yoyo. To them, the yoyo is more than a hobby. So, I regaled my friends with a few tales about this fascinating toy, except that the die-hard exponents of the yoyo would hardly want it described as a toy. It's a precision piece of equipment. An equipment of their obsession. Some can be worth a few hundreds of ringgit.
Anyway, I promised to show them a few choice videos of the yoyo champions in the various divisions. Somehow, as can be seen below, the Japanese are very good at it. Don't ask me why, I don't know.
First, this video features Shinji Saito. He is the 11-time world champion in the 2A category. This video of his performance was shot at the 2006 world yoyo contest in Orlando, Florida. A brilliant display of showmanship with the two yoyos. Absolutely brilliant.
Then, here is Tsubasa Onishi who won the 4A category at the 2010 world yoyo contest, again in Florida. Actually, all the world yoyo contests have been held there. But back to this video. Fascinating, isn't it, the way that he controlled an off-string yoyo, especially when he pulled it back onto the string in mid-air?
And finally, here is Hiroyuki Suzuki who was champion of the 1A category seven times in the past. That's more than any other yoyo player. Nuts, manufacturers are still clambering after him for endorsements of their new yoyos! That's how good he is.