Michael Todd posted my 2014 Shape Matrix in Poi Chat and it got 353 shares and 462 likes. It’s a rework from 2012, and a new flower shape matrix will be available for purchase soon.
A Shape Matrix is like a multiplication table for tricks (moves, patterns) that you can do with your left or right hand. Flower shapes with the left hand are matched up with flower shapes of the right hand. A flower is when the prop is rotating around the hand and the hand is rotating around the shoulder. So flowers are a study of rotation around rotation, or compound circles. Each flower shape moves through very specific positions as the arm travels around in a circle. You can switch to other shapes that move through the same position, and each position has only so many shapes that it can move into. These are all shown in wall plane, but we can copy/paste them onto other planes and move through different planes at the same time (3d/atomic). To start, focus on spinning your prop with the hand up, down, with the arm open to the side, and with the arm crossed to the side. Practice spinning your prop in front of the body and behind the body in each of these positions, and practice with your arms to the diagonals as well. Begin to move your hand in a circle slowly and focus on drawing the flower shape that you intend, eventually moving toward making clear shapes. Stop the arm and continue the spin of the prop to reset. Begin moving the arm when the prop is at the appropriate position for the flower shape you want to make and … drill. Make sure to practice with both hands.