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In Chinese, ‘play spinning tops’ is translated with ‘ da tuoluo ‘; there was not more reason for these two words, easy to pronounce for Western people not to become the name of my website whose objective is to discover and promote the practice of the Chinese spinning top and whip In France and Europe.

What is it?

In France, everyone knows these small wooden or plastic tops that kids launch with a simple gesture of the thumb and index finger. In China, in areas where people play spinning top, children play with small wooden tops, five or six centimetres high and a stick finished by a string. But it is not these children games that will be discussed on Da Tuoluo (though), but big wooden tops, from 1 to 3 kg (or more) that adults are turning using a 2 or 3 meters whip, or a one meter and more pole finished by a strap or cord. And then, it becomes more than a schoolyard game but a real sport.

On the whip side, there is nothing comparable in France. In China, in the same provinces where the gyro is being practiced, there are also whip players who slam a 2 or 3 meters long whip in codified movements sequences.

Between Tai-Chi and Kung-fu

Of course, one can practice Chinese gyro or whip in a “cushy” way, like French peope playing petanque on the village place at aperitif time, or as Zhongshan Park players I met in Wuhan. But when one start practicing more intensively, one understand that it is not just a sport of brutes in which only the force counts but a sport of movement and control of the Body that borrows from Tai-chi and Kung-fu; two disciplines that the best Chinese topts and whip players have to master.

Why practice?

But why, the hell, play spinning tops ot whip, you will ask? In France, some people practice bocce or golf, in China one prefere practice Chinese tops or whip (sometimes both) to keep himself healthy, to recover health or as a fitness activity. In fact, all Chinese traidtionnels doctors agree that the daily practice of the Chinese tops or whip is good for health: balance, circulation, joints, etc., and can help in the recovery after a heart attack or a stroke. In short, all kinds of virtues are attributed to these activities and this is probably the reason why this tradition continues since antiquity.

Beyond their therapeutic virtues, the practices of the spinner and the whip are also excellent for the mind; And there, it is no longer the Chinese doctors who speak, but the author of these lines who practice the spinner and the whip since beginning 2015. Indeed, if I have subtitled this site “Spin the World”, it is because spinning a gyro of two, four or ten kilos, it is symbolically spinning the world, but otherwise it is also keeping his body alive; a more accessible goal for all of us.

Da Tuoluo website

Da Tuoluo is a site that caters to all those who want to discover the world of Chinese gyro and whip. Here you will find the blog that brings together the chronicles that I write regularly on the occasion of meetings with players of tops and whip in the different provinces of China.

You will also find information about the equipment, technical advices, and an online shop where you can buy these materials: tops, whips and sticks. You will also find a photo gallery, as well as a calendar of Chinese and whip tops competitions (in China).

Finally, for those who wish to learn about these two sports, note that in spring 2018, Da-Tuoluo becomes an association and settles in the Center of Brittany, 20 km south of Guigamp; It will then propose weekly gyro and whip courses. In the meantime, I organize on request initiation courses for MJC, associations and sports clubs.

Mathieu Lavant
Da Tuoluo’s creator
International Whip and Gyro Federation’s General Secretary