Buugeng – Dai @ Flow Temple (&Moschen)

The recent commercial availability of Buugeng (curved staffs) has lead to an explosion of new performances and styles with this unique prop. (above performer: Dai)
The first time I had seen this kind of manipulation was in “Michael Moshen, In Motion” (video of his act below) but a google seach on “buugeng” reveals almost no history? No wikipedia page? I’m curious about the roots of this discipline, anyone who knows anything more should respond in the comments.

Youtube has getting busy with more Buggeng videos than you could soak up in a day.

20 thoughts on “Buugeng – Dai @ Flow Temple (&Moschen)”

  1. Dai made up that name after taking up and adapting Moschen’s S shaped staves. He handcrafts and sells each one of them. One could argue that Buugeng shares some characteristics with the Double Deer Horn of chinese martial arts.

  2. Well, if you consider inventing a whole new discipline, “instead of spinning a stick, why not spin an S shape”, then yeah he probably did. You have to consider that object manipulation in general other than toss juggling is fairly new in terms of human history.

  3. I don’t want to discredit Dai’s skills or sincerity, but his website’s description of buugeng should give more explicit credit to Moschen. Whilst Leo is right in saying it would be silly to give Moschen full credit for the idea of waving curved sticks about, Dai’s videos don’t include much content beyond that displayed in ‘Moschen in Motion’. Credit should be given where it is due.

  4. i’ve known dai for years and watched him innovate and adapt a lot of technique. While Moschen may have already performed several similar movements, the basis of dai’s spinning is in modern poi and staff theory. The fact that they both came up with a lot of the same moves was inevitable, but i really don’t think he was directly drawing from Moschen’s work.

    -jordan

  5. This is Dai. I want to say first that I have a lot of respect for Micheal Moschen, and actually my inspiration for Buugeng orignally came from him. I first saw “Moschen in Motion” in Africa in 2001. When I saw his video, I was inspired by the optical illusion he created. At that time, I didn’t remember much of what I had seen. I didn’t know exactly what it was or what shape it was. All I remembered was that it was something not-straight.

    In 2003, I made my first Buugeng, but it was not at all like what Micheal Moschen had made. It was big, almost 3/4 of my height, and it was very difficult to play. But I played with it for 3 or 4 years. And during that time, I started thinking about how I could make a better staff. but I kept playing and then in 2007 I changed the shape and it started looking like an S. I noticed the effect was so interesting. After that, in the summer of 2007, I saw Micheal Moschen’s video for the second time. That is when I realized, Wow, that he had made the same thing as me, and that he had found many tricks.

    I did give credit to Micheal Moschen on my website. True, I was inspired by him, but I also have been extensively trained for many years in different forms of object manipulation, such as juggling, martial arts, poi and staff spinning. What I have created is Buugeng, and what I am trying to do is combine my skills with Buugeng. Buugeng is so deep, and I am not focused on it’s history as much as I want to find out more and more about the meaning of what Buugeng is. Buugeng has so many techniques that we can’t even see yet. Even today I found a new trick.

    You know, I have a dream.

  6. That’s a great response. Thanks Dai. I didn’t mean to be critical of your work (which I think is great). I just think that the lineage of ideas is an important when trying to establish new forms and ideas.

  7. Don’t know where the nonsensical ‘an’ came from. I should read things through properly. ;0)

  8. I personally think that Michael Mocshen doesn’t deserve as much credit as Dai for what is being created with Buugeng. I fully respect and admire Moschen’s original idea about the S-staff. However, although he made it, he didn’t do anything more about it to develop it as an art.

    Dai has spent his life creating, practicing and perfecting techniques more than anyone else, and traveling to share his passion with the world. That is something rare and special. What Dai shares in his performances with his audience is an energy that will move your heart like no one else can.

    Cheers to you Dai, and in my eyes, the world shines more brightly with people like you in it to see more than the rest of us can imagine is possible. Never EVER stop creating your art. Your passion is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced and it inspires me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

    -Erin

  9. And by the way, Dai does A LOT more technical and “smooth to the eye” movements with Buugeng than anyone else in the world. You have to give a creative genius credit.

  10. Thanks for the responses. Erin, what you said reflects something really deep in my heart. Michael Moschen gave us a glimpse of many many beautiful creations, and then he basically dissapeared from much of the world. I long for the day when he responds to something on our website, and then finally gets the chance to say hello to this massive and still growing community of people who are exploring the same strange manipulation that he is. His work is very rich; it has laid a foundations for many new types of jugglers and manipulators. And he works HARD. To say he is an inspiration is an understatement.

    With that said; Dai is a true artist and nothing about Michael Moschen discredits that. Without people like Dai, ‘buugeng’ would stagnate and die with Michael Moschen.
    I’ve watched contact juggling grow because of the collective effort of thousands of people who, like Dai, had something inspiring planted in their imaginations and then proceeded to make sense of what they saw by working it out for themselves. The artists who committed their passions to contact juggling helped developed the whole discipline and they shared that passion with other people. Contact Juggling is a beautiful thing in this world, and there are thousands of people who have played their part in making it what it is today.

  11. yeah but we’re still just biting off moschen

    😛

    Always controvery with that man. lol.

    But I have to say, Dai, I saw you at ejc2008, and I liked it. Your exploration and level was nice too see 🙂 cheers. See you around.

  12. Ifanyone is interested in seeing more of what M.Moschen has to offer he does a lecture and demonstration of manipulation which is a part of the ‘Ted Talks’ series…if you go on You Tube and type in Ted Talks go to the site & type in M.Moschen you can see it.
    Check out some of the other titles while you’re there…there is some great stuff.

  13. I am glad that there are many of us who care to constantly remind each other and to show new people about the tremendous impact Moschen had in many areas, including this one.

    I’m really excited about seeing where buugeng goes. Things are beginning to happen. Wikipedia for buugeng is coming, I promise.

    There is finally a forum for buugeng (or any other s-staff)- Buugeng.org Those around the world who have them are finally beginning to come together on that forum and on also on facebook. We all end up impacting each other (at least a little) and in the end it helps explore and push this prop farther. There are many, many, many things to come with this prop! I’ve heard what some people are working on and know about somethings that are going to come in the future. I am excited. This is just the beginning.

  14. I find Dai’s response quite disingenuous. Michael Moschen invented this art form, all he did was give it a name. Any claim that he “didn’t do anything to advance it as an art” as some others in these comments have suggested is ridiculous. More than 6 million people have seen him perform that routine (and I’m thinking that edges out Dai).

    To say that “Moschen inspired me” is a bit florid when the truth is “Moschen came up with the idea, I saw him doing it and thought, hey, I could do that.” It’s okay to take credit for helping to popularize it and make it commercially available, but let’s all just take credit for what we actually contributed, eh?

    I mean… it seems pretty darned silly to walk around acting like you invented something in 2003 that I saw in 1988.

  15. Umm so why does everyone care so much? Especially so much to talk down an artist, an artist is an artist. someone who expresses himself in any medium he chooses, sharing emotion, ingenuity, and most importantly a part of himself that no one else can duplicate, because, while we may be from all the same causes and conditions, the experiences that put us together create something unique. And thus every artist should be given credit for being willing to share with the world a part of themselves. Its not a competition here . . . with that mentality the world just becomes a shallow place. I even feel slightly foolish for posting this, it’s usually not worth it.

    But cheers Dai, and cheers Mr. Moschen

  16. I find a lot of these statements to be thoroughly interesting.
    I came across this site after a friend told me that Moschen had created the S-Staff, without meaning to say the S-staff, but another item he used on the Ted Talks video featuring him.

    The only thing I have to say regarding it is this:
    Ivan- You saw Moschen do one routine in 88 that he has not branched from since. Even looking at different videos of him doing the s-staff performance it is always basically the same thing that he does. He invented them. He gave his techniques, and then he left it at that, in ’88.

    In 2003, Dai found them and made his own. He then separately practiced with them, and now has ten times the precision that Moschen does with buugeng. He has created more techniques, and more ways to transfer from technique to technique within using this skill toy.

    as everyone else here has said, there is no discredit meant to Moschen, and Moschen has been cited as the creator of it; However just because he created it, does not mean that Dai, who has spent nearly the last ten years on basically this ONE skill toy and brought it into a light that Moschen never had the drive to (Buugeng is world famous now, as a skill toy performance, because of Dai, whereas is was world famous as something only one person could do for a good deal of the early 90’s because of Moschen).

    I do not feel crediting one over the other serves any purpose.
    They have both done amazing things to make this skill toy flourish. Moschen created it, then left it to move on and pursue other ventures, and is even now pursuing those ventures.
    Dai picked them up and kept walking with them, and will continue walking with them even as Moschen forgets about them. (And he is definitely forgetting about them. After watching his video, Moschen does not even compare to the precision and skill with these toys that Dai has).

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