You are absolutely right about that. Many times in the training hall I have heard things such as “I am done with the research for today, now I am just going to practice technique”.
It also makes me think about what “the basics” actually consists of? Intuitively, I would say site swaps, body throws, pirouettes and “rotations” (which makes me start a new thread to go in depth on). What I mean by rotations: pancakes, flats, flat front, helicopter, ufo’s etc.
I found an old note on this subject, that had some further thoughts. Perhaps it is a bit too precise, but I will post it anyways:
REFERENCE TO HIGH SKILL
“He has good technique”, “he has high technique”, “he is a very technical juggler”
Here it is used as a reference to skill level, often with a hint towards form, but not always.
REFERENCE TO NEW FAMILY OF TRICKS
“He developed a new technique - swinging clubs with his chin”.
“Head rolls is a technique”. A family of related patterns, due to a common component.
REFERENCE TO A CERTAIN WAY OF EXECUTING A SPECIFIC JUGGLING TRICK
The “technique” (way?) of throwing a pancake differs. Some spread the fingers, some hold them close together. It is a reference to a specific way of executing a certain move.
REFERENCE T A SYSTEM OF PRACTICE
“Pyramid practice” is an example. Perhaps there is a difference? perhaps russian technique involves more than pyramid? pyramid being just a system for practice, where as russian is a system AND an approach to form or other.
REFERENCE TO AN APPROACH TO PRACTICE
“the russian technique" - refers to a system and an approach of practice, much as like in dance. It can be founded on anatomy, esthetics, or superstition. Release Technique, Limón, Alexander technique, Klein technique, are examples. Often with the name from its inventor
REFERENCE TO STANDARD JUGGLING
“Today I will just practice technique" - reference to traditional / standard of juggling. Numbers and well known basics, bodythrows, site swaps, pirouettes.