In the past I've called the juggling by these self-taught with minimal influence Naive Juggling after the term for Naive Art, a similar phenomenon. I'll just post a blog I wrote back in the day:
I first posted the following on a previous blog. Today I spotted something very similar, and I thought of this. I’ll head out with my camera later to see if I can get some video captured. Either way, here’s an interesting piece of history from about four years ago…
January 21st, 2006
There are many kinds of art, and each school has its own name and history. Apart from all these usual schools of painting is “Naive Art”, a painting by someone outside of any art tradition, with no art training, with limited experience of other painting… resulting in pictures that may, at first glance, look good, but take a closer look and things are a bit off; wonky perspective, strange colours, blocky composition, etc.
I have noticed the phenomenon that I call “Naive Juggling”. Most people are taught how to juggle by other jugglers, but there are many people who teach themselves tricks out of order, or use strange techniques that most jugglers find more difficult, or are just plain wrong. The most common examples of naive juggling are those people who know how to juggle the two ball shower, want to learn three balls, so do so using the shower pattern (normally considered much harder than the cascade). Some jugglers learn the reverse cascade before the cascade. I even remember my brother and I trying to work out how to pass clubs; we decided that the right way must be to throw every pass with reverse spin, so it lands in the other person’s hand in the same position as a normal self throw. We were 14.
In each of these cases the skills involved are not that advanced. Maybe some people go on to learn the 4 ball shower, or find the 5 ball reverse cascade easier when they get to that level, but normally these “mistakes” are caught by other jugglers and corrected before the naive juggler starts learning more technical skills.
But a few days ago I met Andreas. He learned to juggle in isolation… and all was normal when learning 3, 4, 5 6 balls. Then 3 clubs, in the cascade. Then 4 clubs, in the triple-single, half shower pattern. Not the most common pattern, but I do know others who only use this pattern for 4 clubs, not bothering with the fountain.
Then he started learning the 5 club cascade. His right hand was so used to throwing triples he didn’t want to learn the pattern on doubles. But then his left hand was so used to throwing singles, so he didn’t want to have to learn left handed triples to match his right hand. So he learned the pattern with his right hand throwing triples and his left throwing doubles! Nobody told him this was really wrong; to him it was just the most natural way to juggle. Even so, his pattern is really solid, all the clubs go to exactly the same height, and he keeps it going for a few hundred catches without much trouble. At first you don’t see anything wrong, but look closer, or have it pointed out, and it just looks wrong!
“And I’m told the easiest 6 club pattern is the triple-double half shower,” says Andreas, “so I’ll have an advantage when I get there…”