Alex Green passes…

Alex Green passes…

Alex green is a person that I only knew through reputation and his videos Whip Cracking Made Easy vol 1 & 2 that he was in with Mark Allen.  However based on what I’ve heard of him the whip world (and western arts world) has lost a legend!

Paul Nolan has put up a bunch of unique pictures of Alex on his twitter feed at: http://twitter.com/MidWestWhips

Here’s his obituary from the Province:

Legendary film stuntman and Vancouver resident Alex Green died from liver cancer Tuesday. He was 68.

The Australian-born stunt master was most famous for jumping boats for Bruno Gerussi in The Beachcombers and cracking the whip for Anthony Hopkins in the 1998 film, The Mask of Zorro.

“I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a stunt man in cowboy movies!” Green had written on his biography on the Stunts Canada website. “I lived for the Saturday matinee — three hours of heaven!”

He grew up watching westerns with idols such as Roy Rogers, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and Lash Larue — the latter of whom he admired for his whip.

Green would later become internationally renowned for his western gun-spinning and bullwhip-cracking, performing in more than 2,500 shows around the world.

He moved to Vancouver in the 1960s and then took off to Hollywood, where he fell, fought and played with fire in productions such as the Superman films, Death Hunt, First Blood, Shanghai Noon and more.

At career’s end, he had doubled for such Hollywood heavyweights as Jack Lemmon, Omar Sharif, Christopher Plummer and Peter Falk.

In 1970, he helped found Stunts Canada, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

The organization’s current president, James Bamford, remembered visiting Green’s studio in Gastown when he was younger and having Green teach him how to spin a six-gun until his fingers were numb.

“He loved the film industry. He loved cowboys,” said Bamford. “He always kept the attitude of a child, based on his love for film and television.

“He had thousands and thousands of stories that he would whip out for you at any given time on call.”

Green struggled with liver cancer over the past year, Bamford said, and though he and his wife never had children, the stunts community considered him “a godfather to us all.”

A small gathering will be held in Green’s honour this Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. in Pitt Meadows.

“You only go through life once. You’ve got to give it your best shot,” Green had written online. “What could be better than being a cowboy in the movies?”

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Budget Bullwhip

Budget Bullwhip

Yesterday I did the overlay for another budget bullwhip.  I’ve got enough leather for 2 or three more of these, the I probably won’t be making many more of them until the fall.

bullwhip

I’ve made this budget bullwhip a “Beginners Whip Kit” and it comes with the Whip Cracking Made Easy DVD #1.  It’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page.

My next project (besides finding time to finish that bosal) is to work on  a signal whip.  I made the shot bag a week or two ago but that’s all:

signal whip

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Whip Deal of the Day

Whip Deal of the Day

Today’s Whip Deal of the Day (for 12/7/09 only) is when you order either Whip Cracking Made Easy Volume 1 or Volume 2, I’ll throw in a 5 pack of polypro cracker for free.  If you order both Whip Cracking Made Easy Volume 1 and Volume 2 I’ll throw in 5 polypro crackers and a Indian Tan Latigo fall for free!

You don’t need to do anything special for this deal, simply order one or both DVD’s and I’ll automatically add the crackers or crackers and fall when I box up your order.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Whip Deal of the Day

Whip Deal of the Day

Today’s Whip Deal of the Day (for 12/4/09 only) is that every whip order that is paid for today comes a free copy of Whip Cracking Made Easy Vol. 1 DVD.   You don’t need to do anything special, just place your order and when I’m boxing it up to ship, I’ll add the DVD.

The only exception to this deal is if you order a Bullwhip Kit that already comes with Whip Cracking Made Easy Vol. 1, so if you order a Bullwhip Kit, I’ll add Whip Cracking Made Easy Vol 2 for free.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip Cracking for Beginners

Bullwhip Cracking for Beginners

If you are starting out cracking bullwhips there are a couple of things you need to know:

Don’t get a swivel handle bullwhip!

When you get your first bullwhip, a  lot of people get a swivel handle bullwhip because they are cheap.  Now if you don’t know what a swivel handle bullwhip, it’s one that the lash will rotate independently from the handle.  Now that might sound like an advantage is you want to swing the bullwhip over your head and  cut back to make a it crack, but it’s really not.  You can do that same crack just as easily with a bullwhip with a fixed handle.

The biggest problem with a swivel handle is because the lash can rotate you can’t control where the whip is going by just holding the handle.  My first bullwhip was a swivel handle and I used to hold the bullwhip with my thumb on the transition knot to keep it from swiveling when I cracked…that’s not good technique and makes things much harder to do!

The handle is a handle in name only!

When you crack a bullwhip you hold the handle, but you don’t really hold the handle.  At the bottom of most bullwhips there’s a little decorative knot.  It’s called a turks head and usually you hold that in the palm of your hand (there’s a slight exception for longer handled bullwhips) when you crack it, so it’s like a ball and socket joint.

If you are holding the bullwhip’s handle like you would a hammer you aren’t using the leverage that the handle give you to it’s full potential!

Focus on technique not power (super loudness)!

When you use proper technique from the beginning and not muscle you’ll make learning more complex bullwhip cracks much easier in the future.  A well made bullwhip does most of the work in cracking for you.  With the proper technique all you do is put the right shape into the lash as you “throw” it out and the bullwhip does the rest.

Also using too much strength when cracking is not only bad for the whip, it will lead to  you replacing more crackers and bullwhip falls, which will cost you money!!

So where do you learn to crack a bullwhip properly?  The best place is from someone in person who know how.  However that’s not always possible, so the next best place is from a DVD, I recommend the Whip Cracking Made Easy series (two volumes) by Mark Allen and Alex Green.


Always wear eye protection!

When you crack a bullwhip, the crack is the popper of the bullwhip breaking the speed of sound, and when you are cracking your bullwhip it’s flying around  your head.  For a beginner you’d be an idiot to knot wear safety goggles!

I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure that when you smack yourself in the eye with a bullwhip it’s not a good!  If you are just starting out and are more concerned with “looking cool” by not wearing proper safety gear, then you really aren’t smart enough to crack a bullwhip and shouldn’t.

Also while you are at it, you should wear hearing protection and jeans and a jacket to protect your limbs!

Here’s the tips in a nutshell:

Do a bit of research and buy a decent bullwhip.  Now I said a decent one, you don’t need to spend $700 on a bullwhip…you can get a good budget/beginners bullwhip for under $175.  Learn to use your bullwhip properly and wear proper safety equipment.  Oh and have fun learning to crack a bullwhip!

Louie