Session Recap | Epic Flatwork & Flow Jam 06.10.2020 Part III

Today’s session featured the same throws, a Footbrush and that Weightless throw, but the lines were set up with a Rear Cross. The Rear Cross set up provides a little more control than the Front Cross, but timing these throws was still a tough proposition.


Ron & Epic work some flowing flatwork with Footbrushes on the Clockwise Flank and the Weightless throw for the Counter Clockwise Flank using the Rear Cross to set the lines. This is the third installment of Epic Flatwork Sessions featuring these throws. Check out Part I and Part II if you like…

Rear Cross for Flexible Timing

I’m not sure if it’s the innate flexibility of the Rear Cross or the experience gained from working a few of these sessions over the last couple days, but delivering the throws was quite a bit easier today.

The Rear Cross has a bit more flexibility than the Front Cross. With the Rear Cross you can put the dog behind the play, and pull him along. Being in front of the dog allows the dog to get the jump on you or push through while you’re working to deliver the throw. Both of these throws have a long delivery time and are fairly complex due to the multi-part throwing mechanics – not only do you have to turn and throw, but you’ve got to turn and throw before you throw.

The additional time required for the dog to turn after passing the handler allows for more time and flexibility in setting up. That is, if the handler sends the dog and the dog performs a proper Rear Cross.

Creating a Lobe With the Rear Cross | 1:15

In the middle of the video (1m15s), there’s an overlay while I’m talking to Jack about having some trouble timing the throw and that the throw is easier if I can create a “Lobe” on the Rear Cross with Epic.

This Lobe concept can be both helpful and harmful in your flatwork; like most nuanced expressions of technique, there is a time and a place…

To create a lobe on a Rear Cross requires that the Rear Cross be proper. A proper rear cross has both a send AND a turn. Most handlers and teams only turn or flip the dog, performing the skill without sending the dog past the handler. This lack of a send often turns the Rear Cross into a Spin or a Twist and makes the skill happen more quickly and automagically.

When the Rear Cross is done as a Spin or a Twist, the dog kind of spins out or skids, performing a 360-ish movement instead of an arcing turn. This spinning out or skidding movement makes the Rear Cross happen really fast and removes a bunch of the flexibility that is built into the Rear Cross and makes reading the dog and timing a throw a bit more difficult. Of course, you can always rush the dog and whip it out in front to set the line, but if you want that groovy team movement and flowing flatwork or want to make a complex throw that has a long delivery, you might be in trouble…

To create a lobe on your Rear Cross, just be sure to send the dog and maybe pull a little bit around as the dog hooks up with you on the Flank. Once the dog hooks up and commits to the send, you’ll have some additional time to make the throw.

A Little Giz Gaz Action | 3:09

I was a bit surprised in the middle of the session to be comfy enough to work a Giz Gaz. Dueling Rear Crosses was not on the agenda for this session, and I wouldn’t have expected to pull it off. It was a pleasant surprise and speaks to some additional confidence from working the skill a few sessions in a row with an Epic little dog…

What’s Next With These Sessions?

Next up is tightening up the throws. The Footbrush needs a bit more spin and stability, and I need to find a comfy place to start the Weightless toss.

The setting of the throw up into my hand, where I set it spinning, is not very consistent. I have not really chosen a specific spot yet. I’m leaning towards setting it a bit further behind me than normal – if you watched all 3 sessions real close you might be able to see that in Session III I’m throwing the disc a bit further behind my shoulder than in Sessions I & II. I think this adds a bit of flexibility in terms of placement as I can articulate my body a bit more. When I try to make the throw from in front of the shoulder I’m a bit chicken winged or pigeon holed into a single direction.

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