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David Blaine's Arm Twist 360 Degrees Revealed

Street Magic Arm Twist Illusion Complete With Photos

Here is a Free Street Magic Trick for you! On an episode of David Blaine's TV show, David Blaine tries to get a spectator to rotate his arm (while copying David) 360 degrees. The spectator cannot rotate his arm like David as David turns it 360 degrees right in front of his eyes. Though this illusion was made famous by David Blaine, it originated with the magician Shinkoh and has been around for quite a while.

The Magic Effect
Asking a spectator to copy your actions, the spectator will attempt to rotate their arm like yours in a 360 degree circle. To their amazement, they can only rotate it a tiny bit while you rotate a full 360 degrees right in front of them.

Preparation For The Illusion
All you need is just a long sleeve shirt pulled all the way down to your hand.

Secret Method For This Illusion
The secret to this illusion is to distract the spectator while you set up your hand correctly. Rotate your right hand clockwise until your fingers are pointing towards your body. This probably will be uncomfortable (at least it was for me!), but the more you practice and stretch, the easier it gets. Plus, the effect is well worth it! Twist a bit more while your fingers are touching the surface (the table if you are doing it there, or the ground). And now you hand should be pointing to the left. When in position, you should have now twisted your hand about 270 degrees CLOCKWISE until its facing the left.

The key to doing this is not letting your spectator know that you are twisting your arm like this. A good way to do this is to put your hand down like his pointed to the left, then distract him. You may distract him by saying something like "your doing it wrong, do exactly what I am doing" or "maybe you should move a bit to get a better view" then push him with your free hand and set your arm up while he is distracted.

Now start your rotation, and have him start his, twisting your arm COUNTERCLOCKWISE. His will stop after a short bit, but yours will keep going! All the way around. After you finish, there is added moves and effects you can do to twist even more in front of the spectator. I recommend you purchase Shinkoh's Twisting Arm Illusion DVD that covers all of these methods.

picture demonstrating the various moves involved in the arm twisting illusion.