Aroundsquare and Begleri

Introduction to Aroundsquare Begleri

Aroundsquare has been instrumental in the development of modern begleri, through groundbreaking advances in the styles of play, innovative design work, and the development of community infrastructure to support the proliferation and evolution of this remarkable toy. We are proud to have established ourselves as a pillar of the begleri community, not only through our products, but through our engagement and support of the community itself. Our recent work seeks to bring modern begleri back around full circle to its traditional roots as an elegant accessory and lifestyle item, promoting creativity, relaxation, and manual dexterity for players of all ages.

Our begleri are available in dozens of configurations, with designs and materials to suit players of any age, style, and budget.  

Aroundsquare and Begleri

Aroundsquare was incorporated as a company in 2007, shortly after the patenting of our first skill toy, Monkey Knuckles. AO2 was first introduced to begleri in 2014, and immediately took an interest. After becoming convinced of the potential of begleri as a skill toy, we undertook hands on research to figure it out for ourselves. At the time, begleri had next to no online presence, and what little information there was, was inconsistent. There were no standards, no shared vocabulary, and no consensus on any of the main variables relevant to begleri design or begleri play, such as string length or bead specifications. What existed, was a very small assortment of individual experiments and short clips with one or two moves, posted across the internet.

Through our involvement in other communities, we understood the importance of standards, and especially, a shared vocabulary, to enable players to share ideas and tricks with one another. While begleri looks simple, it is remarkably hard to talk about tricks without some basic agreements on terms. We identified several dimensions that needed naming, including the various positions for holding the begleri, the directions of motion, the planes of motion, as well as some basic "verbs" or terms to describe the types of motion. Language, we know, provides a kind of cognitive scaffolding that allows us to think abstractly, and in so doing, enables us to quickly move beyond the basic frustrations that come with each person having to figure things out for themselves. While we are very proud of our begleri, which themselves have become standards in the community, we are equally proud to see that this basic vocabulary took root, caught on, and has now taken on a life of its own as play continues to develop to increasing levels of sophistication that we could not have imagined back in 2015. 

In 2016, Aroundsquare had the opportunity to work with Kuma Films to create what has become the most widely viewed begleri film on the internet. The film, 2 Beads 1 String featured members of the AO2 Crew, and the release of the film in 2016 became a defining moment for the begleri community--a point at which the toy not only gained the attention of a wide audience, but also, established its legitimacy as a serious skill toy with incredible potential. 

Begleri had gained a lot of momentum by the end of 2016, and it had already gotten the attention of mainstream toy companies. 2017 saw the release of the first mass market begleri product, Zing's Thumb Chucks, which was an inexpensive set of LED rubber balls, tethered by a thick, somewhat flattened cord. Early in the development of Thumb Chucks, Zing began communicating with Aroundsquare and members of the AO2 Crew. Seeing the opportunity to help raise awareness of this toy to a younger audience, we supported their project, and encouraged a relationship between crew members and Zing--several of whom had the opportunity to work with the company on content production and product promotion. Zing made the prudent decision to not market their product as begleri, and were kind enough to include a note on their website with a link to encouraging players to check out AO2 if they wanted to take their game to the next level. Although Thumb Chucks have faded into history, they made a major impact on the begleri community by exposing countless players to begleri, many of whom have subsequently become community members. 

Throughout this period, Aroundsquare maintained a parallel effort to support community development. In 2016, we organized the first ever worldwide online begleri contest, the Single Grip Open, which has been held annually every year since. In 2019 we added a second annual contest, Sling Slam, which is an open freestyle event, also held online. We maintain the most comprehensive and viewed set of begleri tutorials on the internet. Aroundsquare's pro team, the AO2 Crew, has become synonymous with the very top levels of play, and includes legendary players that helped make this game what it is today. AO2 and members of the AO2 Crew are highly active across all social media platforms, working hard to spread begleri love. You'll find us almost everywhere using the handle @aroundsquare, and similar hashtags. 

Aroundsquare remains very active in the begleri community, helping to promote the toy as a pastime, creative outlet, and healthy or even therapeutic activity. And we work hard to advance the toy itself with innovative designs, and an ever growing range of models for players at every skill level and almost every budget. If you have found your way to this page and want to get involved, or have suggestions on content, please contact us with your ideas!

Begleri Communities Online

Common Begleri Hashtags

  • #begleri
  • #komboloi
  • #BERETR: short for "BEgleri REpeater TRick" 
  • #15sfreestyle: short form freestyle segments (carryover from when Instagram only allowed 15s videos)
  • #nevernotslinging
  • #ao2crew
  • Product specific: #ao2titans #ao2hydras #ao2everymen etc.