Tricking is a community of artistic athletes who express themselves through the creation of distinctive combinations involving kicks, acrobatics, and originality. Tricking is a social movement. Trickers are a growing international community who use social media to share new styles of movement through the context of kicks, flips, and twists. Today tricking is an underground evolution still in process. As this young community continues to push the limits of physical creativity, values passed on from its martial arts roots like camaraderie, personal development, continual progression, and mind-body integration are enhancing the idea of tricking from being simply a physical activity, to a way of life.
Beginning in the mid 1990s, the concept of tricking first starting developing in the martial arts, where competitors would invent kicks trying to win the judges over during forms (competitions based on martial art style and technique). During this time period, the world began logging onto the internet.
For the first time in the history, martial artists had an opportunity to collaborate and study these creative kicks on a global scale. As more people started learning these ‘extreme kicks,’ the practitioners began stepping up the bar for what was considered possible, constantly striving to be more creative, more powerful, more fluid, and more epic than what has already been done. As social media Tricking: A Social Movement TobiasBros. websites like Facebook and Youtube began to make the ability to share tricking videos more easy, tricking has begun to expand and influence other styles of movement including freerunning, breakdancing, movie stunts, and more. In recent years, tricking has been seen in all types of context, ranging from Chris Brown music videos, to John M. Chu’s League of Extraordinary Dancers (The LXD), to Disney’s new adaptation of the movie Tron (character Rinzler throws tricks), to TV ads, and Tricking is even now being integrated into bboy competitions like Red Bull’s BC One. As kicking remains a distinguishing feature that keeps tricking
tied to its martial arts origins, Trickers today come from all different walks of life, with backgrounds ranging from world champion martial artists, to Olympic gymnasts, to just having seen it on the internet and teaching themselves in their backyards.
The true essence of tricking is not something that can easily be described in words. Tricking is underground, and takes on an anti-conformist approach to any particular standardized style of movement. Tricking is an abstract concept held together by the community of individuals who label themselves as such. There is no real definition of what is or isn’t tricking, just like there is no real definition of what is art.
So what exactly is tricking? That’s something only you can answer for yourself.
Check out a Tobias Bros. Tricking Demonstration video here:
This article was featured in the Oct/Nov 2011 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. "Tricking: A Social Movement" was written by the Tobias Bros. Learn more about the My Mad Methods Magazine by Clicking Here
The Tobias Bros. include Franky Tobias, Ale Kamikaze Tobias, and Tony Tobias and have been involved in martial arts since the age of four. They are Black Belts in Kenpo Karate and currently teach karate, Tricking, Parkour, and MMA in Guatemala. Find out more.
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