Getting Started with Tricking - A Beginner's Guide
So, you've stumbled upon a YouTube video of some random guys doing crazy flips and kicks and you want to check out "tricking". Or maybe you just wanted to teach yourself a backflip to look cool at parties and found yourself falling in love with flipping upside down and want to learn more moves.
What IS Tricking?
Tricking is an acrobatic discipline that incorporates everything from traditional martial arts techniques from Capoeria, Karate, Wushu, Taekwondo to flips and twists from Gymnastics, and style and ground moves found in breakdancing. Tricking is a creative discipline of movement expressed through aesthetic combinations of dynamic acrobatics and martial arts kicks. It has evolved from Sport Karate competitors adding flips and high-level kicks to a worldwide phenomenon where anyone from any background can participate.
Apart from the technical term, tricking is freedom through expression. There are so many avenues and aspects to mastery and infinite paths of progression; no two trickers have the same style. Not only is there variation in the singular moves, but the complexity of transitions and combos make each tricker unique.
Do I have to be flexible/fit/strong to Trick?
All those things help, but don't let your lack in one of these areas hold you back from trying different moves or starting to trick, you can always increase flexibility and strength as you trick, but don't treat it like a pre-requisite. Everyone can start somewhere.
So How Do I Start?
Have No Martial Arts/Gymnastics Experience? Check out this list of basic "non-moves", these moves form the foundation for every trick you will be learning from here on out.
Done learning all the basics? Great, you can now move on to learning these 10 essential tricks.
Take your time with progression, everyone learns tricks at a different pace. Play around with different techniques - the internet has a plethora of tutorials and knowledge, you just have to look for it. You will get frustrated, but that's just a part of the tricking journey.
Where Should I Train?
Grass. A grassy or turf field is one of the best places to trick - the grass is soft enough that you can bail without too much damage, and it's free. Find yourself a quiet patch without too many onlookers and get at it!
Open Gym. A lot of Gymnastics/Tumbling/Cheer Gyms have what is called "open gym" or "open floor" where you can train for a pretty reasonable rate. You might even find other trickers at the gym. Community and training in groups is the fastest way to progress in my opinion.