Getting into tricking vs. Learning a few tricks

beginner tricking

You can get into tricking without doing it intentionally. When I discovered tricking, I didn't think about getting into tricking, I just wanted the 540 kick so I could show it off in my Taekwondo group.

Jujimufu, Taekwondo, Tricking

So I started working on the 540 kick in October 2000. I finally got it in March 2001. And when I got it, I was cool. But soon other people from my Taekwondo group were 540'ing, and I wasn't as cool anymore. And some people were doing backflips! I was scared to go backwards so I was jealous.

To get ahead, I tried learning more tricks. I started working on aerials and double legs and other things. I spent many of my afternoons after school working on tricks in my backyard and in public parks. And that's when I realized I was actually tricking.

Jujimufu, tricking

So what about you? Maybe you don't need to think about whether or not you should get into tricking. Maybe you could work toward only one trick or two tricks? That's cool, and I'm your friend and I can help you! See if there are some tutorials on this website and tutorials on youtube that can help you. But be warned: If you learn just one trick, you might get hooked!

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  • Jon Call on

    Cool man! Yeah get the back tuck definitely, put it at the very top of your list of tricks to get. It’s one of the best to get. Simple, classic, satisfying, popular for a reason, and a tremendously important stepping stone trick. Start thinking about it every free moment you have for the next two weeks, visualize yourself doing it 3rd and 1st person view. Think about it so much you start dreaming about it. Then… Go to a gym, get a spotter, and spend an hour fighting the good fight for it! Good luck!

  • Mr Torture on

    I’d like to give an alternative to Chad Clark about how to get backtucks, in case he’s pathetic like me. I spent ten years, ten of my best years, completely unable to “go backwards” while trying my best to follow Juji-style advice, which is very popular and by far the most common sort of advice you’ll get from a tricker or in a gym, and indeed there’s a lot of peer pressure to do things that way, which contributed to my foolish reluctance to try a different angle of attack. Maybe my interpretation of it was wrong, but in that case so could other people’s be and I think it’s worth considering other routes IF necessary.

    I couldn’t make it work for me, I didn’t have that kind of coordination and control and spotters just made me even more nervous. And the more I thought about it and visualised it the more nervous I got, and in fact my backtuck ability got worse (into minus figures) during that time.

    What finally worked, in my mid 20’s, was to start on a trampoline doing sit-bounces or whatever you call them (which were a bit scary themselves, a new motion), then rotating a bit further back, then bouncing flat onto my back, and so on with about a dozen small steps until I could do messy backtucks with, say, four bounces leading into it. They were nothing like a good standing back would be like, but I had so much fear to train myself out of and this did the trick. Slowly, without creating more fear by advancing too quickly, I brushed away the nervousness and inhibition (and reworking deeply entrenched neural shizzle can be a slow process, I guess), taking a few small steps each week. Sounds ridiculous, right? But those things were scary enough and I could only just manage it at first.

    I worked to the edge of the trampoline to get less bounce, and had fewer bounces before doing the move, until I could do them from standing. Then I moved to a tumble track with a similar process, then neatened up my form, then went the fast track with a thin mat (another thing people mock you for, and good for them for not needing it but it helps wusses like me, psychologically). Then no mat. Then the plyo with a mat. Then no mat. Then I ran outside and did it on grass in the same session.

    Chad mentioned he wants to “work up the courage to back tuck”, but for me this was a dead end because working up courage only worked up the fear as well, for no overall result. My approach was instead to diminish the “fear” (inhibition) gradually, proving to my brain/body that it wasn’t scary and teaching myself what these things actually felt like, until my body finally handed over some control and allowed me to perform this unnatural movement. Trying to “just do” a trick, when genuinely inhibited, is a bit like arguing with someone – in the sense that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” You can’t force a change of opinion on someone unless they’re predisposed to accept it, unless their temperament is such that they’re yearning for it already. Otherwise it just strengthens their resolve against you and their whole body and mind just tightens up in defence. For me it was the same with backtucks – my whole being was just not set up to receive this strange motion and each time I triggered the inhibition reaction it made it stronger and stronger, so I had to tease around the edges and slowly ease into it.

    Young tricker friends said, as usual, that I was wasting my time and I should “just do it”, they having one day just gone and chucked it on the lawn. But for me the waste of time was spending years banging my head against a wall trying to an approach which simply didn’t work for me – perhaps because I never did sports as a child and had poor coordination and body awareness? Perhaps because I’m genetically a pussy? The reason barely matters, I should have just accepted that it was so and got on with it.

    My first standing backtuck on plyo came only 2-3 months (with one weekly session) after I started trying this described approach, which in my book isn’t bad going at all and time well spent.

    Just a different perspective, from a nobody. If you’ve got enough command over your body then more direct routes, “fighting the good fight,” as Juji puts it, can work. If not, then you may have to try this diplomatic approach instead.

    <3 to Juji, big fan from the earliest TT days.

  • Brett budke on

    Seeing your Instagram videos made me want to start getting into shape

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