The Scribe

Tumbling Into Tricking

Tyler McNierney, Co-Editor-in-Cheif

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What comes to mind when one hears the word “tricking”? In truth, the word itself does not provide a glaring answer, so there would probably be a mix of ideas. Perhaps the word is an abbreviation of the Halloween activity, or maybe it is synonymous to teasing or pranking. However, out of the array of these random answers, one or two may have the correct idea of what tricking might be. In short, that thought should consist of an almost excessive amount of spinning and twisting.What comes to mind when one hears the word “tricking”? In truth, the word itself does not provide a glaring answer, so there would probably be a mix of ideas. Perhaps the word is an abbreviation of the Halloween activity, or maybe it is synonymous to teasing or pranking. However, out of the array of these random answers, one or two may have the correct idea of what tricking might be. In short, that thought should consist of an almost excessive amount of spinning and twisting.

ISSEI KIMURA
The VellusTa Team, a popular tricking group, performs impressive tricks in the bustling streets of Tokyo. Their Instagram page can be found @vellusta.

Tricking, despite its peculiar name, is a sport. The closest approximation to tricking is gymnastics, although fellow gymnasts and trickers would most certainly frown upon this comparison. Jonathan Yonzon, a junior at Wilcox, offers a simple explanation. “Tricking is the composite of multiple martial art disciplines, gymnastics, acrobatics, and break dancing,” Yonzon describes, “ It is the movement of one’s body all under one giant umbrella.” Although there is a wide variety of “tricks”, or stunts, that can be considered tricking, the most iconic movements of tricking involve spinning kicks and flips. To give an idea, the ultimate tricker would probably be a fusion of Simone Biles and Bruce Lee.

Naturally, the influence and popularity of tricking is nowhere near the fame of other disciplines such as gymnastics and breakdancing. However, tricking has existed for a considerably shorter time than the latter two. Emerging around the 2000s as an internet phenomenon, tricking had only begun to gain attention following the rise of YouTube. Now, the sport has amassed several million views on the video-sharing site, and elements of this discipline has been incorporated to countless movies, television series, and music videos. Yonzon recalls, “Tricking used to be a very niche hobby, with the bar being set fairly low. Now, tricking is considered as a sport to many, and it has created unique individuals and associations that support the sport, such as LoopKicks.” Nonetheless, with a lack of competitive training programs and large-scale tournaments, tricking is more or less a “low-key” sport. However, most trickers would argue that this is a selling point of tricking, as it allows the sport to evolve freely without any constraints by rules or requirements.

Despite its recent emergence as a sport, tricking has given rise to several organizations that offer classes and open gyms. Nathaniel Marcelo, a former student of Wilcox, lists off several local gyms. “Cheer Perfect Studios just opened up on El Camino,” Marcelo explains, “There’s Bay Area Movement, or BAM, in San Jose. Twisters is another gym in Sunnyvale, but it’s closed for their summer program.” It is still entirely possible to practice tricking without the padding and flooring that these gyms offer. As Yonzon points out, tricking on grass is a very simple and accessible option, and tricking with a group of friends quickly livens up the atmosphere. Yonzon admits, “Most of the time I go out to trick, it’s just my friends and I having a great time, learning new things, and making ourselves better.”

As a sport that’s lived for a little more than a decade, tricking has yet to settle itself as a traditional athletic endeavor. Still, it is important to note that tricking, like many of the traditional sports, is not simply a practice of kicking and flipping. “Tricking has given me a greater appreciation for the sport,” Marcelo declares, “I see videos of these guys doing the craziest things. It’s not easy, and it takes years of practice for these guys to get to the level they’re at today. It’s made me appreciate hard work, because in the sport of tricking, landing a move you’ve been training religiously for three weeks is the most satisfying thing ever.”

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The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California
Tumbling Into Tricking