What is Tricking?


I personally got involved more in tricking about 3 years ago after dabbling in and out of it for some time, but I wanted to get better at doing combos and work on some more serious moves.  I have links to my experience with that journey in two parts.

Part 1

Part 2

Long Story Short I emulated Jujimufu of Acrobolixs style formally Tricktutorials.com and have become good friends with the guy.

I can teach a wide array of basic tricking movements to help build a strong foundation if you are interested please contact me at movementconnections(at)gmail(dot)com

Tricking is an acrobatic art form that is an aesthetic creative blend of kicks, flips, and twists. There are many different styles of Tricking and it includes a wide range of other arts as well because it draws from them as a form of creativity. I will be talking mainly about the kicking style of Tricking because it is more widely practiced. It spawned from martial arts in the freeform expression styles for performance and is now in a category entirely of itself. Tricking has developed so much that it has movements in the art that cannot be found in any other art form. Tricking is not a martial art but it does enrich martial art culture and has brought a lot of light to that area because it appeals to a new generation. Sure none of the tricks are practical in combat, but they do give other reasons to take up a good traditional style of martial art so that you can have good foundation for better tricking.

In my opinion there were several influences that really helped tricking get more popular and build the mindset for it. Some of these may be a long shot, but I know they influenced me so they have to have influenced others as well.


Taekwondo has for a while been a martial art with an emphasis on powerful kicks.  It has made its way into the Olympics and within the past decade there has been a lot of work on the performing art version of the sport.  This can be demonstrated by the Korean Tigers. Board breaking by kicks was taken to new height by the “Korean Tigers” seen below. They took traditional Taekwondo and developed it into a beautiful performing art.This is old footage to show that many of the kicks we see today were still being done back then.  They also combined Dance and cultural elements of Hip Hop, Pop Music, and Mainstream ideas to help push it further. Another great thing about the Korean Tigers is that they all made sure to have good foundation in kicks.

I want to quickly also acknowledge Karate as well.  In the 1980’s a lot of films were made with the lead characters either a practitioners of Karate or Taekwondo they both had a great influence on getting kids into dojos and inspiring high flying kicks that may have evolved into the tricking we see today. I actually did Shotakan Karate for about 3 months when I was like 14 but I was paying for it myself and couldn’t keep up.

If you are looking for great foundation in Olympic Taekwondo I have to recommend my friend Jacky Natapong Jakeo he runs J’s Martial Arts Performance Academy in Mesa.
Here’s Jacky in Action


Jacky was also part of a Japanese performance group called the Rebel Alliance We trained together back at ASU when I was first starting out.

Taekwando is also probably responsible for the two most common chambered kicks in Tricking the Hook Kick and the Round Kick

Taolu Wushu

Known as the international sport of china, Taolu Wushu took kung fu and molded into an aesthetic art that emphasizes the grace and beauty of the martial art without the need for fighting. It is 100% based on looks and performance. With such skills as aerials, aerial twists, butterfly kicks, butterfly twists, pop 360 crescents, swing gainers, Fei longs and 540 kicks it’s no wonder it is a great art to start tricking from.

There is another Form of Wushu called Sanda which is like a kick boxing grappling form of sparring. While it is impressive and a great sport it has not had a major affect on the tricking community so I am not mentioning it beyond here.

I have two videos to share with you one is Old School Wushu…Because there is no school like the old school.

And here is a more current one

To get involved in Wushu I would recommend contacting Kenny Perez who is SIFU of Dynamic Martial Arts I learned how to Pop 360 Crescent from him and learned Butterfly Twist from him as well. Here are some great tutorials by Jade Xu A Wushu Champion, Actress, and Cirque De Soliel Lead Performer for the Michael Jackson “One.”



An afro-brazilian martial art that is about as popular as Brazilian Jujitsu, Capoeira is Martial art that was created by slaves during the sugar cane trade. The slaves disguised the kicking and grappling art as a circular dance that included music and singing. Due to the nature of disguising the art as a dance it ended up having more aesthetic based kicks like the Au Batido, Double Leg (armada dupla) Compas kick (Meia Lua de Compasso), Helicoptero, and a lot of ground flexibility based movements called florieos and angola. Capoiera can easily be categorized as the most movement rich martial art in the world. Capoeira could have an entire article written on it like this one here on Wikipedia but I am not doing that because this is about Tricking.

Here are a few mainstream Influences of Capoeira.

The first is from the Movie “Only the Strong”

The second is a Hollywood Stunt Man that I actually got to meet in person at JAM Gym in California named Lateef Crowder…It actually might have been his stunt double but I can’t remember ha ha.

The Third is actually from the Video game Tekken because one of the characters does Capoeira, and yes I know I am showing the older Tekken.  I’m trying to make a point that Tricking could have been influenced by Tekken Players trying to emulate Eddies Movements in real life.

  1. Here’s a great Wikipedia List of names of Moves in Capoeira
  2. And here’s a great Playlist of Capoeira Movement Tutorials

I have to give credit where credit is due. I learned fro about 2 years under Grupo Axe Capoeira with Maestre Jay Spain if you want to get in great shape and become part of a great culture go and check these guys out.

However I also learned a lot from training with and watching Matt Underwood aka Lagarta of Capoeira Brasil Arizona so both Grupos really helped me out.

Here’s Lagarta in Action


XMA Extreme Martial Art and JAM GYM

Probably the most direct influence in helping tricking to grow in the US was both XMA and Jam Gym.

XMA created by Michael Chaturantabut aka Mike Chat was about showing off the high flying aesthetic of Martial Arts. Below is the founder and Hollywood stuntman himself.

XMA is a sport with a scoring system based on performing martial art routines with high flying kicks, twists, and flips to increase difficulty as well as incorporating weapons. Tayler Lautner actually did XMA here is a video of him as a kid doing some of the tricks. He actually was pretty good especially for his age.


Jam Gym was formally White Lotus and was the major hub for famous trickers like Anis Cheufra , Daniel Graham ,  and Steve Terada to name just a few.  If you are ever in LA and want to take a quick trip to JAM GYM on an Open Gym Night you will almost always see one other famous Tricker there. Anytime I have been there I have felt right at home, the atmosphere there is chill, inviting, and a guaranteed level up zone.

I cannot end this Article without also Mentioning Sites Like Bilang.com (which only has the logo up now :”(   ) and Club 540.com which is still great resource for bringing tricking more accessibly to everyone with an internet connection.

Some Movies and TV Shows that I feel helped tricking get to more people are listed below with links attached to show video footage. There are many more but I think you should go out and start learning to trick…by the way I know a great instructor yours truly “ME” movementconnections(at)gmail(dot)com


Ong Bak and The Protector

Tron Legacy

Power Rangers

And of course I must pay Homage to the great Video “It’s Called Tricking”

By Jacob Wolfman


A shout out to all my Arizona Trickers keep flipping, keep kicking, keep TRICKING

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