What is Tricking? (Answered)

Have you ever watched someone effortlessly blend martial arts, gymnastics, and dance into a breathtaking display of flips, kicks, and twists? That’s the art of tricking, an acrobatic discipline that’s as much about creative expression as it is about physical prowess.

setting a tricking skill

Key Takeaways

  • Tricking combines martial arts, gymnastics, and dance.
  • It is both a physical skill and an artistic expression.
  • Techniques from Karate, Taekwondo, Capoeira, and Wushu are used.
  • Tricking is about creating visually appealing combinations.
  • It’s considered a lifestyle for many of its practitioners.

What is Tricking?

Tricking, or martial arts tricking, is an innovative and dynamic type of training. It’s a fusion of various elements:

  • Martial Arts: Techniques from Taekwondo, Karate, Capoeira, and Wushu add the kick and twist elements.
  • Gymnastics: Incorporates flips and twists, demanding agility and strength.
  • Dance: Breakdancing moves contribute to its aesthetic and rhythmic aspects.

Trickers aim to create visually pleasing expressions of movement by linking different skills in a way that both flows and impresses. Tricking is less of a sport in that many people simply want to push themselves to their physical limits rather than compete against others. Having said that, freestyle battles have grown in popularity and are a way of showcasing the skills that an individual has mastered.

Who Is Tricking For?

Anyone can become a tricker regardless of age, ability or background. Here at Synergy, we run classes for both children and adults many of whom start for the first time with little or no experience. YouTube has helped inspire new people to try Tricking for the first time either on their own, as part of an informal group or by attending a more structured class.

The advantage of learning how to trick in a class such as the ones we run is the added safety the mats and equipment bring. Our instructors also bring their gymnastics knowledge to the table and break individual tricks down into safe and fun progressions.

Why Start Tricking?

Tricking isn’t just a visually appealing type of training; it’s also incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental health. Here are just a few reasons to start tricking.

Physical Fitness

Tricking is an excellent way to improve overall fitness. It enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and agility. The demanding nature of the movements ensures a full-body workout. If you’re worried that you might not be physically ready for Tricking, that’s not a problem. Anyone can get started with simpler skills like jumping, rolling or even a cartwheel. By getting started you should naturally improve your physical fitness and if you want to take it more seriously, consider adding conditioning exercises to boost your strength and power.

The classes we run at Synergy involve warm ups, stretching and elements of basic conditioning to do just that.

tricking flip

Mental Health

Beyond the physical benefits, tricking also offers mental health advantages. It’s a fantastic way to relieve stress, improve focus, and boost self-confidence. The sense of accomplishment after mastering a trick is unparalleled.

Tricking takes each person out of their comfort zone regularly. This is hugely beneficial at a time when so many of us battle confidence on a day-to-day basis. Learning how to push yourself, fail and get up and try again is a massive life skill that can be developed by taking part in tricking.

There are also many tricking communities both online and in person that help bring people together, meet new people and make new friends.

TrickSpot is a great way to find other trickers near you.

Tricking Elements and Techniques

Tricking draws heavily from martial arts like Taekwondo and Karate. The kicks and twists from these disciplines are not just about combat; they are transformed into a form of art in tricking. Each kick and twist is executed with precision, contributing to the fluidity and grace of the performer.

Gymnastics plays a crucial role in tricking. The flips and twists borrowed from gymnastics demand not just physical strength but also a high level of body control. These elements add an exciting dimension to tricking, bringing in the thrill of acrobatics.

Vertical Kicks

These types of kicks remain upright and rotate around the vertical axis. Vertical Kicks can be broken down into the following subcategories:

  • Pop Kicks
  • Swing Kicks
  • Cheat Kicks

Forward Tricks

These types of tricks take off facing forward in the same way that a forward roll does in gymnastics. They can be broken down into the following subcategories:

  • FrontFlips
  • Webster Tricks
  • Janitor Tricks

Backward Tricks

Backward Tricks are the opposite of the Forward facing tricks as the name might suggest! Some tricks take off on one foot whilst others use two. They include:

  • Backflip Tricks
  • Gainer Tricks
  • Full Tricks
  • Corkscrew Tricks

Inside Tricks

Inside Tricks include all tricks that begin in the ‘inside stance’. They include:

  • Butterfly Tricks
  • Aerial Tricks
  • Masterswing Tricks
  • Wrap Tricks
  • Tak Tricks

Outside Tricks

Outside tricks begin in the ‘outside stance’ and include:

  • Raiz Tricks
  • Doubleleg Tricks
  • Spyder Tricks
  • Lotus Tricks
  • Sideflip Tricks

It’s important to point out that each subcategory has dozens of tricks meaning there are hundreds of individual tricks that can then be used in combinations Therefore there are thousands of possible sequences to learn and be creative with.

Final Thoughts

Tricking is a rewarding and beneficial activity to get involved with. If you are looking for something new or you have become bored with gymnastics or lifting weights, Tricking could be the ideal thing to fill the void. Get in touch to find out more or go ahead and book a class.


Can anyone learn tricking?

Absolutely! Tricking is for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. It’s about starting at your own pace and gradually building up your skills.

Do I need a background in martial arts or gymnastics to start tricking?

No, you don’t need a specific background. While experience in martial arts or gymnastics can be helpful, tricking is accessible to beginners without any prior experience.

How long does it take to learn tricking?

The time it takes varies from person to person. Consistent practice and dedication are key. Some may see progress in a few months, while for others, it may take longer.