Hello again everyone! This is my second post for my In-Depth project this year: Tricking. So far, I’ve mainly been working on my conditioning to get my body used to performing such stunts. This means doing upper body exercises such as push ups and sit ups as well as lower body exercises such as squats and calf raises. I’ve also been practicing the cartwheel, a basic tumbling maneuver that is the foundation to many other moves. It’s hard to believe that a few months ago, I couldn’t even do a cartwheel. At the end of the project, I will compare my cartwheels so that I can see my improvement. Some things that I will work on for this move are: Cleaning up the landing so my feet land in a straight line, keeping my legs straight mid-rotation, overall presentation and flair.
The second move I’ve been practicing is the kip-up. This move is used a lot in martial arts movies, as it quickly changes the bodies position from lying down to standing up. I started practicing the kip-up at the start of this project. The kip-up is a very good beginner technique to learn as it engages the whole body from the arms to the legs. When I first attempted it, I landed flat on my back multiple times purely because my body wasn’t used to moving that fast. Here is my kip-up: Some things I want to improve about my kip-up are: Increase the height of the arc of my body as I do the move, and be able to land with my feet together instead of apart. Throughout my whole project, I will continue practicing both these fundamental moves. Next week, I will try and learn the “540”, a spinning kick that looks like this, which will definitely challenge me as it is a whole half (180) rotation more than a standard “360” kick.
Now to talk a bit more about my mentor, and what I have learned from him so far. As stated in my last post, my mentor is Serg Martires. He currently lives in Surrey, and did most of his tricking training there. Serg is a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, a rank he achieved from over 6 years of hard work and training. He first started tricking after he obtained his black belt, around 2 years ago. At first he learned the basic moves such as: “kip-up” “540” and “auto-bahn”, after he began learning more advanced tricks like the : “back flip” “720” and “slant gainer”. All these tricks can be seen here. Unfortunately, there was a period of time a few years ago where Serg injured himself quite badly whilst doing tricks. However after a few months rest, he was back to doing everything he did before.
Before attempting these tricks, I messaged Serg to ask for some advice on tricking. The answer I got was to keep attempting the trick even if I couldn’t do it the first few times, as it takes time for the body to get used to the move. I learned the value of these words when I first practiced the kip-up; I probably failed to come even close to completing the trick in my first 30 tries. But now as you can see from the gif above, I can do it! With this knowledge, I know that as long as I keep practicing a certain move, I will eventually be able to do it.
Now what have I learn in terms of facilitation strategies from my mentor? Well the most important thing is encouragement, when I first sent Serg a video of my doing he kip-up, it wasn’t very good, but he still encouraged me to keep trying it, and by the next time, I was getting twice the height in my kip-up! His encouragement helped me persist in my efforts and it payed off for sure.
Thanks for reading, and please come back next week to see my next post!