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Tricking and Martial Arts

Taekwondo Stafford men sparring

Tricking is a new discipline or an art form that largely incorporates gymnastics, martial arts and dancing. The practitioners are known as trickers while the moves that they execute are known as tricks. Tricks combine acrobatics, twists, turns, flips, kicks, in a smooth dancing-like movement. Tricking is evolving constantly and thus, arriving at a definition of tricking is difficult. Nonetheless, since tricks incorporate kicks from several martial arts, it may be said that tricking and martial arts are somewhat related.

Is tricking a martial art?

In tricking, there is no fighting as understood in the sense of striking or grappling martial arts. In tricking, there is also no opponent, other than oneself, as one tries to outperform oneself by continuously trying to expand one’s limits. Due to the absence of either an opponent or a fight, as understood in the sense of martial arts like Taekwondo, Karate, Boxing, et cetera, tricking may not be strictly termed as a martial art. However, there are friendly competitions, generally known as “battles”, where the winning criteria are normally the difficulty or uniqueness of the tricks performed successfully.

Noah Petek video “Hooked Tournament 2023 Team Battles FINAL”:

Red Bull video “Tricking battles and extreme Taekwondo – Red Bull Kick It 2013”:

Is tricking a dance or gymnastics?

Tricking also features moves from dance and gymnastics. There are elegant dance moves combined seamlessly with flashy acrobatics. Dancing along with aerial twists and turns are so intricately fused that they cannot be differentiated, and thus, tricking may neither be called as a dance nor as gymnastics.

Eduardo Magalhães video “Tricking Style”:


Is tricking a sport?

In tricking there are no rules or regulations, and there is also no governing body, which makes it outside the purview of officially being called as a sport. However, in tricking, there is a lot of sportsmanship, camaraderie, bonhomie, and a great sense of community feeling.

Plan Zero video “The Underground Sport of Tricking and Flips | Documentary”:

So, what is tricking?

Tricking combines kicks from martial arts, moves from dance forms, acrobatic performances from gymnastics, in a loose framework where there are no rules, and participation is international. Moreover, it is constantly evolving and incorporating new techniques to invent new moves, or make existing moves more fluid, more harmonious, and more aesthetic. Due to all these factors, tricking fails to arrive at any conclusive definition.

Munks video “What is Tricking?”:

Kojos Trick Lab video “WHAT IS TRICKING? 🤔 #tricking #kojostricklab”:

CA Tricking video “What is Tricking? CATT @ UC Irvine”:

TaekwondoToday video “What is Tricking”:

Warrior Republic video “What Is Tricking? – THE ART OF MOVEMENT – Martial Arts & Beyond”:

Tricking may be called as a unique art form, or as a new discipline, where one expresses oneself by constantly crossing one’s own limits. As of now, it is not clear why this art form is named as “tricking”, why the practitioners are called “trickers”, and why the movements are known as “tricks”.

Johzuke video “Tricking Terminology Explained (in a nutshell)”:

What are tricks?

In tricking, tricks are individual movements taken from dance, martial arts, gymnastics, and more, which are inseparably fused together. Additionally, these tricks are further combined with other tricks and presented as combinations known as “trick combo”. All tricks and combos require tremendous flexibility, a very strong core, and a high level of energy.

Carlos Jackie Monteiro video “Tribute to Martial Arts Tricks”:

Johzuke video “100 TRICKING TRICKS”:

Mastering Tricking video “25 Tricking KICKS | A Progressive Session”:

Treiz Seiz video “Best Japan Bboys ” Ultimate Tricks & Combo “”:

History of Tricking

Tricking is relatively new, but it has grown by leaps and bounds, especially with trickers sharing their tricks on video platforms and social media.

Flippin the Script! video “A History of Sport Martial Arts – The Rise of Tricking”


Tricking and Martial Arts

All martial arts have different types of kicks, but Taekwondo is known for its aesthetically pleasing and amazingly powerful kicks, like turning, spinning, and multiple spinning kicks. Likewise, Capoeira is known to fuse gymnastics, martial movements, and kicks, in a graceful presentation of a dance form. Tricking is mainly influenced by Taekwondo and Capoeira, besides other martial arts like Wushu, Karate, Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, Jujutsu, and more.

The Great Gambino video “Martial Arts Tricks And Flips”:

capoeirapt video “CAPOEIRA TRICKS”:

HoustonShaolinTemple video “Wushu Tricking”:

FOC Taekwondo video “Extreme TAEKWONDO and Tricking in Korea | With Shin MinCheol at MIRME”:

Ginger Ninja Trickster video “Martial Arts Tricking Sampler | Taekwondo Kicks & Flips”:

MartialClub video “REAL LIFE NINJA IN PUBLIC | Flips, Tricks and Martial Arts”:

FOC Taekwondo video “100 DIFFERENT KICKS! | FOC Kicktionary | Taekwondo, Karate, Capoeira, Tricking, Martial Arts”:

Some famous trickers

Trickers get famous by showing their tricks on popular video platforms and social media. They also organize friendly competitions to share their tricks with other trickers.


gvtricking video “TOP 20 BEST TRICKERS 2023”:

Tricking Compilations video “Tricking Compilation – Girls that Trick – Instagram Mix”:

Future of Tricking

Tricking as an art form is constantly evolving, and trickers provide their suggestions regarding the future of tricking.

Kojos Trick Lab video “THE NEXT WAVE OF TRICKING”:

Sean Sevestre video “The Future of Tricking”:


The art form, or the discipline, or the movement, which is today simply known as “tricking”, may not be strictly called as a martial art due to the absence of a fight or an opponent as understood in the general sense of martial arts; nonetheless, the influence of martial arts, especially of Taekwondo and Capoeira, is very much self-evident. With the constant evolution of tricking, in future it may be possible that besides kicks and punches, other martial arts movements like tuls and katas, may also be incorporated. Perhaps, with the introduction of some global governing body and some rules & regulations, tricking may be officially recognized as a sport. Over time, due to its constant rising popularity, it may not be far-fetched to say that tricking might even become an Olympic sport in the future.

Red Bull video “Freestyle Martial Arts & Tricking Showdown”:

Samgeku video “Martial Arts Tricking Compilation”:


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