January 22, 2015 Opinion, Thoughts 1 Comment

Inspired by several conversations i’ve had over the past few weeks, and some facebook threads, i think it’s important to talk about terminology, and how it is, or needs to change.  Awhile back, i wrote a blog post about a few holdover terms that no longer suit our current level and understanding of tricking.  This is somewhat of a continuation of that thought. 

Pardon my rambling mind:

During a meeting with Dylan James this week, our conversation turned to terminology like gainer-full (understood to be fully inverted) vs cork.  One question we asked ourselves: is gainer-full a necessary term anymore, or has it outlived its purpose?  Arguably it is an irrelevant term nowadays.  Variations (kicks) inherently alter/flatten inversion to varying degrees.  Because variations inherently alter the degree of inversion, a true gainer-full variation is basically impossible – at the very least, you could say it hasn’t been done often.  If this is true, then gainer-full has outlived its purpose.   A cork could easily be understood to encompass the fully inverted position as well as the horizontal, and everywhere in between.

So if the above concept of full inversion vs partial inversion is accepted, then it can be applied to other things, such as raiz.  Is there really a fundamental difference between a low flat raiz, and a fully inverted one?  This is where it gets interesting, i think.  Either way it is argued, there are several inconsistencies in terminology.  If all raizes are not equal, then there is an inconsistency in the suicide/invert prefix.  Why is it a suicide swipe, but only an invert raiz?  Shouldn’t it be a suicide raiz?  If so, shouldn’t this term carry to other axes?  Wouldn’t an atwist then be a suicide btwist?  If all raizes are equal, terms like suicide-swipe are irrelevant and should be removed to streamline terminology.  By extension, atwist and gainer-full should then be seen as unnecessary as well.

There has been a theme reappearing recently on facebook regarding webster-twist vs atwist and raiz.  Typically, we see atwists performed from a traditional gymnastics style aerial – a forward takeoff, rather than side to side.  Some argue that this type of atwist is actually a webster-half.  I’d argue that all twisting elements in tricking end at the complete landing, so to keep it consistent, this would have to be considered a webster-twist.  Crazy, i know..  but it twists, and lands in the complete position, so technically that must be correct.  Webster can be performed from the opposite leg as well, which creates more of an invert raiz type motion..  Obviously this type of webster-twist will still end in complete, but has even less twist than the traditional atwist method, yet both are supposedly webster-twists?  So either webster-twist needs further definition, or it is atwist and raiz that are off.  Perhaps, as some would argue, a true atwist is like an inverted btwist and takes off more side to side.  Jacob Huntington sent me a snapchat doing just this.  If this is defined as a true atwist, and the forward takeoff type is a webster-twist, then our terminology has expanded, but become more specific/clear.  The problem still arises for the raiz side though..  are both twists webster-twists still?  If they are not both webster-twists, then a webster from the raiz side cannot be a real webster because it cannot be twisted without becoming something different (raiz).  So there’s a hole there that needs to be filled.

At this point, the question must revert back to the invert vs partial invert question..  is aerial a necessary term, or should it just an inverted butterfly?  Is atwist really a thing, or is it an inverted btwist?  If you variate it and lower the degree of inversion, is it still an atwist variation?

Dan Pitlock and i had a discussion about GMS vs what he calls a GM-Flash (GMF for simplicity).  A GMF would be a backward flipping GMS..  they’re basically darkside gainer-switches.  They’re actually quite common, if you look for them.  What Ben Herald and Nelson Zuniga do are GMS’s..  they are side to side, like aerials.  I believe i probably fall into the GMF category, more or less.  It’s easier for me to GM”S” this way, just like a forward takeoff atwist is easier for most people.  Why make the distinction though?  Well we draw the same distinctions with Kroc vs GMT.  We actually make subtle, but necessary, distinctions in all manner of things..  half-kick vs banana-split vs sidewinder movements.. pizzaboy vs helicoptero, sideswipe vs laidback 540, crashmoon vs shuriken-box.  As tricking grows and our tricks become increasingly complex, so must our terminology, and these minor distinctions arguably matter.

Why am i rambling on about this?  I want everyone to realize that terminology is not, and cannot be a static thing.  It must change with us.  I’m not advocating any of the changes i’ve talked about in particular, i’m saying that just because some old timer named it, it does not mean it has to keep that name.  Or just because we have a concept, it does not mean it can’t change, it shouldn’t change, or it won’t change.  If we as a community decide that Terada Grabs are now called Fart Blasters, then we have the right and the ability to make that change.  Similarly, it should not be expected that more specific terms, particularly for compound actions, will not be introduced, or that existing ideas won’t be further subdivided and retermed.  We don’t have all of the language we could ever need yet.  Useful terms like Towels’ “boneless” arise constantly, and some of them are going to stick because they’re widely deemed useful.

I hope that everyone can keep an open mind, and be flexible with the ideas and concepts you are presented or have adopted.  Evaluate them, implement them, then accept or reject them.  Join discussions about these things, but remember that bullshit phrases like “it doesn’t matter what it’s called, just trick” are not constructive, and more importantly, they dont influence peoples’ opinions about changes/additions to terminology.  I recommend keeping up with the changes, because the world will keep changing whether you’re ready for it to or not.

Be an “early adopter”, it’s much more exciting to blaze trails than walk down paved roads.

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Written by The Grumpiest Of All
Just a grumpy old man who really loves tricking.