When did tricking begin? Well, this is Towels’ take on the birth of tricking..
I would argue that almost nothing in this video is tricking, despite common tricking moves and ideas being used. It wasn’t tricking, because it had no community of dedicated practitioners. It wasn’t tricking, because it was always a supplement to something else. It wasn’t tricking, because it wasn’t yet self aware, nor self sustaining.
For many, the old narrative that tricking came about from the 90’s era sport karate scene, is just fine. In my opinion, tricking still didn’t exist, despite the term being birthed at some point in this time frame. You could also argue that tricking really became its own thing sometime in the early 2000’s, when people would participate in things like Loopkicks camp, dedicated solely to tricking. I think this is closer to the true birth of tricking, but i feel that even then, tricking was overwhelmingly an offshoot of the sport karate scene, and without sport karate continually feeding it, tricking would have been crippled or destroyed.
In my opinion, tricking was born when it reached a high enough population of “backyard trickers” to become self sustaining. Before “tricking” had a large, self-sustaining sect of weirdos who ‘just like throwing themselves around’, it was a supplement to something else. It existed largely as a means to an end. It was largely dependent on sport karate for it’s survival and growth. Once the weirdos moved in, it became it’s own thing.. it became viable as it’s own entity, and i believe, that’s when it began to change into something greater. Now, tricking doesn’t need the sport karate world at all.. while there will always be a good deal of overlap in the two sports, they have moved far enough apart to be 2 clearly defined, and separate things. Sport karate can die, and tricking’s trajectory will only be slightly altered.. a far cry from just 10 years ago when the 2 disciplines were more heavily intertwined.
I believe tricking, as we now know it today, is very young.. less than a decade old. It was birthed by the sport karate circuits, but owes its independence to the backyard tricker. In many ways, tricking has reached a point in its existence that mirrors so many of you. Tricking is finally beginning to take it’s first steps as an independent being. It is becoming what it was meant to be, and finding itself in the process. Tricking-only events, like Redbull Throwdown, and massive gatherings, are becoming more common, and the industry to sustain it is beginning to take shape. This is a very exciting time to be active in the community, because we get to help shape what this burgeoning sport will be for the next generation. I hope each of you will help this thing we do be better tomorrow than it is today.