“There’s no option not to kill it. You can’t not do a trick. Either you have to do a trick or you’re gonna break your neck.”
When put in those words, as Isiah Flores does here in Episode 5 of the #ChargedByBelief series from Under Armour and Mass Appeal, it’s no wonder rush junkies see this form of self-expression as the ultimate. In fact, tricking has caught on around the world. Korea. Finland. Japan. Australia. It’s like having one big family for Flores, a San Jose native who is the founder of Loopkicks, a Bay Area trick dancing collective. They are one big family willing to risk it all for that one flip, that one kick of adrenaline that’ll have the audience oohing and aahing.
“If you’re the first one to do the trick,” says Flores, “you get the opportunity and the honor to name it.”
Everyone around the globe can find common ground within tricking, even if it’s a 12-year-old looking to learn from the older cats. That’s because, at its core, the art tapes into your inner child. You’re a kid all over again, doing and trying things you didn’t think were possible. You’re exploring time and space, and expressing emotion through your own individual creativity. Tricking fuses martial arts with acrobatics and dancing elements, and the moves are meant to mimic poems. Sometimes you start off with one thing and end up with another, hopefully finishing it off with some kind of exclamation point.
In fact, a lot of the movement is based off of b-boys all over the planet, where you often get two teams going at each other in freestyles matches. Says Flores, “It’s almost like two musicians in jazz that are battling each other.”
Golden State’s Stephen Curry can relate to that. He’s a creative genius with the basketball, toying with defenders and doing things that leave spectators speechless. Trickers are super creative, constantly trying something new or something no one has ever seen before. You could say the same of Curry, going from a lightly recruit prospect in high school to a mid-major star in college to a solid young player in the NBA to, arguably, the best player in the world.
“Steph Curry is amazing,” Flores says. “That’s indomitable spirit and I think people like that inspire us, especially in The Bay.”
No one knows what’s next for the tricker movement. But no matter what happens, it won’t leave The Bay.
“There are no Olympics for tricking,” Flores says. “But people want to be like ‘No, I’m the best tricker. No, I’m the best tricker. No, I invented this trick.’ But when it comes down to it, it’s all love and sharing the creativity. We’re all exploring and trying to pioneering this adventure.”