Ambidextrous Tricking

July 24, 2011 Training

Ambidexterity reduces your injury profile

One of the most important things I’ve learned about tricking, athletics and being human is this: When you sustain injury, you must get back at it immediately. Be back at it the next day, while proactively fixing the damage. Relying on some wussy aquatics or aerobics program alone to facilitate recovery is just gonna mess with your head. Keep tricking.

So ambidexterity is one of the most powerful tools for getting past tricking injuries because it allows you to keep tricking. For example, somehow I ruin my left heel doing an aerial switch. This trick requires me to both jump and land on my left foot. Now I cannot bare the weight of my body on that foot anymore because my hell is fucked, so I cannot do this trick anymore. But I can aerial switch on my other side too! Doing the aerial switch on my other side requires me to both jump and land on my right foot. It takes the left foot out of the equation. So now I can continue tricking and have a decent training session despite the heel. I just switch sides.

Jujimufu, tricking, aerialswitch

Aerial switches on both sides (2007)

Ambidexterity also allows you to be more proactive when problems begin to arise. With some ambidexterity in your tricking toolbox, things like patellar tendonosis become less dreadful, you just start doing more tricks on your other side. This gives you time to work out a solution for your knee without going into a panic.

Ambidexterity will help you trick into old age

Elder tricksters finding their top end tricks turning pale can continue accumulating and building onto an already advanced skillset by training ambidextrously. Maintaining a monstrous arsenal of intermediate tricks and combos on both your sides is just as difficult as having the capability to wax off a couple elite level skills. I mean, I’d imagine being able to do 720 b-twists and 720 doubles and raiz swing through double cork on both your sides would be of the equivalent difficulty as nailing a single monstrous, epic level trick.

I think it would be wise to keep ambitricking in mind when we age, when our top tier tricks deteriorate. This would also help reduce an age-induced, inflated injury profile (as noted previously by proactively working around problem areas).

Ambidexterity is a respectable style

The limited number of dudes out there who come close to reaching level Ultima on both their sides command respect. It doesn’t impress us because it’s mystical or difficult to understand , it impresses us precisely because we do understand. It’s simple: you just did that ridiculous combo on one of your sides. You just proved to yourself you have the potential to do it on your other side. Now do it on your other side. If you decide that ambidexterity is a feature you want in your tricking, follow these rules.

Ambtricking rule #1. Start with partial ambidexterity

I have this suspicion that all of us tricksters have this “all or nothing” mental complex about ambidexterity: that ambidexterity isn’t worth bothering with unless we go full bore into it and get EVERYTHING FOREVER on our other side. I felt this way for years, but it’s a fucking stupid mindset.

Learning just a couple moves on your other side is worth your effort. Having just a couple ambitricks is damn fun. Start by learning just your pet tricks on your other side. Even if that’s as far as you go with ambitricking, it’s still plenty.

Jujimufu, tricking, 540s

540 kick on both sides (2011)

Ambitricking rule #2. Create mixed sided combos

Ambidexterity became less boring for me when I thought up a mess of combos that would involve combining tricks on my preferred side with tricks on my bad side, this way I wasn’t just doing things on one side or the other arbitrarily. These kind of mixed combos can be some of the most creative combos around too.

Actually, these days, I never learn a trick on my other side just for the sake of being able to do it on my other side. When deciding if I should put in the training time to secure a trick on my other side, I first think of a mixed combo that depends on it. That combo becomes my “reason” for learning that trick on my other side.

Ambitricking rule #3. Have badside only sessions

At the beginning of 2010 I wanted to give my bad side a jumpstart. So I decided that for the following 10 tricking sessions I would only do tricks on my bad side. What I discovered was that devoting an entire session to your bad side is much more effective than sprinkling in bad side tricks in a normal tricking session. Your bad side tricks all have carryover to your other bad side tricks because they’re usually all on the same side. So after doing nothing but bad side tricks for 45 minutes, you’ll finally start making the necessary nervous system adaptations. Yes: your nervous system needs that extended, entire tricking session experience to really begin development of your bad side tricking. You just gotta try it to understand it. 45 minutes badside only after warming up: see what happens.

Tip: You can treat these badside only sessions as active recovery sessions in between your more strenuous sessions, because they won’t tax your nervous system much. This increases your opportunities to go trick whilst remaining productive! Soap bubbles.

Conclusion

Ambidexterity is respected by everybody. It prevents injuries and accelerates recovery. It’ll help you continue to trick at an exciting level as you age. To get it, just start with a couple tricks. Choose which ones to start with by imagining a few creative tricking combos that integrate those ambitricks with some of your best tricks on your preferred side. Occasionally have entire tricking sessions dedicated to your bad side only.

Jujimufu, tricking, backflip

Bilateral tricks: The ambitricking challenged trickster’s best friends!

3 comments

  1. Josiah says:

    One question, who would not want to learn a trick with their bad side? I mean it feels like you only got the trick 50% with your one good side so why not learn it 100% with your bad side.

    • Jon Call says:

      Probably for the same reason people draw, sketch, brush teeth, stir a pot, scrub a dish, use a broom, throw a bowling ball with a dominant hand. Motor skills, whether fine or gross, in general, get better the more you do them. The more you do a 540 on your good side the better it will be. If you’re doing 540 kicks on your other side it just takes time away from doing them more on your good side.

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