I didn’t trick for six months
Due to school, work, and a shift in personal objectives, I didn’t trick between October 2007 and May 2008. What was intended to be a short break ended up being a long break.
New game +
My friend Kenji said that when he started tricking again after taking a long break like mine, it was like playing Chrono Trigger with the New Game + feature, which allows you to play through the game again from the beginning using your weapons, items, and skills from previous game data.
The analogy isn’t perfect but it’s a lovable idea. And there is some truth in it, because after my long break I could *gasp* still do most of my tricks and do them well. I had all of my basics and was hyperswiping, b-twist swing through’ing, 720 doubling, and much more immediately and without problems. And my tricks looked okay! The tricks I was having trouble doing were the ones I wasn’t comfortable with before I took my break, but even some of those came back reasonably quick. My ability to make a swift come back after a long break was partly due to the fact that I stayed in great shape during my break… Call that muscle memory, maybe.* But something else was at play…
Taegashi took a longer break and improved immediately
In early 2006 I noticed Taegashi was both fat and out of practice. He could barely do any of his tricks at all. He enrolled into the military that spring, got whipped into shape, served in Iraq for a year, and came back for a visit mid 2007 having not tricked at all for the entire period (and having not tricked well for the past several years). I witnessed something amazing: during his first tricking session after all of that crap he was… Tricking again, like he used to, in the good old days! Wow! Watch the 2nd half of the Wekend sampler in the videos section for that tricking session, he was doing way better than the previous three years despite being totally out of practice. Taegashi improved because he got into better shape on his long break. Anyone badly out of shape out there, are ya’ll listening?
Why am I telling you this?
I wanted to share this with you because one day you might find yourself locked into a nightmarish schedule that severely strains your tricking. At which point you might find yourself in a similar situation: taking a short break from tricking that becomes a long break.
How to start a New Game +
If you pack on thirty pounds of fat and don’t trick or do any exercising for a year, yes, you’re going to have problems actually doing your tricks, but you’ll still know how to do them if you’ve learned them well* – you’ll just have to get back into shape to use them. So stay in good shape during your break by maintaining some sort of activity level and eating responsibly, continue day dreaming about tricking, and look forward to the day you may get back into it – your tricking will be there waiting for you on that special day!
* Muscle memory (Feeling out the mechanics of a trick) is more vulnerable to decay than Remembering how to approach tricking; How to even go about feeling those rusty skill mechanics; How to organize a training session for maximum efficiency and results. These latter things you will not forget!
Example 1: Take my brain and put it in a novice trickster’s body, watch what I can do with it. The insanely quick progress that would ensue wouldn’t be a matter of muscle memory at all, it would be me reaping the advantages of a floating logic.
Example 2: The analogy can go back to Chrono Trigger: even if I didn’t start the game over with my weapons, items, and skills, I could start the game over knowing where to go, how to fight specific bosses, what treasure chests were where and what was in them. This would save me considerable amounts of time and effort.
In fact, this analogy can be proven without playing a tricking New Game + … just take a trick you can do and learn it on your other side: note how much faster you can learn it, because you’ve already learned it once before! You know how to approach it.
Okay this is sufficient. I think we’ve covered the necessary nuances of the New Game + feature in tricking.