Sammy Smith Tricking
Century Martial Arts
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to tricking at a very young age. At five years old I was invited to become part of the competition team at my karate studio. During the competition team training classes, we would work on an array of things: open forms, weapons, self-defense, demo, and tricks.

When I took that class every Saturday, I was always learning something new. I learned the basics first, spinning hook kicks, jump front kicks, tornado kicks and butterflies. As I practiced those kicks to the point of mastery, I started to learn harder tricks. In 2005 I was introduced to both Matt Emig and Daniel Sterling who became my sport karate coaches. I remember the first advanced kick I learned was with Daniel during my first lesson with him where he taught me a cheat 720 kick. Not long after that I progressed to more inverted tricks like a rize (raise), sideswipe, double leg etc. Learning harder tricks like these became extremely beneficial to my routines that I was doing in competition because the difficulty of these tricks added an extra element to my forms, not to mention as a girl it was even more impressive.

Learning new tricks became addicting. I wanted to learn them all and I was eager to land the hard tricks that I would continuously fall on. The challenge is what made it exciting, looking forward to the moment when I finally land that move that I've been practicing so much. I was also introduced to "trick gatherings." The gatherings were usually a weekend long event held at a gymnastics studio where a bunch of "trickers" would share the floor showing off their individual tricks or combinations. There were even "battles" which would be a competitive event where either single trickers or groups of trickers would compete against others to try and secure a win at the event. I loved being around that atmosphere because it was extremely motivating so I found a gymnastics studio that offered open gyms. These open gym sessions allowed me to freely work on any tricks I had wanted with the luxury of getting to practice on a soft and bouncy spring floor (whenever attempting new tricks its always advised to practice in a safe area with supervision on a soft matted floor).

As I got older, I went from being a little kid who went to open gyms and trick gatherings with her instructors, to becoming the instructor who brings her own students to open gyms and introduces them to tricking. Pretty cool. Over time, I'd like to think that I've become one of the top female trickers. One of the best things about tricking is that anyone can do it, boy OR girl. I'll never forget one of the best compliments that I ever received was that I "trick like a boy."

If you're interested to see more of tricking, learn what it's about, or even learn yourself. I offer an online Tricking class taught on Black Belt Magazine's Sport Karate University. This product was designed by myself and Jackson Rudolph as an online training tool designed like a "University" where you can earn your own Sport Karate University degree. To check this product out visit, https://shop.blackbeltmag.com/collections/sport-karate-university

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