11/12/2013 07:40 GMT | Updated 09/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Day 70! Tricking & Tumbling

Full entry with photos and vids found here.


Say what?

You heard. Tricking. And Tumbling. What is that? What indeed. I'm not sure exactly where the line is drawn between the two (the few classes I've seen include both), but in general, they seem to be a mix between martial arts, acrobatics and gymnastics. Let's start with Tricking - in my (very limited) experience, tricking seems to be like mimicking a fighting cartoon character, like Streetfighter. Which is the only carton I know involving fighting, except Pokemon but Tricking is definitely not like that. Actually I know Tekkan too (thanks to Big Bro who got me and L'il Sis addicted until an uninterested Big Sis decided to "give it a go" and depressingly unlocked Heihachi, who we had been trying to unlock for aaages). So Streetfighter (or Tekkan, as you prefer), we obviously weren't quite at the flying kicks and spinning birds (yet) but instead we started on some standing moves, chopping, blocking and punching moves - they were strong, cool moves, not like any moves I'd learnt in any other type of class - whether dancing, boxing or any of the martial arts. The closest thing I can think of is tai chi but in a much firmer, faster nature although not necessarily more aggressive. You do feel pretty cool doing those moves - one was called Hadouken (hello Ryu) - but there's not really a sense that you are (or will be) actually fighting someone to injure them so it's more stylistic.

After the few standing moves, the impressive Instructor Cali finished the mini-routine with a floor slide, side push kick and spinning kick to standing. Yes, it looked pretty darn cool when Instructor Cali did it, but I am pretty confident that mine looked infinitely less cool. However, there's only so much one should expect from their first class and perseverance will pay off, as the other regular girls proved. And besides, it was fun learning!

The second half of the class was Tumbling. Still along the themes of mimicking cartoon fighting but in my (still very limited) experience, tumbling is more the jumps and rolls. Carried out on the giant, slightly springy floor (floor gymnastics stylee) and with giant soft crash mats, we practised air kicks, jumping forward rolls and flips. Unless you have tried Tumbling, or indeed gymnastics, this will likely take a little getting used to. But fret ye not, because it will be fun trying it. Taking running jumps and flipping onto a crash mat will need a little courage (else you end up just rolling onto the mat) but after one go, you'll realise that the probability of injury is slim so you may as well go for it. And with the springy floor giving you some extra oomph as you jump, it is There is a video of me feeble tumbling attempt....

We could've happily carried on jumping and flipping but sadly the next class was due to start and Cali had to bring the session to a close. Tricking and Tumbling? Thumbs up.

The Need To Know:

- Where: Skilltown (

- Nearest Station: Hackney Wick (3mins)

- When: Tricking & Tumbling on Mon 18.30-20.00, Wed 17.00-18.30 and Girls Only on Sat 11-12.30pm. Other classes available!

- How Much: Day entry £2, then £5 per class or unlimted day pass at £14

The Want to Know:

- Who's it For: For those who have streetfighter desires

- Sweat Scale: 6/10. (Excluding the intense warm-up at 8!)

- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Light cardio and toning

- Complexity: 7/10. Some co-ordination required

- Fun Factor: 8/10

- Changing Facilities: Some rough 'n' ready toilets.

- Instructor Inspiration: 9/10. Pretty darn fit.

The Stats:

- Total Time: 85mins

- Calories Burnt: 361. 4.25 calories-burnt-per-minute

- Average Heart Rate: 118

- Max Heart Rate: 170