A new sport is taking the underground sports world by storm and will be returning to Long Island this weekend.
Tricking—a fusion of martial arts style kicks, break dancing styles and gymnastic flips and twists—will be the focus of the second annual Drednt Gathering held at the Five Star Sports and Entertainment Academy in East Rockaway July 22-24.
The gathering was held in East Rockaway last year, but this year the attendance is expected to double. Nearly 300 people from approximately 15 countries, including the world’s finest Trickers, will travel to Long Island.
“It’s gone beyond anything that the originators could have imagined,” said Jason Mello, co-owner and founder of Drednt.
Drednt, pronounced “Dreadnought” after the 20th century battleship, was founded in 2010 as an apparel provider for the new sport. The company is dedicated to driving Tricking forward as it gains worldwide popularity.
Mello and his friends Mike Maguire and David Armstrong brought Tricking to Five Star Sports and Entertainment last year. The owners of the gym were so fascinated by the sport that they agreed to sponsor the global event.
“It’s unlike anything else,” said Dina Williams, co-owner of Five Star Sports and Entertainment. “You have to see it, to believe it. Trickers are absolutely amazing young athletes who have nothing but the best in mind for each other.”
Tricking originated in the early 1990s when martial artists doing karate began adding flare to their moves. They incorporated elements of breakdance and gymnastics to give birth to an entirely different activity.
Competitions developed in which Trickers tested their skills against the world’s finest in a series of battles, which can be amongst individuals or teams. Experienced Trickers act as judges and determine scores based on the difficulty and combination of tricks, how the competitor battled and the crowd’s reaction. Trickers agree that the true competition is against oneself.
“They’re proving to themselves that they’re better than they were and can push themselves to the limit,” Mello said.
The weekend will involve a busy schedule of events. Doors to the gym will open at 4 p.m. Friday for a free-form Tricking session, and at 8 p.m., Mello will introduce Ian Lane, the author of a book on Tricking, for a presentation. Battles will take place for the remainder of the evening.
Saturday, the group will head to Central Park for an outdoor Tricking expedition and will get a tour of New York City. Sunday includes Tricking sessions at Jones Beach.
In addition to increasing the awareness about Tricking, the Drednt Gathering will serve a charitable purpose. The 501(C)3, non-profit hunger-relief organization, rock CAN roll, Inc., will be collecting healthy, non-perishable food items from the participants. Trickers from around the globe are encouraged to bring items from their home countries to add to the international flavor of the event.
“Our goal is that whenever people come together, they all bring one thing so we can do a great service to others in need,” said Aimée Holtzman, president and founder of rock CAN roll, Inc. “There’s no reason why the entire world can’t rock CAN roll.”
With continued support, the nearly 20,000 Trickers worldwide will “kick harder, twist faster, flip higher and get better,” as the sport’s motto states.
“We just want to help the sport grow and keep it that way if it goes mainstream,” said Mello.
To register for the event, visit http://drednt.com/events.html. Admission is $10.