by Dan Perez
Binary is a system of counting which only uses two different numbers: 0 and 1. Normally we count using the decimal system, the name for which is derived from the Latin reference for "ten." We use ten digits: 1 through 9 and 0. In the decimal system counting up from 0 you'd get to 9 and run out of digits, at which point you'd bump the "tens" column from 0 to 1 and reset the "ones" to 0, counting up to 9. Every time you run out of digits in the current column, you'd bump the column to the left up. Binary works this way also, except instead of ten digits per column you only have two (0 and 1). There are some great resources out there if you're interested in learning more about the Binary system.
No. "Tricking Binary" is what's known as a dictionary; key-value pairs where each number represents the number of twists in that flip, regardless of where it appears in the sequence. Typically the numbers range from 0-3, like '2023', and there is one flip/invert (it can be horizontal or fully inverted) corresponding to each number in the sequence. This example then would be a four-move combo starting as an invert with two twists, followed by an invert with zero twists, followed by another invert with two, and finishing with a triple-twisting invert like triple cork. This is not binary, because it uses more than two values and it is not a system for counting.
Vert is the category of skills in martial arts tricking defined by having these three attributes:
Vert can also be understood by what it is not; a vert kick should not have inversion, or very little depending on the actual form factor of the kick. Rotation with inversion greater than halfway toward the horizontal axis (45 degrees) becomes a horizontal twist, and anything with this much inversion or greater is an Invert.
Vert Binary is a system that uses binary to represent all possible vert kick variations (meaning vert kicks with up to one kick per alignment with the target at every 180 interval). To qualify the difference between a variation and a stylized version like doubleleg, think of a variation as "different only when a kick leg is included/excluded where previously it was the opposite, without affecting the rotation." This means that a pop hyper feilong for example can be stylized to become a (vert) pop doubleleg, but it wouldn't become a separate variation because no kicks were added or subtracted from the target at their respective rotations. A pop hyper feilong from the opposite stance would be a separate vert kick variation though, because it has different rotation by 180 degrees. By this definition, skills like wacknife, split kick ("crowd awakener"), parafuso, dleg, and grabs are all stylized versions of standard vert kick variations.
Vert Binary represents each kick opportunity using a 1 (if the kick is executed) or a 0 (otherwise), and includes a binary representation for spin orientation (left or right), stance (Frontside or Backside), two digits for takeoff, and one for each kick. As this tool is configured for 720 in-air rotation, there are exactly four kick opportunities (four 180s). You can either click the gold toggles to see the binary values update with the demonstration, or enter a 0/1 in each position of the vert binary sequence. Note that the kicks are ordered backward compared to the last four digits; this is because we count numerically from right to left. If you want to try an advanced user experience you can click here to swap between GUI + Terminal Output and the Command Line Sim (there are some hidden extras found only through the command line).
To answer this, start by asking yourself: how many vert multi (one or more)‑kick variations are possible at 720 in-air spin? At 900? Note: see the tab "About Vert Binary" for my definition of a vert kick variation, then try to answer. There's a hard number, it's not infinity or a trick question. The answer is, at any given rotation there are 2^n-1 kicks x 2 stances x 3 takeoffs, where "n" is the number of kick opportunities or 180 increments of your total rotation. So 900/180 = 5, 2^5 = 32, minus 1 (because no kicks is just a vert spin, so you wouldn't count a value with all 0s) is 31, 31 x 6 is 186 vert kick variations. I needed a way of keeping track of all the possible skills to be learned within this category, and I landed on using binary as a representation to organize and track my progress. I know, like TKT most trickers will not use this. I did not make this for trickers; I made this for thinkers like myself who are curious to learn and could benefit from applying a sophisticated tool like Vert Binary.
Kick ID is a new concept borne of the idea that binary allows you to associate a numerical correlation with skills, where each one can be thought of as having a unique index. With this in mind, I borrowed inspiration for syntax derived from the system used to index IP addresses and formulated a way to ID every skill in five or less characters. Kick ID goes one step further than TKT shorthand to identify spin direction as well as associate kick variations across category numerically, though it isn't intended to replace it. Currently its only use is that in the Command Line Sim you can enter a KID (with or without a colon) to load that demonstration and populate the binary value accordingly.
This version includes pop only (no cheat or swing), and left spin only. Currently training right side & cheat/swing for V2.
Neither myself nor Matthew would've been able to do this without one other. Every last detail had to be ironed out while building these skills, and often I would find myself trailing Matthew's progress- teaching him to develop his abilities yet unable to keep up with them. To get through this we applied a shared dedication to the goal, a compulsion to persevere despite any obstacles, motivation to improve, support & genuine encouragement for each other's accomplishments, and even resources like recovery tools or carbohydrates when my blood sugar would run low during training. Throughout the years I've attempted to explore vert more thoroughly before, but never had the training partner to keep me on track and see the goal all the way through until now.
An enormous amount of support that has fueled my
(genius/insanity/choose your own word here) has
largely come from Ish Payne of Martial Posture. He has
always challenged me to apply my best efforts, both
directly & indirectly including hands-on teaching with
his students in the lab. Without Ish I would've been out
of the game long ago, but thanks to his engagement I am
still coming up with new & dynamic content.
If you find yourself puzzled by the juxtaposition of
technical sophistication with martial arts tricking,
know that this union came to be because of Simon. He
has rescued and supported my efforts for a decade now,
and guided me into the world of tech with astonishing
simplicity. I taught his son for some years, and
through this bond my passion for pursuing vert was
ardently amplified. Even and especially my ability to
code this tool is thanks to Simon Lok.
I am extremely grateful to 5280 for providing the
laboratory in which this experiment could be realized
from inception to completion. Week after week for at
least 18 months this training continued virtually
uninterrupted, with most of it occurring outside
business hours. This privilege was paramount to
achieving the result.
At this stage of my life I don't have an easy time
recovering from training, not specifically because of
my age but because of the responsibilities associated
therewith. Training hard enough to do this would not
have been possible without repeated efforts to put me
back together; lots of massage, dry needling,
adjustments, etc from these capable bodywork
Restorative Therapies Bodywork
The support of my family as well as our network of friends & caregivers, and especially my wife, helped see this endeavor through. A tremendous amount of energy went into this project for more than a year, and I relied on their help to keep me on an even keel throughout that time.