I am not a 16 year old cheerleader...

... and as such, my new years resolution for this year will not be an easy one: to properly learn a back handspring; also known as koho tenkai in ninjutsu.

Many movies can be found on youtube, even when looking for 'koho tenkai'. The problem is that many of them are defective, since they assume you will build up a tremendous amount of momentum before launching yourself into the jump. While that would work of course, it kinda defeats the point of the exercise. For it to be effective in escape techniques, you should be able to do it from a standing position.

For the handstand front flip, I ended up using a movie where the jump was performed by a pretty young lady who was in the gymnastics team. I didn't choose it because of the lady herself (cute though she was) but because of the fact that she did not use speed or power, but perfect technique to perform a jump that looked deceptively simple.

I found a similar clip for the back hand spring.
Granted, I am still not that flexible, but in theory it should be doable for me to learn this.

The only iffy thing is that I am a bit scared of falling on my head. I was told by several people that actually doing the back flip is easier than doing the front flip. It's just the mental block of throwing yourself backwards is much higher.

If you practise the front flip, nothing really bad can happen. Sure , you could land on your ***, or fall backwards upon landing, but none of those things is serious. Landing on your head however is another matter. I'll probably work with a spotter in the beginning to make sure I don't land on my neck.

Still, I've always wanted to be able to do this, and this year will be the year I achieve it.


I'm actually working towards the back handspring and back tuck myself.

A big thing is drilling the motions leading up to the full technique. Then when you're ready, a spotter is a very good idea, to at least avoid that 'falling on your head' thing.

That's actually a really good tutorial video, especially considering she's so young.

Good luck!
Nice pick, Bruno. She did, however, use a positive strength to weight ratio, along with good technique, and a suppleness created in part from her first few exercises. This good video had all the elements to be instructional, rather than just a 'watch me.' The spotter tips I liked - a lot!
During neck bridges the desire to do something more gets my head. But will I need this?... It's kind of cool...
I can tell you from experience the jump front flip (not handspring) can impact the sole of your feet, and I'd assume the knees, too, although I never experienced a problem during the jumps. Just sore feet. Why do the less natural jump front flip? I really don't know why I did it, scared of back one I guess. Adding in the hands helps a lot when seen in this comparison.
Good luck, Bruno!

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