I wish I could give you details about this incredible performance. Unfortunately in the dark days of viral video circa 2011 (when it seems this particular footage first rose to prominence), there wasn’t too much emphasis placed on “here’s what this cool thing you’re watching actually is.” It can still be tough to put the pieces together on many videos these days, but we here at Wimp do try to give you the scoop!
What I can tell you is that this is a great example of a burgeoning sport called men’s rhythmic gymnastics, or Men’s RG to those in the know. While rhythmic gymnastics as a whole traces backs to a European and especially Russian tradition, Men’s RG was born in the schools of Japan, where the focus on athleticism and teamwork made for a great way to teach young students to work together while getting in great shape at the same time.
Not strictly in the tradition of standard rhythmic gymnastics, Men’s RG actually combines the classic elements of artistic gymnastics with martial arts such as wushu. The resulting sport has become incredibly popular and incredibly competitive in Japan, with teams like the one you see in the video crafting fantastic routines that are as rigorous to perform as they are fun to watch. Equal parts artistic expression and demonstration of strength, coordination and agility, you’ve got to be tough and quick to make it in this game.
It’s no wonder this sport has begun to find its way into other countries as well, especially Canada, Korea and the United States.