What Is the Tsukahara Vault?

The Tsukhara is named after a Japanese gymnast

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

The Tsukahara is a vault, named after Japanese gymnast Mitsuo Tsukahara in 1972.

In a Tsuakahara, the gymnast jumps off the springboard and performs a quarter turn onto the horse, then pushes off his or her hands and does a backflip (often with multiple twists, or even more than one flip). It's often shortened to simply a "Tsuk."

There are multiple different variations of a Tsukahara. Gymnasts may do it stretched with a full 360-degree twist (or even a 720-degree turn), in a tucked position or via a half turn onto the vault, and then a half turn off, finishing with a front layout. 

Tsukahara, the gymnast, typically performed this vault stretched and without the twist.

Common misspellings: Sukahara

Watch it Yourself

Check out these examples of the Tsukahara vault.

Who Was Mitsuo Tsukahara?

Tsukahara, the gymnast, took home the gold five different times in the Olympics. He competed between the late '60s through the late '70s. 

Fun fact: His son, Naoya Tsukahara, ended up becoming a competitive gymnast, too. He competed and medaled in the worlds and Olympics after his father retired.

Beyond the Vault

Tsukahara's name (the senior, that is) is also widely associated with another skill, which he is said to have premiered on the floor and horizontal bar. It's also called a Moon Somersault and is essentially a full-twisting double salto, tucked.