Pole Vault Girls: Welcome

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pole vault girl

As shown in the side-by-side comparison of the above images, a primary Air Strike pole vault objective is to manipulate the flexible vaulting pole to correctly recoil in the direction of the landing surface rather than wrongly recoiling towards the approach runway. RECOIL, as depicted in the left image above, produces VERTICAL body ascension above the mats. Lethal “traditional” wrong-way recoil produces DIAGONAL body ascension, which is the result of the “bull-push” opposing the flexing pole. This dangerous misapplication causes poles to recoil and straighten while vaulters are above the runway and plant box. Vaulters must then struggle diagonally to get themselves above the landing mats. Intelligent Air Strike methods are the ANTITHESIS of lethal “traditional” pole vault miseducation exhibited in the right-side portion of the image above. The first video below patently demonstrates HOW deadly WRONG-WAY "traditional" pole vault miseducation deliberately teaches vaulters to straighten flexible poles while vaulters are dangerously above the runway and plant box 100% guaranteeing negative consequences.

The LEFT image, of the three shown below, displays how ongoing 1960s WRONG-WAY pole vault teachings result in poles straightening well SHORT of vertical position as compared to AIR STRIKE results (right-side portion) in which poles RECOIL and STRAIGHTEN beyond the VERTICAL THRESHOLD (green vertical line). "Traditional" WRONG-WAY pole vault miseducation produces DIAGONAL body trajectory in which vaulters end up struggling sideways to get over the landing mats. AIR STRIKE methods rotate flexing poles into proper position from which vaulters launch VERTICALLY while safely entirely above the landing mats.

Jan Johnson Pole Vault  Air Strike vs Wrong-Way  Air Strike Pole Vault

You can see for yourself in the next images below, deadly 1960s wrong-way teachings being recently propagated by Vaulter Magazine principals at their private club in California. For the primary purpose of monetary gain, Vaulter Magazine promotes Coach Jan Johnson's negligent pole vault teachings that are 100% guaranteed and proven to injure vaulters. At the same time, Vaulter Magazine principals have KNOWINGLY obstructed AIR STRIKE life-saving pole vault methods from being publicized.

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The final image above shows my son, Chris Toledo, wrong-way vaulting in 1991, before we figured out for ourselves how to pole vault correctly. Using Chris in a side-by-side comparison with 2021 high-level gymnast, Katie Donnelly, illustrates how this exceptional teenage girl is ignorantly wasting her gymnastics skills applying the same wrong-way teachings we already proved dead wrong 30 years ago. Like all intentionally miseducated pole vaulters who've been purposely deceived, including my own son and today's Vaulter Magazine subscribers, it is NOT Katie's fault she has been intentionally taught lethal WRONG-WAY pole vault.

The following video shows the athlete/gymnast, Alysha Newman. If you view Alysha Newman perform pole vault, she uses old 1960s "Vaulter Magazine" methods that destroy her potential. Alysha is a fantastic athlete with superior gymnastics talent that is being ignorantly wasted due to her inferior pole vault miseducation.

Pole Vault Miseducation

Full-speed approach runs and “bull-push” are extremely detrimental to pole vault success and vaulter safety, as confirmed by decades of catastrophic evidence. Treacherous "traditional" WRONG-WAY pole vault teachings should NEVER be used by ANY athlete. Please, click on each of the two images below to see further detailed explanations of HOW & WHY AIR STRIKE PHYSICS produces safer, higher and consistent pole vault.

Pole Vault Girls Pythagoras        Pole Vault Girls Math

Applying Air Strikes & Ground Strikes Using Flexible Vaulting Poles

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To avoid the vaulter being dangerously JERKED BACKWARDS, at the instant of STRIKE, the TOP END of a FLEXIBLE pole must be allowed to immediately ROTATE forward HORIZONTALLY, as shown in the first image below. After preventing the vaulter from being jerked backwards, the second image shows how Air Strike Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation precisely brings the ends of the pole closer to each other while the pole's top end is moving into proper end-over-end vertically cocked position. In the third image below, empirical physics proves that Air Strike Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation is the only possible flexible vaulting pole orientation in which vaulters can achieve true pull-over position to launch vertically skyward.

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As shown in the above contrasting comparisons, Air Strike Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation produces much higher, safer and consistent vaults entirely above the landing mats. Since Air Strike's elementary execution MUST be perfected from the beginning, the athlete's lowest vault and, ultimately, the athlete's highest vault, during any Air Strike vaulter's career, will appear exactly alike. As an example, once a trampoline "BACKFLIP" is perfected low and close to the bed, then, and ONLY then, will the trampolinist begin a progression as he or she performs increasingly higher "FLIPS" EXACTLY as the INITIAL PERFECT MOTION!


Entirely different than as in the events of gymnastics and trampoline, in which a vast variety of skill sets will ultimately be executed by each athlete, Air Strike pole vault has only ONE MOVEMENT, and that basic action must be repeatedly practiced to perfection from the beginning. Put simply, the Air Strike procedure is ONE PERFECT MOTION that is consistently repeated forever after by the vaulter. Once Air Strike basics are mastered, vaulters simply continue to replicate the same fundamental Air Strike procedure while progressively applying variable pole tension and variable pole length to achieve greater heights using FLEXIBLE vaulting poles.


Pole Vault - Air Strike

M Toledo Tux
My name is Michael Thomas Toledo. I am 100% certain that any "traditional" WRONG-WAY female vaulter today can improve her vaults by more than TWO FEET within TWO WEEKS of properly applying safer, efficient and easy to learn Air Strike solutions. Most TOP FEMALE pole vaulters today possess far greater strength to bodyweight ratios than Cornelius Warmerdam had eighty years ago, yet, Cornelius Warmerdam consistently exceeded 36 inches between his grip height and his apex over a steel crossbar using a rigid bamboo stick, descending onto ground-level sand and/or sawdust. Today's extraordinary female athletes pole vault with many tremendous advantages but DO NOT achieve apices anywhere near Warmerdam's! Why is that?

Chris Toledo
If you are a responsible parent, educator, school administrator, athletic director, coach, publisher or any rational person concerned for the safety and well-being of vulnerable athletes, please, share these ultimately life-saving essentials. My mission is to reveal to the world HOW TO POLE VAULT CORRECTLY and stop the ongoing pole vault miseducation madness. It is crucial that susceptible athletes know how to avoid preventable catastrophes that have produced abundant human suffering needlessly associated with this potentially great athletic event.

Air Strike pole vault information is entirely intended for the purpose of saving lives and preventing senseless injuries. My services and facilities are being offered at no charge (FREE) to athletes interested in assisting me with my “mission” to improve this needlessly flawed event. In 1992, my son, Chris Toledo, would have never been able to perform revolutionary Air Strike "Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation" & "Turbo Boost" had he not QUIT attempting 1960s "traditional" wrong-way FLEXIBLE pole vault miseducation tactics of high-speed runs and "BULL-PUSH" of the pole shown in the first image below. In the second image below, you can see for yourself in the video what happens when running speed is controlled and the flexing pole is allowed to swivel to the side of the suspended forward-moving vaulter. The bent pole is "cocked" end-over-end vertically, putting the vaulter in ideal "pull-over" position. This leads to perfect vertical skyward bodyweight placement which forces the additional final "load" of the pole's lower portion to produce Air Strike's revolutionary "TURBO BOOST!"

Chris Toledo Pole Vault  

Why am I so confident that today's vaults can be improved so much, so quickly? It was over 32 years ago that my own son, literally, overnight, increased his vaults by more than two feet applying Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation during his final 1992 pole vault competition in Santa Barbara, California. For nefarious reasons, the "powers that be" stifled the news of our revolutionary life-saving results and "traditional" WRONG-WAY pole vault was purposely allowed to continue all these years without interruption. To deduce for yourself some glaring nonphysical consequences of this event remaining purposely flawed, please, have an objective look at this comparison of Cornelius Warmerdam's 1940s pole vault results using a bamboo stick (with NO landing mats) opposed to the results of the world's best 2019 MALE FLEXIBLE pole vaulter who, like all vaulters today, descends gently onto gigantic foam landing mats. During the past 80 years, in spite of ALL the modern day ADVANTAGES, the ACTUAL RELATIVE men's world record IMPROVEMENT is LESS THAN 12 INCHES! THESE ARE VERY REVEALING FACTS.

Cornelius Warmerdam

Keep in mind that today's athletes have the advantages of gigantic expensive landing mats, powerful high-priced flexible "competition" vaulting poles, rubber-tipped fiberglass crossbars, rubber runways, etceteras... and this is the best they can pole vault in comparison to Cornelius Warmerdam?

Here is a very visible clue as to WHY today's WRONG-WAY flexible pole vaulting results are disastrous: ANY vaulter you see, still gripping the FLEXIBLE pole when the vaulter's feet are above the crossbar, is NOT properly utilizing the flexible pole as a SPRING. You can view the obvious consequence of this miseducation DEFECT, in the videos and images below. This same deadly mistake has been repeated since before John Uelses became the first athlete to exceed 16 feet MISUSING a flexible fiberglass vaulting pole in the early 1960s, applying these identical lethal "traditional" pole vault methods.

pole vault video pole vault 1960s pole vault

Today's wrong-way vaulters are simply implementing the pole's flexibility to increase grip-height position (1960s style) while they accomplish little else. In every instance, you can see that the bulk of RECOIL energy is NOT PROPERLY UTILIZED as vaulters roll sideways, parallel to the ground plane, culminating a DIAGONAL ascension path while the vaulter is STILL GRIPPING the pole.

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The powerful flexible pole's RECOIL (linear elastic behavior) is ALWAYS expended inefficiently as a result of wrong-way "traditional" vaulters' negligent miseducation which purposely avoids teaching HOW FLEXIBLE POLES SHOULD BE CORRECTLY APPLIED.

You can easily see in the video above (particularly when the playback speed is slowed to 0.25) that EVERY vaulter ascends DIAGONALLY towards the crossbar. ALL of these vaulters are multiple universes away from properly COCKING the flexible pole. It is also extremely common that the vaulter's left thigh hits the crossbar, or will come very close to it, as a consequence of the MISEDUCATED "traditional" vaulter's wrong-way diagonal ascent.


Additionally proving my point on pole vault miseducation, the following firsthand statements were voiced in a 2021 interview with Chris Nilsen (Olympic pole vault silver medalist) honestly exposing the seeds of his own negligent miseducation. Chris describes his particular initial negative experience from which his wrong-way "traditional" pole vault career was launched as quoted here:

“I would go up, I would, I would take off, in the pole vault, and the pole would not move far enough into the pit and it would shoot me back out at the runway. I did that three times in a row my first day pole vaulting, and I asked my coach, uh, 'Miss Yuen,' I said, 'am I supposed to suck this bad?' and she's like, 'No, not really but I think if you keep at it, you'll be fine. I mean everybody gets better at it eventually.' I was like cool, okay. But that first day was very disheartening. I was like, man, this is like bad, bad.”

The following quote is also from a recent news article published August 3, 2021, titled, “How vaulter Chris Nilsen went from 'he's going to hurt himself bad' to silver in Tokyo”:

“Fearless before he should have been, Nilsen then became an accident waiting to happen when he turned to pole vault guru Rick Attig after his sophomore year. At the first practice, his mother, Karen, recalled, Attig leaned over to Nilsen’s father, Mark, and said, 'He’s going to kill himself' doing this.”

Chris Nilsen, due to his pole vault miseducation and lack of intelligent execution, is vaulting far below his potential. All of my observations are based upon many decades of documented facts and several decades of my own firsthand interactions with multiple legendary sports figures, which include track & field legends Cornelius Warmerdam, Bob Mathias and many others.

“I haven't found any sports event that is so recklessly taught as pole vault. My mission is to eradicate 'traditional' miseducation and offer every athlete the opportunity to partake in our easy to execute, safer, superior Air Strike program.” (Michael Thomas Toledo)


Chris Toledo FSUChris Toledo Pole Vault
Chris Toledo Pole VaultChris Toledo Pole Vault

Inside of 12 MONTHS, we accomplished MORE to IMPROVE this event than “TRADITIONAL” pole vault “EXPERTS” have throughout entire careers! Yet, our revolutionary AIR STRIKE POLE VAULT information has been stifled for the past thirty years.

Pole Vault - Air StrikePole Vault - Air StrikePole Vault - Air Strike

I must emphasize that WE, at "Air Strike," are the only PROVEN contributors on the planet to have introduced TECHNIQUE remedies and safety solutions that completely ERADICATE lethal "traditional" wrong-way pole vault.

Please, watch as a popular lame brain MIS-EDUCATOR promotes lethal WRONG-WAY pole vault advice!

Running as fast as you can is LETHAL

The lethal coaching advice in the video above is commonplace. It is the RULE, not the exception. The person speaking in the video is Shawn Michael Francis, the "poster child" of today's wrong-way pole vault coaches. Please, don't believe me, just watch the following one-minute video verifying the idiotic pole vault tradition of prioritizing "HEIGHT" before TECHNIQUE. In other words, "IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW BAD YOUR FORM IS AS LONG AS YOU GET OVER THE CROSSBAR!":

Pole Vault Miseducation

Viewing the videos above, you heard for yourself the words from WRONG-WAY Coach Francis' "expert" mouth and saw for yourself the results of abject STUPIDITY that overwhelms and obstructs proper pole vault education. Can you see why this event needs fixing and also how easily we can intelligently overcome decades of miseducation?


WHAT pole vault "experts" have been doing for decades is obviously wrong and provably hazardous. It is a given fact that, while decathletes are the greatest all-around athletes on the planet, hundreds of these supermen have been documented stating that there is only one event they typically fear: pole vault. As a prime example, during the 1956 Olympic Decathlon, one of the greatest athletes in sports history, Milton Gray Campbell, failed to set a new decathlon world record due to his disastrous performance in only one event of ten: POLE VAULT.

Is it not obvious that IF THE GREATEST DECATHLETES ON THE PLANET CAN NOT POLE VAULT WTIH CONFIDENCE, SOMETHING MIGHT BE TERRIBLY WRONG? While these exceptional athletes FEAR only ONE event (pole vault), they consistently perform NINE other events IMPECCABLY. It is a logical conclusion that, if such PHYSICALLY SUPERIOR ATHLETES are incapable of successfully applying "traditional" WRONG-WAY pole vault methods, then, UNREMARKABLE athletes attempting the same INSANITY are certain to FAIL time after time, after time, after time...

It has been my real-life experience that 99.9999% of all athletes have always avoided pole vault simply because inept "traditional" coaches have NEVER taught the event safely and properly. Typical "traditional" wrong-way coaching advice is always the same as you see in the above video, "Here's the pole. Now, run as fast as you can!" Is it not obvious why such careless advice has proven devastatingly lethal to the health of naive athletes while also inhibitive to participation levels in the event?

Ironically, the same miseducation, producing the current massive void in pole vault safety, avails favorable circumstances for the "outsiders" of today. It is a elementary fact that gymnasts, particularly female gymnasts, are the potential "masters" of this event simply because these unique athletes can easily perform superior Air Strike techniques. These exclusive athletes are the antidote to abject pole vault ineptitude as all of the most challenging skills necessary for perfect Air Strike Pole Vault execution have already been successfully over-achieved by any gymnast certified level 4, or higher.


In 2011, when my interest in pole vault was rekindled after more than 15 years of completely ignoring the event, I discovered that, in the 1990s, the "powers that be" had banned the application of uniform diameter flexible poles. Flexible uniform diameter poles are absolutely paramount for teaching safer, easier and efficient pole vault methods. Since these superior implements had been banned from public availability, we, at Air Strike, were forced to further seek additional alternative safe learning methods. Thus, we recently successfully completed simulators that allow athletes to safely emulate the kinetics of Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation along with INVERSION, LAUNCH & FLY AWAY actions. Air Strike students can now safely MASTER crucial Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation together with Air Strike's superior INVERSION, LAUNCH & FLY AWAY movements without any prior experience with actual vaulting poles.

CAUTION: You need to be aware that no person or institution has been authorized or qualified to teach AIR STRIKE POLE VAULT methods, including Air Strike Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation, other than ourselves at Air Strike. Since Air Strike techniques must be meticulously taught applying proper tools with exceptional caution, no public university, college, high school, private organization, nor any other entity, is approved to do so without our explicit written permission.

June of 1992 we successfully documented our revolutionary AIR STRIKE innovations demonstrating the only pole vault technique that enables vaulters to maneuver "flexed" vaulting poles into the manufacturer's specified "fully cocked" position from which inverted vaulters can "spring" vertically skyward safely above the landing mats. AIR STRIKE inherently eliminates the deadliest defects of "traditional" pole vault because vaulters no longer propel upward while suspended over the plant box. Ascending above the "box" has ALWAYS been the most flagrant "traditional" deadly pole vault flaw. Our intelligent elementary procedures simply produce safer and easier pole vault with meticulous precision.


1960 Pole Vault pole vault 1960s 1960 Pole Vault 1992 Pole Vault

WRONG-WAY "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT METHODS DISPLAYED BELOW ARE OBVIOUS HAZARDS! In the following image sequence, Chris Toledo is shown early in 1992 doing the dangerous "BULL-PUSH" of the "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole like everyone else. Naively attempting to copy Sergei Bubka, Chris was negligently taught this deadly foolishness, firsthand, by each of the following celebrated wrong-way pole vault coaches: Don Hood, Jan Johnson and Bob Fraley.

bubka-01lavillenie-01Chris Toledo - UCS Spiritolympic-pole-breakborges-pole-vault

The four yellow background silhouette images you see above illustrate actual body positions of ill-advised top world class "traditional" pole vaulters applying lethal HIGH-SPEED approach runs to foolishly "BULL-PUSH" flexible poles forward. The figure illustrated breaking the pole displays the fact that the stress of the vaulter's excessive misapplied forward pressure has caused the pole's reinforced lower portion to break FIRST. The pole-plug can be seen above the label as the completely detached lower section of the broken pole is pointing back towards the vaulter. If you look closely, you will see that the lower portion of the pole is also broken approximately 8 inches above the "plug." Click this link to see a photo sequence of Lazaro Borges, Olympic pole vaulter, break a deadly "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole by bull-pushing it forward and to his right as exhibited in the images above.

Shown in the sequence of 10 images below, recorded in 2014, is world class European female vaulter, Silke Spiegelburg, PUSHING the flexing pole to her RIGHT, which foolishly forces the bending pole in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION of where it should be allowed to immediately naturally rotate. Image #1 points out that the pole-tip is too high above the ground plane at a moment when it should be much, much lower. Silke then proceeds with a lethal off-center pole plant which is another typical result of "traditional" pole vault miseducation. These images display the epitome of abject stupidity that thrives within this track and field event. Go to YouTube (click here), set the "scrollbar" at 1:40, and see for yourself the senseless consequences.

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Below are BACK and FRONT views of a world class European female athlete BREAKING HER VAULTING POLE in 2013. Watch carefully as she applies foolish 1960s lethal "BULL-PUSH" methods still being taught in "traditional" pole vault (as detailed above) and her inevitable resulting hazardous consequences.

European Girl Backside  European Girl
Source of images: FISUTV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtcgmKQF8TM - Creative Commons

The animation below exhibits the conflicting positions of the top ends of "COCKED" flexible vaulting poles when applying AIR STRIKE physics versus hazardous "traditional" wrong-way pole vault. The top end of the pole using "traditional" methods is far out over the runway when the bending pole is "COCKED." The top end of the AIR STRIKE "COCKED" pole, which is positioned end-over-end vertically, is safely crossing the back wall of the slideway box at the instant the pole reaches its maximum bend. One of the most egregious errors living within "traditional" pole vault misconceptions is the outright ignorance of how to PROPERLY LOAD flexible vaulting poles.

Air Strike Pole Vault

Next, is a side-by-side comparison of Alysha Newman and the 1992 video of my son, Chris. Both vaulters' grip heights are within inches of each other, although, Alysha is using a slightly longer pole. Carefully observing the images, you will see that Air Strike's Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation process is faster and far more efficient in contrast to the "traditional" wrong-way process used by Alysha.

Air Strike Pole Vault vs Traditional

The Air Strike movement proficiently exerts kinetic energy while applying bodyweight to hold the pole's top end down, as the vaulter moves forward. The athlete proceeds forward much quicker, while remaining low, prior to vertically accelerating at a far greater velocity after properly "cocking" the bent pole. Alysha is one of the greatest athletes I've ever observed. Sadly, her phenomenal physical capacity is needlessly RESTRICTED by the inept "traditional" wrong-way diagonal body trajectory LIMITING her extraordinary potential.

Katie Donnelly, featured in the video below, is a perfect example of HOW exceptional GYMNASTS are converted into HORRIBLE POLE VAULTERS by today's negligent MIS-EDUCATORS from the very BEGINNING. This visual is the obvious consequence of wrong-way "traditional" 1960s teachings that continue being spread to this day. Again, this video compares my own son's wrong-way "traditional" pole vault FACTS and EXPERIENCES to the vaulters that continue still being miseducated today. Katie Donnelly and Alysha Newman are only two of thousands being intentionally misinformed at their own risk.

Air Strike Pole Vault vs Traditional


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