Break­ing new ground

The 10th red bull bc One World Fi­nal marked a mile­stone for the global b-boy com­mu­nity.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE - By IAN YEE allther­age@thes­

IT was the ul­ti­mate b-boy bat­tle, 10 years in the mak­ing. The world’s best b-boys had gath­ered from around the world – big names like Lilou, RoxRite, Hong 10 and Taisuke – at Seoul, Korea, the new mecca of b-boy­ing, and it was go­ing to be an epic show­case of hiphop dance cul­ture.

We’re talk­ing about the 2013 Red Bull BC One World Fi­nal, the tenth edi­tion of the global b-boy com­pe­ti­tion, which promised to be the big­gest one to date. R.AGE was right there at the Jam­sil Arena to take it all in, along­side over five thou­sand other peo­ple in the sold out venue, and the count­less oth­ers watch­ing the live stream online.

Six­teen b-boys, in­clud­ing all eight past BC One win­ners, bat­tled it out for the land­mark ti­tle in a gru­elling one-on-one bat­tle, knock­out for­mat.

The fi­nal­ists were se­lected from lo­cal and re­gional Red Bull BC One Cyphers around the world (Malaysia’s own b-boy Khenobu made it to the Asian fi­nals in Ja­pan), and it was just an in­sane demon­stra­tion of ath­leti­cism, ac­ro­bat­ics, mu­si­cal­ity and poetry in mo­tion. Like se­ri­ously, you have to see it to be­lieve it. We’ve cov­ered the Red Bull BC One Cypher in Malaysia, so we thought we knew what to ex­pect. This was on a whole dif­fer­ent planet.

The match-ups alone would make b-boy fans go crazy – Lilou (the only two-time cham­pion, from France) vs Taisuke (Ja­pan) in the first round was epic, Grav­ity (USA) vs Mounir (France) in the quar­ter­fi­nals was amaz­ing too, and the all-Korean semi­fi­nal be­tween Hong 10 and Wing was ob­vi­ously a huge bat­tle. Bear in mind, th­ese b-boys are so pop­u­lar, some of them had TV crews from their home coun­tries fol­low­ing them to Seoul to doc­u­ment their jour­ney to the world fi­nal.

In the end, it was Hong 10 who came up tops af­ter an in­tense bat­tle with Mounir. It wasn’t just a bat­tle of big power moves (ath­letic, ac­ro­batic moves, of which there were plenty), but also of style, grace and im­mense tech­ni­cal­ity. Hong 10, in par­tic­u­lar, de­liv­ered the goods with a few sig­na­ture freeze holds that had the par­ti­san crowd roar­ing.

De­spite the stare-downs, smack talk and show­ing off dur­ing the bat­tles, the mu­tual re­spect among the fi­nal­ists was clear to see once the bat­tles ended. When the fourth judge gave his vote to Hong 10 to give him an unas­sail­able lead over Mounir, the rest rushed the stage to con­grat­u­late him and lift him above their shoul­ders.

“I can’t ex­plain how happy and shocked I am that I won, es­pe­cially

this 10th an­niver­sary year,” said Hong 10, real name Kim Hong-Yeol (10 in Korean sounds sim­i­lar to “Yeol”), dur­ing the win­ner’s press con­fer­ence.

“To be level with Lilou (on two BC One ti­tles) is amaz­ing. I have a lot of re­spect for him and can proudly say that I’m also a two-time Red Bull BC One cham­pion.”

De­spite his larger-than-life moves in bat­tle, Hong 10 proved to be a man of very few words dur­ing an in­ter­view with R.AGE the day be­fore the fi­nal. The only thing he spoke at length about was the im­por­tance of hard work.

When asked for his ad­vice for Malaysian b-boys, he said: “The most im­por­tant thing is just prac­tis­ing and work­ing hard. You can help your­self by putting more thought into your moves, but it’s more im­por­tant to just try them first. If you do that, and you work hard, it gives you a chance to get bet­ter,” said Hong 10.

Break­ing has sure come a long way since it was born on the streets of New York City back in the 70s as one of the pil­lars of hip hop, but the tenth an­niver­sary of Red Bull BC One still rep­re­sents a huge mile­stone for the ever-grow­ing cul­ture, which is one of art, ath­leti­cism, and mu­tual re­spect.

Hav­ing said that, you can bet the likes of Mounir, Lilou, Wing, Grav­ity and co. will be work­ing harder than ever to knock Hong 10 out next year. Log on to the R.AGE YouTube chan­nel (­lineTV) to watch our video from the

Red Bull BC One World Fi­nal.

Best of the best: The 16 fi­nal­ists of the red bull bc One world fi­nal hav­ing a lit­tle cypher at Seoul’s Gyeong­bok Palace ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion. Show­ing his moves in the mid­dle is b-boy roxrite, who has won more solo com­pe­ti­tions than any b-boy in the world.

Hong 10 of Korea cel­e­brates with the win­ners belt at Jam­sil arena dur­ing the red bull bc One World Fi­nal in Seoul, Korea.

Hong10 and Lil Zoo (from morocco) try­ing to psych each other out dur­ing their bat­tle.

all the way from brook­lyn, New york, b-boy Grav­ity. He’s won the bc One North amer­i­can fi­nals twice.

French­man Lilou, one of the big­gest stars on the in­ter­na­tional b-boy scene, is a two-time bc One world cham­pion. Semi­fi­nal­ist Wing (be­low) of Korea with an im­pres­sive freeze.

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