Breaking new ground
The 10th red bull bc One World Final marked a milestone for the global b-boy community.
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 (youtube.com/RageOnlineTV) 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.