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The Soul Investigators - the Souls Behind Funk

This post was published in our newsletter a week before the blog. If you wish to get this kind of content first order our weekly newsletter at

The B in b-boy stands for break. To get to the root of understanding the music we get down to I sat down with the Soul Investigators, the Finnish funk and soul sensation that’s behind b-boy classics such as “Holdin’ On”.

We had a great talk with Jukka and Sami, the drummer and the basist of band who also have groups like Cold Diamond & Mink and the High Society Brothers. They also run the notorious and highly internationally recognized record label Timmion based in Helsinki Finland. We recommend you’ll read all the way to the end to catch their latest single as well ;).

How did the Soul Investigators get started?

Jukka: During our college time we were on the same music classes with Sami. We had a few projects first but in 98 we did our first things as the Soul Investigators. Pete Toikkanen with a metal and garage rock background got involved. He was putting together a surf band, which somehow turned into a ruff funk band. Antti Määttänen played organs as well.

What about your record label Timmion?

Sami: We did a few singles as an imaginary label Jive but in 2000 we started releasing material as Timmion. For a long time it was just private releases, for the past 10 years it’s been a bit more professional and especially the last three years we’ve started to have a more steady pace in releases. We’ve also started to play a lot more than ever before. Our studio is now on point so we sit there a lot of nights, play and put songs together.

Jukka: The name Soul Investigators is used when the original line up with Pete and Antti are there as well. Cold Diamond & Mink is with me, Sami and our guitarist Seppo. The High Society Brothers is like my little brother’s band, which has been playing for artists such as Willie West. We have a bunch of other vague ones as well.

Sami: Maybe it’s even a little intentional confusion. Everything is made so marketable and branded nowadays that we like to create a little mystery behind our releases. More fun that way.

Who are your inspirations?

Sami: We started collecting records pretty early so different kind of music has always played a big role. Previously it was foundational funk bands like the JB’s and the Meters and so on. Nowadays our influences might come a little more from different weird 45s with something crooked and off going on. It’s more private presses and rare stuff. Our mission is not to make the biggest commercial hits but to make records that are respected by people who love that sound, different sub cultures such as record collectors or even the b-boys.

What kind of a process is making a funk song? Where does it start from and how does it get pressed all the way to a record?

Sami: Everything starts with a great beat, a groovy baseline and good chords. It has to have a good flow or otherwise it won’t work. The bass and drums have to be in harmony, that’s maybe the most important. After that spice it up, add a break or two and put it on tape.

Jukka: Our new album with Ernie Hawks is a great example. We came to the studio and started jamming. After the time was right we started recording. Basically as a genre of music funk is pretty simple but it can be done in very different ways. If you think about James Brown’s approach it was all about rhythm. Then again bands like Tower of Power with more of a jazz background approached funk very differently. Funk can easily get pretty cheesy so it’s very important to have your own style.

Sami: Our way of making music is pretty time consuming. But it always adds more feeling to the actual records than if it was all pre composed and just played from the notes. Every member of the band brings something to the song, making a song is a collective event.

What’s the difference between the new funk vs old funk? Do you think there’s a difference in the sound?

Jukka: I think the best music of all times was done in the 60’s and 70’s. That era had the best studios, producers and labels. At least for our type of sound the music industry flourished. I don’t really think we’re doing old music. For me funk and soul music is supposed to sound like this. In classical music they play the same way it’s been played for like 500 years.

Sami: To be honest as far as funk music produced with the modern technology, I haven’t heard too many that I liked. Of course that’s a personal opinion and my problem completely.

What’s your definition of funk? Does one exist?

Jukka: Soul is easier, it’s self explanatory. Funk has to have some dirt to it. A huge barrel of fish heads. But there’s no restrictions and limitations to funk, it can be very free and open. So more than the technical playing ability it’s more of a feeling.

Holdin’ On is a definite b-boy classic. Tell the story behind the song?

Jukka: It was also a time we were just jamming at the studio. Once the album came out it took a little time for us to realise it started making noise in the b-boy scene too. It wasn’t really made for any particular scene, we don’t really work like that. Suddenly we just realised dj’s had started to play it in battles.

Sami: We started to notice it on our gigs pretty fast. Suddenly b-boys started to break during our shows. Nicole started inviting them on stage too. We might jam the tune for like 15 minutes while b-boys rocked the stage.

The Soul Investigators in Montreal with b-boys on stage. In case the video don't work you see it here:

Tell us about the Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators album that’s about to come out.

Sami: It’s now been done and it’s coming out during this year. A lot of percussions, flute and breaks on it too. Pretty much the same core group, one song at a time sessioning at the studio. We have ten songs for it now and let’s see how many will end up on the final album. We’ll also have to see which songs we’ll put out on 7” after the Scorpio Man. Maybe you can help with this too hahaha.

Where can the readers find more on your stuff?

You can check our social media, Facebook and instagram, we update them pretty randomly though. Our bandcamp site is where you can order a lot of our material.

Check the links to learn more on what Timmion is about:


Here's the latest single by the Soul Investigators: Give It Back

-Focus /

Apr 21, 2017 13:596 days ago

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Early Years of Flow Mo

This post was published in our newsletter a week before the blog. If you wish to get this kind of content first order our weekly newsletter at

Since Flow Mo is turning 15 year it's good to look back on where it all started. Join the FACEBOOK EVENT for the latest news on Flow Mo 15th Year Anniversary May 27th.


The origins and early years of the Flow Mo Crew

Originally published September 3, 2014

By the new millennium Finland had a rich scene with a lot of crews. The skill level was at a long time high after the dark and silent years of the 1990’s. The hungry, rising scene created a little tension between the cities and the air was full of anticipation. Something was about to happen. My crew at the time, MidPoint Rockers est. 1997, started making a lot of noise. We won the first organised battles after a long time such as Helsinki Battle & Breakers Trevenge. Helsinki based Savage Feet Crew’s fame was spreading through hip hop jams and also music videos and tours by the band Bomfunk MC’s. One night in 1999 we were both booked to do a showcase at a party in the city of Hämeenlinna. Both crews did their thing but we didn’t speak yet. That time you wouldn’t just walk up to a crew to give props. You’d have to pay dues and earn your respect.

midpointMidPoint Rockers est. 1997

Savage Feet Crew in 1998, photo © Mikko Björk Savage Feet Crew in 1998, photo © Petri Rasanen

Savage Feet’s bboy Animal didn’t care. He found out my number and gave me a call few weeks later. Animal insisted that he’d come to my city, live in my house and train with us. So Janne Ratinen aka Animal was the first to make a move for the connection with two crews. After some nice sessions he invited MidPoint Rockers to session in Helsinki and we did. We got to meet Savage Feet members and the energy was good. Savage Feet had a little free time from touring and Scandinavian Battle of the Year 2000 was coming in Sweden. Since both crews were getting a little short of members for big battles, we decided to join forces and do something that hadn’t really been done before: rock a bboy jam abroad with a Finnish crew. Since we didn’t have a name together yet so we decided to enter the battle as IMR after Illmatic Crew & MidPoint Rockers (Illmatic Crew was Savage Feet’s first name).

"It was seriously time to put Finnish bboying on the map"

The trip to Gothenburg was incredible. We saw hardcore bboys and bgirls from all over Scandinavia. After the shows we got put in the third place battle against Rhythm Rockers from Norway. They rocked hard with bboys like Dark Marc and Sultan, but we managed to win and get the third place prize plus the best show award. Final was fierce with Denmark’s Natural Effects and Nasty 9 (collaboration with Sweden’s Moves Per Minute and Norway’s Atomic Bboys). Meeting some of the older generation Scandinavian boys like Freeze, Jam One, & Pay2 inspired us to push even harder.

Birth of the crew

Encouraged by our great trip we continued to work together. We created a theatre piece and made a little tour on Finnish stages. April 21st 2002 we rocked a show in a funk party in my city Jyväskylä. The vibe was great for the two crews. So the day after we had a meeting and thought we need to form a real crew together and unite our forces. Everybody gave their own propositions for the crew name. There was many different ones. Antopio’s Cypher Spirit was a strong candidate but eventually got dropped. The word ‘cypher’ wasn’t really that common yet. Back then in our area they were know as circles and we weren’t sure if the word cypher could be understood. Wartecs came up with the concept and name Flow Mo. While other crews danced on slow motion, our crew always has a dope flow hence the term Flow Motion, Flow Mo in short. That was the best one we had so we stuck with it. 22nd April 2002 Flow Mo was born in a small practise spot in central Finland. Flow Mo Originals, the founding members:

  • Antopio
  • Animal aka Niro aka Twister
  • Focus
  • Jani Salonen
  • Noizy-1
  • Pasi Piipponen
  • Taya aka T-Flow
  • Wartecs

Soon we added Lisa aka b-girl LeeLee to the line up. Bboy Ata joined the crew for about two years in 2003. Savage Feet writer Jani Tolin aka Sign104 got put down as the writer of the crew. By 2004 we had rocked jams all over Europe and was time to head out to USA with the whole squad. The b-girls had already rocked Lords of the Floor in 2001 and won the Bboy Summit bgirl battles in 2003. Freestyle Session 8 and Bboy Summit X took place in August 2004 and turned out to become legendary events. In Freestyle Session we were honoured to have Freeze and Jam One supporting Flow Mo in the crew battle. Most of the bboys we ever looked up to were there in the two jams. Meeting Rock Steady in the first round was a turning point for the crew. It was seriously time to put Finnish bboying on the map.

Flow Mo in Los Angeles right before Freestyle Session 8Flow Mo in Los Angeles right before Freestyle Session 8

By 2005 some members had already moved on for other things in life. We recruited Hatsolo, strong-minded bboy hailing from his previous crews Riski Clique & Foo Moves who had already done a bunch of international battles with the crew. Winning Circle Kingz 2005 with Hats was super influential and Flow Mo’s rep got strong. By 2006 crews close friends from long time Rome-1 (previously Stepwise & Rytmisektio) and Mercy-1 (Riski Clique & Foo Moves) got put down and we won Rock Steady Anniversary in New York. B-girl AT was making a lot of noise and she was put down in 2008. Latest recruitment was Saki-1 by the end of 2011.

DSCN0700Flow Mo in Hip Opsession France 2006

Flow Mo in Korea 2007, Lonestar Photo Flow Mo in Korea 2007, Lonestar Photo

flowmobeatbattleFlow Mo in Red Bull Beat Battle 2007

By 2014 Flow Mo has rocked jams in over 50 countries. Besides bboying the crew in very active on different fields of arts and culture such as music, visual arts, organising events and running organisations. We keep touring rocking jams and doing what we do best. Saiffa - Flow Mo Dance School is building the next generations of Finnish b-boys & b-girls. The crew’s slogan “Flow Mo stands for hard work and love towards the culture” from the early days is today more relevant than ever. We still keep footwork as our art form and motion as our identity. FM 02 till infinity. Flow Mo members by 2014 (same line up still valid at 2017):

  • AT
  • Focus
  • Hatsolo the White Gorilla
  • Mercy-1 aka Olli
  • Rome-1
  • Saki-1
  • Sign104 aka Tolin
  • Taya aka T-Flow
  • Wartecs

Apr 6, 2017 15:5921 days ago

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The Most Soulful Underground Jams to Visit This Year

This post was published in our newsletter a week before the blog. If you wish to get this kind of content first order our weekly newsletter at

Very often we’ve been asked which jams are the best ones and worth spending your hard saved money on. Info about the big events is usually easy to find but many times the smaller more underground jams with good cyphers and party vibe are the ones we enjoy the most. Here is a few recommendations from us for this year. Of course there are many other ones as well but these one made a really positive impact for us last year.

-Yalta Summer Jam 12-16.7.2017, Yalta Crimea, Russia

One of the best jams we’ve ever been to for sure! Almost a week long jam in a nice holiday spot with a friendly block party vibe. It felt like nobody was there to show off or just to win the competitions but to have a great time. Cyphers, battles, parties and chilling at the beach! Nearest airport is Simferopol if you consider going!

-The European Concrete Jam 1.-3.9.2017, Lausanne Switzerland

Guaranteed Amjad quality! Cyphers, battles, parties, chilling at the beach! The vibe in Lausanne is always on point. After the cyphers pretty much the whole jam jumps into the Lake Geneva where the view is like from a painting!

-Real Deal 17.6.2017, Oslo Norway

Ruff and rugged concrete cypher jam in an outdoor skate park. Chill block party vibe and nice cyphers guaranteed! Can’t go wrong with an afterparty on a boat!

-Puerto Rock Steady 19.-22.5.2017, Isabela Puerto Rico

Crazy Legs is really spoiling people with the line up this year: Bahamadia, Nice N Smooth, Talib Kweli, DJ Statik Selektah and so on! Nice holiday spot on the beach with the possibility of surfing. Jam session was on an outdoor basketball court with the Frienemies battle concept where everybody battles everybody. Atmosphere was on point!

-Just Jam 20.-22.10.2017, Newcastle UK

Organised by the Bad Taste Crew, a crew of Irish origin with a very similar approach and values in breaking as us. Theatre night, cypher day with the qualifiers and 2 vs 2 battles with a great atmosphere and a dope line up! Nice people, good vibes and parties!

Top picks from Finland if you ever want to come to cypher with us and see the scene in which we grew up. The scene is very friendly and welcoming!

-Flow Mo Anniversary 26.-27.5.2017, Helsinki

Flow Mo turns fifteen years this year so the party is going to be massive! It will go down for the first time in the legendary Tavastia club. List of guests keeps growing! NHB system in the battles but of course the cyphers and parties are the main thing!

-KPO Breaks 1.7.2017, Kuopio

A legendary Finnish cypher jam making a come back! The weekend starts with a bus from Helsinki to Kuopio and people are starting to get on the mood. In the jam we always cyphered like there’s no tomorrow and this year we have the same plan! Crazy afterparty is a part of the experience!

-Sade Festival, Helsinki

Rumors tell that this year’s SADE will go down in the end of August. The event gathers all the dance styles to jam, battle and party together. Quality guests and super soulful vibe!

-Break SM, usually in the beginning of the December, Helsinki

Gathers the whole b-boy and b-girl scene under one roof to see who are the top names in the game right now. Atmosphere is on point and Finnish people are always ready to cypher hard!

There you have it, our top picks of the year. Are there any jams not on the list that we should attend? We're always open to attending cool jams, so if there's one near you that we should definitely attend let us know why we should make the trip. Just click reply. Time to start saving, good times ahead.

-B-girl AT /

Mar 30, 2017 09:2928 days ago

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Rivalry as a Motivator

The brief 40+ years’ history of breaking is built on the aspect of battling. Knowing that a b-boy or b-girl can be called out anytime and any given day kept them training way harder. And with battles comes rivalry. Rivalry between crews, countries or even within the crew pushed the b-boys and b-girls to reach new heights. That’s something that made breaking develop so fast to the incredible dance and culture it is today.

Rivalry can be seen a good thing when it comes to performance. There’s also scientific data to back this up. Professor Gavin Kilduff from the NYU Stern School of Business did a study on rivalry in running. For long distance runners having a rival competitor running by your side in a race the time of the run decreased roughly 5 seconds per kilometer. For a five kilometer race that’s already a difference of 25 seconds. That’s a pretty significant difference already. And of course besides the actual moment of the battle, a thought of a rival in your head can improve any training session every day.

Embrace your rivals! They can be a great source of motivation and a great boost for your development.

#DearRival #BjornBorg

Mar 9, 2017 21:521 month ago

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We Dat Nice - hip hop fashion portraits

We Dat Nice - hip hop fashion portraits is our new blog series dedicated to the fashion of the dance scene today and the art of looking fresh in jams and parties. We've always been inspired by the books of Jamel Shabazz and such, and now we want to bring similar vibes to people! 

Visit to read the stories and get inspired! More stories coming regularly!

Mar 9, 2017 16:451 month ago

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Battle and Cypher Skills Education Program 9.1.-14.5.2017

Learn the unwritten rules and best training methods to step up your game in battles and cyphers

 with B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo's interactive online education program.

What will you gain by attending the education?

  • You learn AT’s & Focus’ training methods to upgrade your cyphering and battling skills
  • You learn to use your whole arsenal even in challenging situations without the flow and dance suffering
  • You start understanding the unwritten rules in cyphers to eventually be able to become a master of cyphering
  • You get better chances to succeed in battles and competitions
  • You learn to trust yourself more and ways to work on your mental preparation for battles
  • You learn to understand judging better and deeper
  • Personal feedback from AT and Focus
  • Motivation and inspiration for the whole spring
  • The program is open for all levels from beginners needing guidance to professionals searching for new inspiration.

Dojo’s previous program the 14 Styles of Footwork got great feedback and gathered b-boys & b-girls from all around the world to learn and share their development and learning experiences. This time Focus & AT of the Flow Mo Crew will share their knowledge and training methods on battling and cyphering which are aspects often forgotten behind moves and sets. Besides being globally recognized dancers, AT & Focus are highly respected teachers because of their strong foundation and understanding of the culture.

The program is organised by B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo, a unique learning environment which gathers dancers to build from nearly 40 countries. Besides only the moves, the B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo teaches you the history and the philosophies behind the movement and culture of the original dance of hip hop. To keep you inspired the Dojo offers interactive challenges and has live seminars to ask questions and get feedback. Also many teachers have used the Dojo as a tool in their teaching for example in countries like Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland.

What is included in the education?

  • New interactive video challenge every second week to keep you inspired.
  • Five interactive live seminars with the possibility for questions and feedback.
  • Access of all of the Dojo’s learning material: over four hours of tutorials with moves, history, philosophy and approach.
  • Building at the forum and becoming a part of the global Dojo community.

Reserve your spot in the program now!

Price for the program 69,90 € before X-Mas

(One time payment, no other fees. After X-Mas price 79,90€.)

Program is included in any full membership of the Dojo.

Reserve your place by buying the product on the webstore, payment with paypal. Immediately after purchase an email is sent to you with the login password. You can access all of the Dojo learning material right after purchase until May 14th 2017.

Dec 15, 2016 15:104 months ago

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Preparing for Red Bull BC One in my thirties

Konnichiwa Nagoya!

About 6 months ago I was in a training session at Saiffa. The music was coming from my laptop and on top of it I heard the sound of a new email. I went to check it and it was an invitation to compete at this year’s Red Bull BC One in Japan.

My first reaction was a small laughter since I hadn’t done big battles in a couple of years. After Circle Kingz stopped competing just didn’t feel the same so my main attention was more in cyphering, judging battles and teaching to build future champions. Never stopped training, just did it more for myself. I told my training partners and they got all hype. After giving it a little thought I replied yes I’ll do it.

I realized very soon that training for a steady goal again was one of the best things that happened to me in a while. Even though breaking has put my body through a lot, eventually it really loves nothing more than a good old session, being that it really has grown up breaking. So training hard felt really good to be honest. 

This time around I’ve mainly spent my training time on freestyling. Trusting in my expression and letting the moves come out with the music. Letting the moves evolve naturally with the help of freestyle and simply dancing as much as possible. Shoutout to all the b-boys & b-girls that shared a practice session with me during the preparation time: AT, Sparks, Pluto, MattiWatti, Poe One, A-Rock, Haiku, Crazy Legs, Rudi Goblen to mention a few. Thank you for your fire, you are all an inspiration.

After a session with Legs in New Jersey

Nearly every jam I went to I battled people in the circles. My favourite battle of this autumn was against Bruce Wayne from France. Love his flow and approach. I entered a bunch of competitions as well during the last half a year, IBE seven2smoke, Outbreak Europe, Silverback Open and Just Jam. All of them were good experiences and great preparation.

For extra inspiration we visited the mecca, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx, where Kool Herc had his first parties in 1973. Out there the energy boosts you with an extra amount of flava. Seeing concerts and watching mc’s on stage has always been an inspiration for me. We got a chance to catch a Rakim show in New York, the presence and the charisma is untouchable! Whenever inspiration was low I hit the record stores and got my hand dirty for some new fuel, which for our culture is music.

The mecca!

One important thing for my preparation has been my diet. I dropped meat three years ago and switched to a plant based diet. I didn’t do it for breaking but very quick I noticed it on my dance as well. It dropped my weight a lot, made me feel light and people have often said I’m flying after that. For recovery there’s nothing better than an ice cold bath in the Finnish nature. That’s also my first plan after the competition returning home.

Can’t wait to rock the stage on Saturday and represent for my students and of course the Flow Mo Crew!

Top mixes during preparation:

Books during the journey:

  • Eckhart Tolle: Power of Now
  • Madventures: Mad Success
  • Matt Thorne: Prince Autobiography

Make sure to tune in to our free live Question and Answer session on Wednesday before the battles:

Watch the live stream of the Red Bull BC One World Finals:

Learn more about our training methods with a B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo Membership, get one HERE.

Nov 27, 2016 11:385 months ago

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Mr Wiggles: The Origins of Threads and Spideman Footwork

“A lot of the stuff wasn't called origami, it was basically boogie boy shit... ...mixing breaking with boogie.”

During a recent trip to BBIC event in Seoul Korea we got a chance to sit down for a little interview with the legendary Mr. Wiggles (Rock Steady Crew, Electric Boogaloos). He broke down the origins of b-boy styles that have been a hot topic latery: the threads and the spiderman footwork. Check what he has to say, thank you Wiggles for the knowledge:

Aug 19, 2016 10:328 months ago

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Four Generations of Finnish Bboy Crews

 photo electroflow_zpsa6q9efmw.jpg 

Electro Dynamics est 1985, Flow Mo est 2002. Photo at Toprocks club 2005

Here’s a list of bboy crews that have existed in Finland after 1984. The list is not final and it’s constantly updated. As you can see the late 90’s and the turn of the century was the time when there was the most crews. After breaking started getting back on music videos the effects can be seen directly. Run DMC’s It’s Like That  and Bomfunk MC’s videos made a huge impact among others. The list is made by the years the crews were started so some still kept and keep going after the certain era was done. Some crews united to form new crews to keep going.

With a crew I mean real crews of 3 or more people which are not only combined to enter a competition but have a longer history. Thank you AT and Pimpu from Electro Dynamics for contributing to the list. Feel free to add to the list on the comments below.


  • Electro Dynamics
  • Spiders
  • RC Street Crew
  • Fantastic Rockers
  • Taxi-Crew
  • Ice Breakers
  • Magic Waves
  • Break J
  • Ghostbreakers
  • Battle Crew
  • Unit 6
  • Electric Break Crew


  • MidPoint Rockers
  • Illmatic Crew
  • Savage Feet
  • Helsinki City Breakers
  • Stepwise Crew
  • Funky Flow Artists
  • Foo Moves
  • Rival Tribe
  • Young Beat Crew
  • High Voltage Crew
  • Moon Freeze
  • Magnificent Moves
  • Pataa Tulee Crew
  • Napapiirin Tanssi ja Rock
  • Shape Shifters
  • Breaking Elements Crew
  • Foreign Attack
  • Sonic School
  • Riski Clique
  • BDrill’s
  • Metal Force Crew
  • Kid Force
  • Svengi Jengi
  • Technical Moves Crew
  • Psychotic Steps
  • Skillusion
  • La Familia Noble


  • Flow Mo Crew
  • Ghost Crew (Sweden, Norway & Finland)
  • Style Maniacs
  • Rancid Rockers
  • Deep Forrest Dealers
  • Rhythm Souldiers
  • Rytmisektio
  • Breakfast crew
  • Across the Floor Crew
  • Pure Tactics
  • FloorPhilia
  • Stadi 09
  • Beat Warriors
  • Kisisposse
  • Floormarkers Crew


  • Joensuu Bboys
  • Quarter Squad
  • Moves of Space
  • Sticky Rukus
  • HC Meisseli Crew
  • Nästi Crew
  • Oulu’s Finest
  • FreeDown Crew
  • Cosmic Lizard Squad
  • King Kontrast Crew

Jul 19, 2016 16:299 months ago

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Few thoughts about the level of b-girls and equality in the scene by AT

Recently I saw someone writing about small prize moneys in b-girl battles on facebook and it made me think about the level of b-girls and the fact that not too many of them can make it in the competitions when battling guys. I agree that it doesn't feel too great to get just a fraction of what the guys get when they win when we put the same amount of effort into it and work as much as the guys on the top level do. But I also understand that promoters don't feel so good about putting a lot of money for b-girl battles when there is not too many participants and the level is not always too high. I believe that in order to get more equality to the scene both male and female should take a step towards each other. Maybe that way also the level and the amount of b-girls would start rising.

First of all the judges should always be on that level of understanding that they see all the aspects in dancing including everything in between the moves. There is so many more ways to beat your opponent than just the number of rotations. In competitions where the judges look only for big blow up moves there will never be equality between men and women. Nevertheless, I definitely don't think b-girls should get easy props and make it in competitions with doing nothing special. I think many b-girls really need to step up their game and start trusting in their own advantages. When I'm judging I see all the participants as equal human beings so b-girls don't earn extra points.

Myself I've never considered myself any different from b-boys and I've always wanted to learn everything the same they do no matter how much work it takes. But only now after I've found my own advantages on top of it I feel that I've found my own style and I can to hold my own against guys. Most likely there will never be a girl who can spin like Pocket so if b-girls want to be able to match that level they will have to find their own advantages, add their own magic on top and stop trying to be the next best versions of b-boys who are on the top of their game. This doesn't mean girls should stop doing power moves for example but they won't reach the grand master level by focusing only on them (this applies also to b-boys as well).

There are b-girls who have truly found their own style and taken it to the extreme and that's why they are able to match also to many world class b-boys. For example Nadia is so funky and free that many b-boys will have to bring their big guns against her. And 10-year-old b-girl Mo Flow (she named herself Mo Flow cause she likes our crew smile) just beat all the very high level b-boys in kid's 7 2 smoke in Unbreakable with just being so ill in what she does!

So b-girls, start trusting in your own advantages so you can be on top of your own game! And dear promoters and event organizers, keep this in mind when you are booking your judges.



May 16, 2016 12:3911 months ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
  • Show comments (2) supports Breakdance Project Uganda

We are happy to announce that we are starting a collaboration with Breakdance Project Uganda. We have been following their beautiful work with young people in East Africa, using hip hop as a tool for positive change. To support the project starting today we sponsor free online dance education for them and every two weeks they will host a free Dojo session so as many as possible can come and learn.

When we started the Dojo one of our goals was to reach people in areas that are harder to reach in traditional ways and don't maybe have the same possibilities to get knowledge that we've had. We really appreciate all the support our project has gotten because if we get support that makes it possible for us to support others. Hopefully we can reduce inequality regarding who have the opportunity to learn and who doesn't.

Today we have our first live training in the Dojo where the members can have a practice session with us and with our guidance online. We are excited that Breakdance Project Uganda will also be taking part. It's amazing how today we can reach people from all around the world in a second from our own studio and share with them!

Read more about Breakdance Project Uganda's work here:

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May 7, 2016 11:4911 months ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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Cypher: patio de recreo ­ entrevista con b­boy Pepito

Escrito por AT. Traducción: b-boy Vinylo.

Las competiciones organizadas y batallas preparadas han estado presentes por un tiempo ya, y continúan creciendo; pero la forma original de batallar es una batalla en cypher sin jueces ni límite de tiempo involucrados. Las batallas en cypher e incluso los cyphers están al borde de la extinción mientras la generación más jóven crece entorno a un nuevo tipo de organización en los jams ­ una organización donde la fama y el dinero del premio son frecuentemente la motivación. Sin embargo rockear y batallar en círculos puede darte la clase de experiencias que no pueden compararse con una competición organizada. Éstas experiencias son mucho más personales y pueden enseñarte mucho sobre tí mismo. Puede ser como explorar profundamente dentro de tu propia mente y alma. Una batalla organizada rara vez te pondrá en un estado similar. Al final, en un jam donde todos rockean los círculos todos se pueden sentir ganadores. Para adentrarnos en el mundo de las batallas en círculos entrevistamos a uno de los maestros en las batallas de círculos, b­boy Pepito de 7 Dollars crew. Tuvimos una inspiradora discusión con él durante una hora, y aquí está resumidamente.

"El respeto debe ser lo primero”

Muchos piensan que en una batalla tienes que comportarte agresivamente y ser hostil porque esa es la suposición estereotípica de una batalla. Sin embargo, no hay razón para convertir una batalla en algo personal si realmente no lo es. Batallar en cypher con clase y elegancia puede ser un intercambio muy respetuoso con el oponente, en donde te pones a prueba y compartes un momento con alguien. Para no transmitir una impresión irrespetuosa, el reto (call out) debe hacerse con estilo y en el momento adecuado. 

“ Tienes que leer la situación. Es como cuando cruzas la calle. Tienes que leer el tráfico y a que dirección está mirando la persona. La oportunidad se ofrece siempre. Yo siempre intento buscar pequeños gestos que hace la gente, ver si se están moviendo un poco más al ritmo, así se que ya van a salir afuera”­ dice Pepito.

Para mantenerte 100% fiel a tí mismo durante la batalla propiamente dicha, uno tiene que averiguar las razones principales por las que estás haciendo la batalla o retando a alguien. ¿Lo haces por fama o desarrollo personal? Si batallas con alguien para mostrar respeto entonces no tienes por qué actuar agresivamente solo por la batalla. Si alguien se ofende cuando lo retas por respeto, al menos conoces tus motivos personales.

Mucha gente se ofende al ser retado. Me ha pasado muchas veces. Mientras estés seguro de lo que estás haciendo entonces está bien. Pero en términos de etiqueta, el respeto debe ser lo primero. No quieres faltarle al respeto a alguien que admirás de verdad o matar las ilusiones de un joven que promete” dice Pepito.

¿Cómo puedes retar a alguien sin que lo interpreten como una falta de respeto entonces?

Un reto debe ser muy claro de manera que el otro entienda verdaderamente que la batalla está en pie. “Hay ciertos gestos que puedes hacer con tu cuerpo, si es una persona mayor puedes estrechar su mano primero, quizás decir algo. A veces tienes que verbalizar lo que haces. Recuerdo un par de años atrás Ata vino a Reino Unido. El estaba rompiéndose en el círculo, Alien Ness estaba a un lado, y Ata se daba cuenta de que siempre acababa en frente de Ness. Así que se acercó a él, le agarró de la mano y dijo: Te respeto, no te estoy retando. Sólo mostró respeto, así Ness entendió lo que sucedía.”

Una batalla es una discusión entre ambos lados. Si no hay conexión o intercambio entre batalladores entonces es simplemente baile en un círculo. En una gran batalla ambos lados están en la misma frecuencia, y ambos levantan el fuego de la batalla. A diferencia de una batalla de competición, en una batalla de cypher no puedes saber de antemano lo que va a pasar ni cuántas rondas tendrás que salir. Es una progresión. Es por eso que tienes que estar presente en la situación y el momento porque no importa lo que te hayas preparado, no hay guión ­ es un evento espontáneo donde cualquier cosa puede pasar.

Si reto a alguien, intento empezar una conversación desde el punto A: vale empecemos disfrutando del ritmo (groove) y algo de top rocking y veamos como el otro corresponde con eso. Después puedes pasar a drops etc. ­­ Es genial cuando el otro tiene experiencia, vas a divertirte un montón porque él o ella puede leer lo que sucede.

Batallar es también un juego mental. “ Tienes la responsabilidad, si te faltan al respeto, de decidir si deberías mantener la calma o enfadarte. Personalmente, pienso que consigues una experiencia mejor si mantienes la calma dentro de la batalla, especialmente en el círculo porque puede durar una eternidad ­­-- Si me enfado siento que he perdido el control” dice Pepito.

También tienes que recordar que si eres grosero en el círculo nada detiene a tu oponente de hacer algo. “ La escena no es lo que era y hoy en día llegar a las manos no sucede tan a menudo, pero siempre trato de recordar que nada detiene a tu oponente si decide darte un tortazo --­­ La gente hace todos estos gestos “por el bien de la batalla” pero si no fuese una situación preparada no entrarían ahí. En una competición hay un sentimiento de seguridad. Puedes hacer lo que te dé la gana y luego darte la mano con el oponente porque todo el mundo está mirando. Puede incluso que te hayas mofado de la apariencia de tu oponente o su etnia, pero eso es llevarlo demasiado bajo. No tienes por qué hacer eso” Si no quieres dar una imagen irrespetuosa está bien que tengas presente que en otras culturas la gente puede tomar ciertos comportamientos de forma diferente. Algo normal en tu país puede ser muy ofensivo para otra persona.

Una habilidad importante también es saber cuando acabar la batalla en el momento oportuno, para que no se prolongue hasta tal punto que ninguno puede bailar adecuadamente. “ Pienso que te das cuenta de cuando acaba la batalla debido a la calidad. Quizás la conversación se acabó, cada pregunta que preguntaste o se te preguntó la respondiste ­­-- Siempre intento acabar sin dejar a mi ego tomar el control”.


Patio de recreo

Una vez Pepito dejó de competir, al principio sintió que eso era el fin del juego para él. Pero luego se dió cuenta de lo mucho que hay para explorar en las jams aparte de la competición, un nuevo mundo se abrió ante sus ojos, como un nuevo patio de recreo donde puedes hacer lo que desees. “ Es tan emocionante. cuando vas ahí todo cambia. No tienes sentido del tiempo. --­­ Definitivamente voy a un jam bajo tres condiciones. Sabiendo que habrá círculos, porque si no, no hay realmente un motivo para que yo asista. Obviamente la música tiene que ser buena. Y tiene que haber alguien que pueda darme una sensación de subidón en mi cuerpo”.

Participar en una batalla organizada puede parecer más fácil para muchos porque no es tan personal sino una situación controlada. Se anuncia tu nombre para subir al escenario y haces lo tuyo. Pero cuando vas y retas a alguien en el círculo tienes que ganarte a ti y a tus miedos. “ Mirar en los ojos, a alguien a quien admiras tanto, es algo difícil de hacer cuando tu corazón está al límite y estás casi a punto de mearte en los pantalones. Ese es el mayor reto. Especialmente porque eres vulnerable. El otro puede simplemente faltarte al respeto”.

Siempre puedes prepararte y prepararte para una batalla en el círculo pero al final no puedes saber realmente lo que va a pasar, pero eso es lo más fascinante. “ Sólo tienes que leer la situación lo mejor que puedas ­­-- El objetivo principal para mi es que tiene que ser espontáneo. Esa es una de las mayores razones por las que sólo batallo en círculos y no voy a competiciones. Para mi personalmente son un poco secas. Pero cada cual haga lo suyo ­­-- Pero si has entrenado sólo para ganar competiciones y te retan en un círculo, quizás tengas un par de rondas pero pronto te das cuent de que no tienes vocabulario. Puede que te quemes fácilmente.”

Las responsabilidades a la hora de retar.

Batalla en círculos puede enseñarte algo sobre ti mismo cada vez. “ Pienso que la meta del hip hop es encontrarte a tí mismo y seguir poniéndote a prueba con tu oponente”.

Después de una batalla obviamente quieres sentirte bien contigo mismo y que has tenido éxito. Pero retar a alguien con un un nivel bajo de habilidad o alguien que obviamente no está en una buena situación sólo para poder aplastarlo no te hace muy valiente. Eso es engañarte a ti mismo. Para poder estar verdaderamente orgulloso de tí mismo después de una batalla deberías querer retar a alguien cuando están en su mejor momento no e su peor.

Se oye con frecuencia que un b­boy o b­girl siempre debe estar listo. La esencia de la batalla es la conversación así que si ves a alguien descansando, bebiendo una cerveza o quizás a estado juzgando el día entero, no puedes esperar que la otra persona esté en la misma frecuencia al segundo. La persona que reta tiene la responsabilidad de leer la situación y empezar la batalla de tal modo que ambos están en la misma página. De otro modo no será una buena conversación y seguramente el retado lo sentirá como una falta de respeto. “ Una vez batallé con un b­boy que tiene en torno a mi edad, tiene como 37­38. Él había estado ahí de pie todo el rato así que empecé despacio porque él estaba frío. Por supuesto no quieres acribillarlo desde el principio, quieres verlo cuando esté en caliente y por supuesto va a tomar un tiempo. Luego vas a sacar lo mejor de ello y te sorprenderás con lo que se le ocurre.”

“ Muchos b­boys y b­girls, una vez llegan a cierto nivel, sienten que están en su zona segura, así que pueden relajarse. ¡Y está bien! Pero pienso que todos están ahí fuera por sí mismos y no creo que haya que pedir permiso para hacer nada. Esa es opinion sobre el hip hop. Puedes hacer lo que sea que quieras mientras lo hagas con buen gusto, de acuerdo a la etiqueta, no tienes por qué ser irrespetuoso. Eso es lo que me encanta del hip hop.”

Sin embargo, sólo después de poner tu ego a un lado, tu niño interior está listo para jugar en el patio del recreo que es el cypher. Olvida tu ego y eres libre. 

Desarrolla tus habilidades de battle en b-boy dojo AQUI

May 5, 2016 18:1111 months ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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Cypher Playground - interview with b-boy Pepito

Written by AT.

Organized competitions and set up battles have been around for some time and they keep growing but the original way of battling is a cypher battle with no judges and time limits involved. Cypher battles and even the cyphers are in the verge of extinct while the young generation grows into a new kind of set up at jams - a set up where fame and price money are often the motivation. Nevertheless rocking and battling in circles can give you the kind of experiences that can’t be compared to organized competitions. These experiences are much more personal and they can also teach you a lot about yourself. It can be like an exploration deep into your own mind and soul. An organized battle can seldom get you to a similar state of flow. In the end, in a jam where people rock circles everyone can feel like a winner. To open up the world of circle battles we interviewed one of the masters of battling in the circles, b-boy Pepito from 7 Dollars crew. We had an inspiring one-hour discussion with him and here it is in a nutshell. 

“Respect has to be the first thing”

Many think that in a battle you have to behave aggressively and be hostile cause that’s the stereotypical assumption of a battle. However there’s no reason to make a battle too personal if it actually isn’t. Cypher battling done is a classy and styleful matter can be a very respective exchange with the opponent in which you test yourself and share a moment with someone. In order to not to give a disrespectful impression, the call out has to be done with style and with a correct timing. “You have to read the situation. It's like crossing a street. You have to read the traffic and which direction a person is looking at. The opportunity offers itself every time. I always try to look for little gestures that the people are doing whether they are moving little bit more to the rhythm so that I know that they are already going to come out”, Pepito says.

In order to be 100 % true to yourself during the actual battle one has to figure out the core reasons why you’re doing the battle or calling somebody out. Do you do it for fame or for self-development? If you are battling someone out of respect then you don't need to start acting aggressive just for the sake of battle. If someone takes offence when you’re calling him / her out with respect at least you know your personal motives. “A lot of people take offense to being called out. It has happened to me a lot of times. But as long as you're sure of what you're doing then that's cool. But in terms of etiquette respect has to be the first thing. - - You don’t want to disrespect someone you really admire or kill the hopes of a young guy or girl who's coming up”, says Pepito.

How can you call someone out without them regarding it disrespectful then? 

A call out has to be very clear so that the other side truly understands that a battle is on. “There are certain gestures that you can make with your body - - If it's an older person then possibly shake their hand first, maybe say something. Sometimes you need to be verbal about what you do. I remember a couple of years ago Ata came to UK. He was kind of going of in the circle and Alien Ness was on the side and Ata was really aware that he kind of kept facing Ness. So he reached out to him, grabbed his hand and said: “I respect you, I'm not calling you out.” Just showing respect so Ness kind of understood what was going on.” 

A battle is a discussion between both sides. If it doesn’t have a connection or exchange between the battlers then it’s just dancing in a circle. In a great battle both sides are on a same frequency and both are building up the flame of the battle. Unlike in a competition battle, in a cypher battle you can’t know beforehand what’s going to happen and how many rounds you’ll have to go. It’s a build up. That’s why you have to be present in the situation and the moment because no matter how much you’ve prepared there’s no script – it’s a spontaneous event where anything can happen. “If I call somebody out I try to start a conversation from point A: okay let's start with the groove and some top rocking and see how the other one can match with that. After that you can move on to drops etc. - - It's so dope when a guy or girl is experienced cause you're going to have a lot of fun cause they can read what is happening.” 

Battling is also a mental game. “You have the responsibility if they diss you or disrespect you whether you should stay calm or get upset. Me personally I think you get a better experience out of it if you stay calm within the battle especially in a circle cause it can go on forever. - - If I get upset I feel like I've lost control”, Pepito says. You must also remember that if you act rude in a circle nothing stops your opponent from doing anything. “The scene is not what it was before and nowadays getting physical doesn’t really happen that often but I always try to remember that nothing stops your opponent from slapping your face. - - People do all these gestures “for the sake of battle” but if it wasn’t a set up situation they wouldn’t go there. In a competition there is a sense of safety. You can do whatever you want and then shake hands because everyone’s watching. You might have dissed your opponent’s appearance or ethnicity but that’s just taking it so low. You don’t need to be doing that”. If you don’t want to give a disrespectful image it’s also good to be aware that in other cultures people can regard different behavior in different ways. Something that’s normal in your country can be very offensive for someone else.

An important skill is also to know when to finish a battle at a right time, so it doesn’t go on and on to the point that neither one can no longer dance properly. “I think you kind of know when a battle is finished because of the quality. Maybe the conversation is over, every question you asked or you were asked you answered. - - I always try to finish it without my ego being attached”



Once Pepito stopped doing competitions he first felt like that was the game over for him. But then he realized how much there is in jams to explore on top of the competitions and a whole new world opened up, like a new playground where you can do anything you wish. ”It is so exciting. When you go there everything chances. You have no sense of time. - - I definitely go to a jam on three conditions. Knowing that there's going to be circles, cause if there is no circles there is actually no point of me even attending. Obviously the music has to be good. And there has to be somebody who is going to give me a sense of rush in my body”.

Taking part in an organized battle might feel easier for many because it’s not that personal but a controlled situation. Your name is announced to come on the stage and you do your thing. But when you go and call somebody out in a circle you have to win yourself and your fears. “To look at somebody in the eyes, someone you admire so much is a hard thing to do when your heart is bounding and you're like almost pissing in your pants. That's like the biggest test. Especially cause you're vulnerable. This guy or girl can just diss you”

You can always prepare and prepare for a circle battle but eventually you can never know what will happen but that’s the whole excitement. “You just have to read the situation the best you can - - The whole point for me is that it has to be spontaneous. That's one of the biggest reasons why I battle only in a circle and why I don't do competitions. For me personally it's a little bit stale. But each do their own. - - But if you’ve trained only to win competitions and you get called out in a circle you might have a couple of rounds but soon you realize you have no vocabulary. You might get burned easily”.

The responsibilities when calling out

Battling in circles can teach you something about yourself every time. “I think the goal in hip hop is for you to find yourself and you just keep testing yourself with your opponent.” 

After a battle you obviously want to feel good about yourself and that you have succeeded. But calling out somebody with a low level of skill or someone who’s obviously not in a good situation just so that you can crush somebody does not make you very brave. That’s just cheating yourself. In order to honestly be proud of yourself after a battle you’d want to call out someone when they’re at their best, not their weakest. 

It is often heard that a b-boy or a b-girl should always be ready. The essence of a battle is about the conversation so if you see someone chilling, drinking a beer or maybe he’s judged the whole day, you can not expect the other person to be on the same frequency in a second. The person behind the call out has a responsibility to read the situation and start the battle in a way that both of you are on a same page. Otherwise it will not become a good conversation and most likely the one getting called out will feel disrespected. “Once I battled a b-boy who is around my age, he's like maybe 37-38. He had been standing there the whole time so I started slow because he's cold. Of course you don't want to blast him with everything, you want to see him warmed up and of course it's going to take a while to get the mode of going. Then you're going to get the best out of it and you’ll be surprised what he comes out with”.

“A lot of b-boys and b-girls once they reach a certain height they feel that they are at their safety zone so they can just chill. And that's fine! But I think everybody is out on their own and I don't think you need to ask permission to do anything. That's my take on hip hop. You don't have to be disrespectful but you can do what ever you want unless it's done in a tasteful way, according to the etiquette. That's what I love about in hip hop”. 

Nevertheless, only after putting your ego to the side, your inner child is ready to play on the cypher playground. Let go off your ego and you’re free.

Upgrade your battle skills with Dojo's instructions HERE

May 4, 2016 05:4311 months ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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First mix is out: Funk Revival by Focus!

The first one of the mix series has now been released: The Funk Revival by Focus Flow Mo! It's available for free at our soundcloud. Any members we meet during our trips will receive a free physical copy of the mix.

During the last years the music in the breaking scene has changed a lot. It has become very computerised and many dj’s experiment with new genres. I feel it has come with a cost. Breaking is a funk style, originally done to the breaks of the records and it’s the connection between the music and the dance that has always made the dance funky. But if the music’s not funky and has no soul then how can the dance have any? presents: The Funk Revival Mix!

The Funk Revival mix keeps it organic! Full of rhythms and grooves both old and new from the crates around the world mixed with moderate tempos for experienced and very selective taste. Hopefully it makes you forget your sets and makes you honestly rock in the moment. The Funk Revival is here to help you b-boys and b-girls create new rhythms, styles and flows.

Presented by the B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo

Dug, mixed & hosted by Focus of the Flow Mo Sounds & Saiffa - Flow Mo Dance School.

Finishing words by Darrel “Ice Kid Dee” Hardin Second 2 None from the documentary B-Boy Mercenaries

Cover Art artistic guidance and photoshop help: Mikko “Wartecs” Bjork

Equipment used Technics 1200 MK2’s & Pioneer 707 mixer.

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Apr 29, 2016 10:2712 months ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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Hip Hop Naming 101: The Traditions Behind B-boy / B-girl Names

When we are talking about b-boy or b-girl character we are not talking about the single moves like many incorrectly assume. We’re talking about the whole big picture including the way you dress to the way you talk. The way you carry yourself. You are responsible for creating your own reputation.

First impression is important and there’s only one chance to make it. One of the things that is responsible for creating the impression is the b-boy / b-girl name you have. For a b-boy / b-girl the name is a precious thing, your alias as a hip hop artist. If you enter a competition that’s the first thing that people hear when you’re announced on the stage. If the word about your skills starts spreading your name is what people use and if they have never seen you before that is what gives the first impression. And you can't expect people to take you seriously if your name is b-boy Chicken!

If your mission is to make a name on the international scene it’s a good idea to pick a name that is readable and understandable also outside of your country. In a competition it’s hard to be remembered by the judges if there is 100 names on the list that look and sound like “Zskrkvski”.

What’s a good way to pick a name then?

A great name is made of something that's meaningful for you. On the other hand it can describe you or your style. For example Focus is called Focus because his way to practice has always been very focused. Focus was also into photography and in photographty there’s a term called focus point. If the camera’s lens in in focus all the rays of light come together in the focus point and the picture is sharp. Focus wanted to become the focus point of b-boy skills.

A common way is also to add an adjective to a name or it’s initial that describes your style, for example Ken Swift, Kool Herc or E-Swift. That makes the name more complete. Small word play is a good way to add more flava to your real name. Take Hatsolo for example. His last name is Hattunen which basically means small hat in Finnish. As a kid he used to watch Star Wars and became a fan of Hansolo. When he trained his hat would fall off so he would continue the solo doing tricks with the hat. Combining all this made perfect sense and the name Hatsolo was born. Later he got an extension the White Gorilla which describes his style in dancing even more.

The traditional way is to be named by someone else. AT was named by her teacher Taya after her initials. In the mid 2000’s many Finnish b-boys got renamed when they traveled to New York to learn from the pioneers of this dance. Receiving a name from your master is a big honour and you represent it with a different kind of pride. Passing a name to the next generation is another traditional way. For example b-boy Kid Glyde of the Dynamic Rockers carries on the legacy of his father, b-boy Glyde as well as dj Lean Rock aka Lil Lean, the son of Lean-Ski of the Floor Lords.

Common ways to spice up your name is to add -one, -rock or -ski at the end. -One simply meaning you’re the baddest b-boy, the number one and the king of the hill. The tradition of adding numbers after names runs deep with likes of Taki 183, first writer to gain fame with his tag in NYC. He added his street number at the end of his tag (thanks for the reminder for our member Element3). In hip hop to rock means you’re doing something exceptionally well. You rock the floor, you rock the mic or your rock the wall. Added to the end of your name it represents the fact that you rock. For the -ski we’ve heard different meanings. One story was that in the 1970’s there was Polish people in the neighbourhoods and the end of their names sounded cool as ice. The street kids wanted their names to sound as cool so they adapted the end of “Polanski’s” to the names. Another story says that once drugs started flooding the streets of New York, the dealers were the cool guys because of their wealth so the people from the streets looked up to them. The ski extension was added to names to make them sound cooler because like Jay-Z raps there was “so much coke that you can run a slalom”.

Anagrams have been very popular especially in the 90’s. Anagram means that every letter has a separate meaning. For example KRS-ONE:



Overall the most important thing is that your name has a meaning to you. That way you’re proud to carry it and build your reputation on top of it. Sometimes even the silly names start to make sense after you hear the stories behind them. This blog spawned a great discussion on the Dojo forum. What’s the story behind your name?

Nov 26, 2015 13:061 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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Few thoughts after judging the Red Bull BC One 2015

Back home from Rome. First time I went to BC One was 2005 in Berlin. The event has come a long way from that time and I’m happy to say this year was a good experience. Here’s some thoughts that came to my mind after sitting on the judges bench.

The judges in the major events have a great responsibility. The calls they make of course get a lot of heat and feedback whatever direction the judges point but probably give a career to the winner and get the b-boy / b-girl world’s attention. That’s why of course it’s important to approach it with a certain dignity and simply take it a little serious.

Judging to me is like meditation. When judging an important event all these thoughts arise but you need to sweep them away from your mind, breathe in and out and be present, not thinking about the upcoming battles, other peoples reactions or other judges calls at all. If you’re hired to judge you need to trust in your experience and vision of what you believe is right.

I judge round per round, I always have. For BC One last year’s Kozen system was left behind and we were given iPads with round per round system. The battles were still three rounds per battle (five in the final) and the winner was announced after the battle with cards. The new iPad system didn’t work, the connections were malfunctioning the whole night. It could be distracting when something’s not right but I still managed to pay 100 % attention to every round. The rounds were meant to be published afterwards but because in half the battles the system failed I doubt they will. Personally I would prefer the Kozen on a stage like this. The transparency brings electricity in the air and a certain tension during the battles already. It also explains better what each judge seeks for while judging.

So what about the dancing this year? The dance is over 40 years old now and getting more mature. With that being said we still must remember it’s a dance form so the connection with the music has to be there. Especially on this level in 2015. There is a big difference on rhythmic mechanic steps and trained rhythmic movement and actually feeling and connecting with the beats. This is something you can see better live and something you can feel when you’re sitting there in the front row. Going back to footage is cool but it’s never the same as the live experience. Seeing someone really connect with the music is hard to beat with moves. Some people had it and some still need to work on it.

Originality is another current topic in the scene. Originality is a funny word, it has a double meaning. To originate of course means to create, to come up with something new we haven’t seen before, to take things to another level. But at the same time “original” means something authentic, something that’s pure and connected with history and tradition. In Finnish we even have two different words for these two meanings: “omaperäinen” and “alkuperäinen”. So to truly be original as an artist there has to be a connection of the two meanings. To be creative and take things to another level but still have a connection with the tradition and maintain the original form. Making up new moves is easy. But to do it with a great form is hard. Add flow into the mix and we’re talking about master status. That to me is the hard way, the way of the b-boy.

One more topic that must be discussed is the music. Like most know, with the live streams the companies have copyright issues so the music has to be produced specially for the events. This creates an issue in the scene because the music is such an essential part of what we do. The dj’s dedicate their lives on finding the funkiest music on the planet of different genres. This work is swept away once the music is entirely produced. The expertise of the greatest musicians in the planet like James Brown for example is kept separate, the groove that birthed this dance. I don’t think it does justice for the dance and I hope this issue can be resolved because many of the main events already stream live. Hopefully in the future the original artists are also able to get royalties for creating the tunes we get busy to, this would be only right. Personally I love Marrrtin’s beats. But for the future for the whole event I miss funk that was played live and a couple of classics. Produced beats are a great part of the variety of music but not the whole night.

Big up to the top 16, some battled the hard way to get there of total 1500 competitors and some were chosen directly with a wild card. Congrats to Victor, who’s been on a mission this year taking three major battles Silverback, Freestyle Session and now Red Bull BC One. The way he connects different elements of the dance is incredible. Special mentions to Kazuki Rock, Thomaz, Lil Zoo and Bruce Almighty, you guys surprised me in a good way this year. If this is where we are now I’m looking forward for the years to come.

See the full night HERE.

Nov 16, 2015 14:341 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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The Cobra Attacking the Eagle - Poe One on the History of Airchair

We met Poe One in the European Concrete Jam in Switzerland and we wanted to do an interview with him about the freeze that's nowadays commonly known as the airchair. Not too many know the history of the move so we thought that it's an important story to share. How was it created and how does Poe One feel about it becoming universal?

If you didn't know yet Poe One has a new clothing brand called Civilian Issue. Below he opens up the consept behind it.

Oct 18, 2015 15:161 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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Freestyle Session B-Girl Battle teams up with!

We're very glad to announce that will collaborate with Freestyle Session World Final's b-girl battles this year! So get ready, going down in Los Angeles on November 7th-8th and will be off the hook! The judges line up is looking super official with Asia One, Jeskilz and AT.

For all the info of the weekend make sure to check out

Oct 3, 2015 18:201 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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B-Girl Dojo: September highlights inspirational women in hip hop

For the whole September 2015 B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo highlights inspirational women in hip hop by picking one strong female per day. In the man driven culture of hip hop there has always been influential women involved that don't often get the recognition they deserve.

Follow the Dojo at facebook and instagram to find out the pick of the day and the stories behind them:




Sep 1, 2015 13:351 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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B-Boys Fly Girls - A Tribute to Bomfunk MC’s

In case you fell on the generation that’s kind of young for Run DMC’s It’s Like That, one thing you probably know about is Bomfunk MC’s. We’ve noticed today’s younger generation of breakers might not have even heard about them, so it’s time to take a journey to the beginning of the 2000’s.

The Bomfunk MC’s story started when an 1980’s MC/bboy Raymond Ebanks aka B.O.W, dj Gismo and dance music producer JS16 teamed up. Their first single was called Uprocking Beats from 1998, which rhymed about breaking on top of a dance music background. It’s music video featured the young Antopio with a playstation b-boy game theme, way before B-boy the game. In the video Antopio battled his way as b-boy Bomfunk to the final of the game against young Lil’ P, T-Flow, Hypnotic and Twister. Uprocking Beats became a hit but the best was yet to come.

Two years later the band released their single Freestyler. Freestyler became huge, the number one selling single in Europe for the year 2000. It’s video also featured the b-boys from Savage Feet Crew, from which some of the members moved on to Flow Mo by 2002. Freestyler was everywhere and after the music video every kid wanted to learn the moves from the subway station scene at Hakaniemi Station, Helsinki.

Nope, Bomfunk wasn’t hip hop music but their career made great things for breaking as well. Thousands of people got into the scene because of their music videos and tours. We’ve met people from Australia to Poland to Canada who have told us they started because of them. In Finland the breaking scene reached it’s peak right after the single. Bomfunk always featured the b-boys on their live shows as well and not as background dancers but in the front to boost the show. Breakers were an inseparable part of the show and fans of the band also expected to see the b-boys on stage every time. pays homage to Bomfunk for their worldwide influence and helping to put Finnish b-boying on the world map.

Ps. If you haven’t seen it, also check out the lesser known Uprocking Beats remix video with it’s kung fu style battle scene featuring guest appearances by Freeze, Jam One and Pablo of MovesPerMinute Crew, Sweden. Props to all the b-boys and b-girls on the videos above: Antopio, Lil'P, Hypnotic, Wartecs, T-Flow, Twister. 

Aug 17, 2015 09:371 year ago

B-Boy & B-Girl Dojo
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