Friday, January 14, 2011

One On One With A B-Boy: Sammy Kim

He's not that tall standing at 5'7, but pretty lean and toned from the looks of it. His muscular arms were what stood out the most when I shook his large, rough hands. But then was even more of a peculiar sight to see some scarring on both of his elbows as well as his hands. Nonetheless, that's the physique of most b-boys: toned, short, and scarred.

This particular b-boy is named Sammy Kim. Although an amateur and not the best of the best, his work still interested me in aspects of experience in battling and breakin' in front of a crowd of people. From California where b-boying is heavily immersed in the pop culture (Step-Up, ABDC, LXD), Sammy was an interesting fellow who shared his interests and life as a b-boy.

Q: How did you start b-boying?

A: I began b-boying when I was a freshman in high school. It was something that everybody started know...the cool kids. I didn't start breakin' just because the cool kids did it...but because I wanted to. The way b-boys twirled around in the air like that, defying gravity. That was pretty sweet when I first saw such a thing. You know that b-boying is fundamentally a dance with a circular pattern? It was a lot harder than it seemed, and using that "circular motion principle" didn't help that much. Anyways, I started b-boying freshman year of high school because I saw the cool kids breakin'. (laughs)

Q: Did you ever get hurt or break a bone when breakin'? Do you know anybody who has?

A: Well yeah. You're supposed to get hurt when you're breakin'. B-boying is physically throbbing and painful when you're first learning windmills or toprocks. It takes a lot of effort to pull off those moves and it's not that fun to get bruises all over your body. When I first started breakin' the footwork (six step) wasn't that bad because you don't slam your body on the ground. Now when I was learning windmills and moves that had you twist, turn, and fall on your back, that's where it started hurting. I got bruises mainly on my shoulders, hips, and back. But all that hurting is necessary because it gradually conditions you for more advanced moves that strain your body even more. Sometimes, I get cuts and stuff like that but only when the wood floors got some board sticking out. But I've only gotten bruises and cuts so far. I try not to get too fancy with b-boying (laughs). Personally, I don't know anyone who has broken a bone. I'm sure some people have broken a bone or two due to calcium deficiency and shit, but yeah...I don't know anyone who has. The worst injury I've heard is when you're doing headspins, you have a slight chance of ruining your spinal column near your neck. All that pressure building up as you spin gets too much for that one strand of support you call your spine. But hey...the chances are slim to none so most b-boys still headspin. But they still be as safe as possible by wearing beanies or a helmets to cushion their head.

breakdance pose asian

Q: I know that you currently aren't part of crew yet. Do you plan on joining one or making one? If so, what are you plans on making the crew?

A: Probably...crews are basically formed to battle and create that family-like sense among you and your b-boy friends. Most battles need a crew so I wouldn't, unless you want to battle, make a crew. For me, I'm not that serious into b-boying yet but I hope that soon enough I will make or join a crew to starting battling. Plus, I don't really have enough people to make a crew. You need at least five people in my opinion to form a crew and I only have three including myself, Andrew, and Jay. When you're forming a crew you want to diversify your strengths and have good chemistry with one another. It's just like basketball. You need the point guard, center, etc. In b-boying you need the power moves, footwork, all-around, speed, and strength. On top of that, you need one unifying style. At least, that's what I would look for.

Q: Is b-boy fashion important out on the floor? What are some of the best and worst outfits you've seen?

A: Clothes are considered pretty important, believe it or not. It's actually quite sad if you think about it. know what they say. You gotta' look good to play good. (laughs) Some people get pretty decked out, matching their shoes, jackets, and shirts. In my opinion, wearing a nice outfit boosts a person's confidence in battle and it actually makes your moves look better. Honestly, people really do base their judgement on what makes you look good, besides the moves. The coolest outfit I've seen...that's hard. I'm not much into checkin' out what other guys wear but as long as there's some coordination in the colors of their clothes, it looks good to me. The worst I've seen actually did match with colors and patterns and all. But it was this 80's outfit that looked ridiculous. It had the triangular patterns like in the old space video games..."Space Invaders" or something like that. The clothes were black with green and purple triangular patterns...did I mention that it was a training suit? The guy was pretty good at dancing but the whole outfit just made him look like a fool.

Q: Do you plan on b-boying in the future as you get older? Possibly a career?

A: I plan on b-boying until I get married or so, but seriously I'm not that much into b-boying. Not enough to make it into my career, that is. I'm studying film so that's where I want to be headed, not dancing. I'll still enjoy dancing as I get older and when I'm married, I'm not giving up entirely either. I'll want to learn how to pop (the robot dance style) because that's not as hard on the joints as breakin'. B-boying's for young people and I intend not to get arthritis at a young age.

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