FROM THE SOURCE-
On my 3rd try I made it a reality. I got to Moscow on Monday before the battle so I had some good amount of days to try and adjust to the time zone change. It was a 12 hour difference so it was like night and day. First evening I was there i hit the practice room. Got about 2 hours of practice in. A lot was on my mind leading up to the battle. The whole week I kept my mind on bboyn. Off the internet off of anything that was to distracting. No camera, no computer, just a clear mind as possible. The question I had from judging and seeing all of these international battles this year was, Can I hang? do I have what it takes? I know many believed I did but as many did many didnt. When you dont battle as often as you normally do, you begin to question yourself. I knew I had experience, for every flip I had a freeze, for every power move I had my own move. This is bboyn! I heard Ken Swift say footwork is the rawest part of our dance. Which is true it is what separates us from all the other dances. That is the part many forgot about when they hit the BCOne floor. We all gotta remember this is still a bboy battle. Regardless if it is a competition. It is still BBoyn!
This year the line up was pretty well rounded and pretty solid I believed that any one of the guys could win it. It just depended on who was on point. Leading up to the battle we had practices and while practicing you see some amazing stuff being done. Its almost a way of intimidation. One thing that one must remember is that in battle anything can happen and sticking to your guns is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Then came media day the day before the battle when you do interviews for international media. Feels like Super Bowl week, but for bboyn! A cool over all experience. During this time I received the same amount of interviews I received when I judge the event and that was only 2. Usually when they have high expectations you will get 4 or 5 even more sometimes. Everything was good for me because once done I hit the floor and tried it out getting a good warm up on it. The least amount of mental stress the better, you want to go into a battle as calm as possible. After media day the announcement of the battle was presented and we found out who we were facing. Always being the most anticipated wait of the week besides seeing who ends up winning. Its hard because right off the bat you have to battle someone hard. So it is like being in a final round every round. Then you also see the bracket and get an idea who you might see in the later rounds if you advance. The strategizing begins!
Finally the day of battle arrives. The whole week I just wanted it to happen. I wanted to get it over with. The 2 and a half months of practice and changes I made for this battle was what I wanted to get done. I did not know if it was going to pay off right then and there or something that would take time to show. The whole day I was free up til about 3 hours before the battle. Walking into the event venue you begin to feel the atmosphere the energy. The whole set up just looked amazing, but I could not get caught up on the hyped environment. Still had to remain focused. Leading up to the first round is always the most nerve racking because you do not want to loose in the first round. About 30 minutes before the event my battle began. I started warming up getting loose breaking a sweat throwing down some ideas. Luckily I found a dark corner where no one was at to get full concentration.
Then came the moment I had been waiting for. 4 years after my last appearance on the Red Bull BCone stage I walked on to battle Soso from France. Already breaking a sweat, body loose I felt good. We faced each other soon as we hit knuckles he walked back I stayed centered with no time to waste the track felt right I hit the floor none of this waiting shit I was here for a battle win or loose I was going to put up a fight! I just let my self flow to what felt right in that moment. I only had an idea for 2 moves going into the battle and I did both of them in the beginning of my rounds after that I did what I felt was needed to win.
The 2nd round was a tough one. He was the one guy I did not want to battle, my boy El Nino. We both rep Squadron so it was going to be awkward battling him. The whole battle it felt that way. Thats all I can say about this one.
In the semi final I had to battle the defending champ and one of the favorites. I went into this battle with the same feeling as the first one. Knowing I had to go first I could not let him come in and make me follow his pace, but rather the other way around. Attack and deliver was my main strategy. Hit variety and as much of it as I could with my movements from footwork to freezes. Using both hands, all levels and striking them all towards him. He is no easy opponent responding at me hard in his own way. In the end it was time for the judges to make their call. Pele=Neguin, lamine=Neguin at this point I was like shit I tried and did what I could. Wing=Rox, Machine=Rox and the last vote came down to Bootuz the build up was intense. When he showed his pick! I felt amazing knowing that I was going to be in the final for my second chance!
This time around I told my self I cant hold back I gotta attack again and this time I will not fail. I had so many moves left in my head I couldnt pin point what I was going to do. I just had an idea that I had to battle the best I could. For the most part i felt blank couldnt remember shit. Then it was time Lil G vs Myself in the final battle this time for a chance to get the title I have been wanting to capture for a while now. I was fighting for something besides that though. I was repping for all the bboys that didnt think you could win an event like this with out flips, with out doing what many others do on that stage. I was there to add to my legacy I was there to prove that the one who was to boring 3 years ago could do it now!
When the battle was done I did not know what to expect I knew I had hit him with variety and not just one type of style or movement. Another thing you have to remember is that we had battled 3 other times each the same night so repetition is a key thing to avoid in battles.
So it came down to the votes. Standing there waiting for the judges to raise their cards my heart was pumping with many thoughts. Pele threw my name up, then Lamine put up Lil G at this point I was like damn here we go again. Wing raised my name, then came Machine when he raised his card I was overwhelmed with excitement it was such an amazing feeling being crowned the new 2011 Red Bull BC One World Champion!
Thanks for reading! the journey continues!
a quick note from my facebook I posted this the day after the battle
I am overwhelmed with all the love and support! I still cant believe that I took home the title! It was a hard road with some tough competition. In the end I am in awe for this major accomplishment in my life. Everything is possible. You can make your goals a reality, just always work hard and never give up! thank you to everyone that believed in me
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