Archive for the ‘ Training ’ Category

– Healthy Body Healthy Mind –

I’m trying to get back into shape. It’s a shame that my “best shape” was around 6 years ago and has been a steady decline into fattyness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not obese, but I’m also far from fit!

A few days ago I bought some home gym equipment. I’m looking to develop my triceps, deltoids, pectorals and abs (core) – what I see to be vital muscle groups for popping.

I remember Slick Dogg once discussing the preparation needed before entering a battle. He said you need to limber up; you need to warm up your muscles and stretch those fibres. So when it comes time to dance, your body is well prepared and ready to perform at its best. In essence, you need to treat your body like an athlete would, because dancers are athletes in their own respect.

And I agree. In order to get the most out of your body, you need to know what exactly your body can do. I think sport and exercise is an excellent way of understanding your body’s capabilities. I also agree with what the ancient Romans and Greeks believed: a healthy body is a healthy mind – and I hope that by keeping fit, it will help improve my determination, creativity and co-ordination.

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– Concepts –

I went to see Bboy LB (Floor Riderz) a few weeks ago. He’s a good friend of mine and also the person who first got me into popping. He taught me my first arm/body wave. ūüėÄ Here’s his blog

BBoy LB in action

But anyway, we were discussing freestyling and then got onto the subject of concepts. I’ve heard the word “concepts” thrown around in dance quite a lot, but it was only at that moment did I really start thinking about it some more. I used to think in terms of “moves”. You hit, you wave, do a walkout – and boom. That’s three moves.

Wrong.

A friend of mine, Tee (Justice League Poppers), suggested to stop thinking in terms of “moves”, but to think of them more as concepts. Think of it as a style. I thought to myself: “Sure. Waving, right?” But I just let it at that. I’d never really thought more about it. I basically thought to myself: “Ok, so if I were to turn this armwave into a concept, it just means I need to carry on this wave for longer and do more waving.”

Wrong.

What LB was telling me was that, in essence, concepts are what help tell a story. At least this is my interpretation. You can run out of “moves”, but you can’t run out of concepts. It can be a concept as simple as having one foot stuck to the floor. So you make different angles, shapes and movements around this concept that one of your feet is stuck. It can be as complex as becoming a fantasy character and playing out a scenario.

It feels as if my mind is slowly opening up as I think of more concepts. At the moment I’m playing with isolation ideas and reverse isolation, too. But I also want to play with the concept of magnetism and pivots, since I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It seems as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to explore all these avenues, and it’s a shame that I have a short attention span. ūüė¶

But I have a goal in mind. I’m entering a competition in February, so I need to train HARD. Also it helps keep my mind off things because I’ve been feeling a little down, lately.

Anyway, will write soon!
Peace.

– Maintaining momentum –

I suck at keeping momentum with my training (well, actually, most things…). =_= I’ve had a bit of a hiatus with my popping. Well, I still get down when I can, but I haven’t been TRAINING. Yesterday, after a good few weeks, I had a crack at doing some more intensive training. It was going well until I got distracted. I can only blame myself for that.

I have, however, been watching a lot of videos and reading up on info. I read this interesting post from Jrock. It talked about splitting up your dance into 3 sections:

1 – Sitting in the beat.
2 – Riding the beat.
3 – Freaking the beat.

From what I understand, “sitting in the beat” refers to just keeping to the beat. Basically, for a 4/4 beat, ¬†hitting the 2s and 4s of the beat; or the snares. For example:

# # # # | # # # #

or

** ** ** ** | ** ** ** **

# = a crotchet/full beat
* = a quaver/half beat
| = end of bar.

The red #/* are the (half)beats you’d hit.

“Riding the beat” is just grooving along to the rhythm of the song. Here’s an example:

We can hear the snares on the 2s and 4s, right? Well, to “ride” this beat, we’d be filling in more beats in-between. So instead of hitting just the 2s and 4s you’ll be hitting some of the half beats too.
For example:

* * * * * * * * | * * * * * * * *

or

# # * * # | * * * * * #

 

“Freaking the beat” is playing around with all the little sounds and tying them all together. Literally. I can’t think of a better example than Slim Boogie at 0:51 – 1:06

So there you have it. When I think about it, I believe I can learn a lot from this. It embodies everything. At least, I think so. Sitting in the beat acts as the foundation. It’s the most important for feeling the music and setting the mood. Riding the beat is where the musicality comes in, and also serves as building up the tension. Finally, freaking the beat is where the eye candy comes out and the tension is at its peak. I believe if you capture all three kinds of musicality you are able to convey the get down and throw down theory that Slick Dogg talks about. You provide the highs, lows and middle levels of the performance. The complete package.

I don’t know if everyone will agree with me, or if my definitions are 100% right, but at least it’s food for thought. Right?

– Long time no post – I know, I know! –

I stumbled across this video the other day and thought it’d be good to share to not only my readers (if I have any >_>) but also for reference for myself, if I ever forget.

The part of interest is the info on freestyle battles. The freestyle battles where it really is “free” and all styles can take part. When performing on stage with my peers I always find it difficult since my style of popping is quite basic. I’m more into subtle movements and grooving – this makes it difficult to shine compared with others styles that are more dynamic and explosive: like locking and bboying etc.

Oh, that and the fact that I can be quite shy sometimes. =T Haha but anyway, good video for sure!

– Updates –

Hey, long time no update! I’ve been pretty busy lately, however I took part in a competition recently. I did better than I did last time – made it through the preliminary rounds – but that’s as far as I got. I think I lost for the same reason as the last time I went to Huddersfield: not enough aggression or “throwdown”. But anyway, here’s a recent video of me just messing around in the ol’ backyard. The track’s called “Ain’t No Thang” by Ronald Jenkees. I really recommend buying his albums. A lot of good tunes and the guy’s passionate about what he does, which is always a good thing.

As you can see I’m trying to put more mime, animation and botting into my sets now (and even thinking about doing some tutting! this guy’s tutting’s gotten me inspired =O). I’ve written out this list of moves I need to work on, and really studying my old videos. Hopefully it’ll help me on my throwdowns, since I’m primarily a getdown kind of guy.

I watched this video the other day – and like you all know – I’m a big fan of AKA Kin, but the other guy Do Kyun is freaking SICK! Check him out:

Not only that, word’s out that Do Kyun has also JUST won R16!! This is the only footage I can find so far. It’s the semi finals: Popkun vs Do Kyun.

Enjoy! ūüėČ

– zOMG “new” revolutionary training ideas!! –

So, you can tell from my last post I’ve been looking into ways on how to improve the physical aspect of my dancing. Recently I’ve been researching isometric exercise. It’s really nothing new – but for those not in the know it’s a set of exercises that do not change joint angle and muscle length. Basically isometrics are done statically, instead of dynamically or through a range of motion.

Bruce was famous for pioneering different training disciplines and also a well-known practitioner of isometrics.

What’s interesting is that it has been round for¬†millennia¬†– you can see it in yoga and kung fu exercises, and in the early 20th century a book was written by a Dr A.K. Anokhin¬†describing a set of exercises¬†that instructed one to deliberately tense the muscles in the body as if overcoming resistance; to increase strength and “the ability to tense and relax separate muscle groups.” Perfect for training hits!

To be honest, though, the principle is quite similar to what I’m doing at the moment with my training regime. However, I’m going to look into it some more and see if I can maximise my training and get the best out of the two systems. How exciting! ūüėÄ Here’s one of the websites I’ve been reading this from:¬†http://www.isometric-exercises.com/history.html

Also I’m going to be finishing all my exams soon, which means I’ll have more time for training and hopefully I’ll be doing some more recording! I’ll be sure to upload some onto here for reference, and for anyone reading =)

– TRAINING –

For a while now I’ve been looking to¬†optimize¬†my training regime. Quite simply because I’ve been dancing a while now, but I’m still not quite (ok, nowhere near) at the level I want to be at. Just a week or two back I talked to this guy who I’ve looked up to for a while. He said that when he was at his peak he was doing 2 hours training a day; every day.

Lykwuuut!

To put things into perspective I do like 20 minutes a day! *embarrassed* That night I did some research and found that even top level professionals do about the same amount. Makes sense to stick to it, I guess!

So, here is my new regime:

Warm-up:
15mins -> legs
15mins -> core
15mins -> arms
15mins -> neck

For each section I split it into 3 sets of 5 minutes. And for each of these sets I try different angles and rhythms.

Sync:
15mins -> everything

For this all I’m doing is trying to hit all 4 sections at the same time. Again, I play with different angles and rhythms, but my main goal is to look to synchronise my hits and to get everything on the same¬†wavelength – i.e. I find that I place too much emphasis on my arms and legs when I’m hitting. When I try hitting harder the balance between the 4 gets even worse and my chest and neck get thrown off rhythm.

Conceptualization:
45mins

I actually haven’t went this far yet when I tried this training regime. After getting up to syncing I was exhausted and gleaming with sweat. Not to mention setting out 2 hours of my day for training is clearly quite time consuming. However, the theory is that I spend that 45 mins taking a concept (like waving, botting, etc) and find ways to build, improve, make new combos etc. I’m not too sure about how I ought to divide the time for this yet, because I think a good training session should include a freestyle at the end. I’m not sure if this should take some time up at the end, or in addition. We’ll see!