Bboying is one of those things that I get a little of, mostly because of the similarities to gymnastics, but the vastness of the sport eludes me. Paul, who’s married to my friend Ruth, is actually a bboy and he goes to a lot of competitions here in Seoul. So since this is one of the last opportunities to see a bboy competition, I had to go when I was invited.
The studio the competition was held at was tiny, it really should have been standing room only, but they were encouraging people to sit so that more people could see. It was negative something celsius outside, but inside it was stuffy and almost boiling, I can’t imagine what it would be like in the summer time. There were about 66 teams or so competing, but first there was a qualifying round. Here are videos of two groups that I really liked during the qualifying round:
In many ways it felt like being back in uni and at a step show with the different crews coordinating their clothes and colors, etc. There were several memorable shirts, mainly for the wrong reasons, but one I really liked was one that said ‘RUN DMZ’ but in the logo style of the late Run DMC. I’m trying to figure out how to get one.
A couple things that surprised me about bboying in Korea:
- Korea is so big on respect and saving face and so is bboying that I was surprised how seemingly disrespectful the bboys were to people in their own crews. It makes me curious about the intergroup dynamics of the Korean bboy crews because of the mixing of Korean culture which in some regards is very easy to take offense at the slightest remark, gesture, etc., but always to save face, with the bboy culture which is about showing off and not be seen as weak. And on top of that you have to work together as a crew to advance in competitions and contests.
- The other main thing that surprised me was the crotch grabbing and pointing, I think that the bboys watched way too much WWE. It really did turn me off.
- I was and I wasn’t surprised by the lack of bgirls at the event, bboying as the name implies is a very male dominated sport and many of the moves require an amazing upper body strength that females generally do not have.
One of the funnier moment was some guy who I think turned 18 the day before at first was standing next to where I was sitting, then he was half sitting, and finally he was Korean sitting next to me, but it was more like on me. I. of course, was a bit annoyed that my personal space was being so greatly infringed upon by a complete stranger and to laugh at the moment I was have a text conversation with a friend of mine that went something like this:me: Its probably better to stay in the back theres a boy almost sitting in my lap my friend: haha. i see him. yeah i will stay put me: i think he just turned 18 yesterday and i may push him off me before the end my friend: do it! haha me: if you hear a loud angry female yell dude move then im about to or just did
And for dinner it was a burger at Burger King and more of Paul’s great jokes. I’ll miss Paul’s jokes, even if I laugh more at him than at his jokes. 🙂 The movie title by the way is Dear Frankie, I can’t believe that I completely blanked on everything but the synopsis.
All in all it was a fun night and I’m so happy that I went and experienced a bboy competition here in Korea before I left.