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IBE Focus on Footwork battle is back, check out the story!

Table of Contents

 Let’s check out the story behind IBE Focus on Footwork battle  and what makes it what it is.

Back in 2008 I finally got my first chance to go to IBE. Most of the time we would rock regular battles, 1on1’s, 2on2’s and crew battles, but I did some footwork battles before, Mighty4 two years before for example in the States with a super heavy line up. After seeing footage of the earlier IBEs like Machine killing it in the footwork battle in 2005 I had to give it a shot this time. I trained hard for it, felt I was ready and ended up taking the first place against Robin from TOP 9 in the final.

IBE Footwork Battle final 2008 Focus against Robin
Later the same year I rocked the IBE room in the UK B-Boy Champs and ended up winning the footwork battle out there. After this the next year returning to IBE to defend the tittle I managed to win it again against Tony Rockfrom TOP 9.

After a very successful year Tyrone the organizer of IBE gave me a call. He said they’d discussed with the team and they wanted to change the name of the concept. If it was cool with me they would rename it IBE Focus Footwork battle (later changed to IBE Focus on Footwork) Of course I said yes, for me it was a great honor.

The Guidelines

We sat down and discussed what would be the best concept possible. The problem with a battle of this scale is that when you get two hundred plus people entering, often all of them don’t have a really clear vision of what footwork is. And don’t get me wrong, people on the judges panel discuss and build on this every year as well. Good example on this is Storm’s perspective in which he recalls back rocks as part of footwork when personally I see these as two beautiful but different and separate aspects of the dance.

Another aspect is the generational aspect of footwork. If you ask the original Bronx b-boys from the 70’s many of them see footwork as shuffles, rotations sweeps and spins. Where as for someone from the 2000’s generation it’s natural to see original concepts, knee sweeps, elbow rocks etc as part of the package.

So instead of setting strict rules on what you can and can not do we built guidelines. They were made for the people entering the battle for educational purpose so they would know what is appreciated and looked for. And in case they lose it’s possible the answer to “why did I lose” is already there in the guidelines.

First time I rocked the nailing your foot concept, idea given to me by Storm
Guidelines for the IBE Focus Footwork Battle, what it takes to win and why your might get eliminated:

  • Master your basic steps, styles, flow, directions and FORM
  • No freezes, backrocks, dynamics (known for most as power moves)
  • Originality is a must
  • Musicality is a must
  • No repeats

Dope footwork is eventually pretty simple. You take away the stuff that doesn’t belong there and just flow. You master your basics and add your own originality on top. A lot of people have only one style of footwork, while a BBOY with ill footwork aims to master all the styles: the basic rotational style, extended style footwork, kneesweep/prezel style, kneerock style, elbow rock style etc. Even threading if done in a footwork context. Mastering directions means switching ways, going from side to side, front to back, up to down and so on. If you’re only going around in circles that doesn’t necessarily get you too far.

By judging form we mean the shape of your footwork, does it look fresh or not. Your stance tells a lot about your footwork, it defines how everything else looks. Form is the most important of these guidelines on judging a footwork battle.

No freezes and back rocks is pretty self explanatory but we’ve seen people throw air freezes in a footwork battle so it had to be put up there. Dynamics is up there because I actually consider a lot of my footwork steps power moves. So saying no power moves would be too limiting, a dope bboy IS a power move!

And don’t forget it’s a battle not just a showcase so battle skills are also appreciated!

focus ibe
-Focus / bboydojo.com
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