“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”
If there is one thing in common amongst ALL the bboys I have seen in my 9 years of breaking, it would be this:
Every bboy or bgirl I have met has had some kind of excuse (myself included) on why certain things happen. Why they aren’t motivated. Why they have no time. Why they haven’t improved. Why they can’t do certain things.
But do you know what these are at the end of the day?
They are beliefs that limit you from achieving your potential.
Excuses are merely YOU rationalizing to yourself why certain things happen. They are limiting beliefs that block, hinder and obstruct your potential.
Bar proper guidance and hard work, excuses or limiting beliefs are the biggest cause of WHY you haven’t improved in so many years.
And the biggest realization you will ever have is this:
If you are willing to face the truth, you can actually break that chain of self-rationalizing and start improving.
But how do you do that? How do you start “facing the truth”?
I will show it to you right now.
Because in this post, I will lay out 25 common excuses that bboys and bgirls have made over the 9 years that I have been breaking. Then, I will proceed to hulk-smash them into pieces so you no longer have any excuse to use.
From here on, you’re going to swallow 25 bitter truth pills.
25 Bboy Excuses Limiting Your Improvement Right Now
Bboy Excuse #1: I Am Too Old To Break
You will be surprised at how common this excuse is on the Internet.
I was surprised too.
Here’s one example:
Typically, from what I have seen, people giving this excuse split themselves nicely into 2 categories:
- They are 30 and above and are indeed concerned that they are too old to break (for health reasons obviously.)
- They are 17, have seen Terra and some other 10 year-olds do some crazy combos, and are terrified (Terra-fied?) that they won’t be as good as her.
Let’s address them one-by-one.
For the 30 years old and above
If you belong to this age-range, and am wondering if you should pick up breaking because it looks kinda dangerous, I fully understand your concern.
Your body is no longer young and nimble, and the worst case scenario is that you may even be suffering from a few physical problems yourself (old injuries etc.)
I fully empathize.
I also give you my utmost respect because you’re trying to pick up an “extreme dance” at an older age.
That being said, when it comes to whether you’re too old to break, Henry Ford’s advice rings true:
The truth is — even if you’re at an older age, you can still do anything you want. Yes, even if the activity is physical and may require you to put your body at risk.
Don’t believe me?
Look at these bboys who are late into their 30s, 40s and 50s and are still breaking:
Even outside of breaking, we have grandpas and grandmas doing amazing stuff with their bodies (that you would not even expect.)
- 85-Year Old Marathoner Is So Fast That Even Scientists Marvel
- World’s Oldest Gymnast Aged 86 Performs Jaw Dropping Routine On Parallel Bars
So, it’s not impossible.
Just take the necessary precautions, train carefully, get proper guidance and you should be fine.
For the 17 – 25 years old (or even up to 29)
There are a number of bboys and bgirls who I have met (or even emailed me) that expressed their concern that they are too late to the game.
They have just watched a couple of 10-year old Japanese bboys and bgirls kill it on the dancefloor — and they wonder if they will ever be as good as them. Or if it is even worth the effort to begin trying now.
My answer to you is:
You’re NOT too old to break.
Firstly, as a 28-year old bboy, I feel insulted that you call yourself old. Because I am old. Not you.
It fully depends on your goal of entering this dance.
If you decide to participate in this dance called breaking with the fullest of intentions to become a Red Bull BC One champion, then I might say you’re too old. Not that you won’t have a chance of becoming a winner, but you’ll definitely struggle EVEN MORE to hit that goal.
Let’s not confuse mastery with a hobby (read my bboy guide to learn more about this.)
If you’re just looking for a hobby to participate in, or a new dance to learn and have fun with, then you’re never too old.
Sure, your body may not be as nimble as a 7 year old kid. And yes, you may take a little longer to learn certain moves.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
That doesn’t mean you can’t join the dance, make friends, have fun and become good.
Stop overthinking things — and just have fun with it.
Bboy Excuse #2: Breaking Is Too God-Damn Difficult
To be very honest with you…
This is a legit excuse.
Breaking is HARD.
I am not going to blow smoke up your ass like a motivational speaker and tell you how easy it is, how even your mum can pick it up and blahblahblah.
Because I’m here to tell you the truth.
And the truth is — breaking is tough.
It will batter you physically, mentally and emotionally. You will feel tired, drained, and want to give up.
But guess what?
Even if you change sport, hobby, or interest, it WILL be the same no matter where you go.
Think a basketball athlete isn’t drained from training? Think a football player doesn’t want to give up?
Everything you want to excel at WILL BE HARD.
And that is precisely the point.
Nothing great comes easy. That’s why only a select few ever make it to the top echelons of any sport.
If you want to be good at something, you will have to suck it up and eat the tough times.
You will have to surpass the physical, mental and emotional barriers and get yourself to the next level.
You will have to keep on working hard — practicing, learning and improving in the hopes of getting somewhere.
The good news is — if you’re willing to do so, and if you’re willing to push past the difficult periods, you WILL get somewhere.
Or at the very least, you will enjoy the process of working hard.
If not… If you want something easy…
Watch Netflix. It’s easier (speaking of which, I recommend Louis CK’s 2017.)
Bboy Excuse #3: Breaking Is Only For The Guys, Girls Can’t Do It
If this statement was uttered 40 years ago, I might have forgiven for saying this.
After all, back then, the dance was predominantly masculine. The number of girls that ever participated in this dance could be counted with one hand.
But, as the dance grew and more people became interested, girls started participating as well.
At first, the ladies thought they were physically weaker and they focused less on the athletic moves and more on the foundational ones.
Then as time passed by, they began to refute the statements themselves, break their own limiting beliefs and now the bgirls are flying.
We have girls doing airflares, smoking bboys, winning competitions, judging (and even being in the Olympics Committee.)
We have bgirls destroying bboys all over the world with their skill, strength and complexity.
So, moral of the story is:
It is no longer just for the guys.
If you’re looking for inspiration to level up your b-girling skills, watch these bgirls:
They are dope AF.
Girls are in every way as dope as guys in this dance — and they should be treated rightly so.
If, as a girl you have naysayers telling you you can’t do the “strong” stuff or “guy stuff”? Stop listening to them.
They’re all bullshit. And maybe, they’re just scared of girls.
Bboy Excuse #4: I Am Too Weak To Learn Bboying/Bgirling
When I was first born, I was too weak to even crawl.
When I first went to the gym, even the 5 kg weight was too heavy for me.
When I first picked up martial arts, I couldn’t even throw a punch properly.
When I first tried to do push-ups, I could only do a few.
I thought I was weak every single time.
But as time passed, I grew stronger.
I can crawl (not that I do now), lift weights, fight and do push-ups like I was training for SEALS Hell Week.
Because of practice.
Stop kidding yourself.
Very rarely will you step into a new skill with natural talents like Messi or Mozart.
More often than not, you will feel like shit.
You WILL be weak.
You will be unable to do lots of stuff.
But that’s just part and parcel of learning something new.
Face it, practice and get over it.
You won’t be weak forever if you keep on learning and trying.
Plus, there are exercises you can do regularly to build up your strength.
Just watch these videos and do them as a start:
Bboy Excuse #5: Breaking Is Too Dangerous And I Will Definitely Break Bones
To be fair, I mostly hear this excuse from wannabe-bboys (people who want to pick it up but keep chickening out.) Okay, throw in every parent you ever met and some other ignorant peeps.
If you belong to this category of people, drill the following words well inside your head.
The word ‘break’ in breaking/b-boying/b-girling does not refer to the fact that we break bones. Or break any of our body parts. Or injure ourselves.
It actually refers to a) the idea of breaking wild and free as the music comes on and b) the part of the song where the drum breaks come on.
Our bboy pioneers used to get down to this particular segment of the song — which was then later used to coin the dance.
So, tell that to your mum. Or your friends. Or your own brain if you’re the one chickening out.
Are there instances where you’ll break your bones?
Of course. It’s a sport/dance and injuries are bound to happen if one is careless.
But, you can also easily break your bones if you were playing football, basketball or hockey. Maybe even ballet or contemporary dance.
(I actually think it’s worse if you play hockey or American football.)
As I’ve said, injuries occur when one is careless.
Which also means, injuries and “bone-breaking” can be prevented.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, not try to be a reckless dumbass, and learn the proper techniques and methods…
You are perfectly safe.
Bboy Excuse #6: I Was Never A Good Dancer, And Never Will Be One
In psychologist Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she talks about two kinds of mindsets we all possess.
The first one is the “fixed mindset”, in which a person believes and assumes that our character, intelligence and creative ability are static givens that cannot be changed.
The second is the “growth mindset”, in which a person thrives on challenges and failures and see it as a springboard for growth and improving his/her current abilities.
The mindset you possess more of determines your future ability to improve and succeed.
And like everything else, dance ability is an acquired skill.
Instead of possessing a “fixed mindset”, thinking that dance ability is static and unchanging or even “natural ability”, why not pick up a “growth mindset” and learn how to dance?
Anyone can learn how to dance. It’s just a matter of whether the person is willing to put himself forward and struggle through the difficult moment, and most importantly embrace the failing experience.
(Look at how this girl practiced from noob to skilled.)
As humans, we all have a natural sense of biological rhythm. We just need to learn how to bring it out.
Learn music structure. Learn how to step on beat. Then learn how to do your moves on beat.
And then this thing called dance will eventually come “naturally” to you.
Bboy Excuse #7: This Dance Is Impossible For Me, And I Could Never Do That
Anytime we see somebody of a superior skill, we can’t help but spurt out:
“I could never do that.”
Is it really?
The answer is: no, it isn’t.
We all start somewhere.
The pro bboys you admire so much? They all started as a noob.
But, instead of wishing that they could do something, they actually did something about it.
They worked off their asses to get somewhere, to get to the point where you’re masturbating over their videos on YouTube.
Stop comparing your start to someone’s end.
Stop comparing your 1st year to someone’s 10th year.
That in itself is already an unfair comparison.
Compare your 1st year to their 1st year.
Then compare their 10th year to your 10th year.
Build a growth mindset. Embrace your failures. Learn from experience.
And then try again.
Every failure you suffer through (your failed windmill attempts, the battles you lose etc.), they are merely “data points” or “experience points” in your bboy game.
The more you do? The more you learn, and the faster you reach your goals.
As Thomas Edison once said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Everyone starts off noob.
The pros are the one who brushes off the silent laughter from others and carry on working.
Bboy Excuse #8: I Don’t Have A Good Sense Of Balance
This excuse can be split into 2 parts, namely:
- People with real issues, like problems with their vestibular system.
- People who THINK they have an issue
With regards to 1), I can’t help. I am not a doctor, and if you really do have issues with your vestibular sense (aka sense of balance) then please see a doctor.
Everyone has an innate sense of balance. Can you walk in a straight line? Can you ride a bicycle? That, my friend, is a basic sense of balance. And that was also the level of balance your bboy heroes started with.
Which means it’s just what I have repeatedly said over and over again:
Balance is another acquired skill that you can master after putting in your hours. Every bboy and bgirl you see has mastered balance practicing for months or even YEARS before they could hold their moves for so long.
It’s not something magical.
It’s just practice.
Bboy Excuse #9: I Don’t Know Where To Start And There’s Nobody To Teach Me
First things first:
In today’s Internet age, you SHOULD NOT even have this excuse.
But for the sake of this post, I will have to bring it up, highlight it and hulk-smash it away.
So why do I say that is a bullshit excuse?
Because you have the magical power also known as the Internet.
Unless you live in a rural area or in a poor country where you have no access to Internet… Then I’ll shut my mouth.
(Even then, there are videos of African kids dancing without shoes in muddy villages.)
If not, I am calling you out.
I know some people who live in areas that are very far away from the nearest big city where bboys and bgirls gather. I understand that this is the exact reason that they do not have access to studios or practice spots where somebody can teach them.
I totally empathize.
But if you are capable of reading this post (which is hosted on the Internet by the way), then you should have no reason to say that there is nobody to teach you.
Because the Internet is chock full of tutorials teaching you how to break.
In fact, you can pick up ANY skill you want just via the Internet.
And the best part is — they’re only one Google or YouTube search away.
Plus, they’re free.
So if you’re capable of typing words on the Internet, then you’re able to find some tutorials for yourself and start learning.
Also, a secondary piece of advice for you.
Most people think that mentors must be a physical person. Someone who is directly there, supervising you, telling you what to do, what is wrong etc.
If you have that person, that is FANTASTIC.
But in actuality, these people rarely exist, unless you pay them.
The reason is simple. Everyone is focused on their own shit (or are too busy) and they will not be spending that much FREE time on you.
So reframe things.
Mentors need not be a physical manifestation of a person. You can get indirect mentors.
You can learn from online mentors who publish free material for you. You can learn from the best blogs (like mine ;-)). You can learn from books. Courses. And everything.
Treat these resources like your mentor, and learn everything from “him” (like me for e.g).
Then there you go.
That person is your “online mentor”.
Bboy Excuse #10: My Parents Forbid Me From Trying
Now before you laugh at this excuse…
If you’re someone who is 15 years old or younger…
This might really happen.
After all, your parents, not being in the scene, can only make deductions from what they see online and offline (and usually it’s not a good deduction. Y’know, gangsterism and the bone breaking thing we mentioned above.)
And your parents’ concerns are of course legitimate.
I’m not here to teach you how to be rebellious and just sign up for classes or some shit like that.
Instead, I will provide you with help on how to convince your parents to let you learn.
The biggest mistake people make when trying to persuade someone of an idea is that they take the objection personally and emotionally.
And then they fight back.
They argue, debate, bitch about it to the person they’re trying to convince.
Which, if you didn’t realize by now, is totally the wrong strategy to use.
Have you ever walked away from an argument feeling like your mind was changed?
Chances are — the answer is no.
So why would the other person change his mind if you argue with him?
Instead… Use a better strategy. Follow these 3 steps
- Step #1: Empathize with them
Instead of arguing back with them on why they are wrong, tell them you can see where they are coming from and they may be right.
Why does this work?
This works because everyone is right in their own minds. And when you argue with them, you’re essentially telling them they are wrong. And no one takes kindly to being told they are wrong (yes, even you.)
However, people want to be heard. Most of the times people express concern or object to something because they want their opinion listened to.
Especially your parents.
So give them that.
Listen to them. Tell them they are not wrong in thinking this way. And that you fully understand their concerns and objections.
- Step #2: Handle their objections
After you acknowledge their concerns, give them examples of how it turned out well.
If they say breaking is dangerous, share with them that your mentors and friends always advocate warming up, and they’ve rarely ever gotten injured. And they don’t tell you to do things you definitely cannot do.
If they say it will affect your studies, reassure them that you’ve got a timetable planned out. Or better yet, do your homework before you leave your house!
Show them instances where something good came out of what they thought. Match every instance to their objections.
- Step #3: Give them a “money-back” guarantee.
Give your parents a way out in case they think they made a wrong decision. Tell them something like, “why not let me attend 4 lessons of this breakdance thingy, and if I really get injured, I’ll stop and never do it again.”
That’s a pretty sweet proposition isn’t it?
They would definitely consider it. After all, it’s not hope lost for them.
If you really promise this and they agree, then the onus is on you to keep yourself out of harm’s way and not get injured. Then from then on, you can do this forever.
Sweet advice, isn’t it?
Bboy Excuse #11: Breakdance Classes Are Too Expensive
If you haven’t realized yet…
The Internet is free.
And you can learn anything on the Internet….. For free.
So stop giving yourself excuses.
If you really think you learn better in-person, then save up.
Find out how much lessons in your city costs, then set aside some money every month so that you can pay for it.
That’s how you begin to achieve things that you want to achieve.
Bboy Excuse #12: Nobody Breaks Around Me And I Am A Forever Alone Bboy
I know that shitty feeling when you have to practice alone and you run out of motivation.
There’s no one around to bounce ideas with, no one to cypher with, and no one to motivate you to keep going.
But here’s a pattern I’ve noticed amongst dope bboys.
They practice solo.
Now, I’m not saying that if you are guaranteed to become dope if you practice solo. It doesn’t work that way. There are too many factors involved, even in your solo practice that determines whether you become dope.
The key difference between bboys who practice solo and bboys who don’t is.
They have discipline.
They don’t require people to be around to motivate them to practice.
With or without crewmates, they know the difference between being dope and being mediocre is showing up. Showing up even when there’s nobody around.
So they practice alone.
Or rather… It doesn’t matter whether they practice with someone.
If they do, great. They can create more ideas, motivate each other or perhaps fool around. But if they don’t, it doesn’t matter. They already have a goal during the session they want to achieve and they set out to do it.
They don’t wait for someone to be there to push them to do it.
And that’s how you should think about things too.
Work hard even if no one is around. Train your discipline. Show up and commit.
And you’ll improve WAY faster.
Bboy Excuse #12: I Have No Music Nor Speakers
Do you have a smartphone? Then play your music from your smartphone.
Don’t have a speaker? Then get yourself a cheap one from Amazon.
Now you can’t complain anymore.
Bboy Excuse #13: My House Is Puny And I Don’t Have Space At Home
Here’s a little perspective for you:
I live in Singapore and our property prices are through the roof.
That also means to maximize land space, the government builds houses that are pretty damn small.
So that is to mean that:
If you live anywhere else that has more land space that Singapore (chances are you do because Singapore is really small), then you should be able to practice.
Because if I can do it, so can you.
I don’t mean this condescendingly.
I mean it as in you just have to invoke some creativity — or adapt accordingly.
If your space is too small for you to do power or footwork, then train something else!
Expand your thinking. Don’t get stuck thinking that you MUST only do power or footwork. (Think: the calisthenics peeps have only 1 bar and yet they can do so many tricks with it.)
Make the best of what you have. Your limitations are what makes you different from other bboys.
Schedule some time outside for practice so you can train your powermoves or footwork.
Then at home, practice your toprocks, grooving and freezes. Practice your control. Practice dancing in small spaces. Do some conditioning. Stretch. Improve your mobility.
And you may actually end up improving more than you expected.
Bboy Excuse #14: The Place Where I Practice At Has The Shittiest Floor I Have Ever Seen In My Life
The biggest issues I have seen so far with these excuses is that most of them are just complaints.
You know what?
The power to change anything is in your hands.
Floor sucks? Try a new solution.
Do toprocks instead. Change the location where you train. Buy a vinyl mat to practice with.
Tweak your mindset to adapt and stop complaining.
Bboy Excuse #15: I Am In This Game For A While Now And I Feel Lost
This is an excuse I have seen people give — and then quit the dance later on.
But here’s a piece of truth for you:
Feeling lost is normal.
It happens to all of us.
We practice, practice and practice and then we get too caught up in the game.
We forget why we started in the first place. We forgot why we carried on. We forgot why we’re even doing it.
So it’s normal. Even Elon Musk has felt lost at times. So honestly speaking, you have to be ashamed of.
The solution is simpler.
Take a break for a month or so (not quit, mind you.)
Chances are — you’ve been too focused on practicing and you forgot your “Why”. You lost yourself in the journey.
The right way to get over this little hump is to take a break and do some other things to refresh yourself.
Stop practicing for a week or two. Go for a holiday. Try a new hobby. Meet new people. Watch something funny.
Read a new book. Have sex. Try a new dance.
I won’t know what happens next for you.
But my guesses are:
You will begin to see breaking with fresh eyes, and you will feel inspired to dance again.
Bboy Excuse #16: I Have Not Seen Improvement For A Year Or Two
This is what we call the plateau phase.
It is common in dance, sports and basically, any skill you know.
While there are many reasons why people plateau (which I will not go into in this post), the most common one I have seen (and even experienced for myself) is that most bboys and bgirls get stuck in their comfort zone.
They get stuck in the habit of only doing their favourite moves or moves that they can already do reflexively. They don’t learn new stuff.
As humans, we love the comfort zone. It feels safe for us — and we feel confident doing the moves that we can already do.
We hate when we have to struggle. We hate it when we have to make 100 attempts and yet still can’t stick that airchair.
But struggle is where you improve.
The discomfort zone — the zone where you have to struggle mentally, physically and emotionally — is where you truly improve.
And you have to consciously step out of your comfort zone INTO that discomfort zone to force yourself to improve.
Forcing yourself into the discomfort zone is the hallmark of deliberate practice: doing things you can only do barely but trying it over and over again to master it.
How can you step out of your comfort zone in breaking?
Just do something you’ve never done before.
If you see yourself as the footwork guy, begin practicing powermoves or freezes.
If you see yourself as the power guy, start grooving with your toprocks.
If you’ve always used one concept to create, try a new one.
If you’ve always been using this one particular transition in and out of your moves, try something completely new.
Try reversing your moves. Doing your moves twice or thrice. Adding new levels.
Do something you HAVE NEVER done before.
Step out of your comfort zone.
That’s how you also break out of your plateaus.
Bboy Excuse #17: I Have No Time
Whenever I hear the phrase, “I have no time”, do you know what it is slang for?
It’s not my priority right now.
Because if there is anything you place as priority…
You’ll find a way to do it.
Let me give you a few examples of bboys who are fucking busy people and still can break well.
Example #1: Lancer
Lancer is a full-time engineer. He is also a world-class bboy who (of course) practices often. He practices hard and wins competitions.
He’s also a photographer, a model and a published poet.
Example #2: Zeshen.
He’s a doctor. He’s also a bboy. Traditionally speaking, you would think that he would not have time to practice as a doctor. But he does. He proves us all wrong. Busy as he is, he still practices.
The moral of the story is simple:
If you really want it, you’ll make time for it.
If you make it a priority, time will magically appear for it.
It’s really that simple.
If you say you are as busy as you are — and yet you still have time for games, TV and YouTube…
Then you’re kidding yourself if you say you don’t have time to break.
Sort out your priorities.
Sometimes life happens and certain things become more important than breaking. That’s okay. If you can no longer make time for it, then stop. It’s fine.
If you really want to make it a priority, then commit to it. Set aside time. Sacrifice something else. Watch less TV. Play less games. Sleep lesser. Schedule it into your calendar.
You have no excuse.
Bboy Excuse #18: I Am Too Tired
There are 2 times when I see this excuse popping up:
- You’re really tired
- You just don’t want to practice
Let’s address 1 (because 2 is addressed throughout the entire post).
If you’re really tired, take a break. It’s really okay to take a break once in awhile. Really.
If you’re really tired, it’s okay to take a break once in awhile. Really.
Taking a break once in awhile will free up your mind and make you better the next practice.
But if you’re permanently tired?
Then I believe you have bigger issues than just breaking.
You might have to start fixing your health. Sleep more. Eat healthier. Less coffee. Turn off your phones before sleeping. Less sugar. You may even have to consider a job that doesn’t eat up 18 hours of your day, even if it means taking a bloody pay cut.
Your health is the most important thing in the world. Take care of it — and your breaking will improve.
Bboy Excuse #19: I Am Busy With My Significant Other
I will preface this by saying two things. I’m no relationship expert – I only observe, read up and have experienced a few relationships in my life. Also, a relationship is something that is really personal and some may not consider it an excuse.
But that does not mean it is not addressable.
If you really love your significant other more than anything else in the world… and would rather spend time with him/her… Do that.
There is no shame in admitting that you love one person more than you love the art-form of breaking. After all, everyone has different goals and motivations in life — and nobody should make you feel guilty for not staying on in the game. Nobody. Not even your crew mates who are lonely and single folks who derive no other joy than breaking. Not your dope mentors who may have a ton of commitment and communication issues with their spouses.
Getting to the point…
The problem usually comes when you love breaking A LOT… yet you don’t want to disappoint your significant other.
(I have seen couples like this before.)
Some of my friends have made it work (and are now married.) Some of my friends couldn’t and had to break up — or give up their love for breaking.
This is my honest opinion:
If your SO makes you give up your love for another hobby just because you two are together (or perhaps he or she is needy), then you might have to look into your relationship.
To me, a strong relationship comes from being able to spend time apart occasionally.
Both you and your SO should have your own personal time and space where you 1) do your favourite thing, 2) spend time with your own friends without each other.
Even if you’re married, you should do this.
It spices up the relationship, makes it less boring, and gives you two conversation topics.
(There’s even research to substantiate this.)
Now, don’t take that to mean break up with your SO. Don’t be impulsive. Don’t jump to conclusions either.
Be an adult. Treat the issue seriously. Any complicated and serious issues should be sat down and discussed with honestly.
It really blows my mind why couples don’t talk to each other about serious shit. If you two love each other, and even intend to marry each other in the future, then have honest conversations and talk like adults.
If you have to do certain things to make your hobby work, then do it. Make compromises. Sacrifice something else.
If you were practicing with a group regularly (like 3 – 4 times a week), then cut it down to once or twice a week and then ensure that you make full productive use of your time there.
Perhaps you could start practicing at home, or find some time out of your busy schedule to practice. Be innovative and creative. If you want to practice, you’ll be able to do it.
(Once again, trust me, I have a married friend who carves out time from his lunch break to practice. It’s do-able.)
It all boils down to how badly you want something — and how much you’re willing to sacrifice to make it work.
The harsh truth is that there is no such thing as having your cake and eating it too. You have to choose certain things to give up to enjoy other things you want.
Bboy Excuse #20: I Have No Motivation
Stop relying on motivation.
No single person, and I repeat, no person has ever succeeded purely because of motivation. In fact, it’s the opposite. They succeeded IN SPITE of having no motivation.
Feel free to talk to any world-class athletes.
Do you really think they enjoy going to practice every single day of their lives? Do you think they enjoy shooting balls 500 times every morning?
Sure, they do. Sometimes. Not all the times. They feel motivated as often as you do.
And that means there are other days when they feel like shit. When they feel like giving up. When they feel like they no longer want to train.
That’s EXACTLY like how you feel when you practice on certain days. You just don’t feel it. You come up with some excuses. You’d rather go home and watch Tori Black. Or Lisa Ann. Or Sunni Leone. Or Jenna Jameson. Or Gianna Michaels. Or Hitomi Tanaka. Or Peter North (wait what).
(Editor’s Note: someone’s gonna open Google Incognito right now)
But hear this:
The difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional will turn up for practice NO MATTER their mood. No matter how unmotivated they feel, they will turn up and put in the required reps.
That’s why they succeed.
That’s how they become good.
I’m no dismissing talent or “passion” (whatever that means). But the truth is that professionals show up more than amateurs. They put in the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. They show up, follow the right process and win.
Similarly, that’s how you should do it.
If you really want to improve, if you really want to become good, and if you possess a ounce of desire to become world-class, then you HAVE to do this.
Screw motivation. Show up even when you’re sad, angry or uninspired.
Set yourself a schedule. Then commit to it like a champ.
That’s how you become good.
Bboy Excuse #21: I Have No Creativity
Surprisingly, I hear this a lot.
People think that they aren’t naturally born creative — and thus they are unable to create new moves or new movements.
Let me address this myth.
Are there people who are naturally more creative than others? Sure, like any other skill in life, there will be people naturally better at something than the rest.
But that doesn’t mean you CAN’T be creative.
Creativity is an acquired skill. And like many other skills in life, it needs to be practiced constantly.
The more you practice being creative, the more creative you will be.
That’s just it. There’s no magic.
It’s simply about showing up, practicing, putting out shitty ideas after shitty ideas and then finally selecting the gem out of the turd.
Here’s a little “shortcut” for you if you want to have some help in being creative.
Concepts are like templates that you apply to your foundational moves so that you have a guideline on what you can create.
Some concepts are like:
You can even take inspiration from other dances and add their moves and movements into your breaking style.
Adding them to the moves you already know how to do will give you a new level of thinking — and make you more creative.
Bboy Excuse #22: All My Crewmates Have Quit And I Am All Alone
If you’ve read my Long-Ass Guide to breaking for your first 3 years, you’d also have known that I faced the same issues as you.
Like you (if you’re facing this problem), it also meant that a huge source of inspiration in breaking evaporated into thin air.
People who were around to motivate you, make practice more enjoyable and inspired you to level up your game.
The thing is — it was okay for them to quit because they had their reasons – most of them lost their love for breaking. But not you.
You like this dance. Scratch that. You love this dance.
But now that you’re alone — you don’t know how to carry on. You’re not used to this.
But you can.
This is not some motivational speech where I try to motivate you to do things, but then leave you empty after I leave the room.
It IS going to be tough. But if you love this dance, you’ll find a way to make things work.
Your crewmates have a life to live (a life without breaking.)
And so do you.
You have a life to live, with breaking involved.
Find people with the same aspirations and ideals as you. Find people who want breaking in their lives.
Find new practice partners. Make new friends. Talk to people online. Join r/bboy. Participate in online Facebook groups or join an active Facebook page. Get a coach. Join a dance studio. Travel out to practice in other people’s session spots.
Your crewmates quitting doesn’t mean you have to quit.
It just means you have to find a new circle of bboy friends.
Bboy Excuse #23: Other People Are Better Than Me And I Will Never Catch Up To Them
The Chinese have a saying, one mountain is higher than another mountain.
There will always be people better than you.
It’s the truth yesterday. It will be the truth today. And it will still remain true tomorrow.
Even the BC One Champs can’t rest on their laurels.
Today they might be considered the best in the world. Tomorrow? A new kid is going to pop up and replace them.
What does this mean for all of us?
It doesn’t mean give up.
It means it is pointless to focus on anything else except your own journey.
The #1 cause of human unhappiness is coveting other people’s goods (or skills.)
Someone will always have a bigger house, a bigger car, more expensive shoes than you. You can’t control that. You can’t control who will be better than you.
Focus on your own stuff. Focus on your own journey.
Focus on improving 1% every day.
Are you better today than you were yesterday? Are you better this year than last year? Are you better today than when you started?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you are on the right track.
Bboy Excuse #24: The Judges Hate Me And I Will Never Be Able To Win Competitions
I know this feeling.
Sometimes it feels like the entire world is against you.
Against your bboy style. Against your dance philosophy. Against what you stand for.
But once again, allow me to dish out the harsh truth.
If you choose to battle, you are choosing to subject yourself to be judged by 3 or more people, who may or may not like you, your dance or your style.
Is that harsh? Yes.
Is that sad? Maybe.
Is that true? Absolutely.
That also means that — if you really want to win competitions, you have several ways to do it:
- Play the game. Understand the rules and play with it. Conform to the system that you’re subjected to and you have a higher chance of winning.
- Create your own game and force everyone to acknowledge you. Every famous person in the world have had to deal with this. They stepped outside the rules of the game entirely, focused on doing their own stuff and forced the world to look at them. Some names that come to mind are Elon Musk, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. So did some of the famous bboys (e.g Menno, Thesis, Remind etc.). Some of the famous styles you see today went through a lot of hardship, persistence, insistence to be recognized as dope.
You can begin by understanding your “Why”.
Do you REALLY want to win competitions? Why do you want to win competitions? What’s driving you? What does that validate? Is breaking serious or just a hobby?
There are no right or wrong answers here. The only right answer is the honest answer you have.
Remember: there is absolutely no shame in being a hobby bboy and not winning competitions. Or joining competitions at all.
Also remember — you don’t have to win competitions to be dope.
But at the end of the day, if you really want to win competitions, then make sure you follow the path you are happy to follow.
Bboy Excuse #25: I Cannot Power/Freeze/Footwork/Toprock
This last excuse is one of the most common excuses I hear.
You know why?
Because most people I know who say they can’t do power (or toprock or footwork etc.) are people who tried that move one time and given up.
“I can’t do that move” is simply FALSE.
Moves don’t drop from the sky, my friend.
Anything you want in this world comes from practice and hard work.
If you want the windmills, PRACTICE.
If you want the airflares, PRACTICE.
You can do anything you want in breaking, seriously.
You just have to follow the right instruction, right guidance and practice like your life depends on it.
There’s no secret to this.
There’s no “I can’t do this.” There is only “I am too fucking lazy to do this.”
You Should No Longer Have Any More Excuses
If you’ve reached the end of this post, congratulations.
That means that….
You no longer have any excuse on why you aren’t a certain way in breaking anymore.
And you know what would make it even better?
That I hear that this post has made you sober and excuse-free. And you’re ready for practice once more.
If that is so, it also means I have done my job.
Which also means…
You have the power to do whatever you want — as long as you commit to it. The best part is, I didn’t do anything except make you think. That power was within you all along.