Achieving New Techniques

How to approach learning a new move...

B Relentless, Sucka!

Repeat it over and over

And over again and again and again.


B Relentless, Sucka!

You must WANT it!
You must yearn for it!
You must ache for it!
You must obsess over it!
B Relentless!

"Practice does not necessarily make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect."       ~ Bruce Lee

R.A.P. - Repeat And Progress

Ask yourself this question (fill in any move):
How many AirFlares have I done in my entire life?
Does the answer look like 5 or 500?

To do it once
...and to move on -is NOT enough.

Over and Over.
Muscle memory.
Over and Over.
Your muscles remember.
Over and Over.
Will they remember the mistakes?
Over and Over.
Will they remember the corrections?
Over and Over.

To program a movement into your brain,
one must physically experience it.
Over and Over.

Over and Over.
A 1000 times.
Over and over.
The body will automatically react unconsciously.

An important point to bring up here is that the action must be done correctly.
If the action is done lazily, fatigued, or incorrect, you will program it into your brain that way.

Think about this.
Over and over.

Technique Under Scrutiny

First Try
The Icebreaker.
Test the waters by giving it a shot.
Dont just go blindly tho.
You are looking for any part of the motion youll be able to improve on the second attempt.
Put effort into thinking about how your body is feeling WHILE in the action of attempting.

Second Try
Once you break the ice, its easier to swim.
Approach the second attempt with a little more concentration for finer details from what you noticed from the first attempt.
There are several pieces of the move, so
Feel around for anything you can improve or expand on this time.

Third Try
Third attempt try to out do the second attempt.

All Following Attempts
Establish a rhythm.  Improve upon one aspect of the move at a time with every attempt.  Your goal is to improve an increment with each attempt.  When confusion sets in, reset your mind. Go get a drink of water, preferably *coconut water*.

While Attempting, the Mind Should B Focused;
sometimes on details of the technique (hand placement, weight distribution, center,  etc);
sometimes the conscious feeling of an aspect of the technique that you can reach for (like the feeling of shrugging arms when doing a Ninety);
sometimes perhaps the music;
and sometimes your mind will be focused on nothing at all (thinking about not thinking - Mushin).

When your strength diminishes, take a break or move onto something else and come back to it later with same philosophy.

How many __windmills__ have you done in your entire life.
It must be done HUNDREDS of times to get correctly.
THEN it must be done hundreds of more times CORRECTLY in order to RE-WRITE the move into your brain’s muscle memory. Correctly.

Get The Spot That Gets You

During an open Bboy practice a kid asked me for advice on his Windmill. “Lemme see what you got so far,” I replied, to see where he was at with it. He busted out into 1 full beautiful Windmill and stopped for no reason all the while saying over and over how he couldnt do them. He even started coin drop style (on his hands–as opposed to his butt, the “Split Kick,” aka the cheating way). The position that he stopped put him in a good position to thrust into a second Windmill.

“You successfully completed 1 full Windmill,” I said, “But you just get up after the one attempt.  Why not just go into another one over and over?" Instead of standing up right after doing one, go into another from where you left off. Then do that again a third time.  He did it, in fact he was up to 8 in a row in no time. The funny thing was, he kept telling himself he cant do them, while he was doing them. I wanted to slap him.

“Bro, you can OFFICIALLY say you have Windmills!  Now all you have to do is smooth over the spot where one windmill ends and the new one begins so it can be flawless.”

Get the spot that gets you!  When attempting a move, everything might be going well till you get to a particular point that stops you. That place has much to tell you… if you pay attention to it. What is it that is holding you back? Strength? Momentum? Proper technique? Figure out what it is and push through it.


The most important lesson in mastering your techniques is:

Savor the Moment, the here and now.

Concentrate on the hidden elements within each technique.  Many times amateur dancers will dance as fast as they can, thinking you are supposed to, or to get it over with, but they have no control and it looks whack. Eventually they will get good enough to facilitate speed with control, but by no means do you have to bust as fast as you can. The key is to let the music guide you and believe in your movement. Go the pace of the music. Never forget the music.

Exerting Energy to Execute The Technique Correctly

Sometimes doing it right is merely a matter of choosing to do it right. “Choosing,” meaning consciously making the required effort to do the sequence right. “Right,” meaning: correct. “Correct,” meaning: executing the technique perfectly (by your own standards) and with the energy/effort that the technique requires. There is no point in attempting a movement if there is no intention of executing it.

Examples of this are everywhere. At the skate park I see kids attempting tricks with no intention of landing back on the board. And when they realize it, they get it on top of it. At Jefferson Community Center (Seattle, Wa) Bboy practices, I see kids attempting Air-Flares, with no intentions of doing them. They do them lazily and half-ass. You would think they would develop bad habits, however panning out you see they will eventually get Air-Flares anyway. However, in quickening the learning curve, to make the CONSCIOUS decision to exert the proper energy, and look for mistakes  and correct them. They’d have Air-Flares in less time.

"I watch ‘em all walk into the flames, when they could walk into the vastness of they’re brains.” - Acey Alone

It all starts out in the mind.

Know what your body can handle

It is better to let yourself heal and practice the move when your body is ABLE than to push yourself when fatigued.  Not only is it unhealthy, it is dangerous.  You will only learn bad habits.

"Proper training is knowing what builds the body up AS WELL AS what breaks the body down.” - OG BBoy Bruce Lee

On Breaking Down Techniques Into Pieces

Break down moves into smaller elements. For example, to master 90’s, one must develop several areas: Balance, Upperbody Strength, and the Launch. What good is standing on one hand, if the arm is not strong enough to hold your weight? What good is having the strength to hold your weight if you do not have the balance to stay up?

Practicing Handstands against the wall will allow you to stay up on your hands longer, thus strengthening your shoulders and arms. But, if you only practice this way, you will develop bad balance habits from leaning on the wall.

Practicing Handstands away from the wall, exercises your balance. But if you only practice this way, you may not have the strength to hold yourself up very long.

You must practice it both ways. Then you must practice your “launch” (or transition) into 90’s, which is the understanding of circular momentum, an equally important part of the 90.

NOW, you must practice all the parts as a whole, without separation. This is where the knowledge and ability is applied to complete the technique.

So practice all ways, always and you will have a 3 dimensional view of the movement you are trying to attain. AND you will eradicate all incorrect habits.


On Perfect Performing

There should b no difference between your practice and your performance. You dont practice being you. You was ALWAYS you, so even at the "open practice", use that as your opportunity to REPRESENT! It is important to approach your sequence as if it was the last set of your life.

The purpose of practicing is to prepare for the “real thing.”
What you do in practice is what you do in the real situation.
If tricks are practiced half accomplished, this is also how they will be performed in the actual situation.
Train as if it were the “Real Thing”.

What if practice was the real thing?
What if physically strength-wise the body was capable... and the mind was able to comprehend the components... but even when the brain understands, the body must experience it. If the body could get it right the first time. What could we b capable of?

It is important to seek the hurt.
That is the barrier of limitation.
To run until you are tired? This is purposeless.
But to run TO GET tired, and THEN PUSH oneself beyond to see what is in the darkness... is the way of growth.

One Comment

  1. Thanks man i appreciate this, i needed to hear this as a reminder that its practice, smart workouts and a lot of commitment plus blood and sweat. I kept blaming my age and started doubting my practices and myself. After reading this i felt more pumped and it seems fun again. No one can take this from me but me. Thanks

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