FREESTYLE SESSION 2016 WORLD FINALS RECAP

Once again the event I call the granddaddy of the them all(google the reference) came, saw, conquered. Freestyle Session which by many is regarded as the most important event
in breaking history(along with BOTY) has withstood the test of time and is the last major 90’s USA breakin events that still holds strong today. As the 2nd Champions event in the Pro Breaking Tour and the 30th official stop of the calendar year, Freestyle Session met all expectations(if not exceeded them). Bboys/bgirls, poppers, lockers, dancers from all walks of life along with DJ’s, MC’s and writers(plenty of writers just chilling the event) came together to celebrate the vibrant culture that is Hiphop. It is difficult to recall what countries were represented at FSS, but its safe to say over 50 countries had representation. An estimated 2,500 bboys, bgirls, spectators, and lovers of dance came out to partake in the celebration making FSS 19 one of its biggest editions ever.

With so many dancers, it was only right to have plenty of categories for them to compete and participate in. The categories were: 3 Vs 3 breaking battles, 1 vs 1 Undisputed breaking battles, 2 vs 2 freestyle battles, 1 vs 1 popping battles, 1 vs 1 rocking battles, 2 vs 2 kids battles and for the 1st time ever a 1 vs 1 Bgirl solo battle! The popping/freestyle attendance was so big that they didn’t just get their own room, the dancers got their own venue! L.A always keep it true with the funk styles. The DJ line up was led by none other than THE FATHER OF HIPHOP CULTURE DJ KOOL HERC!! Herc along with top dj’s like Lean Rock, Skeme Richards, Renegade, Fleg, Bles One, Carlie Rock, Element, Ervin, Smirnoff, Abel, Kid Riz, Casey Masem and Mark Luv destroyed it on the wheels of steel keeping the vibes going and flowing both nights.

While the emphasis seems to always focus on the “competition” events like Freestyle Session are much more than that. FSS brings friends together from across the world as very few events can. FSS brings out those certain individuals that may no longer be active or attend events but always show face at this special event. This year Pulse Studios from Canada flew in with 25+ students AND PARENTS!! How amazing is that?!!? Freestyle Session is truly an event for the whole family to enjoy. I myself took my 3 year old son to the event for the 2nd year in a row. It is the only out of state event he has ever attended.

THE COMPETITION

Much like Silverback Open, the talent pull was WORLD CLASS! The best of the best. And much like Silverback Open, for the competitions “winnings” let’s just say “stakes is high”. Lets check out the prize money breakdowns:

Open 1-on-1 Prize Distribution:

$18,300 Cash + Trip to Undisputed World Championship (Prague, Czech Republic) event in January.
$7,500 for first place + qualification into the Undisputed bboy battle in Prague, Czech Republic in January 2016, $3,500 for second place; $1,250 for each semifinal loser (3rd-4th), $500 for each quarterfinal loser (5th-8th), $200 for each Round of 16 loser (9th-16th), $75 for each Round of 32 loser (17th-32nd).
Open 3-on-3 Crew Prize Distribution:
$22,050 Cash + 3 Championship Rings + prizes from sponsors
$7,500 for first place; $3,750 for second place, $1,500 for each semifinal loser (3rd-4th), $750 for each quarterfinal loser (5th-8th), $300 for each Round of 16 loser (9th-16th), $150 for each Round of 32 loser (17th-32nd).
Bgirl 1-on-1 Prize Distribution: $2,000 Cash + Championship Ring
$1,500 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for each semifinal loser (3rd-4th).The additional $500 sponsorship for first place was provided by Shaolin Productions.
The judges line up in my opinion was one of the best if not the best ever line up for a Freestyle Session. It consisted of mid 90’s early 2k’s bboys(and a bgirl) that are all very much
active and relevant to date. The line up: Rox Rite – Renegades/Sqaudron, Moy – HaviKORO, Twixx – Massive Monkees, Dyzee – Super Naturals, JeSkilz – Cypher Adikts, Physicx – Rivers Crew, and Charles – Soul Control. Alternate prelim judges included: Stuntman – OSA, Reveal – Rock Force, and Wicket – Renegades.

DAY ONE – Undisputed World Bboy Series 1 vs 1 Battles
Day one of Freestyle Session was all about the 1 vs 1 bboy battles. With $7,500 first place cash prize + the guaranteed spot at UNDISPUTED WORLD BBOY SERIES FINALS up for grabs, you knew the worlds elite competition bboys would be present. In total, 295 bboys/bgirls signed up for the battle. Yes, 295 looking to make it into the top 32!! If you do the math, that means each dancer had about a 10% chance of making the battles. In other words, the chances are minimal. Check out some of the names that made the battles: Victor (Defending Champ), El Nino(2014 Champ), Gravity, Thesis, Kleju, Robin, Morris, Issei, Pocket, Tata, Kareem, Kuzya, Nasty Ray, Lil G, and Wing Zero to name a few….

The Top 32 went a little something like this:
Thesis defeated Wing Zero – DOL defeated Lussy Ski – Pocket defeated Tata – Kleju defeated Zeshen
El Nino defeated Jungle George – Phil Wizard defeated Tenpachi – Lil G defeated Lian – Victor defeated Amazing Troll
Issei defeated Styx – Paco defeated Saewl – Kareem defeated Illz – Zeku defeated Kuzya
Gravity defeated Morris – MN Joe defeated Jamal – Nasty Ray defeated Jeremy and Robin took out Ives in the last battle of the Top 32.

For the TOP 16 and on, please make sure to check our good friends at STANCE youtube channel: HERE

We can’t leave you without showing you the 1 vs 1 Undisputed World Bboy Series Final battle.
El Nino – Floorlords/The Squadron vs Issei – Found Nation

DAY TWO: 3 vs 3 Battles – 1 vs 1 Bgirl Battles – 2 vs 2 Kids Final Battle

Day two brought up what traditionally would be consider as the main event of Freestyle Session. The crew vs crew battles. Added to the “main event” for the 1st time in history
was the 1 vs 1 Bgirl battles. This year the Bgirl winner would take a Freestyle Session championship ring for the 1st time. 160 crews singed up for the 3 vs 3 battles, add to that 78 bgirls and you will understand why prelims are lasting a while at jams. We all wish there was something that could be done to make prelims go faster but we can’t just ask bboys/bgirls not to compete. I am sure in the future changes will be made but for now we are doing the best we can to speed up the prelim process. Top crews from all over the world came out to showcase their skill and earn the title. Crews that stood out were: Super Cr3w, Rock Force, Killafornia, Massive Monkeez, Knuckleheads Cali, Unstopabullz, Found Nation, Style Elements, Predatorz, Polskee Flavour, and Team Monster. For the Bgirls battles, we had what you can consider the worlds elite. The bgirl list included names such as: Ayumi, Narumi, Beta, Yasmin, FeenX, Paulina, JK47, Kate, and Yurie to name a few.

TOP 32 3 vs 3 battles went like this:

Super Cr3w defeats Fusion Rockers – Rock Force defeats Authentic Villains – United Rivals defeats Massive Monkees – Dead Notice defeats Killafornia
Go See Dawn defeats Last Alive – Mental Fusion defeats The Wizards – Unstopabullz defeats Boys in the Hood – Found Nation defeats The Brothers
Knuckleheads Cali defeat Style Elements – Predatorz defeat RAD – Straight Up Raw defeats Robin,Teembo, Kacyo – Tata, Saewl, Lussy Sky defeat The Elusives
Kyu-shu Danji defeats Battle Born – Polskee Flavour defeats MF Kids – One Eye Banditz defeat Found Carnival – Team Monster defeats Mace, Karam, Child Rock

For the TOP 16 and on, please make sure to check our good friends at STANCE youtube channel: HERE

TOP 8 1 vs 1 Bgirl Battles
Paulina defeats Maya – Narumi defeats BO – Yasmin defeats Meelisa – Ayumi defeats J La Rock

Semifinals Bgirl battle
Narumi defeats Paulina – Yasmin defeats Ayumi

For the final battle you know we have to see the battle itself. Japan vs Japan. Veteran vs Up and coming!
Yasmin – K.A.K.B vs Narumi – Body Carnival

Freestyle Session 3 vs 3 Battles Final
Found Nation vs Polskee Flavour

And now for my personal favorite battle of the night, THE KIDS BATTLE!!
Lorenzo and CIs Holland/Belgium vs Furious Styles Crew

We also couldn’t live out Breakin’s distant cousins. The poppers. 1 vs 1 pippin battle final:
Jrock vs Kid Boogie

Congrats to ALL the winners!!
El Nino – Solo Champion
Found Nation – 3 vs 3 Champion
Yasmin – Bgirl Champion
Furious Styles Crew – Kids Champions
Kid Boogie – Popping Champion
Frowgy – Rocking Battle

As always, the special shootout to a great friend and mentor of mine, Cros One for his continuous work in our community.

Next up on the PBT schedule: Iphlow 4 and Octagon World Finals! FB event page HERE
Follow the PRO BREAKING TOUR at: www.udeftour.org/full-schedule

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