With the adoption of the breakin dance sport event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the culture that has grown up as a culture has been approved as a “sport”.


Breakin’ is also known as breakdancing. It is a dance that incorporates acrobatic movements, such as spinning and bouncing, using all parts of the body to music.

Break Dance” is a part of the culture called “Hip-Hop,” which consists of “4 ELEMENTS (The “4 ELEMENTs” are DJ, BBOY, MC, and GRAFFITY).

People who dance that Hip-Hop dance are called “BBOY, BGIRL,” and originally called “BBOYING” or “BREAKING” or “BREAKIN” for short, but as it became popular, it came to be called “BREAK DANCE” to explain it in a way that is easy to understand for the general public. The original name was “BREAKING”.

Let’s see, first, the video “A 14-year breaking prodigy boy fascinates with his superhuman skills”, shall we?

Features of breaking

“Battle” Culture

The main feature is that fighting each other by showing dances is called a battle.

Specifically, there are categories that focus on solo (dancing by one person), such as one-on-one and two-on-two, and routines with a large number of people such as team battles (matching techniques, team atmosphere and team strength).

There are various categories such as fighting with.

Solo battles require mental strength and experience as a breaker, while team battles require communication skills and imagination.

This culture of “battle” is influenced by the history of breaking and has been passed down from generation to generation.

Breaking history

From the Streets to the World

The origin of this acrobatic dance is the poor neighborhoods of the South Bronx in New York City in the early 1970s.

At the time, this was one of the world’s rarest and poorest neighborhoods, and outlaws began to emerge.

Territorial wars started and many lives were lost. It is said that these people used to go home and immerse themselves in music such as BREAKING, MC, and DJ.

At that time, as people were dying from killing each other, gang members did not know where to direct their power, and a gang boss who was a DJ at that time advocated “competing through music without killing each other,” which naturally led to the format of battles in which people danced face to face.

At that time, a place to “have fun” through music called a “BLOCK PARTY” (like a club party) was established, and the Hip-Hop culture spread around the world in the blink of an eye through the battles that took place there as well.

Incidentally, it is said that the term “Hip-Hop” was introduced to the world in 1982.

Later, in the early 1980s, a large scale battle in New York City attracted media attention, which led to the rapid growth of breakin’, and the group’s expansion into TV shows, film adaptations, and public events.

Elements of breaking

There are a variety of movements in breakin, but they can be broadly divided into TOPROCK, FOOTWORK, POWER MOVE, and FREEZE.

There are many movements within these four components, and based on these, we will incorporate movements that make the most of our own unique qualities.

It may seem that the main requirement is a high level of physical ability, but because it is a dance, of course, it is also about music, facial expressions, presentation, and many other aspects of expression, sense, character, and creativity to create something new.


A dance that is danced standing up before entering the floor. In most rounds, the move (performance) begins with this top rock.

Starting to dance the top rock is also the signal to enter the move. Some of the moves have their own meanings and interpretations, and when combined, they express and appeal to the dancers.


It refers to quick footwork and steps while squatting with your hands on the ground.

There are several footwork patterns, and originality can be achieved by combining and transforming the step patterns.


Power moves are characterized by acrobatic movements typical of breaking.

Windmills that rotate on the back and shoulders, headspins that rotate on the head, and Thomas flares, which are also used in gymnastics’ Kurama technique, are famous, and refer to movements that rotate various parts of the body.


From a series of top locks, footwork, power moves, etc., the body and movements are frozen and stopped in a flow in time with the sound, which is called freeze.

This movement requires balance, power, and flexibility, and the shape of the body and the way it stops expresses individuality.

The famous “chair freeze,” which makes the body look like it is sitting on a chair, is available in a variety of low and high positions.

Breaking Rapid Growth Background and Future

For “sports” to be seen by more people

The opportunity for more people to see the sport is expanding and evolving further.

Behind the rapid growth of breakin is the “mentality and creativity as a solo dancer,” “communication skills and creativity unique to a group that can be gained through team activities,” “communication between different generations as various generations from children to adults participate in competitions,” “international exchange through international competitions,” and many other things.

There are many things that can be learned through a single dance. In the future, we expect to see more domestic competitions, promotional activities, and activities to strengthen athletes, and an increase in the number of athletes and their competitive abilities.

All Japan Breaking Championships 2022

To watch the match which was held on Feb19, 2023 to determine the best in Japan, I went to the venue to the below photo,

It’s a short video of Shigekix-san’s superhuman performance only, but here you go!

The winner of this match was Shigekix (I am Shigeki), and I hope that he will also win the Paris Olympics.

About the author

古林 茂樹(Shigeki Furubayashi )