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Xak, the face of the break, the new Olympic sport

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ANDl breaking is a dance style that originated from it The United States of America in the 1970sspecifically in the New York neighborhood of bronx. grew out of the culture hip hop and is based on dance battles. Today this art is a culture in itself that is attracting thousands of young people around the world. The International Olympic Committee is no stranger to this and has included it in the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Games. Like surfing, skateboarding or climbing, breaking is part of the new batch of Olympic disciplines destined to attract new audiences.

In Spain, the Cordovan B-Boy xak but stayed fifth in the World Cup held in Paris. He lost in the quarter final against the favorite, the American Victor. In competition, each wrestler uses his stage name, but outside of it Xak, 35, John of the Tower. The Andalusian dancer himself introduces us to this art that is unknown to many.

Xak, the B-Boy who was fifth in the last World Cup in Paris, is Spanish.

It’s called a break

“It’s called a break. breakdancing is a term coined by the press in the 80’s, which was widespread and didn’t bother us, but really the modesty, discipline and what we feel identified with is the word break. What is completely wrong is to break the dance”, explains Xak.

Olympic sport?

Since it was included in the Olympic Games program, a debate has begun about whether breaking should be part of it, since many do not even recognize it as a sport. “I’m very practical. According to the dictionary, sport is a controlled activity. In the competitive format, breaking is a sport. We can make an analogy with martial arts, like judo it is not sport in essence but artistic, like breaking, but in this competitive context, it has all the characteristics that define it as a sport, whether we like it or not”, he clarifies, and declares: “We were not surprised when it was announced that there would be six olympics. . We already had a lot of exposure to the competition and this is a new platform.”

The Olympic future of the break

Xak has no doubt about it: “I think so because it’s very visual, very easy to see, that attracts attention. There are sports that are more repetitive, and if you don’t like them it’s hard to see them in their .all, but when he is breaking it is very easy for the audience to empathize with someone because people dance differently. It will probably continue after these two Games because many young people are already practicing, who love it, as well as the lifestyle behind it, the look, the attitude, the confidence, the presence … “.

Who is Xack?

Today Xak is dedicated to breaking body and soul, a method he started practicing at the age of 15 in Lucena (Córdoba). A colleague showed her what this type of dance looked like and her reaction was “love at first sight”. “He put on music and started dancing. I thought he was crazy. I said, ‘I don’t know what you do, but show me.’

Juan de la Torre began to study both the culture and the movements, and little by little he was winning competitions. “I went to study Law in Granada and then I settled in Córdoba to work in a family office. I was getting very good results, but both lives required a lot of time and energy. I chose to break and dance like the office can come back, but the bodies expire,” recalls the B-Boy.

Xak, sponsored by Red Bull and shoe brand Algorishoes, revealed to MARCA that his stage name corresponds to some letters chosen at random in an internet cafe many years ago and that he later brought it to his competitive life, since he would have no one. equal.

Where do you study?

Perhaps the professionalization of Olympic sport will make the break lose some of its essence. In Xak’s case, his training was this: “I didn’t learn in school or I was just a self-taught person. You get access to information by asking, a lot of it is word of mouth and goes back generations.. You start to develop your critical judgment, you record yourself on video, and you rely on other people who know you and know where you want to go. That’s how we developed and developed our style.”

Everything you need to know about break practice


B-Boy lives practically for his passion, because physical work must be ‘watered’ after knowledge, but a day like this is normal for the artist and athlete from Cordoba: “I train from Monday to Saturday. I do five days break and four physical preparations with a gym. For example, I came on Monday to train and I do activation, mobility, plyometrics and then I would move on to the technical part of the break. In the end I would go to some strength and some days I would finish with cardio. In total it could be about six hours a day“. According to the Spanish athlete and wrestler, “Physically it demands a lot from you”, and the truth is that you just have to see it in action to realize the difficulty of this art and the physical demand. “It requires some habits and if you want to practice it in the top competition you need to be persistent and have a lot of dedication. If you want to avoid injuries, you need a very high physical maintenance.”

exercises in the competition

“I like to have a balance between prepared exercises and what is improvised, that is, what you are currently developing according to the music and according to what your rival does. The course of the round is usually about 45 seconds and minutesalthough we don’t really have a time limit, but it is to be able to recover you”.

method of competition

The format of the Olympic Games will be similar to that of the last World Cup, so that “each country can bring two male and female competitors, and there is a qualifying round. The 32 with the best score advance to eight groups of four athletes who face each other in battles of two rounds. In these rounds, no one loses or wins, but points are accumulated and the person with the most in a group becomes part of the top 8. most points. If there is a tie in a round, a third is played.”


“You get the music. You have no idea what is going to be played. You can only investigate the DJ or DJs who come to the competition. You can find his music or just know if he likes to play more funk, rap or breaks. This way you can train with this music, but you don’t know what you will put in the competition”, says Xak. Of course, the B-Boy emphasizes that this part is the base: “The most important thing is musicality. You can be very technical, super creative, with a very good presence or energetic, but if you are lost to the music, you will not get a good score“. The one who opens a battle studies the rhythm as they are presented, to make their entrance at the right moment. DJ Ros and Lady Funk are some of Xak’s favorite DJs.

Dictionary and basic movements of the break

The judges

Xak explains that the judges have a program to rate numerous aspects, although these start from three general areas, called ‘trivium system’. “What the judges score, and a big summary of it because it’s very complicated, is gone a system divided between body, mind and soul. Basically it would refer to the physical and executed part; the creative and artistic part; and the part of presence and reaction to what your competitors do. Within each of these three blocks there are subsections such as aesthetics, shape, volatility… What the judges are doing is giving us the two points and then comparing them. That’s where a winner comes out,” explains Juan de la Torre.


In this sense, nothing is established: “Everybody dresses how they want. There are people who like the cap more and also those who don’t want it because it might hinder them. There are those who want narrower pants and a wider one. There are those of us who wear wider shoes and others who wear thinner shoes.”

Fifth in the World Cup

“I was happy with my performance because at first we were a little unaware of his layout. When I found out, I knew I had time to prepare myself to reach the top 8. When it was already there it depended on who it was. I was at the crossroads and whatever happened in that battle. If I didn’t get Victor, I think I might have my options.”

Can it be beaten? “You can beat him but you have to have a long-term competition strategy. In our discipline, when I use a move I can’t do it again because it would lower your score, so I need a strategy to go in compete in many rounds. , because one “Every time I use something I can’t use it again, although some moves can be recycled. I need a multi-round strategy.”

The powers to break

“Is The United States of America (California and Florida), Japan, the Netherlands and Russia. In the World Cup in Paris, an American won in boys, second in Canada and third in Russian. As girls, the first and second were Japanese.”

The key to breaking

In this sense, Xak warns that everything goes through daily work to be among the best. “The most important thing to practice breaking is persistence. If I tell you that you need at least 10 years to be good at this, some people think twice. After 10 years you can start to develop your style, your personality, so that they start to take you into account. It is a very technical modality and you can spend a year to complete a movement. If you don’t have persistence, it doesn’t matter the strength, the flexibility, the musicality… you will get bored and quit,” he warns.

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