Press
Spider by Spider .

Press, freeze, position supported by only the arms, with the body lower to the ground than in a handstand.

History

Many presses predate breaking. The spider may have been the earliest press done in breaking; it was done in the Rock Steady Crew vs. Dynamic Rockers battle in 1981 , and may have been done by the Smoke-a-Trons .

Press Combos

Sequences of moves involving press variations were developed significantly in the mid-to-late 1990s. This class of moves has been given numerous names, including press style, hand transfer style, transfer style, footless footwork, Las Vegas style, and animal style. Kujo describes the style, "when they're on the hands the whole time—they have their feet up here against their wrist, and they're doing [...] a half flare, stop, pull through, all of that kind of thing" .

Kujo states that "before it was the Las Vegas style, it was Inferno's style, and it was my style. It was one of the things Soul Control did, back in '95, '96, '97", and recalls,

"We called it footless footwork because you're doing all these things with your feet, with your legs, but your feet never touch the floor. You're just on your hands the whole time. Just walking around, you know, doing half of a flare, pull through, shoot through, you know, things like that... go to your head, push up, you know, all that."

Their moves arose from Soul Control's goal of inventing original power.

In the late 1990s, major innovations were led by Jin, Roland, Zoob, and others, particularly in Las Vegas. These included hand and arm stepping, different transitions between presses (or "transfers"), and increased emphasis on stacking. Common inspirations were Soul Control and Style Elements, with Ben Stacks additionally citing circus arts, and Jin mentioning flagpole sitting and Monkey staff practioners, as well as press-based moves by Benzo and a b-boy at Scribble Jam 1998 . Ben suggests that an event called Battle Club contributed to the development of the style in Las Vegas, recalling, "we were just going at it and transfers the whole time" . Ronnie adds,

"I think there were two main events in Vegas—Concrete Soul in 2000 and Illest in the Game in 2001—and that was when we pretty much came out with a different style. And it was Knucklehead Zoo, it was Full Force, and it was like RAOS. And we were doing threads, we were doing transfers, stepping on the hands."

Dyzee created several "low level freezes" in the late 1990s, and started to add elements of the "Vegas style" to his breaking after attending Illest in the Game .

Variations

I use "press" to mean a position supported by only the arms.

Planche by Kujo .
Planche by Kujo .
Airstep by Dyzee .
One-arm planche by Pop .
V kick by Jibaku .
One-arm side sit by Kid David .
Two-hand airstep by Roxy .
Hind leg freeze by Zoob .

Bent-Arm Planche

Planche with arms bent at the elbows.

Inside Press

Also straddle press. Press with legs in a side split, torso vertical, with arms in front of the body ("inside" the legs).

L Sit

Outside press with legs held together horizontally (forming a right angle with the torso, or an "L" shape).

Outside Press

Also press. Press with legs in a side split, torso vertical, with arms behind the body ("outside" of the legs).

Outside Tuck Planche

Also air turtle freeze. Planche with legs bent, outside of the arms.

One-Arm Planche

Planche supported by only one arm.

Planche

Press with straight arms and body held horizontally, parallel to the floor.

Side Sit

L sit with legs to one side, as in a side walk.

Spider

Press with legs resting on the triceps.

Tuck Planche

Planche with legs tucked into the chest.

V Kick

Also V Sit. Press with legs in front (as in an L sit), lifted in a "V" shape. A V kick rotated such that the legs are horizontal resembles the Manna in gymnastics.

Arm Step Freezes

Press variations where one or both feet are placed on the arms or hands.

Airstep

Also air step arm, reverse airbaby. One-arm press with the foot placed on the supporting arm near the tricep, and torso facing upward. Developed by Dyzee in 1999 .

Cross Arm Step

One-arm press with the opposite foot placed on the supporting arm.

Flagpole Sit

One-arm press with both feet placed on the wrist of the supporting arm. Developed by Jin in the late 1990s . A variation on one's fist was developed by Roland.

Hand Step

Press with a foot stepping on the hand of a supporting arm.

Hind Leg Freeze

Press with the foot placed on the supporting arm near the tricep, and torso facing downward. Developed by Zoob in 1999 .

Inside Arm Step

One-arm press with the corresponding foot placed on the supporting arm, on the side of the arm closer to the body. A variation with the arm further behind the body called the step arm was developed by Dyzee in the late 1990s . Cf. air step.

Outside Arm Step

One-arm press with the corresponding foot placed on the supporting arm, on the side of the arm further from the body.

Footnotes

  1. Kujo attributes the name "footless footwork" to Freeze (L.A. Breakers)

References