What’s going on guys, welcome to this episode of in the cypher b-boy podcast. And I just want to start off by saying a big thank you. We launched two weeks ago with three episodes: YNOT, Dean and a little trailer, and the feedback was really positive so I just want to say big big THANK YOU. Keeps me motivated to keep going and speaking of that, this next episode is a banger. And we did have some people ask where can we get these episodes; well the first three episodes and this episode will be live on our YouTube channel in the cypher but all these episodes are available to you on the go wherever you are through podcasts apps so if you’re not familiar you can use Apple podcasts if you’re on Apple if you’re on Android you can use cast box, stitcher radio, and I think Google has their own podcast app. But you can subscribe to the show on there, and download all the episodes and listen to them at practice while you’re stretching, in the car, while you’re running; all of those things so super super easy. let me know if you still got any questions about it, but let’s get into the show.
I’m really excited for this episode because we get a chat with Nico Castro, or Nicospins as most of you guys know him. The dude trains super super hard so I was really excited to get him on the show and walk us through exactly how he’s training for and preparing for these big competitions. And the nice thing about this episode is he goes into his personal life and we get a follow along on his journey so super exciting. And if you want to pick the next b-boy or b-girl I interview on the show let me know; hit me up through the YouTube comments or comment on any photo on our Instagram page at underscore in the cypher. We already had a runaway 91 who commented on one of our photos asking for abstract to be on the show I already reached out to him so we’ll see where that goes. But I’m doing this show for you guys so let me know who you want and who you want to learn from and I will do my best to make it happen. Alright guys so let’s get straight into this interview.
What’s going on guys Wolvi here and welcome to the cypher. On this show I interview b-boys and b-girls from varying levels of experience and backgrounds and they share their knowledge to help you become a better dancer; crazy crazy stuff. All right on this episode of in the cypher b-boy podcast we got Nico Castro here but you probably know him as Nico spins. Now Nico is a 23 year old Filipino American based out of San Diego specializing in dance and deejaying. With a 10-year background in competitive experience as a b-boy at the scale of Red Bull BC One national finals, he is also a business owner for his dance company break fiveeight, co-director for his music collective Flavre Springs, and an artist from the 365-day creative project #Nico’syear. Dang, Nico’s a busy busy guy. But yeah, Nico shares his take on improving training mindset and the overall self. Through a child and teen hood consisted of navigating grief through family deaths, a rocky relationship with his parents, depression, financial mistakes, and injuries, Nico’s intention with art is to inspire humanity to embrace all adversities as strengths to gain self-awareness and live life on their own terms. Alright now let’s chat with our featured guest Nicospins.
Yo Nico you ready get into it?
Yes definitely, thank you so much for having me Wolvi is gonna be fun.
Oh for sure I’m gonna have so much fun, thank you for agreeing to be on the show I’m pretty stoked. Let’s just get started by telling us a little bit more about your personal life outside of breakin.
Okay yeah. So just as a brief intro my name is Nico Castro, I come from a first-generation Filipino American family and I’m based in San Diego California so I grew up in the suburbs and I had a lot of family and I had a lot of cousins. I grew up as the youngest. everyone was all my older siblings and all my older cousins; they were I think closest age gap I had was six years between a sibling so when it came to little things like wanting attention or wanting affirmation from everyone but whenever we had a family party that’s kind of the thing that stuck. I really wanted attention. So especially during the time that people were getting into martial arts films and getting into the dance movies like you got served, those those two things specifically, it really rung true with everyone and they’re like y’all next family party we got to practice handstands, we gotta practice Kip ups. So whenever they were trying it out I was always in the corner trying to get those names before them so I can be the center of attention. By the time I already got the move everyone already moved on to the next phase but I already had some sort of exposure to hip hop, but to keep it brief when I was 12 years old my mom and my grandpa they both passed away within the span of two weeks and through that my life kind of just shifted to this whole era of a bunch of calamity and a whole bunch of adversity. Of like in a year and a half, I had maybe five more families passed away because it just various regions, whether it was a natural death or it was some long-term sickness a terminal illness that type of thing and it was just everyone my whole family dynamic was shifting and when I was losing those people that meant so much to me that meant I was missing that part of me I was missing that presence and I needed affirmation again so after moving from school to school the school I needed to find friends and I couldn’t figure out a consistent way how to just say hi to someone.
So if there was someone across from me in a class saying you know I want to get into breakdancing what I was involved was America’s Best Dance Crew was the thing at the time I knew some sort of breaking experience or some sort of hip-hop experience I volunteering really “yo that’s me I know how to do it”. I could barely do a flare so I’d end up rolling around thinking I’m breaking and I get props and I love that sense of affirmation and that’s how I feel in the rhythm of it and I got into breaking. And eventually I got a club going on at that middle school and then for me it quickly be no longer became a fact of trying to impress people, I started falling in love with progress. And as a YouTube generation b-boy I was blessed to see a lot of tutorials, I was blessed to see a lot of videos and battles and footage from around the world that gave me a reference I’m like “well this is how it’s supposed to look like” or that’s the feeling that you’re supposed to get and I started falling in love with progress and I got addicted to making progress and escalating moves and learning from move to move to move and then by the time I knew it I already joined my first crew that’s how I got into it.
For sure. What was your first crew?
My first crew was had like a micro-one, it was pretty silly. It was with my ex-girl my sixth-grade girlfriends cousin we named it hypnotic. I think because they were in high school and they’re learning and getting into alcohol and stuff. So since I was in a different school I’m down as long as there’s people I could break with I’m sick that faded out in like two months. And then I got recruited into a more solidified crew called IGS&P it’s pretty corny but it means I got style and power and I rolled with those guys for maybe two years until I met one of my best friends his name was Jimmy Nguyen. I think people know him on the internet as 2u4u or Jimmy Jam. He told me like you know “I’m in this crew uncomfortably fresh I’m the youngest one”, he was like maybe 13 or 12 I was around 14 and everyone that was running the crew they were in their early to mid 20s so he was the baby of the crew they were mentoring him and he made it clearly you know I need another kid in this. Him and I quickly mixed well then we entered battles we entered so many competitions from so many events that we didn’t pass prelims so many events that we won locally and eventually we started we were nurtured and uncomfortably fresh so that became my main gig. Now I’m one of the youngest members of California the other younger guys are like mace, Maya, or soon-to-be little Maddox Weapon X. Weapon X yeah yeah. Yeah I came onto Jimmy when, uh I think it was stance who put out the highlight reel where hes just a wrecking shop at that one jam. Yeah he’s one of the most original b-boys I’ve ever met genuine guys; that guy works hard outside of breaking too.
Cool for sure, all right so I guess how long have you been breakin?
I started it in late 2008 September of 2008 so it’s been almost 11 years now.
Crazy, and during that time what would you say was your biggest obstacle and breaking and how did you overcome it?
I think one of them was perseverance because it wasn’t the physical aspect of it. I knew I could recover, I knew I could rest, I knew I could do all these tangible things. To be back at it but it was just more so being alone. One thing I havent talked about in podcasts but I’m more than open to is my rocky relationship with my dad. So as the youngest kid in my family and I mentioned the closest age gap between me and a sibling was six years so when my mom passed everyone was already either graduated high school or they already started their own lives meaning that they moved out so the last people that were in the house it was just me and my dad. And as I mentioned when my mom passed away, two weeks before that my grandpa passed. So that was my dad’s dad so my dad’s life spiraled down in 2008 when his wife passed his dad passed away so he’s dealing with the grief of his grandma or with his mom and then two weeks later his wife passed away and there’s all these financial troubles and there’s all this crazy drama going on and he falls into a deep depression so while doing that none of his daughters want to stay at the house anymore they want to leave so they all leave and then his youngest son he still has to take care of a freakin twelve-year-old. So how was this guy supposed to maintain all the financial burdens that are going on, how’s he supposed to maintain the balance between nurturing and making sure that his mom doesn’t fall into a depression, his kid lastly doesn’t get into some rebellious phase and of course I did at the perfect time. It was right there. And so while he was navigating his own life or trying to put all those things first, his life was spiraling down and he needed to figure out how can I basically not drown in this and that created a rocky relationship between him and I that created a lot of times when he would just leave leave the house to go on trips because he needed it. He definitely needed the time and the thing that I love about him is that he provided me with blind support in this breaking thing. So I think that’s something that’s really huge in parenting for some for a child that really wants to get into a hobby as providing blind support and I think that was one of the best things that could have happened to me because he didn’t really understand the culture of breaking thing that I wanted to get into; even when I didn’t yet. He just said okay just let me know what you need and you got it but then in the times when I kind of needed it he wasn’t there. He was on a trip, he was with another girlfriend. He was in a different headspace so everything that I had to do was figuring it out on my own. So I think the biggest challenge in my braking career was figuring stuff out on my own because when you’re in the forest and you don’t know when you’re gonna get out it gets really scary unless you’re at this point like where I’m at now I realized that when I’m in for us I think that’s probably one of the best places to be a lot of times when you’re lost in life you don’t really know what to do. We tend to go find negative habits but at this point I think when you’re in the forest or when you get lost this is a good time to reflect, this is a good time to breathe. Understand that this is the process of how things work this is probably the reason why everything happens. So I think perseverance has always been my challenge in breaking but it’s been my most favorite part.
Thank you so much for sharing.
You’re not gonna be the only one going through this so I know there’s gonna be people out there who listen to this and it will really mean a lot to hear from you someone who’s been through it and made it out. So you know coming out of your your forest analogy, like how did you find your way and what kind of tools did you use during that time?
I think it was a matter of consistency so there’s a balance to everything right when you’re in the forest you’re not just unequipped. It might feel like it but taking the time to reflect on things like the word gratitude, being thankful for what you have and that’s starting with who’s in your inner circle. I had my girlfriend with me. I think the deepest time I was in quote the Forrest unquote is when I first entered high school. I mean when I first entered college because throughout high school yes my dad would be absent at times and I had to figure stuff out but I had uncomfortably fresh as my mentors that were with me every week. We had crew practices throughout the week at the end of the week so I always had adult figures in my life but when I moved out to college this was a time where I was like I’m gonna figure this out on my own but I was just a dumb 19 year old that was super impulsive I needed to chase money because I had all these b-boy aspirations but I was failing in school so I was like how am I gonna feel fulfilled. I wasn’t taking care of my body physically when it came to conditioning so it’s like I’m trying to keep the same consistency that I had in high school where I was making a lot a significant amount of progress. I’m getting the same consistent meals with my dad, I’m getting the same consistent rest in the same bed in the same house, but in college it’s like okay I want try to get into this party thing right but I also want to do pretty good at school but I want to get into tricking but I want to juggle all these things. And it was being so counterproductive that I was throwing multiple airflares and not conditioning not stretching and I’m just tearing and destroying my rotator cuff so then by the time I knew it and it quick three months into the first semester of college I nearly like tear my shoulder.
So for an entire year of just an impatient mentality not giving what results or Consequences happened when you’re impulsive, I just it was a detriment to my breaking and I didn’t know what to do. But it wasn’t until I met my current girlfriend I eventually intend to marry is, her name is Tyana. She’s an amazing soul. She’s super dope, I live with her family now, but she provided me with a space that didn’t necessarily say “yo what the are you doing with your life?” but it was more so just kind of questioning like “why would you do that?” questioning like “is this the right thing to do?”. And having a third voice and having that person in my inner circle help me reflect on like is this a practical thing to do is this really me? And she gave me that support especially when I felt like I was in my darkest, especially when I was chasing money right. I got into pyramid schemes, I ruined some friendships, and I feel super terrible about those things but it had to happen for me to recognize that. Your circles and sorry that gratitude is a real thin;g it’s a real tool. Being thankful for what you have, being thankful for the time that you have here, being thankful for the people that you have around you; they will define who you are. If you hang out with people that complain, that are negative nancies, that people are basically losers right? You’re gonna be a loser too. But if you’re hanging out with people that genuinely care and can care about people’s time, people that care about the hours put in, and people don’t necessarily care about winning but just live in love, then you’re going to live in love. Everything about you do is gonna come out in love.
Definitely you guys this is the truth. Yeah it’s real. Straight up it might sound cheesy, but you really are who you surround yourself with. Seriously. Crazy, crazy, crazy, and now you got your own training spot out there with your your girlfriend’s parents.
Yeah so it’s all in the garage but turns out now we’re moving to another house in the next month so I need to figure out how I’m gonna go about this. It seems like you got some stuff to work out. Yeah. Cool well how did that, having that spot in your in your own house how did that how did that contribute to your training and your progress? Tremendously and it’s not something new when I was in high school and I was living with my dad when I was talking about blind support one of the three we moved from house to house to house. So when I first started breaking we lived in a condo that was super dope I had carpet and I was just carpet training all the time. Then we moved into this really creepy 1970s townhouse in a really borderline bougie area of San Diego where it was like here are the townhouses that were built in the 1970s if you go four miles this way then you’re in the really bougie areas of this place called Scripps Ranch. And we lived on the not bougie part so we lived in those creepy townhouses and we could kind of do whatever but it also had some restrictions but he asked me like “what do you want to do?” I said “I think I want to build a dance studio”.
So when he was making when he was investing some renovations to the spot he asked the really sketchy contractor, he was like a single dude, okay I’ll make a dance studio so he made one. And if you look at my early YouTube videos from like 2011 to 2013 you’ll see a lot of stuff that was built in this town house and it was like linoleum but underneath was it was glued to pieces of wood say it was not comfy it was not soft but it was on top of like really beat-up wooden planks that probably were deteriorated from termites at some point. But I had that throughout my entire high school career so building a dance space wasn’t new to me. So this current space that I have building at this beautiful home at my girlfriend’s parents house, I went to Home Depot and I was like okay… because at first I used whatever money I made from my shitty warehouse job. Oh what was I doing. I was like okay I’m gonna use this money and I’m gonna get thrifty white floorboards. So if you look at the floor at the competition called culture of four, it’s hosted by my crewmate Eranetic. They used white boards and it’s just duct tape together and I was like okay I think I could build something like that and it looks affordable. So it turns out like the total of that only came out to like 50 bucks, 50/60 bucks and I got six of them. I cleaned out the garage, I sanitized the floor, I laid those down and I duct tape them, and it worked so if you see in the beginning of the hashtag Nicko’s year project I’m just using white boards duct taped together. Yes. So those were crucial to improvement for that project is that first I was just using small spaces inside of the house, or I was using concrete, but now I had finally had a space. Okay I can run some sort of business here, it looks pretty corny, it looks pretty bad, but I think it’ll get the job done.
Once I get enough clientele from teaching and grinding, on top of the shitty warehouse job, then I’m gonna invest in better floor. So it was maybe a few months into the 365 project, I got enough money from both jobs and it clicked. Okay I’m gonna get some floor I spent 600 bucks on some what’s called, they’re called click lock flooring or click lock vinyl flooring panels, you can get them at any department store and I lay those out. I spent good like three days. I think now that I’m able to know that I figured it out I could do it in like a whole in one day but it took me maybe three days to get it done. By the time new I had a new spot and it was nice. Those yeah, having a space like that is crucial and the more I had that the less public practices I went to. I used to go to a public practice maybe two to three, yeah maybe two or three times a week even when I had a space at home, and now that I have this I go to a public practice maybe once a month. Especially now knowing that I know what I want throughout training.
Gotcha and yeah like like Nico said guys, fifty bucks to get started with that a whiteboard floor definitely doable definitely. I know there’s a lot of people out there who complain that they don’t have enough space in their house and there’s not enough open practices near them; like Nico you got to be resourceful.
Definitely it’s like if an opportunity doesn’t exist then create one.
Exactly and I know you mentioned you don’t really go to public practices, you training mostly by yourself these days?
Yeah but every now and then I’ll do two traveling it gets a little hard. Me and my crewmates, they’ll come over to the house maybe once or twice a month on a Sunday. They’ll come over and we’ll just have a small crew practice, or whoever I’m training with at the time, they’ll come over and it’s like most people will have in the garage is five and that’s plenty and it’s a good energy and it’s good but throughout the week it’s mostly by myself and if I’ll see someone else throughout the week that’s dope too but most of the time it’s by myself. Dope and how do your practices differ when you’re practicing on your own versus with other people? Yeah when I’m on my own sometimes they come out longer; sometimes I’ll spend up to four hours in the room by myself. But I have a I have a whole array of routines that I go through that I’ve developed throughout my entire breaking career because that first I think like anyone else you don’t really know how to practice so you just dive in it.
So for the people that are just beginning breaking a lot of times we just want to throw ourselves on the ground and something comes out you get some results and that’s dope. And some days I’ll just focus on recording myself so if I’m learning how to do flares or if I’m learning how to do a Nike freeze, I know what it looks like and instead of having a treacherous two-hour session where I’m just throwing my body hoping something happens I can have a productive thirty minutes where I can reference how this move looks, what can I adjust to make it better. So I think that’s always been one of my main things that I’m glad to have had a camera like a camera phone in 2008 to figure out how to handstand, to figure out how to do a hollow back, and having as a reference was really really helpful. Having a camera just so you can record yourself and analyze what’s going on that works a lot. Yeah 100% definitely. That’s one of the most valuable tools I’ve learned from a lot of people around me is recording yourself, you actually see what’s going on you’ll progress way faster that way. Right because there’s always that guy at the public practice that attends every single practice and he’s been going for the last two years and he he grinds it out but he doesn’t record himself, he just practices flares and he’s been practicing flurries for two years and he’s been slamming his body slamming his like they’re always scuffing his hips are always low and it’s cuz he never recorded himself whereas there’s that one person that goes and records themselves practice is the same move and gets it in a month. And that’s because they take the time to reflect and not just destroying their body.
Exactly straight up, and you mentioned routines what could you expand a little bit on what you meant by that?
Yeah so in the last maybe since 2014 I really became intentional about integrating conditioning meaning just standard fitness just to make sure that I don’t get hurt because I also mentioned in 2015 I stopped giving because I was a 2000 now I was a 19, I was an impulsive 19 year old that was in college trying to live on my own and trying to live this dorm life, trying to do these things and still be high level at breaking and that’s just not a good formula. I was integrating running extremely extremely think well I love Hills because you get to jog on them, you get to climb you have spiritual relationships with climbing, and going on hydrants terrains, but I like to implement standard conditioning whether that’s jogging or having some sort of cardio that’s not just breaking. I’ll do very light weights I’ve never been a person of lifting heavy and doing maximum maximum pushes but it’s oh it’s just in light weights and high reps to get the body lubricated and get the body ready to endure practice. And everything’s always been about safety and practicality and I do that and then I have breaking sessions. And then throughout the week I’ll have different types of sessions. Where as saying… I’ll give you my whole routine. Like on the Monday through Sunday basis I like to alternate every morning, morning is I’ll either going to 40 a 45 minute jog I don’t run fast I just like to get my lung stretched out, I like to go in the hills, I get to think and reflect, I’ll get so in depth on Mondays I won’t listen to music I’ll listen to a podcast while I’m jogging. On Wednesday is all either do no music at all or I’ll do some pretty aggressive sounding music stuff to get you hyped up. And then right after your I’ll stretch out and then I’ll either get into breaking sessions or I’ll get into this is a good time to probably make a video come up with some content stay in the lab, come up with a new concept, play with something new, and then it’s like Tuesday comes around I’m gonna focus that morning on twenty five structured rounds. So instead of just going full-blown I’m gonna destroy my body with rounds, I’ll do the first five it’ll just be top rock, then the next five it’s gonna be tops and drops, so I don’t so I don’t blank out when it comes to freestyling cuz a lot of times with tops and drops, or just not knowing tops and drops, in a battle or cypher you’ll go out, you’ll do your top rock you’ll get down your floor work and you’ll blank out right. Whether you’re nervous or you crash or you start fishing for moves, but you’ll stand up in top rock again and it looks really obvious that you blanked out. So anyway that we can encourage figuring out how to make your tops dynamic going from top to bottom integrating some floorwork and coming back up with a purpose and mixing in your tops, boom you’re already freestyling and you can go forever.
So tops and drops probably the next five. The next five rounds after that I’ll bring it to traditional floor work and I’m in no rush. I’m going through every single step so slow just to make sure every single step has purpose, every single step is clean. And then the next five I’ll go through a whole flow of throwing in my foundation with no rush because this is still Tuesday morning you probably still haven’t stretched yet, just going through all the motions. And then the last five out of 25 then I’ll either go through, I love doing b-boys exercise or it’s like ten seconds top rock 10 seconds footwork 10 seconds push-ups, but out of those five to be more specific maybe first two rounds I’ll do that exercise then the last three I’ll go ten seconds top rock and 10 seconds footwork and 10 seconds traditional or very basic freeze stacks. Because I knew by the end of this I want to be able to stretch out and then I want to practice high-level stuff and I’ve already gone through and marked everything that’s in my arsenal I should feel good by then. So that’s how I do that and that’s just a Tuesday morning practice. Love it let’s keep going. Yeah that’s the morning practice and then Wednesday I’ll go back to the 45-minute jog and stretch out and maybe make a video then Thursday go back to the rounds or rest day, and then Friday repeat the process. So today is Friday I’m probably gonna go on a 45-minute run after my next phone call meeting after this and then I’m gonna go through the practice teach them classes and then if you’re preparing for a competition throw in another practice um you can either go to the gym work on strength training whether you’re doing squats high quality of like high repetitions squats, sorry that’s my dog, and then by the end of the practice have go to a public practice or something and work on content content drill some stuff and then just repeat the process and take time to recover.
Right what’s your Saturday Sunday like?
Saturday I’m either teaching classes or there’s a jam that I’m attending. So if I’m teaching it’s a Saturday I’m teaching classes I’ll do that in the morning because my body already feels pretty good, and I’ve positioned my students my current students in a way where they now can go rounds with me so we’ll do the 25 rounds so I’m getting stuff out of it too, but I’ll really provide them with directions so they know how to do it. And I think I’ll normally finished classes by the afternoon so then crewmates will come over and we’ll have a three-hour session. So if that was boiled down to one like a solo session then I get like a good hour and a half because there’s all the time that you get to stop and breathe while other people go in, but yeah I’ll spend that time with the crew and that’ll sometimes alternate between the Saturday and Sunday. Also if I’m not doing that I’m DJing on Saturdays or Sundays.
Okay Nico thank you so much for getting so specific with
your training routine, I mean the guys if you’re listening this the most
valuable thing is a you know you see how successful Nico is and the crazy
things he can do and he’s winning competitions left and right, I mean if you’re
gonna choose to train like someone you need to train like Nico like this nuts.
So how does your yeah for sure how’s your training routine change when you’ve
got a competition coming up?
Yeah so I’ve always, one of my mentors his name is
whyte rock also known as Kory Howell. He’s he was the captain of uncomfortably
fresh but he’s also a full-time novelist now so he’s always been very articulate,
and very punctual, and very calculated when it comes to this kind of stuff in
terms of encouraging people or do conditioning outside of breaking so you’re
not just a full-time breaking b-boy where your body’s literally breaking after
so many practices. He implemented the idea to me that you’re never training for
competitions you’re just always training. But of course it becomes contextual
at that point like yes we’re always training but when there is a competition we
can kind of shift gears to get into that mentality just so you’re not an artist
artist mode all the time we want to be able to get into warrior mode and when I
say that I mean, I followed the same formula but there’s one practice acronym
that I discovered in college when I wasn’t paying attention at any school. I
was trying to figure out okay in high school I was making a lot of progress I
was making a lot of progress as a well-rounded becoming breaker and finding my
style that type of thing.
I need solidify and make it concrete on my training
pattern because I know everyone’s different so there is is acronym that I
mentioned in my other podcast and you might have heard this in my workshops
it’s called LAPSI and that stands for LAPSI. I’ll run through really briefly
but it’s basically a formula that I like to follow whether it’s split into
single days throughout the seven-day week or I’ll split that into weeks or I’ll
dedicate each letter in two months and the end result is that I’m always
getting new content out of it and I’m always feeling ready and on the end
everything should be second nature. So in a nutshell L stands for laboratory so
you can apply this like I said either a day a week or a month. L stands for
laboratory, you come up with a new concept or you upgrade one of your old patterns
or something something within your arsenal you upgrade it or you come up with
something new. That’s L, stands for laboratory whether you have 10 minutes, 30
minutes or you have eight hours of session. Then A, you apply also known as
application. So getting into a small session group whether that’s with you, or
a small group, you get feedback on that new product that you just created.
They’ll tell you you know I think you should scrap that or they’ll tell you you
know I think you need to travel forward with it you should travel backwards or
you should do it alternating on both sides or do it two times and then
misdirect blah, blah blah. Figure out ways to manipulate the move and make it
better and then P with LAP that stands for practice so whether you have this
rest date or that’s the actual day you’re gonna be a public practice you’re
gonna be all yourself again, that’s the day you just drill it out of it you
drill and drill it and drill it and then you take a rest day or something. And
then S whether that’s Friday or Saturday, maybe battle day, depending on the
difficulty of the move, a stands for second nature right. It should be
implemented into the rest of your craft because you did on Tuesday, it should
be ready and it should be ready to go cuz you conditioned it on Wednesday for
P. So it should be second nature so if you were to get called out anywhere and
you need to throw down in a performance, at the mall, when you you’re in when
you’re in a cypher, battle; it should be second nature. And then I stands for
influence or inspiration so whether you’re taking the Sunday off or you’re
setting a whole period to just rest after maybe in a really stressful event
that you dedicated a lot of time to, just take that time to reflect, grab
deploy gratitude deploy all these different ways of improving and it’s you
should find some sort of inspiration whether it’s the rain, find some sort of
inspiration whether it’s someone that inspires you to create something new and
bring it back to the table on Monday so you can repeat the process. And that’s
LAPSI; laboratory, application, practice, second nature, influence. Yes love it
Yeah so when I’m getting into competitions like this weekend’s I have Red
Bull BC, Red Bull BC One North America and since I did it I had no expectation
I was gonna qualify to this competition, I only have three weeks. So within the
three weeks that I had from the LA cypher I dedicated I think four yeah it was
like maybe twenty days, four or five days to L, four or five days to
application, four or five days to practice, and now I’m in the second nature
period. So everything like the job has been done already, whoever wins this
competition it’s already determined, everything’s already set in stone now I
just gotta live it. I don’t want to stress I don’t want to be anxious about it.
So I’m gonna continue doing my normal practice like as if there wasn’t a jam
but my gears have been kind of shifting in the direction of this event so
everything’s in the second nature period for me so I should be ready to go for
Perfect man congratulations on making it. I’m for sure gonna tune
in to see and that was the North America cypher?
Yeah it’s also known as the
Houston camp, well so many different emails exchanged by Red Bull they’re
saying it’s the Houston camp some are saying like this is the national final so
different names but I think the same thing. Gotcha, gotcha yes I’ve been seeing
that Houston camp all over the place recently. so yeah. Dang that’s dope good
luck. thank you. And thanks for sharing these are extremely actionable and
specific tips. Yeah definitely, I would love to see people integrate this stuff
and just upgrade, people are amazing this game is evolving all the time so any
way that someone can implement this and just upgrade it and evolve it to
something stronger and better that’s super sick.
100%, and then share it. Yeah
definitely. Dope and then before we wrap up here one last thing I want to get
more specific on was your uh your conditioning. I know you you say you do light
weights and you just posted an Instagram video recently and you’re in the gym
you got lasting bands pistol squats crazy, I just wants you maybe get some
specifics on what types of exercises you do and why you do them.
Yeah it always
started with the core, right any core exercise and anything that has to do with
your rotator cuff because the whole reason why I got into conditioning was one
because my crewmate, and also it was because of that crappy shoulder injury
that I was just not helping with in 2015. So I just started with like two
really light weights maybe 10 pounds, two free weight dumbbells, opening your
wingspan like you’re pulling up two buckets of water with your arms stretched
out. I do that maybe 15 times going sideways and then both in the front, I’ll
do that 15 times. And I’ll do 2 where my elbows are attached to my abs and I’ll
make my arms go back and forth alternating from side to side, anything that’ll
help just do a handstand because I hate the pain I don’t want an injury and
anything that to help with stabbing for chairs and air chairs. And everything
else is just optional but I would definitely encourage doing everything with
your body, there’s so many exercises online, you can look into plyometrics, you
can look into band training, anything that makes you concentrate on focusing in
one area balancing that and then alternating back and forth just for full
mobility because in this dance we’re not doing any stiff movements. We’re
getting from point A to point B but always in very specific ways so anyway you
can condition that any way that you can say you have even with just your
breaking training, if you have a combo that you’re working on like this was all
this idea of breaking something down.
My crewmate whyte rock told me he just
said okay we have your one signature and it’s called it’s the nineteen ninety
you clap in the air, and then you land in an air chair. I’ve always had the
combo and it’s always been inconsistent it, wasn’t until maybe two months ago
where he was like dude he laid down the hammer it was “like we gotta fix
it you have all these high-level moves but you’re hardly hitting it or if you
hit it it’s super inconsistent”. You can even see at the BC One side for
LA, I threw the 90 clap into air chair. I hit it, but I hit the air for like a
half a second and I stood up and I was like yeah I hit that, you still gotta
sell it. It wasn’t good right, there have been moments at home where I just
stick the air chair or I can chair flare out of it but breaking and move down.
So using that as an example it’s like okay you have three moves you have the
1990, you have the clap, and you have the air chair. Take the time to pump out
reps of 1990s. Okay I could do that. Then take the time to pump out reps of the
clap, so get into hand hops. Clap multiple times, keep clapping and go back to
hand hops. Hand hop, clap, hand hop, clap. Just get used to it. and then
practice the drop to air chair. It’s scary but you need to find a productive
way to ease yourself into air chairs because it’s painful. Okay let’s start
with swinging down and landing into two-handed stab. Let’s work on that. Maybe
after 5-10 reps of that, now let’s start dropping down into air chair with one
arm. Focus on your form, focus on flexing your heels or pointing your toes,
whatever you want, the way you crunch your abs, every tiny thing contributes to
the whole thing. It’s like okay, I ran through maybe 15 reps on each of those
three moves now let’s start slowly, this is all baby steps, let’s start putting
it together. Let’s focus on the 90 and then let’s focus on the clap. Okay let’s
pump that out five more times. Now let’s focus on the clap to air chair. Oh my
gosh this is scary, this is a far drop but we got to do it. Let’s do that five
times. Okay and through baby steps, it’s like sometimes this will take the
entire session. You want to spend the whole time in the entire session just
training everything but if you want to get so specific and you want to get this
down, then it takes time it takes baby steps. It’s like okay now I’m finally
like there’s only 10 minutes a session left but it’s been productive,
everything feels well. Now I can practice the 90, the clap and then the air
chair. I’ll pump that that out maybe five times, take a break, do it another
five times, and you should feel ready. So it should get as specific as that and
there’s no shortcut there’s no easy way around. It’s like if you want to get
something down it just takes time. And if you’re not loving this process while
you’re doing it then what’s the point of it you’re not having fun; you’ve got
to follow this process. So yeah that’s as specific as I can get on that.
Straight up, it’s all a process, this entire dance. And everyone, conditioning
is so important, mobility is so important; you think you’re not going to get
injured until you get injured and you will I promise you. So yeah, so take it
from Nico, take it from me, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, you have to
And Nico just before we wrap up here think about a young
b-boy, a couple years into it, a little bit lost still trying to figure out how
to train his own style what advice would you give him?
Yeah first thing is
going back to the, yo if you have a specific interest in what you do and you
feel like it’s a little different from everyone else, if there’s no opportunity
then create one. And for something more tangible, now that we’re in this world
of, we can’t avoid social media right unless you’re really diehard I’m gonna
avoid all this, don’t fall in love with the numbers. Don’t fall in love with
the followers, your view count, do your best to stay away from it. Do what you
love, and say you want to get into creating content, try as many weird things
as you want because it took me so many projects to find the 365 day project. I
tried giving myself self projects of like alright this three month basis
project I’m gonna come up with these nine moves, right and it came up with like
a foundation of all these things until it finally clicked. I heard a podcast no
you know 365 project I’ve tried so many things that relate to that why I just
put that together. So all the weird things are little projects that you could
think of, go for it because it won’t be the first one. If it does dope. It
might not be the fifth project that you try that gets off but maybe number 15,
the 15th project that you try, that’s the right one, that’s the one that
resonates with people. But I keep trying all the weird stuff that you want and
then I promise you long-term one of them is gonna work out and if you’re doing
a daily project same principle. If you’re putting out music as a music
producer, if you’re doing something as a content creator, maybe day one doesn’t
work, you get two views. Maybe day 15 doesn’t work but 230, that one’s the one.
So give your absolute best every single day then I promise you long term as
long as you just fall in love with the daily process it’s gonna pay off. But
don’t get romantic about it just fall in love with the process. We’re not here
to love the results, the glory isn’t in that, the glory is in the process.
Loving the process is the glory of it everything else is just a bonus.
yes fall in love with the process guys. Okay Nico has shared a lot about his
personal life, specifics about his training, and this just scratches the
surface. Nico you’re on Instagram @Nicospins and you’re on YouTube at Nico
Castro right? Correct. Perfect, what kind of things are you sharing on there?
YouTube it’s just more of the same things that I do on Instagram but I just
compiled them, it’s longer form of content on YouTube. So it’s just
compilations of what I do on Instagram. Instagram just kind of the alright,
this is the daily stuff and then on YouTube I’ll put the longer length projects
Perfect yeah I’ve been following your Instagram for a while, you’re
almost at 30k now so early Congrats.
Thank you that’s pretty crazy. That’s a
lot of eyes. And that means there’s a lot of positivity, there’s a lot of hate,
but yeah it’s been mostly positivity so I’m happy I’m grateful and if there is
heat it’s gonna happen. For sure. Be the example.
All right guys go check out
Nico on the Instagram @Nicospins and I know you also you got a couple other
projects on the go you want to tell us a little more about them.
So if you’re
ever interested in online breaking lists that is nothing I am advertising. Not
necessarily advertising, that I’m providing, sorry. Online breaking lessons, so
I have break five eight, that’s my limited liability company that I focus on
private lessons here in San Diego. There’s a lot of demand for people asking
can you help me with flares, can you help me with all these moves, and instead
of just giving them the tangible word of do just practice, like if anyone’s
interested if they ever want to train with me shoot me a DM starts at 20 bucks.
And we can exchange videos and we can get in depth on critiquing and helping
the direction of your breaking long term and short term. So you can direct
message me through Nico Castro or Nico spins or the break 5-8 Instagram and
that is spelled out break and the numbers five eight break 5 8. That’s where I
provide online breaking lessons. And on not the side but my other focus is
music, so I DJ. Also as another gig, you can hear my weekly mixes with my DJ
and my music collective called flavre springs and that’s @flavresprings. We
come from an area in San Diego called sabre Springs so we call it flavre
Springs. So we put out meekly, weekly, meekly wix’s, weekly mixes. And I’m also
getting into music production. So I’m gonna assume my first 200, 300, maybe
1000 songs are gonna be very very whack so maybe under 1000th one i’ll post it.
But yeah, you can find all our music over there. We have 30, to 40, to
hour-long mixes that you can just enjoy and just cruise to. Those are my three
Beauty and guys that was a lot of links, all of these will be in the
show notes at inthecypher.com. So Nico thank you so much. you guys out you’ve
been hanging out with with Nico and your host Wolvi. Head over to
inthecypher.com, search Nico in the search bar and his show notes page will
come up with everything we’ve been talking about today. I know you’re gonna
need a pen and paper to keep notes on everything that Nico’s shared but don’t
worry, it’ll all be right there in the show notes. So thank you so much Nico
for coming on the show and sharing your unique perspective. Yeah for sure you
got really specific, lot’s actionable tips, this is exactly what we’re looking
for. So yeah today you got to learn from one of the greatest. Hope to have you
back on the show Nico, but until then we’ll catch you in the cypher.
to, thank you.
And there you have it guys Nico spins, thank you so much Nico
for being on the show. And guys I’m recording this episode after the Red Bull
national finals, Red Bull BC One national finals out there in the US, the one
that Nico said he was training, for and he made it all the way to the finals.
This is crazy stuff. So clearly the things that he’s doing in his training work
and he has a results to prove it so big shout out to you Nico thank you so much
and big big congratulations. If you want to find more on Nico you can find him
on Instagram at Nico spins and on YouTube at the same. And Nico’s a busy guy,
again he’s got his soundcloud flavre springs FLAVRE springs, and he’s a busy guy,
break 5-8 spelt out on instagram you can find out what he’s doing there so
please please please give it up for Nico. Thank you so much dude.
And guys I
said it at the top of the show and I’m gonna say it now, hit me up in the
YouTube comments, hit me up on Instagram, let me know who you want to be on the
show next and more importantly let me know what you want to ask these b-boys
and what you want to know from them. It is my goal with the show to bring you
the b-boys and b-girls that you want to learn from. If you’ve got any other
questions comments or concerns let me know on Instagram we are @_inthecypher it
me up on there in the comments or in the DMS. You can also leave a comment on
our YouTube channel in the cypher on YouTube.
I just want to say thank you
guys, we launched our very first episodes; so that’s episode 1, 2, & 3 2
weeks ago and the amount of support and feedback was awesome. Really appreciate
you guys, really positive. Right now these episodes are coming out every other
week so two weeks from now you’ll hear another really great guest. I’ll keep it
a secret for now. If you want to see some behind the scenes or and advance preview on what to expect for these
upcoming episodes, follow us on Instagram, I throw everything up on there. And
yeah guys thank you so much and thanks for listening. I’ll see you guys on the
next episode. Looking forward to hearing from you guys and really really loving
and making these episodes for you. So stay tuned and peace out.