This is: Logistx
Logistx (Underground Flow, BREAKINMIA, Red Bull BC One All Stars) after her victory at Red Bull BC One 2021
mongst the rise of B-girls in the past several years, one name has continually dominated at the top of the scene. B-girl Logistx (representing Underground Flow, BREAKINMIA, and Red Bull BC One Allstars), has proven herself to be one of the highest level breakers with her captivating musicality and smooth yet powerful movement. Whether it be in battles, performances, or commercial work, Logistx utilizes her wide range of skills and styles to bring you into her world.
Following her incredible victory at the Silverback Open 2018 in the B-Girl Solo competition, just 3 years later she would also claim victory at the Red Bull BC One 2021 B-Girl battles at the young age of 18. And as a way of giving back to the community, Logistx started a program called “SELF” which provides holistic guidance and training for those wanting to take their movement and self-development to a higher level.
One topic Logistx does not shy away from is the importance of mental health. As a strong advocate for mental health, she states: “I've realized the importance of this [mental health], and this is my priority before anything, before training, before work, before teaching. I have to take care of myself first because I recognize that I can't be my fullest self and most powerful self if I don't feel the strongest.”. Through her social media presence she shares messages of self-love and collaborates with organizations that focus on mental health awareness.
As she works towards representing in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Logistx continues to expand her understanding of hip-hop culture and its capability to heal in hopes of spreading that knowledge to others. Myth had the opportunity to talk with Logistx and explore a wide range of topics including her experience at Red Bull BC One, developing safe spaces, mental training, and self-discovery through breaking.
Best moments of Logistx at Red Bull BC One 2021 in Poland
I wanted to talk to you about is your program SELF. It seems to be a program where you not only develop your dancing, but also develop your personal brand. Could you tell me more about how you came up with the program and an explanation of the program's mission?
I was working with two students at BREAKINMIA consistently for months, and I really recognized the hunger, drive, passion and love that a lot of my regular students have. I've always loved teaching and sharing with people that want to learn and I use this inspiration for my students. I was like, “Damn, I want to start a program where I can work with the same group of people consistently” and share not only the foundation, but also have time to get deeper into topics that will help them in their careers and in their lives.
So I started SELF with BREAKINMIA. I remember meeting with Zeku because I was like, “Yo, I have an idea. I want to do this program” and it kind of just built from there. It started with a training group and then it became a group focusing not only on foundation, but also on building their brand. And then it evolved into a training group that learned how to use movement for healing. And a bunch of different things just kept adding up, and I ended up bringing in guests, so it built from there.
Was there a target audience you had in mind for this or was it intended to be a program for every and anyone?
It’s very open. I wanted it to be flexible and resonate with whoever because I've noticed that whenever I try to target a specific demographic, it never works because that's just not me. I've tried a lot of different things, like I remember I was encouraged to do more Tik Tok at one point, and then I was encouraged to specifically just battle at one point. And I'm just – I like the all encompassing of multiple things. And so I'm like, “Well, whoever this resonates with, I'm all for it.” So our oldest is in his forties and our youngest is 16 I think.
On the path to your victory at BC One 2021, you had a lot of high level matchups against Yell, Ayumi, Nadia, and in the finals, Vavi. Was there any specific matchup that you were worried about going into?
Honestly Ami and Ayumi. I was a little nervous about Isis as well, because I think there's a lot of power and momentum in the underdog story. I never got really worried, I just had nerves. Ami was the defending champion and she's been very focused in Japan. I saw her in Austria where we did a camp with all the Red Bull people, and I saw her and I was like “Damn, she looks really sharp!” And then with Ayumi, I'm like, “She's an OG, I’ve battled her before but I’ve never beaten her and I've never felt confident against her.
That was your first time beating her in a competition?
Yeah, that was one of my favorite battles because she's one of my first inspirations too. But I was like, I can't let that make me less confident. I still have to be like, "I’m going to smoke this person." Not in a personal way but because it's just a battle. So I was kind of nervous about that. After I beat Ayumi, I was pretty relieved because with Ayumi, I’m like, “Oh, I look up to her so much, and she's done so much and she's so experienced.” But during BC ONE I was like, “No, I can do this. I got this”. And then I was a little nervous about Isis because she beat me at Freestyle Session in the US last year and she killed it, and she's been killing it as an up-coming b-girl. I have a lot of respect for her, too. So I was like, “Oh my God, she's been killing it.” She seems to have a really solid formula for herself, and so I was nervous, but in the end, I told myself, “Whatever it is, whatever obstacle, I know I got it.”
Was there anything new or specific you did to prepare for BC One? Or was it just business as usual?
No, it was very different. Every single big battle that I've trained for I always make changes to see what I can do better for the next one. For this past BC One, I did a lot of mental training, a lot of intentional self-talk to switch up from a nervous state to more of an excited state. My therapist likes to say anticipation versus anxiety. And that helped me a lot. She's helped me distinguish a lot of different things and labels and why it's important. So because I've actually dealt with anxiety pretty much my whole life, I had to do extra training on my mental side for this.
So I did a lot of visualizations, affirmations and I went a lot of rounds with the BREAKINMIA boys and I trained with B-girl Meelissa as well on the creative side. Oh and my strength coach Morgan, she's helped me a lot. I would work out with her three to four times every week, leading up to BC One for workouts and recovery sessions. I also developed a plan with the Offset Med team to help with strategizing the timing of my physicality and my body and stamina and everything. It was a lot.
Ayumi (Body Carnival) vs Logistx at Red Bull BC One 2021
How did you get started with breaking or dancing in general?
I started breaking when I was eight. I was introduced to dance when I was around seven or eight. I've told the story so many times and it's so dope because it reminds me of when I started. I started at a youth church because I used to take after school art lessons, painting, drawing, very introverted kid type of things. At an early age, I was always instilled to focus on school first and so that was my main focus. My dad, he's always been like a hip-hop fan and hip-hop head, and he introduced me to A Tribe called Quest when I was like, seven. I was singing “Can I Kick it?” at seven years old and I was like “I don't even know anything about this.” But I remember he asked me if I wanted to try hip-hop dance. And I was like, “No.”I thought it looked too scary. I just wanted to stick to my drawing, school and my singing. So he was like, “Are you sure?” And I said, “Yes.”
Then one day I thought I was going to my after school art class, but my dad was actually taking me to the hip hop class. And so when we arrived I heard music and I'm like, I never heard music in our art class. They opened the door and there was just music playing and a bunch of kids dancing, and I looked at my dad and was like “You tricked me!” I wasn't supposed to do this, I thought I was going to art classes. But he's like, “Just try it. You don't have to continue if you don't want to, but just try it the first time, OK?” So I went in and I was so freaking scared. But it was a lot of fun. It was a new feeling. I think it was one of those things like, making a new friend at a young age or riding a roller coaster and you're like, “Damn, this is kind of scary, but I want to keep coming back to this roller coaster. I want to keep coming back, and talking to this friend because this is a new feeling that I want to explore more.”
I felt that at that age and I kept coming back to it. I got really obsessed starting from that moment so I decided that I wanted to stay with this for a while. So I stayed and I progressed really fast so my teacher at the church recommended I go to a Culture Shock in San Diego. I built a lot of my foundation there, and that's where I started breaking. And that’s where I met B-girl Val Pal and got connected with a Underground Flow.
How did you become a member of Underground Flow and how did you end up joining BREAKINMIA?
With Underground Flow my first mentor was B-girl Val Pal, and she was the one that really inspired me to want to learn breaking. I always wanted to break and I thought it was cool, but I never saw girls doing it. So any time I saw a girl doing it, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I should do it more.” It felt more encouraging because these other girls are doing it and I saw her teaching the class and I was like “Damn, I think I could be good at it. If she's good at it, then maybe I could be good at it one day.” So I took her class and I loved it. She taught like two classes a week at Culture Shock, and I would not miss any of those for months. Then she took me under her wing, and through her, I met Villn and Impact, and they're the founders of Underground Flow.
At one point I was training with them a lot, so I met Manny Frost and I would kind of meet some of the other crew members here and there at events. Then for my tenth or twelfth birthday I got invited into Underground Flow. I remember I was supposed to go to meet Val at a session, but before we were about to leave, I hear the door open in the front and then I looked down the hallway and I see Val with a birthday cake and candles and then my family started singing Happy Birthday. After I blew out the candles on the cake, they were like “Logistx, are you down to be part of Underground Flow? I have the video too. I think I looked at Val and I was like, “What?!?!” because it was my dream to be part of Underground Flow at the time.
So I got down and I think I did 10 or 12 rounds with the crew. After that I continued with my journey and when I was like 12 and 13, I started getting into a lot more like professional dance stuff. I got signed with my first talent agency through Villn and Impact and then I started going to L.A. a lot. I joined The LAB, I did TV shows and auditions and things of that nature.It was more on the business/professional side of things, and at one point it kind of became too much. So around COVID time, I had already finished a lot of the TV stuff that I was doing, I won Silverback in 2018 and I got signed with Red Bull. But there were just a lot of different things happening at that time in my professional life.
And then I did BC One 2019 in Mumbai, India, and I trained really hard for that. But during that time, one of my crewmates passed away and I was going through a lot at home. It was a lot but it's just part of life. It felt like God telling me to look at my heart and my mind and to make sure it was right, you know? So I did really bad at BC One 2019, and I was just like, “Fuck, I feel like I disappointed everyone. I feel like I messed up.” And as a young Asian-American, you know, we want to really make our lineage proud and our parents and grandparents proud. And so I felt like “Agh! I disappointed everybody!” I ended up having to move in with my mom in Florida at the beginning of COVID. I felt like I just had to stay there because it was necessary for me to one reconnect with my mom and to heal certain things that I had been going through in the past years. It was a lot of pain that I had to let surface. So I stayed in Florida. I already knew Zeku because I battled him at Freestyle Session in the kids battle in 2014 or 2015. So I already knew him through the scene and I knew he had Ser Gym at the time, so I was like, “Oh, let me go to Ser Gym: because you know, when you’re a dancer, you just go to these places and you look for practice sessions.
When I went there, I was like, “Yo, this is dope.” It felt different. The first time I went there, it felt like everyone was really committed and focused on their breaking and very in this world of like, “I'm a breaker, I’m a bboy, I’m about that bboy life!” I got that energy right away and not that I was lacking it, but within my crew, the members are all older than me. They're all either one or more generations older than me. So other than Nico and before with Jimmy Jam, we were like the three youngest and we felt like we were in the similar generation. But all of us weren’t on the same page with our ambitions. So when I met Zeku, Nelz, Doug, Links, Johnny and all of them, I was like this feels very aligned. And that was another reason why I felt encouraged to stay because I felt like I could really build with this group of people. They're young and driven and very ambitious. So I built with them and then I just got closer to everyone and they became my brothers. And now they're like family. So you know, reppin' BREAKINMIA, Underground Flow all day haha.
There is a noticeably more support overseas, and as someone who is pursuing breaking professionally in America, how do you feel the American scene compares to these other countries?
I know internationally, for example in the U.K., Germany, and other places in Europe, they get government support and funding. So it's a little bit easier to pitch to the government on things that they need support for as an Olympic sport. It's hard for us because I feel like arts and culture are just not as prioritized in the states or it's not looked at as something that can help the economy because truthfully it probably isn't. It’s not a real money maker and America is definitely based on financial capitalism. So it's harder to get support from the government.
But for me or young breakers or Olympic hopefuls from the US, our job is doing our best in our training and staying connected with people and organizations like Breaking for Gold. In the end, we just have to do our best as an athlete because I think that will resonate the most with people who want to support. With Breaking for Gold and other organizations, it's difficult because of the amount of stuff that's happened in the U.S. I notice it's sometimes hard for the younger generation to have intergenerational connections and conversations. It's hard to just instantly develop a trust for OGs, especially with all the accusations that happened a few years ago and just the shit that's been going on.
Even for me personally, I used to talk way more with the OGs, but now it's like I don't know who I can trust. In order for me to work together with someone on this Olympic chapter, within breaking and hip-hop, I just want to be able to trust these people that are technically the communication line for the athletes. Recently I've really been able to connect with Roc-A-Fella, Quik, and with people involved in Breaking for Gold. But I think it's still a journey. The more we emphasize the fact that breaking started in New York and the US, I feel that will encourage more US breakers to work harder and to make sure that we represent well and genuinely. I don't want to be fake in the way I’m representing.
I've always been a community person, reaching out to a lot of different people from different communities, for almost my whole entire breaking life. And to see that this [The Olympics] is a wake up call for people, it’s like, it’s dope that you're reaching out now. But where were you like before the Olympics? Where are you guys when I wanted to know more about breaking itself or wanted to learn from you or just get connected with you? And it's no one specific. It's just a general feeling that I have, but I'm willing to work together. I'm starting from here because I think feeling people's energy definitely comes first. It's a work in progress, but my main focus is the breaking itself.
Logistx Bgirl Manifesto filmed by Stance and Red Bull
As a young female competitor, what do you think is necessary develop safe spaces in the breaking community?
Educating and working on yourself first is the most important thing, because if we're taking action and we're not fully healed within ourselves, that's when people can subconsciously or unconsciously take actions that are unhealthy or stepping over the boundaries. And that causes the feeling of unsafetyness in certain spaces. If you don't come in with the energy that places specific boundaries and has respect for everyone there, then that's going to affect the energy. With knowledge of self, which is actually like a pillar and aspect within hip-hop, you are able to know yourself. You are able to know potential actions or habits that you have that may be unhealthy or might affect other people or energy around you, and then set boundaries.
And if you want to be involved in the community but still have a lot of work to do on yourself, it's okay to still be involved. But make sure there are boundaries and make sure that there's a level of respect and awareness when it comes to dealing with underage people or women. Let's say there’s an older OG who wants to genuinely share knowledge with an underage b-girl. It’s their responsibility to set a boundary or communicate with the parents. Knowing these things there has to be a clear line. And just always having that awareness because there's unfortunately also space for gossip and misinterpretation too. We have to be very careful and have a base understanding and respect for each other in our own ways.
There's so many different kinds of people, like me, who are young females, young b-girls or freestyle dancers. And then you have OGs that have been through so much psychological trauma that they don't know sometimes what they're doing might be bad. Then you have educators that are a little bit older than me or my age that are trying to create these spaces. But it's difficult. So there's so many different kinds of people we just have to communicate, work together, work on ourselves first and set those boundaries.
Applying the concept of separating a musician from their music to a dancer, do you think that people should be allowed to compete if they have a history of inappropriate behavior? Or should the community be taking a more firm stance against these individuals?
I'm glad you ask that because it's definitely a controversial topic. Even people that I'm close with, we have disagreements on these types of things. For me, it's up to the people that are organizing that event or the people that are responsible for that space. You decide what you want to allow in that space because it's literally your responsibility and part of your leadership is to be responsible for that. I know there are people that have banned or canceled certain people, and then there are organizations or events that have not canceled or banned people. For me, it depends on the context and it depends on the specific event.
Let's say there's a Breaking for Gold Olympic qualifying event or a World Urban games where it's crucial for me to compete in it. If there's a known predator like competing in that event, it would depend on how crucial it is for me to compete. If it was World Urban games and that person was involved in the staff of the organization, I would say something. I would just communicate because at this point, for me, I'm recognizing my leverage in these types of situations, or if I say something, maybe other women will come out and feel more empowered or encouraged to say something. But if we don't say anything, we're not open to the possibility of change and moving forward.
I remember I battled at one of the Break Free events and something was going on with people banning the event or not doing it because of a certain individual. But that's Break Free’s choice. I'm not going to disrespect them because of their decision to do that. We're all aware of what happened. But I'm not going to hate on people and I don't like to cancel people unless it was like, I don't know, like, God forbid, murdered, one of the people that I know or something.I've been in abusive relationships, so I know the power of forgiveness in order to move forward.
It's going to be different for everyone, and I have respect for everyone's point of view because I respect their way of life. I'm not going to tell someone how to live, you know? I used to be more vocal because I was like, “This is wrong, you shouldn't be here.” But in order for that person to truly learn and change, they have to be offered the space to learn and change. If we constantly like, say, “you're canceled, you're hated, you're not accepted,” then they're just going to go deeper into their dark place and then they might cause even more harm. For me I just want to spread love, and I know it's cliché, but in my opinion it’s the biggest and most important thing. Love can be through space. Love can be through action. Love can be through forgiveness. And love can be through counseling, too. It’s a tough love kind of thing.
If that person or if that organization decides to ban them, then cool, if they decide not to then that's on them. If I have a problem with something where I feel unsafe in a space, then I'm going to say something, obviously. And then it's up to me. Sometimes it's difficult because I don't want to let certain opportunities pass by in the sense of, “I want to compete in this” or “this is something I need to do because I want to be at the Olympics, but like this person is involved in it, so I don't feel comfortable.” Then I would say something and in a way almost use my leverage because I know that it will not only help me, but it will help other competitors as well. It's not going to be the same answer every single time or the same solution every single time. So that's definitely a topic that needs to be more discussed, and I think we're all going to continue to learn from that.
Can you tell us more about how dancing has helped you channel your struggles into something more positive? What else do you do to take care of your mental health outside of dance?
Yeah. So it's funny because the first time I discovered contemporary dance, I was instantly like, “Wow, this is so beautiful.” I realized I can move to music that will make me cry and almost cry through my movement. And I think crying is a very necessary form of release. So when I discovered that I was like, “Wow, this is so dope and this is very good for healing.” Later on I discovered the connection between spirituality and movement, and I would train with Toogie Barcelo at a studio called Movement Lifestyle in L.A., and she would have a movement exploration class. She would guide us through a deep walking meditation into a still meditation, into a movement meditation and that really bridged the gap between spirituality movement for me. That continued to help me with my healing too, because it was an intro for me on how to use movement and meditation as a way to conduct energy within my body. And through my partner Nelzwon, he really helped me dive deeper into hip-hop culture in the sense of the struggle, the five percenters and how early hip hop heads and pioneers would use their knowledge of self and spirituality and art to to to help heal and face their struggles.
So as I was studying more, I remember discovering RZA’s 12 Jewels of Life and I was like, “Whaaaat? Like “Damn, hip-hop is not just an art and an expression, but it's also a form of healing and knowledge too.” There's a plethora of literature and information that sometimes we're not exposed to. I also am a believer of the government limiting a certain amount of information too, so I'm definitely still in that chapter of learning deeper about hip hop culture and discovering the gems of knowledge and wisdom from our pioneers. I'm definitely learning more and more how to integrate that in my own life just so that I'm able to feel healthier in my mind, body and spirit day to day. So that's really powerful.
With the topic of mental health, I have seen maybe four different therapies, because the thing about therapists, which a lot of people need to know is that, you can't just try the first one, and if it doesn't work like it doesn't mean it's over. You have to find the one that works for you, right? That's the biggest thing that I discovered through therapy was you have to find a therapist that you can just vibe with, almost like they're your friend or they're someone that you trust.I felt this from my current therapist and I met with her for the first time a year and a half ago. At the time, I was healing from a lot of toxicity in my life. I was facing abuse and neglect, and I was healing and it was starting to affect my love for breaking and for dance and art. And I was like “If it touches this [my art], I need to get help now.”
So I got with her and she was hard on me from the beginning in the sense that she always pushed me to look at myself and work on myself. She would ask me all the right questions, and so I'd say I'd say she was a huge help. I've always been the type to journal and read and learn more about psychology and I've realized there's such a limited amount of education on mental health. As humans in a society, we don't receive enough help with our mind, our spirit and even our body too. We're not really exposed. Nowadays there's more of a healthy lifestyle being encouraged, but when it comes to having a healthy mind, body and spirit, there's a lack of information and education on that. So I've realized the importance of this, and this is my priority before anything, before training, before work, before teaching. I have to take care of myself first because I recognize that I can't be my fullest self and most powerful self if I don't feel the strongest.
With breaking there is a lot of self discovery and realization when you go through that journey. Is there anything that you learned about yourself that has stuck with you?
There's a lot. Dance always brings me back to myself. A lot of the times when I dance, I feel the most at home or with myself. So when that home doesn't feel good, that's when I don't feel like dancing. That's why it can be difficult. I’ve been able to discover certain specific types of hurt through dance that I go through. I was able to discover how much of a fighter I've been throughout my life and I'm sure a lot of us, to be honest, I could probably say this for all breakers because what kind of healed person wants to like, throw themselves on the ground every fucking day haha!
We're very strong people to even want to do this, to want to learn how to flare, to hold ourselves up on our hands and then tire ourselves out in footwork and then battle someone at the same time. It takes so much strength to do that. And I'm just like, you know, breaking is so difficult. But I realized it showed me how strong I am and as a female within breaking it's so uncommon. But it's not for everybody and it’s OK if you don't resonate with it. There's a certain level of strength and specific type of interests that you need to have when it comes to breaking. And realizing the hurt too.
That's definitely another commonality because one thing I can tell is when I’m at jams or the cyphers, I realize that this is almost like a form of escape. This is a form of escapism for many people. It’s like we want to get away from the shit we go through in life.If you go to a party or cypher or you just put headphones in your ears and blast music, or you just go on the ground and start moving, there's something that's so liberating about it. I kind of just realized how hurt I am in certain moments through dance. And I'm sure this goes the same for other dancers and other breakers.
I also realized how different I am because unless they’re from Asia, I haven't really met another young Asian-American b-girl that puts their time into this stuff as much as I That’s why when I hear people who resonate with me, whether they're an Asian-American, they’re female, Asian-American female or a young b-girl, or however they can relate, I just feel really happy that I'm able to connect with people like that so that we all feel less alone in this thing.
You mentioned mental training for BC One, and I wanted to ask you to expand on that.
What does mental training for you encompass and are there any specific techniques you have for that type of training?
Visualization was a huge one. I would literally envision myself with all the five senses and how it would feel to be in Poland on the stage from the walk up and hearing the MC saying “Logistx!”, running out with the crowd clapping and then getting on the stage, feeling the lights, hearing the blasts of the music. Every single thing that I see and feel in that moment I had to play over and over and over and over again in my head. Another form of mental training for me was affirmations and self-talk. Let's say a thought comes up that's more negative, like, “Damn, I can't do this, this is too hard”, I just have to switch it up into “I got this, I got this, I got this. I'm strong, I'm strong” and enforce it with emotion behind it.
Words are words, but words are powerful when there's an energy or underlying emotion that supports it. So I needed to have intentional affirmations and self-talk. And then breathing! I'd say breathing is more on the spirituality side. But it still helps with my mind too, because I have such a scatterbrain, OCD, anxiety and all these things, I'm just like my mind just won't stop. So if I just focus, and tell myself, “Turn your attention to your breath” then I’m able to quiet my mind a little more and get into a more meditative state. I tell myself it's OK to stop thinking, or it's OK if you're having a hard time with your thoughts. Just see what happens if you just focus on your breath. So I would do that and I'm like, OK, I feel much better.
Is there a specific breathing technique you use? I know the Wim Hof method is a popular breathing technique people use.
It's a foundational thing. You have to do it in steps, because if you don't know how to take normal deep breaths every day and you're already trying to go to Wim Hof, I don't know what you're doing. Just start with simple, deep breaths. Just inhale through your diaphragm and then just exhale and try to not force it. And for me it's deep breaths through the diaphragm. That's how I started.
From there, normally I'd go into a meditation and just sit there and then observe my breath, but not try to control it. It's a little bit faster than deep breathing. And then I discovered Wim Hof, which is actually a shamanic breathing, which I know the term can sometimes be misused. But with shamanic breathwork, it's a faster breath to cultivate energy in your lower chakras, especially around the solar plexus. It's an energy center right under your rib cage and it helps to enforce more of the willpower and drive and hard work type of energy.
If you're breathing really fast, like when someone’s working out, it shows willpower, that strong, forceful energy that's being cultivated in your energy center and in your body and in your mind as well. There’s a lot to it, and there's a lot of different methods as well.
Is there a single bit of advice you can offer people who are embarking on a similar journey or people who are pursuing their creative passions as well?
You have to choose yourself first. Not in the material sense, but in the deeper, more spiritual sense. As soon as you can learn about yourself, love yourself and know yourself, that will provide a compass for all your creative and business decisions. For me, the times I make the best business or creative decisions are when I'm very much in tune with myself in my heart and my mind. The more that you work on yourself, get to know yourself and and love yourself, the easier decisions and work and business will be. That will help you thrive and succeed and get past the obstacles in your path.
The artist/athlete life is not easy, both together and individually. So in this type of society, we have to trust ourselves. It’s helped me a lot. And just keep going. That's another thing I learned from…I forgot what basketball player was saying this. But he was stressing the importance of no matter how many times you mess up or go through hard shit in your life, or if you pause and quit for a moment, it's never too late to keep going. And that's the best thing you can do is start, keep going and begin again.
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