Today we interview RecRev’s pride, 44CLASH 1A champion Anthony Rojas!
YoYoNews: Thanks for joining us, Anthony!
Anthony Rojas: Glad to get a chance to be interviewed. Don’t think I’ve actually done one like this before.
YN: Congratulations on your victory! How was the competition in Tokyo?
AR: Thank you! The contest was fantastic yet again. Top level players and freestyles, well organized, nice venue (it was crowded, but the vibe is fun), etc.
YN: How did Japan treat you? Did you tour much, or did you mostly kick it with the local players?
AR: Japan is great, I love visiting. This was my second time and I’m sure I’ll be back again one day. I stayed for ten days total, so I got a lot of touring done after the contest. Big city shopping and stuff, smaller areas with temples, new foods, all sorts of things.
The local players were a blast to hang out with and helped a ton. The first couple nights I was at Masanobu Iwata’s place. Yusuke Moriki actually stayed with the crew I was with and helped guide us around. I also got to hang with Kentaro, Shinji, Kohta, Dee, Tsubasa, and others.
YN: 44CLASH has quickly become one of the hottest contests on the scene, what makes it such a respected event?
AR: I think the way it’s put together and organized makes it top tier. Basically, they take the normal aspects of a contest, execute those things sublimely, and then add on top of that. All while pushing for a really fun atmosphere and overall enjoyable experience for everyone. Being open to all players helps bring in great talent. And having a contest that has a 50/50 tech. and perf. scores can give us interesting freestyles like Shu Takada’s wardrobe changing 2A routine, or the debut of Oni Gaga! If that sounds interesting at all, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and B-Grade Man visited. That’s extremely significant.
YN: You are able to stay competitive and keep your own unique style. Are you influenced by other players or do you focus on developing your own moves?
AR: I get inspired from various players all the time. The roots of inspiration for many of my main freestyle tricks probably come from Yuuki/ Jesse Garcia-like tech, and John Ando arm tricks. Those are probably most apparent. When I do want to do a trick with the same vibe as someone, or based off of one of there tricks, I always try to make it my own. Many ask how I come up with some of my crazier and weird looking moves. I do what feels right…and what doesn’t sometimes. Meaning, I often don’t mind pursuing ideas that seem awkward, uncomfortable, or silly at first, I’ll just find a way to make it look cool or flow or whatever in the end. I never force it though.
YN: You’ve competed a lot this year, from the smaller BLC and SoCal all the way to Nationals, Worlds and 44CLASH. What are your plans for next year?
AR: I’ll probably do the same I always go to. 44Clash is usually a “maybe” for a long time so I’m not sure about that one. I would like to visit some other US contests sometime, but it can be hard because of school and money, ya know.
YN: Awesome, good luck on future competitions! Thanks for your time and congratulations once again, Anthony! Any shout-outs to wrap this up?
AR: Shout out to all my yoyo friends, Japan, RecRev, and, um, B-Grade Man.