YoYoNews has full results and scoring breakdowns for the 4A Division of the 2017 World YoYo Contest! Congratulations to 2017 World YoYo Champion Rei Iwakura!
Five-time World YoYo Champion Rei Iwakura shows off his new signature yoyo in his latest video for C3yoyodesign! It’s always a treat watching one of the best players in the game, and seeing him with the latest and greatest yoyo to be designed to his specs? Perfect.
Yoyo used is the C3yoyodesign Contrail.
C3yoyodesign presents a new video featuring Japanese team member and 4x World YoYo Champion, Rei Iwakura! So that means we’re looking at a pretty fantastic day, really, plus at least 2-3 weeks of severe inferiority complexes about our offstring abilities.
Yoyo used is the C3yoyodesign Flawless.
Hong Kong-based yoyo company C3yoyodesign presents a new video for their budget contest yoyo, the Accelerator, featuring members of the Japanese C3 Team. Featuring Shinya Kido, Rei Iwakura, Ryuichi Nakamura, and Reia Torita.
Yoyo used is the C3yoyodesign Accelerator.
C3yoyodesign’s Japanese team got together to show off one of their most recent budget models, and to make fun of Shinya for being lousy at finger spins. 😛
Featuring Shinya Kido, Rei Iwakura, Ryuichi Nakamura, and Reia Torita.
Yoyo used is the M.O.V.E. by C3yoyodesign.
44Clash held a star-studded battle tournament as a side event at the 2015 World YoYo Contest in Tokyo. YoYoFactory’s Paul Kerbel emerged as the well-deserved champion but now those of us who didn’t make it to the event get to watch every round leading up to Paul’s victory!
sOMEThING and YoYoFactory have a video contest going on with Japanese store Rewind, and this latest entry is absolutely glorious. Featuring Rei Iwakura and Ishihara Hiroyasu and all of the skill and ridiculous tricks you could ever hope for.
Q1. When did you start playing yo-yo?
In 1997 (if I remember correctly, in the fall).
Q2. Why did you start playing yo-yo?
At the time yo-yo was going through a popularity boom [in Japan].
My friend brought a Hyper Brain to our Elementary School’s festival and he showed me some basic tricks like Rock the Baby and Walk the Dog. It was partially because of the boom, but I thought, “I want to try it!” and made up my mind. That same day I went with several friends to a toy store in my neighborhood and we bought red Imperials. I remember that it took about a week to be able to do a Long Sleeper for five seconds.
Q3. Who are some of the yo-yo players you respect/admire/look up to?
At the World Contest from 2001-2014, for at least 10 years he has advanced to the Final round, and has won the hotly contested 1A Division four times. More than just “winning,” he has “continued to win;” more than “chasing [after other players],” he has “been chased.” Due to those things it can be assumed that he has been faced with enormous pressure, furthermore in 1A, and even then he is still battling it out at the top.
[I respect how] he has seriously explored the depths of off string and how he carefully cultivates his competition freestyles. Not only in competition, but his show performances are also extremely polished, and he does it all without attempting to get away with using his show as an excuse to go easy. He has both strong technical and performance skills, and does a performance that is suitable of the title “World Champion” in various places [around the world].
In the Division of 2A, which particularly takes a long time to acquire technical skills, he has an outlook of always trying to do new things, and focuses on entertainment to use his performance to delight his audience. He loses neither of those qualities in competition and continues to display them at a very high level.
Q4. What made you choose 4A as your main style?
I started tackling 4A as a competitor for the first time just after I started university, but at the same time I was also juggling and playing diabolo. Both of those have many shared skills with 4A, so when I think about it now I think [4A] was very approachable [for me]. One more reason was that I often practiced with Eiji Okuyama, who was already active at the forefront of the [4A competition] scene. He taught me tricks, we created tricks together, and so I think my time practicing 4A naturally increased.
Q5. How do you usually practice (where, who with, etc.)?
As a working adult, there are limits to the time and location [I can practice], so I try to keep in mind the most efficient way to practice in order to raise my level even just a little bit. On weekdays when I’m very limited as to where and when I can practice, I mostly practice tricks by repetition. On the other hand, on the weekend I spend most of my time practicing my freestyle performance and attempting new tricks.
Also, to a certain point I try to decide that day’s practice schedule, whether it is for an hour, two, or more.
I find that if I decide a goal or theme for each practice session (ex. trick repetition -or- freestyle run-through -or- developing new tricks -or- working on my weaker elements, etc.) it’s easier to tackle and more efficient overall.
As for the people I practice with, Shinya Kido and Kazuki Okada live nearby, and Hiroyasu Ishihara and Yusuke Otsuka. We often get together and practice.
Q6. How does that change when you are preparing for different types of contests?
I primarily focus most of my practice on doing freestyle run-throughs. In addition, when I’m practicing with other people, in order to get used to doing my performance with other people watching, I try my best to get through the whole routine without stopping.
The other things I’m careful about are:
– Practice in the same outfit I plan to wear in competition.
– No matter how many mistakes I make, I follow the structure of the routine until the end.
With 4A, the string is often close to my body. I have a lot of tricks where the string touches and moves around my body so I need to make sure I get used to doing those tricks in costume, otherwise the string may catch my clothing in an unexpected way and could lead to an extremely unfortunate and wasteful mistake.
Also, even if I have a lot of mistakes when I practice [my freestyle], I don’t stop the music. I think it is very important that I run through the entire routine until the end. Of course, at the contest it’s possible that I may not have a no-miss routine, so if I don’t practice like that, I may not be able to recover from a mistake and from there my freestyle might start to fall apart. Therefore, I think it’s necessary to make a habit of recovering from mistakes. A yo-yo freestyle is a very limited time of only 3 minutes. You need to be able to decide in a split-second whether or not to change your yo-yo, so I try to focus my practice on recovering from mistakes and enhancing my own ability to make quick decisions to cope with my situation.
Q7. Do you have any good stories from before you became a world champion that you want to share with us?
At the 2013 World Yo-Yo Contest, my freestyle had more mistakes than any other freestyle in my competitive history, and that was a huge shock for me. My theme after that was “comeback” and I practiced [thinking about that] for a full year. After 2013 WYYC ended, two days after I returned to Japan, I went straight to the local gymnasium/community center and started practicing for the next year’s contest.
[I thought about] how to tackle yo-yo as a competitive sport, and what kind of practice would be necessary for that. I had to reconsider my own weak points. I put all of that thought into starting practicing again. I also got a lot of motivation from watching different communities other than yo-yo. When I looked at the top contenders of worlds such as Diabolo, Juggling and Dance, I saw that they are thoroughly exploring their crafts, and thought that this was no time for me to let myself fall into a slump.
Q8. How did you feel when you became a world champion?
For the one entire year I spent [practicing and preparing], the happiness of reaching my absolute best possible result was huge. As far as my freestyle, it was quite possibly my first ever perfect, no-miss, 3-minute routine in my entire life. It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt that the hundreds of hours I spent practicing and trying to get better were not in vain.
Q9. Is there anything that changed for you after becoming a world champion?
Actually there weren’t any sudden changes for me in particular.
If anything, at the World Contest I set my next goals, and in practicing I increased my repertoire of new tricks. Looking back at last year’s World Contest, I felt that the level of competition was the highest in recent years and the level of perfection in each player’s routine suddenly jumped.
This time I was able to attain the title of “4A Division World Champion” for the third time. However, there are still tricks I cannot do. I still make mistakes at competitions. There are still tricks that I need to improve my execution rate with. And above all, there are so many players that are better than I am.
I am far from being “The best player in the world,” or “The perfect player.” Of course I want to get better and improve my way of practicing, and continue my enthusiasm that I have built up since the 2013 World Contest.
Q10. How do you feel going into this year’s World Yo-Yo Contest?
Of course, since the World Contest is taking place in my own country, and up until now no one in the history of the 4A Division has successfully defended their championship, if I am able to win that would be amazing.
However, in order to do that there is so much I need to do to prepare, and I have new tricks I want to perform so I need to improve their level of perfection. Of course, I can’t forget my original intent to work toward my goal of doing my 100% best on the contest stage. Since this is also the very first time the World Contest will be held in Asia, many veteran players from other Asian countries who previously found it difficult to attend due to location reasons will compete, so I am very much looking forward to the competition itself.
Q11. What is yo-yo to you?
(More than I ever imagined) The Spice of Life
Many thanks to Rei Iwakura! We wish him the best of luck at the 2015 World YoYo Contest.
C3yoyodesign has dropped full photos and specs of their new signature model for World YoYo Champion Rei Iwakura! The Flawless is a new offstring yoyo designed to Iwakura-san’s specifications, and landing in stores soon.
C3yoyodesign first Signature design for the 4A Legend Rei Iwakura – “Flawless”!!!
“Flawless” is created by Rei and C3yoyodesign together from drawing, prototyping to production. Thanks to the Internet, we kept updating all the progress to Rei during whole process.
Using Neo Solar as blueprint, “Flawless” inherit the comfortable shape and response system from Neo Solar, also adding the personal characteristic of Rei’s unique style.
During the first prototype(90grams), we almost hit the jackpot. But after spending weeks for testing, we decided to fine tune by adding weight to 103grams. The production version provide a smoother and higher stability on either single yoyo or Soloham play. With a higher mass, it perform a better circular trajectory while playing with single yoyo and also spins more powerful. What’s more, we updated the hubs design for better fingerspin control!
“Flawless” combined all the experience we got from previous 4A design and Rei ‘s opinion about his dream design. We can’t wait to see the Rei’s “Flawless” freestyle in Japan National Yoyo Contest 2015!!!
“Flawless” have thin + thick spacer combination installed as factory spec and come with glittering sticker for decoration!!!
Four-time World YoYo Champion and four-time Japanese National Champion Rei Iwakura has officially joined C3yoyodesign! The news was announced today on Facebook, and Rei’s new signature model “Flawless” will begin full production tomorrow in Hong Kong. Check out the announcement video above, and congratulations to Rei and C3yoyodesign!
We’ll update with photos and specs for the Flawless soon.
2014 World Champion Rei Iwakura has announced his departure from Team YoYoJam. See his statement below….best of luck, Rei!
Today, I want to announce that I quit Team YoYoJam.
After joined the team at 2007, I’ve got 3*Japan Champion, 1*Asia Champion, and 4*World champion titles.
Without such a great support from YoYoJam, I could NOT get these titles.
I can’t say enough thank you to YoYoJam.Inc and my team mates who gave me great support.
I was so proud of it.
YoYoJam is great yoyo company, and Team YoYoJam is one of the best yoyo team in the world. They are still my best friends.
The new team Japan leader is Toshiaki Onuma.
Please support him and Team YoYoJam in the future.
And of course, I will never quit yoyoing.
I want to improve my technique and performance more.
Thank you for your continued support for me.
See you in TOKYO, Worlds 2015.
4x World Champion and all-around awesome guy Rei Iwakura took second place at 44Clash this year, but since they don’t post video we didn’t think we were going to get to enjoy that routine again. Video to the rescue!
Check out practice video of Rei’s full routine, and good luck learning everything from 2:28 onward. Holy moly.
Yoyo used is the Rextreme by YoYoJam.
If you missed the live stream from Japan Nationals yesterday, you missed the most professionally produced yo-yo contest broadcast in history!
Live comments from some of the best players in Japan, and clips from each players’ preliminary round and previous contests freestyles made this a very enjoyable contest to watch, even if NicoNico’s video quality was not quite on par with Ustream.
On to the results, where we had heated battles between the World’s greatest players!
In 1A, in a somewhat unexpected — but not at all surprising — outcome, 5A World Champion Takeshi Matsuura beat last year’s champion Akitoshi Tokubuchi to claim the title! This makes him the unbelievable winner of three different divisions in the history of Japan Nationals, including five 5A titles and the 2010 3A title! Third place in 1A went to Yusuke Otsuka, who had a great freestyle at the EYYC Open division earlier this year.
World Champion Takuma Yamamoto won the incredibly strong 2A division this year, with a smooth freestyle, finishing over 10 points ahead of Shu Takada. Third place went to Ryo Yamashita, and just to give you a glimpse of how strong the division was, it also had Hiraku Fujii, Yasushi Furukawa, and history’s biggest World Title winner Shinji Saito in the final round. Shinji had a strong preliminary round, but was unable to go as cleanly in his final routine.
In 3A, Hajime Miura showed solid improvement over last year’s 8th place, and took the title with unquestionable confidence and skill. In the words of Drew Tetz: someone should tell this kid that 3A is supposed to be hard!
Rei Iwakura won 4A with a jaw-dropping routine, finishing 15 points ahead of Kazuaki Sugimura. Rei once again showed us what makes a great stage performance without sacrificing technique! Like at Worlds last year, some of the favorites had some yo-yo changes and ended up with low scores, like Futoshi Maruyama (3 drops, -9) and Naoto Okada (4 drops, -12).
The fiercest and most expected battle was in 5A, where Takuma Inoue and Takeshi Matsuura once again made us wonder if there’s any limit to their skills, with both players finishing over twenty points ahead of the third place. This time, an unfortunate yo-yo change by Takeshi meant Takuma Inoue finished ahead to claim his third National Title!
On to the results and winner videos, courtesy of C3yoyodesign!