Forum: General / Hip Hop / Locking

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By Boogiewalker34
On Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:37 PM
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2005-01-05 20:46:56

Ok guys, here's basically what I want to know: What kinds of things do you do to practice your locking techniques?

Now, please DON'T respond by simply saying, "I just put on some music and dance!" DUH!!! THAT'S WHAT WE ALL DO! I want to specifically know: what kind of methods do you use to practice the fundamentals of the dance? What kind of warm-up routines or beginning exercises do you do?

For example, here's a general idea of stuff that I might do:

warm-up by jumping rope for 5-10 minutes, stretch for 10-15-ish minutes

start practicing grooving to music (side to side with hips, slow then fast; then with level changes (up-and-down-and-up-and-down, etc.); grooving forward and backwards with the hips and pelvis, slow, then fast, then with level changes, etc.)

practice going into the lock. First, once every beat, then doubles, then triples, then continuous for about a minute or so (note: this should make your shoulders feel like they're going to fall off...). Then practice going into blasts (or "throwbacks" for all you non-Tony Tee people...) and then locks.

practice wrist rolls (right hand first, each two beats, rolling up and then down; do about 30; repeat with left hand, perhaps doing more since my left hand is not my dominant side). Then practice wrist-rolls with both hands simultaneously. Then staggered, then doubles, etc.
pracitice Uncle Sams, once on each beat. I try making the points as crisp and strong as I can.

I often try to throw in some wacking type movements (I don't know the names, I just do them... sorry...) to try and loosen me up more and to vary the style a bit.
then I work on footworks: scooby-doos (right and left), skeeter rabbits (right and left), kick-and-twists, leo walks (or as I call them "boogiewalks";) ), pacing, scoobots, campbellocks, etc.

work on drops (kneedrops, eagle drops, alpha kicks/apple jacks, colt 45's/corks, etc.) and get-ups. I'll also do some James Brown splits/half-splits and get-ups from those...

Then, after I've practiced these moves in isolation to music, I try to practice combinations or develop on-the-spot choreographies using the different moves. As much as I try to focus on practice Locking separately from Popping, I do occassionally throw in popping moves into my locking practice.

Sometimes, to practice improvisation, you can give yourself either a real or imaginary "prop" and dance with that (e.g. a bandana, or a hat, or something like an imaginary slide whistle or a crossing guard's stop sign). Or try to make a story up and tell it through a locking routine (going out on a date, playing with your dog in the park, etc.)

ok, well, let me know what you guys think and let me know some of the things y'all do to get down and funky.

I'm out like a light...


G-boogie, the boogiewalker


By iH0p
On Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:21 AM
THANK YOU!!!! OMG YOU MADE MY NIGHT... and it's been a crappy one. aaaahh i really needed that

um i wish i could say i practice as much as you... but sadly all i do is practice my locks (always in front of a mirror to make sure my posture is terrible since being into ballet and all that studio dancing makes my posture too stiff and upright)

and i practice my wrist rolls the same way as you and my points.

to practice improvisation with just the arms i do the march and just go with it.

i need to work on more footwork... i practice my scooby doos and skeeter rabbits but thats about it...

anyways thanks again boogiewalker! awesome job with the description and all that. it'll be a really big help.

By Invent
On Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:25 PM
Here's some 411 on basic movements:

The names of the moves are more of short descriptions for themselves....
The lock
Uncle Sam Points
Skeeter Rabbit
Scoobot Hop
Oil Wells
Half splits
Hand Slaps
Back Slaps

And remember:
"I know that the answer you'd get from Don Campbell is that locking is about freedom of expression and movement to music. I'd agree. But I also think it's about feelin' the funk. That's mostly why I like to lock: the movements are naturally the way that I like to move to funk music anyway."

By BBoy_Skribble
On Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:52 AM
Edited by BBoy_Skribble (74472) on 2005-01-08 11:43:39
You all know me... the people who posted so far. Basically since I'm just getting into locking research on names, terms, and styles is what I'm doing now. Music choice is very important too although most poeple say if you're good you should be able to dance to anything. I really can't say really what I do... Hope you're not mad about that but I often times watch myself in the mirror to make sure my angles are sharp and correctly on the beat... PRACTICE PRACTICE and RESEARCH... people forget the third one! HOLLA back and finally: THANKS A BUNCH Boogiewalker... you are one of the few who post something worth talking about!
By BBoy_Skribble
On Tue Jan 11, 2005 06:47 PM
Why is it people don't comment on something when it's good and stays with the theme of the forum or what I call "room"??? That really puzzles me. Well, when I lock it's also because I need privacy or protection, i.e. my room door, my front door, my car doors, my safe, etc. What about you all!
By Jahz
On Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:05 PM
Oi. Now for me to figure out how each of the basic movements look...

I'd love to say I lock, but then again, I have no idea how to, though I have some idea what it looks like... I'm going to have to figure out those basic movements... and learn.

As for getting down 'n' funky in public, I just start clowning in the beginning, just to get started and a little pumped. After a song or two of parodic dance (if there is such a term), I'm already naturally groovin' and dancin' to the funk... if that helps.

As for practicing techniques, I merely stretch and exercise for about 15-30 minutes, and then put on a song, figure out what I am doing that's good, and improve on things that just looks... odd. After this, I usually try something (relatively) new. I do it slow at first, several times, just to get the jist of it, and then I do it a few more times at a normal speed. If it doesn't look good, I'll start doing it slow again, concentrating to make it look better, and then I repeat until I'm satisfied...

This is also what I'm GONNA do once I learn to lock properly! hahaha
By BBoy_Skribble
On Wed Jan 12, 2005 01:41 PM
Edited by BBoy_Skribble (74472) on 2005-01-12 13:35:08
Hey Jahz... I really respect your methods man. You were totally honest in the reply and all... Boogiewalker, I have a question for you, or if anybody else knows. Where can you find some in depth information on locking and history and movements??? I saw and have the Freshest Kids DVD but it was very brief. Let me know what's good because I think locking is one of the dopest styles of funk.

By the way Jahz... if something looks odd it may be a really good move to tweak and use later, unless you meant "odd" being "messed up looking".

Hit me back Skribbz
By Jahz
On Wed Jan 12, 2005 02:51 PM
Ahhh no, I mean odd as in ... messed up. I don't think I've ever done something totally new that doesn't look... messed up and ew. If I ever did something that looked odd in the good way I would do as you say and tweak it, which, unfortunately, has never happened. But I can't expect something too new after... 30-40 years of new styles/movements/moves, at least not at my level, I think.
By Kwali_T
On Mon Jan 17, 2005 02:52 PM
Hey, i just got signed up with and this is the first place i went. Locking was the first dance style i did when i started dancing 5 years ago. Glad to see someone actually posts something about Lockin' in the Lockin' section!!! I mean i have nothing against the ppl who dont know what it is cuz it isnt known all over the world and isnt mainstream like breakin' hiphop, jazz, jazz funk etc. Its just all about knowledge and like Bboy_Skribble mentioned "PRACTICE PRACTICE and RESEARCH". VERY WELL SAID!!! If u want to know about something all u need to do is look for it.

Anyways, just want to spread my knowledge and what i have learned from Japan. I've lived there for 12 years of my life and i started dancing there roughly 5 years ago (currently in Victoria B.C. Canada). This is to reply to Boogiewalker34. Some stuff u can practice.

..:: Starting off ::..
Everything i say is just my oppinion and nothing else.
-I DO NOT concider myself a guru or anything
-I DO NOT concider my knowledge of the style to be all correct.
-I am NOT saying that everybody else is WRONG. Cuz everybody has their own thoughts and oppinions.

First things first. This is what concider is the two core basics of Lockin'. No its not just about the moves.
A: Upbeat.
*For ppl who will read this and wonder what that might be*
In hiphop u mostly do "Downbeats". Bending ur knees to the "whole beats" in the music. This is very important for rhythm. U can have ur feet together or feet apart, etc.
The Upbeat is the exact opposite of that. U straighten ur knees on the whole beats. When doing so it is important not to over extend ur knees. This could lead to knee problems and the back of ur knees will start to hurt. But the Upbeat is one of the CORE BASICS is what i was taught.
B: Isolation
Yes yes. If there are any ppl who r thinking "Isolation?! Why the hell is that important?!", this is why.
To dance is to move ur whole body. Once again, my oppinion.

..:: Breaking down isolation movements ::..
***Things are easier shown then written***
Isolation of the body can be broken down into 3 main groups.
-Upper body
-Lower body
..:: Neck ::..
Head movements forwards, backwards, to the sides, and turning it around. When moving ur head forward it is like u get hit in the back of the neck. When moving the neck back, u want to think about touching ur neck with ur chin. Important note for this is not to nod when doing this. U want ur chin to be level. Moving ur head from side to side. This is harder to do because the neck isnt made to move like this. BUT it is doable. Keep your elbows to attatched to the side of your body. now bring your arms from your elbows down up. You should now have your hands a bit apart from your cheeks. What you want to do is while keeping your hands there, move your head and try and touch your hands with your cheaks. After this practice moving your head Forward, Centre, Left, Centre, Back, Centre, Right, Centre and the other way around. Then flowing it all to gether.

..:: Upper Body ::..
Moving your chest forwards and backwards and from side to side.
Forwards: a.k.a. Releasing
Backwards: a.k.a. Contracting
Might make it easier to understand.
Take the bottom of your shoulder blades, and draw a line. The centre point of that should be your spine (duh...). It is like someone pushing ur chest forward from that spot. Think about having a knot in your back and someone drilling their fingers into it. What do u do? U "release" ur chest in order to avoid pain. Backwards is like getting punched in the gut basicly... Dont know how else to say it. Moving ur upperbody from side to side. Keep your legs apart, wider than your shoulders. Think of your legs as logs. The cant bend and they are bolted into the ground. Put your arms out and imagine someone pulling you from your fingers. Once from the left, once from the right, and back and forth. Once again doing this Forward, Centre, Left, Centre, Back, Centre, Right, Centre. Then flowing it together.

..:: Lower Body ::..
Moving your hips forward and back, side to side. You want to think about your hip bone as a CD. Grab a cd and hold it so it is completely level. Now tilt the CD to one side. This is basicly what u want to do with your hips. When moving your hips from side to side u also want to think about compacting your sides. Muscles from your ribs to your just above your hips being put in a compactor! And no, these hip movements ARE NOT MEANT TO BE SEXUAL! And yes guys can do this too. I am a guy and yes i do it.

..:: Lockin' Moves ::..
Every part of the world has different names for the moves. I will just write down what i learned. Once again, i'm not saying everybody is wrong and i'm not sayin i'm right. I do believe that there is no "ONE WAY" to do these moves. There is no "one way" to do a point, claps, knocks, drums or twirls for that matter.
***If the spelling is wrong than i appologize***
..:: Basics ::..
-Locks (double lock, triple lock, etc)
-Twirls (also known as wrist roles)

..:: Other Moves ::..
-Kick Steps
-Campbellock (Don Campbellock)
-Skeeter Rabbit
-Stop and Go

There are other moves but i cant remember what the names are... Hey i'm not perfect.(^u^)

I still practice my twirls, locks, points, claps, knocks, and drums. U can NEVER practice enough of the basics. Theres always something u can do to bet better. What i do to practice...
-Upbeat (1song)
-Isolation (1~2songs)
-Twirls (1song)
-Locks (1song)
-Claps (1song)
-Points (1song)
-Knocks (1song)
-Drums (1song)

Yes i do go full out sometimes... Dance freak? Yes... I dont do it all the time though if ur wondering about it. The only reason i do so much is because u learn more about your body when u are tired or rundown. U find out what muscles u use to do that specific move.

Last but not least. Taking care of your body. You only have one of them, if u want to avoid sergury i recommend physio, chiropractors, or massage therapy but on top of that, STRETCHING. Prevents injury and makes u more flexible. Anybody who says flexibility is not needed with dany type of dance i must DISAGREE.

Hope this info i provided can benifit other ppl.
Keep Dancin'

By iH0p
On Mon Jan 17, 2005 04:21 PM

but what are knocks and drums? i have not heard of those yet.

Locking Resources
By Boogiewalker34
On Mon Jan 17, 2005 06:54 PM
First off, sorry for the delay in responding to this thread.

Second, thanks to Kwali-T for his very thorough post. I think I need some further description of some of your terms for your Locking vocabulary (e.g. "scuba", "knocks", "drums"). I just don't know those motions by those names.

Third, Bboy Skribble:as for resources for history of Locking, go to This is a website run and maintained by Greg Campbellock Jr., one of the original Lockers. You can also order videos of the original Lockers from him for about $25.00 a pop (just so you know, there is other non-locking related footage on the tapes, but the vid is still worth it...)

As for more general history, check out the "How to Breakdance Step-by-Step DVD" from (or .org or whatever). In disc one, there are two interviews with Don Campbell, and Zulu Gremlin (Breakbeat Assassins, Medea Sirkas/Demons of the Mind) gives a masterclass that has all the Locking fundamentals and some brief history.

As for other stuff, you can also contact Tony Tee's Dance Studio ( for information on classes with Don Campbell or with Tony (who is a KILLER LOCKER... FOR REAL...). Of course, you'll need to live here in Southern California or travel out here to take advantage of that, but if you can do so, it's worth it.

Also, check out the Groovaloos website for some dope clips of them locking. They're all students of Greg Campbellock Jr. and are really good.

Oh, also the website for Chain Reaction (another old school Locking/Popping crew) has some historical stuff on it (, I think...)

That should keep y'all busy for a while, I think. Enjoy!

G-boogie, the boogiewalker.
By Kwali_T
On Tue Jan 18, 2005 02:20 PM
Hey again.
I kinda thought that the names would get confusing. Thanks for giving me input.
A lot of locking names basicly look the way they sound they are. Point = point, kick = kick, and so on and so forth. So a knock, and a drum is basicly like that. So...
..:: Knocks :..
Just like knocking on a door. You want to think about having bus change (for example) in your hand and u want to be able to jingle the change. Start off by keeping your arms close to the side of your body. U want to keep your wrists really loose and move ur wrists from your elbow (keeping your arm slightly bent and then straightening your arm). By keeping your wrist loose, it should look like ur "knocking" on a door for example. That is what i was tought as knocking.

..:: Drum ::..
With a drum, you want to start off by putting your arms out to the side, hands in fists. Think about two drums right behind where your hands are. Now, bring your arms in, keeping your elbows horizontal. You should be able to draw a straight line from elbow to elbow. Then think about hitting those drums beside you with your fists. Important thing with a drum is the REBOUND. You want to hit the drum and then bring your hands back in as fast as possible.

Step1: Arms down
Step2: Bring arms up so that elbows are horizontal to each other.
Step3: Hit imaginary drums beside you.

..:: Scuba ::..
I'm sure that there is a different name for this and u guys know the move already.
Step1: Feet together
Step2: Bring right knee up (or left)
Step3: Put right leg out diagonally to ur right, upper body tilted to the left.
Step4: Switch possition. Left leg out diagonally, upper body tilted to right.
Step5: Bring left let into body like Step2.

Basicly take the "Peace Sign". You all should know what that looks like. Standing inside it, feet together, your legs want to follow the bottom part of the peace sign. Come up the center line, go out diagonally, switch legs, come back in diagonally, then come back down the center line. Make sense? You guys probably know the move and if u guys do could u let me know what u guys call it in North America or other places?

Keep Dancin'

By Buddhastretch1
On Tue Jan 18, 2005 07:13 PM
Edited by Buddhastretch1 (119645) on 2005-01-18 19:05:06
Removed by soliloquy (28370) on 2005-03-06 02:29:18 To, as in t-o is not the same as 2, as in t-w-o. To as in to, needs to be fully typed.
Go 2 the above mentioned site,,order a video of the LOCKERS,WATCH,& LEARN....Learn the feeling of the dance FIRST!,then the attention 2 the music,the character of each of the originals,then turn on somethin funky,.....& JUST PRACTICE!.....p e a c e
By Kwali_T
On Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:27 AM
Buddhastretch1, could u possibly be THE Stretch from Elite Force???
By Invent
On Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:44 AM
yea... it is.
By Kwali_T
On Wed Jan 19, 2005 01:17 AM
Removed by soliloquy (28370) on 2005-03-06 02:30:04 U is a letter, not a word. You as a word has a y and an o. Take the half a second more to type it out, please.
K this made my night. I was just watching some footage from the video "Dance Field". I knew i had heard the name "Buddah Stretch" before but i couldnt pin point it till i saw the video. My memory is a little WACK right now.
Just wanted to let u know that u guys in Elite Force was a big inspiration for me 5 years ago when i first started dancing. I've been wanting to head to NYC for a bit to get some training with you guys and other dancers there. I remember some other footage i have on some tapes that got in Japan. U were on the show Rave 2001 were u not?
Hahaha. Never thought I'd be talking to THE Stretch. Could u let me know where i can get info on u guys and classes u teach?
Its always been a dream to take classes with u guys and expand my knowledge.

Thanks a lot

By Boogiewalker34
On Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:24 PM
Yo Stretch, I loved you and Tweety's performance at SF Hip Hop Dance Festival. And I saw some clip of y'all two in Korea; I really like the dope locking segment y'all did to a hip hop song (can't remember which one it was... sorry...)

Anyway, just want to give props. Peace...

G-boogie, the boogiewalker
Locking Vocabulary Translation
By Boogiewalker34
On Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:33 PM
Hey Kwali-T,

Thanks for the clarification. I think these are the terms that I learned which resemble your descriptions:

Knocks--I think I've heard these called "wrist flicks" by Zulu Gremlin and by Lock-&-Key of the Groovaloos

Drums--I don't think I remember the hand/arm motions themselves having a specific name, but when done while Pacing/Time stepping, they are called just that: pacing or time stepping. Your description is very apt and helpful though...

Scuba--I think this is usually what's referred to as a "Leowalk", invented by Leo Cougarcop, aka Fluky Luke of the Original Lockers. Either that, or if stationary, it could be a version of the old soul step, the Rocksteady.

ok, well, I hope I understood you correctly. Anyone else, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

con mucho funk-iño,

G-boogie, the boogiewalker
By BBoy_Skribble
On Fri Jan 28, 2005 06:25 AM
I love dancing!!!!!!! OMG, and now... i'm trying to get into locking and other styles of funk besides the ones i'm already doing. I already looked at this post but to help a beginner in learning the fundamentals of "locking" this post really helps... THANKS A BUNCH everybody!
After the basics.....
By MrKomedy
On Mon Jan 31, 2005 06:48 AM
A lot of great posts in here.

As Stretch was sayin I will say as well.... Get some music and practice practice practice.

AND I will add this.... 15mins of actual Locking in a club or at an event is 100x better than 3 months of practice in your room with self doubt. You'll learn more by doing it live in a club than at home stuck in your head.

After you've learned the basics what is next? IMO... Personality, Character and Individuality. Each one of the Original Lockers were all very much different. They took all their basic moves and personalized them. Its good to look like them in the beginning but after you've gotten the basics MOVE ON.


Once you start working on being different and just being yourself this will open doors to being creative. All of the Original Lockers were phenomenally creative individuals and this was reflective in their dance. Experiment with new movement and new concepts. Pull ideas from all areas of art. Dancing, Clowning, Mime, Acting, Cartoons, etc etc etc. The Original Lockers did not want to look exactly the same. If you're tryin to be like the Originals then be like them and do not be a CLONE. Imitation is the highest form of flattery but to individuals who pursue this dance intensely... clones become boring and unoriginal. (If you are a historian and pursue this dance for such reasons then of course it understandable... we need people like you.) The idea of creating new movement is a topic that many new Lockers argue about. I have argued this topic extensively and through these arguments have found errors in my own thoughts. I would argue total creativity and movement at all cost... but what I forgot is that Locking has its basic movements (full circle here guys) and that everyone should become very proficient in these moves before they move on to character and creativity. WHY? Because Locking has to look like Locking and these basic moves are the moves that define Locking. People have to know what dance you are doing.

So practice practice practice the basics and then create.

My ideal workout routines start out with TopRock to get the blood flowing. I also feel that TopRock has good bouncy feeling to it that can help get you ready for the Locking workout. After the warm up I do basic movements and just jam out to some funk. I have built up a good sweat and then stretch... while i'm stretching i think of new ideas and concepts or different artfoms that i've seen lately to pull ideas. After the stretch I put these ideas to work and see if they can simply flow.. if they don't work i write them down... if they do flow I try them to music. If they work I put on some funk and just go off trying to mix them into my current style.

This of course is just my ideal work out routine.. i usually only do a few of things mentioned... rarely do i do it all. I always end with a creative session though... I feel better when I feel like I've added something new to my dance and developed my character/style even more.

Practice... Create.. then go to the Club.

By adnan462
On Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:21 PM

excellent discussion mate... many congrats and thanks to the member whose started this...
By screamhop
On Fri Feb 25, 2005 03:26 AM
im so intimidated....celebrities...terms flying around....
By BBChelz
On Thu Mar 17, 2005 02:44 PM
I am a pom girl (dance team girl) and in my group i am the "hip-hop dancer" I have been looking for a good way to warm up and perfect my moves, so thank you for all the great advise and times and is really great!
By Double_Klutch
On Fri Mar 25, 2005 03:44 PM
Edited by Double_Klutch (126605) on 2005-03-25 15:32:51
Here's a clip of Campbellocking in the middle of the pacific ocean (Hawaii)

Click on the red arrow to watch.

I've been doing the Campbellock dance for 32 years now. . . .
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