Although Oh Yong Joo and I knew each other well, there was rivalry blazing up between us.
Our battles would take place at the Moon Night club. To be honest, the battle concept was a bit different back then. Because it was more like a fight than a battle, a time when the outcome was decided according to the one dominating the stage first.
Of course, you couldn’t win when you had no skills. There was also the “practice room smashing” like the “[training] center smashing” you had in the martial arts world.
When you lost a battle, you’d be resentful and go to the studio and lose yourself into practice. We’d spy on each other with the help of the dongsaengs and even get info on the other dancers sometimes. When someone from another team would practice until dawn, we used to practice until dawn too.
The thing between Oh Yong Joo and me wasn’t about meeting each other for a battle. Can we say that it was more like a push-and-pull type of energy? Because of this energy, we would always meet at the Moon Night Club.
It was a time when you only thought about dancing because the battle was over after a few minutes. We’d battle this way and if the opponent won, we usually left without even looking back. Even the dancers who were watching the battle would feel this cold chilly atmosphere that was like being abandoned in a wide desert.
On the contrary, winning made you feel like nothing could scare you in this world. Today, the concept of dancing is based on a culture of enjoying and sharing with others. Back then, it was only about winning and survival. So I remember it more as practicing as if I was actually risking my life.
Oh Yong Joo and I repeatedly went through such experiences for a long time. From the Moon Night Club to the Blue Monkeys Club, we were the first. Although I’m shy about saying this, but it is not wrong to say that we are the living witnesses of Korea’s “battle history”.