Phil Wizard breaking on a rooftop in Paris, France
© Little Shao / Red Bull Content Pool

Phil Wizard: Breaking Toward Global Glory

Driven by a love and passion for dance, Phil Wizard is leaving his mark on the breaking scene and has established himself as one of the most creative and originally-inspired dancers out there.
By Greg Asselin
11 min readPublished on
At 12 years old, many of us were dreaming of our future. We had all sorts of ideas for the lives we wanted to live — some were far-fetched fantasies and others were attainable realities. One day we wanted to be an astronaut and the next a rockstar.
For Canadian Philip Kim, aka B-Boy Phil Wizard, once he laid eyes on the N.O.N. crew performing breaking shows in downtown Vancouver it was game over. Completely mesmerized and deeply inspired, Phil went home and immediately started searching for breaking footage on YouTube, learning and developing his dance skills from the likes of JBugz, Reflex, Victor, Hong 10, and Issei.
Almost 14 years later, Phil Wizard has established himself as one of the most creative and originally-inspired breakers on the hip-hop dance scene. With an upcoming Red Bull BC One World Final and athletes from around the globe heading to the world's biggest sporting stage next summer, Phil is showing no signs of slowing down.

A Breaking Journey That’s Just Beginning

The Vancouver-based breaking athlete started honing his craft in 2009 after seeing the N.O.N. crew perform in the downtown core of Vancouver. Phil was mentored by the N.O.N. and Soul Felons crews but credits a lot of his motivation to the breaking videos he would watch on YouTube.
Fast forward a few years and Phil’s meteoric rise was on full display, earning himself a well-deserved reputation as one of the best B-Boys in the world — not just Canada. In 2017 he took the title at the Red Bull BC One LA Cypher and followed that up by winning the Red Bull BC One Canada Cypher in 2018.
Phil Wizard at Red Bull BC One

Phil Wizard at Red Bull BC One

© Photographer Credit: Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool

He also won the Undisputed World Series and was invited to the Red Bull BC One World Finals in 2019, becoming the first Canadian dancer to do either. In 2022, Phil won the WDSF World Breaking Championships in Seoul, South Korea. Add in several other wins, runner-ups, and top-10 finishes, and it’s no surprise why Phil Wizard is considered one of the top B-Boys in the world.
He’s continuing to push his own boundaries and capabilities, working each and every day to cement his legacy across the breaking world. Phil's future is sure to have plenty of windmills, flares, turtles, crickets, air flares, and headspins on his way to more world titles and championship wins.

Phil Wizard’s 2023 Season So Far

The 2023 circuit is in full swing and Phil Wizard has been leaving an indelible mark on the breaking world, with four 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish to start the year.
But according to Phil, the season has been a fun journey, saying, "2023 has been a wild ride so far. There have been so many great moments, and I know there are going to be so many more. I think my favourite moments of the year have been winning the Fise WDSF World Series and the Pan American Championships back-to-back weekends."
Winning of course is always nice, but it was the entire experience
Phil adds, "Winning of course is always nice, but it was the entire experience. I felt amazing at both those events, the most confident I've ever felt, and had two of my close friends and crewmates behind me supporting me the whole time. And that made it really special."
Here is a breakdown of Phil’s season so far in 2023:

10th Place: WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series

Kitakyushu, Japan | February 24, 2023
Finishing in 10th place was not the start Phil Wizard was looking for going into this year’s Breaking for Gold World Series. It was a rocky beginning to the calendar, especially after he secured his first breaking World Championship back in October.
B-Boy Amir of Kazakhstan took 1st place, with B-Boy Jeffro of the USA and B-Boy Shigekix of Japan rounding out the podium. Phil will be looking to improve on his standings and start earning more points toward qualifying for more events at the next stop of the WSDF Breaking for Gold World Series in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1st Place: Undisputed Masters World Finals

Tokyo, Japan | March 21, 2023
Taking the inaugural win the year before, Phil Wizard followed it up with yet another 1st place finish at the Fujifilm Instax Undisputed Masters in Tokyo, Japan. The solo men's field was full of back-and-forth throughout the top 8 knock-out rounds.
Phil was able to edge out B-Boy Dany Dann in the final after knocking out B-Boy Yosh and B-Boy Link le Neil in the semifinals and quarterfinals. Now, Phil will look forward to preparing for the Breaking for Gold World Series in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in April.

2nd Place: WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | April 14, 2023
Phil’s second WDSF event of the year saw him improve significantly from his 10th-place finish back in February in Kitakyushu, Japan. While the 10th-place finish was disappointing, he was able to turn it around in Rio and rise up the standings to finish in 2nd place.
B-Boy Dany Dann (France) took home the gold medal and B-Boy Shigekix (Japan) took home the bronze.

1st Place: WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series x Fise

Montpellier, France | May 17, 2023
After his 2nd place finish in Brazil, Phil was looking to secure his spot atop the podium in France — and that he did. He edged out Japan’s B-Boy Shigekix 3-0 to take the top spot and finish in 1st place.
This marked the first World Series win for Phil this season and secured him an additional 1,000 ranking points. B-Boy Gravity (USA), B-Boy Sunni (England), and B-Boy Lil Zoo (Austria) rounded out the top 5 competitors.

1st Place: WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series

Santiago, Chile | May 27, 2023
If Phil Wizard was warming up to start the season, Santiago was where he began to boil over. Fresh off his win the week before in France, Wizard took his skills to a whole new level in the final, beating B-Boy Jeffro (USA) 3-0 in the final, which included convincing 9:0 scores in the first and third rounds.
This win at the Pan American Breaking Championships in Santiago extended Phil’s lead in the overall standings.

2nd Place: WDSF World Breaking Championships

Leuven, Belgium | September 24, 2023
With summer slowly coming to a close, it was time for the 2023 WDSF World Breaking Championships to take place in Leuven, Belgium. Phil Wizard entered the competition with the goal of securing the title but ran into a familiar foe in B-Boy Victor.
Phil was able to defeat B-Boy Shigekix in the semi-final round, which was a rematch of the 2022 World Championship final between the two rivals, spinning him forward into the final where B-Boy Victor was ultimately crowned World Champion.
The winner of this year's WDSF World Breaking Championship received an automatic qualification to the world's biggest stage next summer in Paris, France. But Phil will have his sights set on Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, as an opportunity to bounce back and secure that coveted qualification.

What Does the Rest of the Year Have in Store?

Phil plans on breaking into the rest of this year’s competitions in sure-fire fashion with some big events still on the calendar, including the Pan Am Games and Red Bull BC One. Plus, the WDSF World Championship is coming up in September in Belgium and Phil will be looking to repeat after winning the title in 2022.
And he's not afraid to let you know he's targeting the top spot in all three competitions.
Phil didn't hesitate to say: "I'm happy to put it out there but I'm gunning to win all 3. My trifecta. But more than that, and more than anything I'm just looking forward to continuing developing my craft and seeing breaking continue to grow. It's such an exciting time for breaking."
It's such an exciting time for breaking
The Breaking for Gold World Series has a stop in Porto, Portugal at the end of August before the World Championships take place in Leuven, Belgium in September.

22 min

Unlimited Rounds b-boy battle

Phil Wizard goes up against Hong 10 in a battle of breaking skills and stamina.

But that’s not all you’re going to see from Phil.
The Red Bull BC One Cypher USA is coming up on August 27th in Philadelphia, with the winner earning an automatic entry into the Red Bull BC One World Final in Paris, France. This year’s world final is being held at a completely transformed Stade Roland-Garros, the iconic tennis grounds, and will be the biggest international breaking stage in the world.
Phil will be looking to join the best B-Boys and B-Girls in the world and take breaking to new heights never seen before.
B-boy Phil Wizard from Canada poses for a portrait prior to the Red Bull BC One World Final in New York, USA on November 8th, 2022.

B-boy Phil Wizard

© Little Shao / Red Bull Content Pool


What Will Breaking Look Like in Paris?

There’s more (much more) to breaking than just dance. It’s intertwined and rooted in the culture of hip hop and it blends together unique performances, peak athleticism, and the ability to improvise effectively.
Phil Wizard always strives to become the best b-boy he can be. He poses for a portrait at Dongjak Bridge in Seoul, South Korea on October 18, 2022.

Phil Wizard sitting on a ledge of a bridge railing while drinking Red Bull

© SonStar/Red Bull Content Pool

With breaking hitting the world's biggest sporting stage next summer, there are some events that offer athletes the opportunity to earn qualification points. Only the top 14 men and 14 women in the Breaking for Gold World Series rankings will be able to compete in the Qualifier Series next year.
I'm excited to represent a country that I'm so grateful to have grown up in, and I'm excited to see my people excited
With the countdown to Paris on, competing outside of the traditional breaking events wasn't something that was top of mind for breakers previously.
"The closer we get I can feel the excitement, pressure, and opportunities all building up," Phil says. And that excitement is continuing to increase as the days go by.
Phil continued, "I'm excited about that. I'm excited about being a part of history... I'm excited to represent a country that I'm so grateful to have grown up in, and I'm excited to see my people excited."

What’s the Format in Paris?

Like many events and series, competitors will have to vibe with the DJ, improvise when needed, and combine a range of unique moves to try and beat their opponent in a head-to-head battle.
They’ll have to incorporate windmills, headspins, freezes, power moves, down rocks, and anything else they can mix in as they adapt and improvise to the beat of the DJ. The 1-vs-1 battle includes the breakers taking alternate turns to perform their moves.
B-boy Phil Wizard competes at the Red Bull BC One World Final in New York

B-boy Phil Wizard competes at the Red Bull BC One World Final in New York

© Little Shao / Red Bull Content Pool

The battle will likely have 2 or 3 throw down rounds in the preliminary stages before increasing to 3 or 5 throw down rounds in the final. Each B-Boy and B-Girl competing will be judged based on six different criteria:
  • Creativity
  • Personality
  • Variety
  • Technique
  • Musicality
  • Performativity
The criteria are weighted a bit differently from one another and the judges will each submit their votes at the end of each throw down. The breaker that ends up having the highest number of points will ultimately be the winner.
Yet, even with a packed schedule and some big events coming up, Phil isn't looking to change a whole lot to his schedule or training.
Phil Wizard from Canada poses for a portrait at Chor Bazaar ahead of Red Bull BC One Camp & World Final in Mumbai, India on November 5, 2019

Phil Wizard is the newest Red Bull BC One All Star

© Ali Bharmal/Red Bull Content Pool

He doesn't want to disrupt the way he approaches his dance, saying, "I compete a lot already, and I'll continue doing so. And as amazing as the opportunity and excitement is, I never wanted it to change the way I approach the dance."
"It doesn't mean I'm not training hard, learning to adapt, and continuing to try and learn and grow. But those things are, and would have been true anyway," Phil added.

We Do This Because We Love It, But It's Not Easy

Passion, love, dedication, and drive are just a few of the words you'll likely hear from breakers about why they do what they do. Breaking is an art form that takes determination, perseverance, and the will to move forward, constantly adapting to what's happening around you.
Learn who your people are, be patient and figure out who you are and what you want from this
If you're looking to chase your dream of becoming a breaker, Phil believes you need to ask yourself some hard questions. "Ask yourself why you're doing this, what's your drive? Because that is the most important thing for longevity. Is your goal just one event? Then what? What happens when you win or lose that event?"
Phil continued, "and not to say that's wrong, but to honestly ask yourself why you do what you do is so integral. Take time to remind yourself why, or re-ask yourself that question, because your answer might change over time too."
Phil Wizard from Canada competes at the Red Bull BC One World Final at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, USA on November 12, 2022

Phil Wizard performs a move in the battle against Victor

© Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

Breaking can be demanding both mentally and physically. It's a seamless combination of being both an athlete and an entertainer, but you can't have one without the other. Fitness and training are key to ensure you have the stamina to out-compete other breakers -- if your fitness isn't where it needs to be, it can cost you a championship.
When asked about what he would share with young breakers looking to make their mark, Phil said, "Learn who your people are, be patient and figure out who you are and what you want from this. And continue to approach the art/culture/sport with an open mind and a willingness to grow."

Don’t Miss Any Breaking Competitions

If you want to watch Phil Wizard throw down some of the most acrobatic and gravity-defying moves, be sure to check out the Red Bull BC One Cypher USA on August 27th in Philadelphia before the breakers start to prepare for the Red Bull BC One World Final in Paris, France in October.
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Part of this story

Red Bull BC One

Red Bull BC One is the biggest one-on-one b-boy and b-girl competition in the world. Every year, thousands of dancers battle for a chance to represent at the World Final.

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Phil Wizard

Philip Kim, aka B-Boy Phil Wizard, is one of the most creative and original breakers on the hip-hop dance scene.