B-Boy Flying Machine during the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 West Zone Cypher
© Focus Sports

B-Boy Flying Machine: “I meet myself when I’m breaking”

The three-time Red Bull BC One Cypher India champion discusses what breaking means to him and why he considers it the perfect escape to find himself.
Written by Radhika Agrawal
6 min readPublished on
B-Boy Flying Machine (Arif Chaudhary) is one of the most decorated breakers in India.
A dancer for many years who has also branched out into event organization and rapping, Flying Machine is world-renowned as a leader in India’s breaking circles.
As a three-time Red Bull BC One Cypher India champion, he is also the most successful in the competition. And he was the first Indian to be invited to compete at the Red Bull BC One World Finals in 2019 in Mumbai, a privilege for any breaker in the world.
As he prepares to participate in Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 – his fifth time making it to the top-16 of the competition – he discusses what breaking means to him, where he draws inspiration, and what have been the standout moments of his career.
B-Boy Flying Machine during the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 West Zone Cypher

B-Boy Flying Machine

© Focus Sports

When did you start breaking? How did you discover it?

I started breaking 13 years ago in 2009. I was introduced to breaking by a friend, who showed me a video of Red Bull BC One 2005. The competition format was so unique – the opponents were standing right in front of each other, having a face off. I’d never seen anything like it. The moves were so explosive and athletic. I’d been into sports since I was a kid – I was the sports captain of my school. So, breaking was a seamless fit for me. In fact, I’m really glad that breaking is now being accepted as a dance sport. Breaking brought discipline to my life. That’s what a sport does.

How would you describe your breaking journey in a few sentences?

Breaking gave a purpose to my life. Before it, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was clueless about my future, career, and my likes and dislikes. I finally have values, and through breaking I also have the confidence to stand up for those values. Breaking made me the person that I am today. It made me a leader.

What is the story behind your B-Boy name?

In hip-hop culture, you never choose your own name. A senior from the circle names you. When I started breaking, I was very young. I was extremely enthusiastic about flips. So, whenever I went to the park to train, I would jump around. People around me started equating me with a flying machine, and that’s how my name was coined.
B-Boy Flying Machine during the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 West Zone Cypher

B-Boy Flying Machine

© Focus Sports

Which crew(s) do you represent currently? Have you been a part of any others?

Currently I’m a solo artist. Earlier, I used to be a part of Funky Disorders Crew and I was also a founding member of Beast Mode Crew.

Do you remember your first battle in a breaking competition? How was that experience?

There was a competition in Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai, when I was 13 years old. It was the first time I saw international B-Boys in front of my eyes. It was so dope. I remember I used to break without my shoes that time. I chose a partner and we got down in a two-on-two battle; we made it to the semifinals. I had no idea I was that good – it was unbelievable.

Where do you usually learn new moves? Do you invent them or look to social media for inspiration?

I just record myself and perform freestyle with the music. When I watch the videos, I get ideas on how I can modify those moves. I get inspired by myself, by music, and by all the things I come across in my daily life. As artists, we have a different lens; we see this world differently. I love creating things in my head and then applying them to my moves.
B-Boy Flying Machine during the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 West Zone Cypher

B-Boy Flying Machine

© Focus Sports

What is your training schedule like?

I put in two sessions in a day. I do cardio and strength training in the afternoon from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. And I go to my studio to practice breaking at 11:00pm.

What is the one thing you love most about breaking as an art form or culture?

It’s an escape for me. I get to leave everything behind and be with myself. I meet myself when I’m breaking.

What has been your greatest achievement in breaking so far? And what is a goal you hope to achieve?

One of my greatest achievements was to compete in the Red Bull BC One World Finals in 2019. I’m also really proud of the fact that I have a sponsorship to support me, so I can concentrate on my art.
My next goal is to compete in the upcoming Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 and a long-term target is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

Which B-Boys or B-Girls do you look up to in India and internationally? And why?

I’m really inspired by B-Boy Hong 10. He’s an icon. He’s 35 years old now but he’s still breaking. I also look up to B-Boy Menno; he has really changed the approach to breaking worldwide.
B-Boy Flying Machine during the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022 West Zone Cypher

B-Boy Flying Machine

© Focus Sports

How many editions of Red Bull BC One have you participated in? Share your personal best memory from the competition.

I have participated in Red Bull BC One Cypher India four times, and I have won thrice. This will be my fifth time competing. I had the best time the first time I participated in 2015. I knew in my gut that I would win. I remember someone had come up to me and asked who I thought was going to be crowned the winner, and I shamelessly gave him my own name.
I had always wanted to be the winner of the first-ever edition of Red Bull BC One Cypher India and also to be the first Indian to compete at the world finals. I was able to do both and that was super joyous for me.
I lost the national final in 2016 after winning the inaugural competition in 2015. So when I came back in 2017, I wanted to prove to everyone that my win the previous year had not been a fluke. I was very glad when I won it again in 2017.

Do you have any other favourite memories from the history of Red Bull BC One overall?

In 2019, when the world finals happened in Mumbai, I was invited to be part of the top-16 and compete at the world finals. That gave me the chance to perform live in front of my parents. They got to watch me on my dream stage, with the whole country screaming my name. It was extremely positive and overwhelming.