BLACK

My journey to yo-yo mastery

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Transcript 35 languages
Transcribed by Joseph Geni
Reviewed by Morton Bast
0:20

When I was 14 years old, I had low self-esteem. I felt I was not talented at anything.

0:30

One day, I bought a yo-yo. When I tried my first trick, it looked like this:

0:39

(Laughter)

0:44

I couldn't even do the simplest trick, but it was very natural for me, because I was not dextrous, and hated all sports. But after one week of practicing, my throws became more like this: A bit better. I thought, the yo-yo is something for me to be good at. For the first time in my life, I found my passion. I was spending all my time practicing. It took me hours and hours a day to build my skills up to the next level.

1:26

And then, four years later, when I was 18 years old, I was standing onstage at the World YoYo Contest. And I won. I was so excited. "Yes, I did it! I became a hero. I may get many sponsors, a lot of money, tons of interviews, and be on TV!" I thought.

1:44

(Laughter)

1:46

But after coming back to Japan, totally nothing changed in my life.

1:52

(Laughter)

1:54

I realized society didn't value my passion. So I went back to my college and became a typical Japanese worker as a systems engineer. I felt my passion, heart and soul, had left my body. I felt I was not alive anymore.

2:15

So I started to consider what I should do, and I thought, I wanted to make my performance better, and to show onstage how spectacular the yo-yo could be to change the public's image of the yo-yo.

2:32

So I quit my company and started a career as a professional performer. I started to learn classic ballet, jazz dance, acrobatics and other things to make my performance better.

2:46

As a result of these efforts, and the help of many others, it happened. I won the World YoYo Contest again in the artistic performance division. I passed an audition for Cirque Du Soleil. Today, I am standing on the TED stage with the yo-yo in front of you.

3:06

(Applause)

3:10

What I learned from the yo-yo is, if I make enough effort with huge passion, there is no impossible.

3:21

Could you let me share my passion with you through my performance?

3:25

(Applause)

3:56

(Water sound)

4:03

(Music)

7:45

(Music ends)

7:48

(Applause)

7:55

(Music)

9:14

(Music ends)

9:19

(Applause)

9:41

(Applause ends)

9:44

(Music)

10:14

(Applause)

Remember the days you struggled just to make a yo-yo spin, and if you were really fancy, to “walk the dog”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK tells the inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo back out of the closet.

About the speaker
BLACK · Yo-yo champion

Twice the world yo-yo champion, BLACK mixes dance, sport and performance to create unforgettable yo-yo moments.

Twice the world yo-yo champion, BLACK mixes dance, sport and performance to create unforgettable yo-yo moments.