2011 1A World Champion Marcus Koh Jin Hao
interview by B-Grade Woman
B-Grade Woman: How and when did you start yoyoing? When did you notice you were really good at it?
Marcus: I started yo-yo during 2003 at the age of 10. I first picked up yo-yoing when I was watching a cartoon television program named “Super yo-yo”. I was amazed by the fact that the yo-yo players in the show could play so fast that 1 yo-yo becomes 10 (Cartoon animation). Being a small kid, I was really influenced by the main character in the story as the main character portrays an optimistic, hardworking and “Never give up” attitude in the show. The main character also dreamed of becoming the world champion one day. Being fascinated by the Tv show, That is when I then picked up yo-yo and started yo-yoing. I do not exactly know when I was really good at it. But my passion for yo-yos grew in 2008 and I started putting more effort in the sport to improve myself.
B-Grade Woman: What was your first yoyo? Do you have a yoyo that is very special to you or one you really really want to have?
Marcus: My first yoyo was a blue light up super yo-yo. Nope, All yo-yos are special to me
B-Grade Woman: What does yoyoing mean to you, and how does it affect your daily life?
Marcus: Yo-yo has affected me positively a great deal in my daily life. Yo-yo has thought me to be happier, disciplined, creative and many others. Yo-yoing means a lot to me. Seeing how Yo-yos play a huge part of my life, it’s like my Second nature.
B-Grade Woman: What yoyo players have inspired you over the years and have influenced your style? Is there any specific freestyle that you really love or has special meaning to you, either your own or someone else’s?
Marcus: Yo-yo players who have inspired me are Jensen Kimmit, Ryota Ogi, Luo Yi cheng, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Darrell Mitchell and Christopher Chia.
B-Grade Woman: You are known for your behind the back tricks, what other types of tricks do you really love to do or maybe you wish you were better at?
Marcus: Hahaha, I wish I were better at jumping tricks.
B-Grade Woman: How do you create your freestyles? Do you pick the music first or the tricks? Do you use a different song and routine for every contest?
Marcus: I pick the music first and do a remix of it to fit the 3 minutes freestyle. I will try my best to use a different song and routine for every contest.
B-Grade Woman: How many hours a day do you practice before a big contest and can you tell us a little bit about how you practice?
Marcus: I practice at least 2 hours a day. About how I practice, I would take a short break between every 20-30 mins of freestyle practice. This is to make sure I do not over train/under train over a period of time. After I have finished practicing, I will wash up and take a rest for 15 minutes. After that I will practice my freestyle one last time for the day. Whether the freestyle is good or bad it shall be my last freestyle for the day. This is to simulate what I will do in actual competition. In actual scenario I would stop playing 15 minutes before my freestyle and let my mind relax.
B-Grade Woman: Being on stage can be nerve wrecking, how do you deal with your nerves? Are there any things you always do before freestyling?
Marcus: I do not deal with my nerves, I embrace them. To me, I would say that having a happy/positive lifestyle plays a part in handling nervousness on stage. If I lead a happy lifestyle, I am naturally an optimistic and happy person and I would not let negative emotions/factors get to me. If I led a hectic lifestyle where I usually get frustrated and easily irritable, even the slightest of things would get to me and it could affect me big time on stage. I would always bring a towel and wipe my hands before free styling and lastly I would always hug my supportive parents before I go up on stage.
B-Grade Woman: Are there any other major contests you would really like to win or would just like to go to?
Marcus: Not any in particular for the moment. But I have heard Czech yo-yo nationals and 44 Clash is a fun contest to go to with great venue settings.
B-Grade Woman: Do you play any other styles besides 1A, and would you consider competing in any of them in the future?
Marcus: I play 5A for fun. If I get better at them, Yes.
B-Grade Woman: Can you tell us a little about the Singapore yoyo scene, what it’s like and where do you see it going? Are there any young talented players from Singapore you feel are going to be the next Marcus Koh?
Marcus: The Singapore yo-yo scene has been very competitive. New tricks are created almost every weekly yo-yo gathering on Saturday. I see the Singapore yoyo scene growing to becoming one of the best in the world. Not only the current big names, but even the fresh batch yo-yo players in Singapore are improving fast. There are many young talented players from Singapore, I would not say they would be the next Marcus Koh as each of them has their own unique style. I could say that one day they will rise to the occasion and carve out their story in their own way.
B-Grade Woman: What are your aspirations for the future, yoyo and non-yoyo wise? What other dreams do you have? Are there any other things you really love to do besides yoyoing?
Marcus: I hope to be able to travel around the world, getting to meet and do a video of every single yo-yo player on earth. I have always loved getting to meet the different kinds of yo-yo players around the world and I thought it would be really awesome if I had the opportunity to do a video of yo-yo players around the world.
Non-yoyo wise would be learning Dj at a competitive level .
Being the World champion in yo-yo had always been my lifelong dream. So I do not have any other dreams for the moment. Maybe in the future ? J
Besides yo-yoing. I love to hang out and have fun with my friends.
B-Grade Woman: What is your favourite food and drink?
Marcus: My favorite food would be Kung Pao Chicken. It’s a classic Chinese dish with a little bit of spice.
My favorite drink would be Mojito, A cocktail.
B-Grade Woman: What is your favourite country you’ve been to so far?
Marcus: My favorite country I have been to so far would be the Philippines
B-Grade Woman: Do you have anything else you want the readers to know? Or just something you want to say?
Marcus: Happy Yoyo-ing everyone