CULTURE Meet Sam Tobey - The fireball swinging real life Kill Bill badass

Ever wanted to act out your own Gogo Yubari scene with a huge ball of fire?

Posted 07.09.2019 08:03
Updated 07.09.2019 08:13


Flow Mayhem

Gogo Yubari

You should all be very familiar with the now-iconic Quentin Tarantino ‘Kill Bill’ films that depict the story of ‘The Bride’ aka Black Mamba, a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, as she vows to take revenge on a team of assassins (played by Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Vivica A. Fox) headed by Bill (David Carradine). The story takes The Bride (Uma Therman) to Tokyo, Japan where she has to fight off hordes of Yakuza and ‘bosses’ in order to take out her final enemy.

One such “Boss” she encounters along the way is O-Ren Ishii, leader of the infamous Yakuza mafia. During this epic fight scene, The Bride encounters a very innocent looking character called Gogo Yubari, O-Ren’s bodyguard. Although dressed in a Japanese schoolgirl outfit and looking younger than the age restriction on the film, you couldn’t help but think she won’t be much use to O-Ren. However, you’ll remember the huge steel ball on a chain Gogo utilized to try and kill Uma, and destroy most of the bar during the process. Unfortunately for Gogo, she succumbed to a violent ending when The Bride plunged a set of nails into her head.

If you’ve ever been to a festival or watched a street performer on your travels around Europe, you have most likely seen a wide variety of skills and talents. Many people chose to juggle, perform acts with various props such as ropes or large hoops, some even incorporate fire into their routine. However, few people decide to combine lethal martial arts weapons into their everyday show, dance, and fire. Enter Sam Tobey, founder of Flow Mayhem and all-round fireball swinging badass.

This tool looked like a martial arts weapon straight out of the movie Kill Bill
- Sam Tobey

“I was shocked to see that they weren’t just dancing. They had lit their tools on FIRE. I lost my mind. Gone. Fully transfixed. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life” Sam explains in a personal blog on how she first discovered another performer using the Gogo Yubari weapon, which is called a Meteor Hammer. A defensive Chinese weapon that has many techniques in the form of martial arts. “She was wielding an ENORMOUS ball of fire, attached to a long rope. The weapon-like object traveled around her, at a speed that I would have previously not thought physically possible”.

Sam suffers from Bi-Polar and she explains that she tends to become obsessed with certain hobbies which could account for her incredible talent and control with a fiery Meteor Hammer in her Flow routine. During her exploration of various activities, she discovered a hoop class at her college and signed up “I even found out that there was a hoop dance class at my college, and signed up immediately. I spent hours and hours every day practicing” which would ultimately lead her into combing some of these skills with her now mind-blowing fireball routine.

Sam landed a festival spot in San Diego which is where she first discovered the fire dancers mentioned above. “After a few months in hoop class, my teacher offered me a spot to perform at a festival. I was ecstatic. The grandiosity of performing was so alluring to me”.

“I had seen hula hoops, glow sticks, and fans. This tool looked like a martial arts weapon straight out of the movie Kill Bill”. Although hooping had offered Sam a foot in the door to the Flow Arts Community, she needed something more. “My entire purpose had shifted. Even though hula hooping had been the initial cathartic release that reeled me into the flow arts community, fire dancing hit the nail directly on the head. It filled the missing piece of the puzzle that hula hoops couldn’t: the element of danger.”

Some years later, she is now an incredibly experienced and skilled performer, and could probably take out Gogo Yubari with her eyes closed. Her routines with the now infamous Chinese Meteor Hammer are quite mesmerizing to watch. She now creates teaching videos as well as performing at festivals so others can learn her trade, or just sit back and marvel at her amazing talents.

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Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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