Friday, February 24, 2012

Say this 10 times fast...

   For chess sets as beautiful as they are affordable visit

I shot, crossbows and toss flows across moats

To pierce the archer's armor, armed with arrows

Pole points from elbows, with joints joined with marrow
To maim, the tip of the arrows lit with flame
Checkmate - the death of your king ends the game.

You're not a father 'cause you gotta son, unless you're takin' care of him

HHCF Featured in the California Health Report

Hip Hop, Chess, Martial Arts Aid Youth Through Life from Marnette Federis on Vimeo.

This is so huge. I cannot even put it into words. So many people wrote off our initial ideas...many laughed. But now you can look directly into the eyes of some of the kids we have have helped. Enjoy it...I hope to share more soon. BTW, big announcement next  week. BIG...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids from Balboa & Lincoln Visit John O'Connell To Celebrate Black History Month

So today was the OC Black History Month assembly. It was pretty cool. A lot of history was shared and the students loved it. After an African dance ceremony they had some one of the kids at OC in a turf dance crew called So Random Inc. hit the floor. If you have never seen jerking(its not just the dance, but a series of movements), its a mix of strutting, popping and freestyle dance that is super popular in The SF Bay Area...Anyway, one of the students requested two of his partners from Balboa & Lincoln HS come out. The schools agreed and they gave a great show.

After the performance, some of the kids gathered outside for a freestyle rap battle and it was pretty bangin'. There is no doubt that the young generation of Hip-Hop fanatics have many gifts. Here area few shots....

I love to see kids from different Bay Area schools performing together. Back in the 80's, it was impossible...It almost always ended in violence...many times in gunfire...So, it was heartwarming to see the youth come together in Black History Month and use Hip-Hop dance and battle rap as a platform for peace.

Prison Letters: An Inmate Writes HHCF

You never know how what you do will affect the world. You can only try from your heart with the best intentions and the best plan you can devise and let things unfold as history sees fit...The HHCF was basically an idea I had held in my mind since the 1980's (I know, I'm getting up there). I have spoken at San Quentin Penitentiary, Vacaville Penitentiary and DVI. All of those visits volunteering to help prisoners changed me forever. But it was a visit to a juvenile hall in San Francisco that really germinated the seed and inspired the formation of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation. After visiting a few juve's I decided to never go back to prisons. Mainly because I felt like Frederick Douglass that "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. "

I still feel that way for the most part. But then I got a letter from an inmate who read the story about us in the San Jose Mercury. I will not tell you his name (we will call him SJA) , but I felt compelled to share some of his thoughts with you here:

I think its pretty cool what you are doing for these kids out here...Thats all most of these kids need, guidance, support, love, and inspiration. I wanted to take time to thank y'all and people like y'all that step up and teach the young ones...and keep them away from gangs and drugs...I was just a confused little boy...So I got caught up in what we call "the lifestyle", "thug life", "mi vida loca"....I went on from robbing, hustlin' gangbangin', to The Hall, Jail and to prison...I'm facing 30 years...On parole, I've never been out more than a month...What I'm trying to say is is its good to see people helping teens not follow in the paths of our footsteps...I just wish I could have found people like y'all when I was growing up...Maybe my life would have been different...When I read your section and seen what you got going for teens it put a smile on my face...Because I know what it feels like to grow up with nothing."

I wrote him some things about redemption, discipline and focus. I think he should have the letter in a day or so if he does not already have it. I will keep you guys in the loop as things evolve. Who knows...I might take HHCF into the prisons...

Monday, February 20, 2012

If you don't know Dessa you betta ask somebody!!

This was a few years ago, but it was so cool. 9 Queens rocks!!

I look forward to working more with them in 2012...

House of Flying Daggers is so beautiful

I love bamboo...Its so pretty when its moving in the wind...

Loving to see the intense play from Hou Yifan and Alexandra Kosteniuk

I have two daughters. I love them so much. I always try to make sure that my daughters know the power of their own minds. I want them to see the strength that they own that no man can take. These are some very exciting games here by intelligent young women. I hope it inspires you guys as much as it inspires me. 

Alexandra Kosteniuk has been a long time supporter of HHCF and we hope to be working with her in the near future.


If your daughter gets a chance to train with Leticia Ribeiro, don't ever pass it up

Leticia Ribeiro does so much for girls in the sport of jiu jitsu. The HHCF believes that if every female in America learned "the gentle art" our country would be so much stronger. I encourage all little girls, teens, moms, aunties and grannys to get on mat.

A lot of women sometimes feel like women should not be training to "fight." But this is not training to fight. Its training to survive intense situations. Its learning to calm your mind under adversity. Its better to have jiu jitsu and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Please join the HHCF on Facebook!!

Just FYI, if you are on Facebook or you know people who are, please visit (and LIKE) the  Hip-Hop Chess Federation OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE! Also, please do not forget to visit the HHCF webstore!
 Get yourself one of the coolest shirts a chess player can rock....Plus it lets people know that you care about your community! Both shirts are in limited edition (we have less than 100 of each and there will NOT be reprints). Get your fashion crackin'! Any real followers of the HHCF know that we have not had t-shirts SINCE our big event 5 years ago. So, get 'em while you can...

HHCF Featured in Forbes! Yeah, we can't believe it either....But we love it.

It is with both shock and awe that we present to you HHCF Founder Adisa Banjoko being interviewed for 

There are actually 2 versions. You can see the second version  of the interview as well. This is unprecedented coverage for our organization and we are thankful. Even the word thankful, limits what we feel in our heads and hearts. More news from upcoming events coming soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yesterday was so amazing. V-Day was so powerful. Here are some highlights!

                       Adisa, GM Vinay Bhat and panel moderator T-KASH: Photo , Christine Schoville
  Asheru and Adisa Banjoko stand proudly with canvas painted live at V-Day by Reyes Muertos !: Photo , Christine Schoville
                                         Ralek Gracie, Adisa Banjoko and Denny Prokopos
                                     One art, One people One love: Photo Par Ryan of Jupiter Jiu Jitsu

HHCF Life Strategies Panel w/ Asheru, Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Eric Schiller, Ralek Gracie and US Chess Federations Ruth Haring. T-Kash was the moderator. : Photo Pat Ryan
                                          V-Day HHCF competitor enjoying the day! :
                                                     Photo , Christine Schoville
                                          John O'Connell students enjoy the spoils of war on V-Day!
                                                          Photo , Christine Schoville

You know, not all the songs about chess in Hip-Hop are positive...some can be dark

Pawns in a chess game, is who they say we are/ 'Cause we go around the city bustin' gats outta cars/ At others like us, or we could see your race/ Tear drops on my face for my boys in the grave! -Conejo, Pawns In A Chess Game

Hip-Hop Chess Federation Featured in San Jose Mercury!

The HHCF had a pretty epic week. It started with a powerful lecture at San Francisco State University and ended with HHCF 5 year anniversary jam. On the day of the event, this great article in the San Jose Mercury! Hip-Hop chess was on the front page of the local section. It focuses on some of the youth outreach HHCF has been doing in the Silicon Valley.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BREAKING : HHCF Founder Adisa Banjoko to Lecture on Chess & Life Feb 6th at San Francisco State University

The class is run by Prof. Dawn- Elissa Fissher and Davy D. Its called "Hiphop, Globalization and the Politics of Identity" at San Francisco State University. Science Building, Room 101, Monday, February 6 (class meets 4:10pm- 6:50pm). Adisa will be speaking about the overlapping history of Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts and how they are  helping to unify people of all racial, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds.  

The King of the South Plays #CHESS In his rap videos...He did more for chess in the hood than half of you think you do

"Life is a game of chess and the object is to kill the king. If you anoint yourself king, you have made yourself a target" - T.I.

If you don't get it after this, I'm not sure you're being honest with yourself...

You think you know Asheru cause you heard him on the Boondocks! But you have no idea....what his skill and level is...

Please still don't hear me, THIS EVENT IS FREE OF CHARGE AND ALL AGES

For All My Young Queens Out There...especially my daughters...You...Will...Rise #neverforget

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hip-Hop Chess Federation on the Cover of Chess Life Mag! OUT NOW!

Real quick, I just want to say that I know I'm not wearing socks. I used to surf and boogie board (I'm a suburban kid from Cali, what can I say). But seriously folks, I want to shout out some of the people who helped make this happen. First of all, there are truly too many to name. So, please forgive me if I left anyone out. I have never done HHCF alone. I never will.

Much respect to my wife (put in more work than anybody, including me to make HHCF happen), Leo Libiran III aka Blast One, Dr. Alan Kirshner (the first person from the mainstream chess world to support me, Dr. Salman Azhar from Bay Area Chess, Hal Bogner, Tom Langland, Daaim Shabazz, Emory Tate, T-KASH, RZA, Balance, San Quinn, Shamako Noble, DLabrie, Rahman Jamaal, Immortal Technique, DJ Qbert, Vinay Bhat, DJ Kevvy Kev, Hieroglyphics, Casual, Zion I, Sunspot Jonz, Amir Sulaiman, Conscious Daughters (RIP Special One), Marilyn Yalom, RAW Talents, Davey D and Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Dr. James Peterson, Ralph and Charles Gracie, my instructor Alan "Gumby" Marques and the entire HEROES Martial Arts Jiu Jitsu Team, Rener, Ryron and Rener Gracie (much respect always), Luke Stewart, Denny "300" Prokopos, Rakaa Iriscience, Eddie Bravo, The HHCF Jiu Jitsu Team, Josh Waitzkin, Sergio Silva, Billy Ray, Leo Jones Jr., Elaine Moskowitz, Kay Hones, all the OC teachers, faculty and staff, Universal Zulu Nation, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angie Golighty, Big Pat, Lil Pat and the Mahoney family, Erik K. Arnold, David Frazee Esq., Alicia, Yusef and everybody at K&L Gates, Eric Murrah, Phil Shpilberg, anyone who has ever donated their time, money or advice...thank you.....all the volunteers of this org....all those who have been patient with me in setting the structure of this org...Anybody who kicked in for chessboards, clocks and took time to teach kids the things I could not and last but not least Jean Hoffman, Jen Shahade at 9 Queens and everybody at Chess Life Magazine. Be aware that this is a super edited list. But your trust and loyalty mean a lot to me. I will not forget it.

But I also want to thank the kids who inspire me to never quit: Raheem, Dyhemia, El-Rey, Shirley, Carlos, all the original HHCF John O'Connell crew....Too many kids to name, but got love for all of you. Stay strong on the block.

Uproxx Covers HHCF Founder plus, FREE PDF download of Bobby Bruce and the Bronx Available

The book Bobby Bruce & the Bronx by Adisa the Bishop is now available from this day forward FREE in PDF form. Please enjoy it and share ...