The Sakura Classic is going down during the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco on April 8th & 9th from 11AM – 7PM. It’s Totally FREE including Pro Workshops, mini-games, prizes, and more!
The Sakura Classic is made possible by the Consulate General of Japan San Francisco, Kendama USA, The Kengarden, the KG Tues Crew, Grain Theory, and the NCCBF.
Be sure and head over to the Sign-Up Page to learn more, sign-up & get a schedule of events & trick lists.
This year’s All Girl Video Kendama Contest was full of fantastic edits from girls all over the world. Because there were so many amazing edits, it was difficult for the judges to choose just three winners.
Check out the top three edits below:
1st Place – Lynse Sng
2nd Place – Misumi Nakao
3rd Place – Keah Alagao
Congratulations to the winners for this years All Girls Video Kendama Contest!
This year’s COTK Halloween Battle; Stumptown 4, showed that the Pacific Northwest Kendama scene is alive and well. The hype factor of the legend himself, Tamotsu Kubota brought even more people to this year’s’ event, making it COTK’s biggest yet! Sol Kendamas Pro Kevin Desoto also made his way up to Portland to compete and kick it with the squad for the second Halloween in a row. Tons of Oregon pros such as Matt Rice, Two Bears, and KUSAs own Haley Bishoff came out to shred as well.
We were lucky to have a warm sunny day for the battle and everyone was honed. As is Halloween tradition, we were having players lace a trick for a treat. There were people doing tricks like double whirlwinds and triple J sticks left and right for a piece of candy. Mini games were had, prizes were won, and tricks were laced. This was a special event in the sense that this was the first time and COTK merchandise was available to the public. COTK, with the help of Portland local Colin Cathy, made and sold a limited run of 20 COTK Halloween posters.
Grain Theory’s Eli Cory ended up taking 1st in the Pro bracket over Sweets’ Luke Ford. Shout out the the local shredder Josh Marine for snagging 3rd over Kevin Desoto and multiple other pros in the bracket. I’m always so hyped to see how quickly the local kids are improving. They’re some of the next generation of pros and it’s cool to see them get to that point.
Overall, this year’s battle was a huge success.The brackets ran super smoothly, the prizes were amazing, and the turnout was better than ever. It was so great to have guests like Tamotsu and Kevin fly out and I hope next year is even better!
KendamaUSA and The Cook have teamed up once again to bring you the 3rd annual Cook’s Customs Contest
Start: October 1st
Videos due: October 17th
HOW TO ENTER:
Upload your video to Youtube with the title “Cook’s Customs Contest 2016: (your name here)” by 10pm EST on October 17th
Send an email with your name, Youtube link, an address you would want your prize sent to, your phone number, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org before 10pm EST October 17th
Your edit should only have THREE of your best Kendama tricks (no more no less)
The theme of your final trick (the third trick) is originality. The more creative the better. Try to think outside the box and develop a trick or line that is your own. This trick may make or break your edit.
Your edit should be no larger than 90 seconds (1:30)
Edits will be judged by the KendamaUSA crew & The Cook
Your edit will be judged on: Skill, rhythm, creativity, flow, trick technicality, music incorporation, videography, and style.
First place: As usual, the winner will collaborate with the Cook to create their own Custom line to be sold on the KendamaUSA website. You will receive two of your customs…one to play and one to keep. Your edit will be posted to the KendamaUSA website and social media. In addition, you will receive a care package from the Cook consisting of one-of-a-kind Kendama, a one-of-a-kind Jumbo, stickers, tshirt, and more.
Second place: You will receive two of any Cook’s Customs product on the website plus a care package from The Cook.
Third place: You will receive one of any Cook’s Customs product on the website plus a care package from The Cook.
Will be announced on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Check out last year’s winning edit & custom model here:
Catch & Flow 2016 was a smashing success! Congrats to Jake Fisher for taking 1st place. Our very own Wyatt Bray took 2nd and KROM’s Bonz Atron took 3rd. The event was full of shredders from around the world showing off their style and flow in this freestyle event. It was awesome to have Nobu and Jake MC the event again this year and bring that extra energy to the stage.
Here is what Kenyatta and Dave thought of the event:
“Catch & Flow was definitely an experience of a lifetime! Everything was beyond memorable from seeing Friends halfway across the world to meeting new Japanese players I didn’t think I would ever have opportunity to meet. I loved the vibe of the competition. Awesome to have Harold DJing the event. I genuinely felt love from everyone I was fortunate enough to let and spend time with. I truly look forward to next years event.” – Kenyatta
“This years Catch & Flow competition was another epic one for the history books, the talent and skill level just gets more and more insane every year.” -Dave.
Van Jam 3 has come and gone. For the 3rd year in a row, the lovely folks at Terra Kendama put on an amazing event with some amazing players that came in from all around the world.
This year, I had the opportunity to fly out to visit the Terra Kendama shop and meet the people behind it all. I began my Canadian adventure on a Tuesday afternoon, my plane landed and I caught a train to meet up with Alex Smith and Eric Martin. They picked me up from the station & took me back to Alex’s house to drop my things off before heading to the shop for the weekly jam. While walking into his house, I was greeted by Kristin Olinyk, part owner of Terra Kendama, she was working hard on some crazy new designs for new products and shirts. After they got some business done at their house we made our way to the shop.
If you ever visit Vancouver, just remember the only way to get around that city is to ride a bike. So we mounted up and began pedaling to the shop. Arriving at the shop was a real highlight moment of the trip, seeing the Kendama wall filled with every type of Kendama you can think of and just thinking about the history of some of the rare gems that were there was amazing. I then experienced one of their jams, which was super chill and relaxed. We hung out at the shop after the kids left to wait around for one special person to come in. I did not know who it was until they got there and it turned out to be a legendary member from WKT Zack Winters! When he got there we hung out and jammed for a bit more and headed back to the house for the night.
The next few days were pretty much the same routine but the exciting about it was that each day we got to explore the city little by little. Now I’m not what you call in shape but for this week I got the workout I’ve needed. Biking through the city was so amazing, we got to see the different cultures that make up this city while learning about its great history. The eating experience in Vancouver was amazing also. I got to try some the freshest fish I’ve had in years and I also got to visit the amazing local breweries that were everywhere.
After of a couple of days of hanging out, different Terra people started coming into town for the event and the house started to get pretty crowded. We had Rodney Ansell coming back from his long trip from japan, the whole COTK crew, Shimao Kamishima from Gloken and Chad Covington owner of SOL Kendamas all fly into town at the same time the day before the event. Also the entire Calgary crew containing Stephanie Lussier, Micha Logan, David Forrest, Jarrod Porter and Connor Aubrecht showed up with the last two players from San Francisco, Matt Rice and Mr. Sourmash.
This year VAN Jam was a 2-day event with mini games like lighthouse races, unicorn, spike offs and many more. Then they had unique events like the wall races on the famous dama wall with 98 different types of Kendamas ranging from metal to wood to plastic. Then you have the KEN tournaments, but in the eyes of the people at Terra KEN games are for children and DAMA games are for adults. So we prepared to play a large game of DAMA, and to be honest it really made the games more interesting to play. Yours truly did not make it past the first rounds in either amature or pro, but honestly I was just very happy to be able to go and compete. Also the players that competed were very good. For day 1 the Amateur players took the stage and competed hard with some awesome tricks thrown around. The winner of the round was Portland local Nick Edmonds. Congrats dude! The following day was for the PRO players and 26 players from around the world competed to win a hand turned Terra ken made by Alex himself. Some truly gnarly tricks were being thrown and the matches became real nail biters. At the end of it all
It came down to Connor Aubrecht & MR. USA aka Wyatt Bray for the finals. Both played amazing with different styles of play. They both were able to keep up with each other and the match went on for at least 45 min.
In the end, Wyatt Bray came out victorious, landing one of his famous forward moon combos with down spike whirlybirds.
After all the kids were gone, the adults made their way to the city to hang and try to get some filming done before the sun disappeared, but in true Kendama fam fashion we made one pit stop for some person to do something and turns out we stayed there until late in the night. We did get some filming done with some photoshoots on the side. Then we started making our way back to the shop for another couple of hours of playing some Super Smash Bros (COTK cough cough) and dama time while still stacking clips for some people.Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and around 3-4 in the morning is when we had to say good-bye to the Calgary fam and Chad Covington. He was leaving to make his flight back to Kentucky for school the next day. The next day the COTK crew left to make their way back to Portland. That morning the whole Terra crew, Mash, Shimao, Zack, Shawn (local shredder) and myself went up to north Vancouver to a shop called BC Playthings. Mr. Sourmash was doing a painting session for the store so we thought it would be a perfect time to explore parts of Vancouver that you couldn’t see in the city. The people who run BC were super nice and very grateful to all of us who went up there to hang out. It was great to see this shop that I remember sending products to right before coming to Vancouver. It’s a really cool feeling walking into a store that you packed for and seeing our product on the shelves when you get there. After the event at BC playthings we all headed back to Alex and Kristian’s place for a home cooked meal. Shimao brought some fresh wasabi root for Alex and Kristian as a thank you for letting him stay with them. The night was filled watching old skate videos and video games, while stories and jokes were being told through the whole night. The next morning came with sadness all around while we shared the last breakfast we were all having together. We had to say goodbye to Matt Rice and Mr. Sourmash as they make their trips back home. Not soon after they left we had to hop in Rodney’s van to drop Shimao off at the Airport so he could make his way home to his wife in Japan. After realizing that I was leaving in a couple short hours Rod, Eric, Kristian, Zack, and myself went for a bike ride through the city one last time to visit some really cool jam spots. After that we made our way to the last jam night for me until next year, but before we stopped at this food spot to pick up some authentic poutine. It tasted like it did when I was a kid and made it so worth the wait to have it at the end of this amazing trip. So jam night came and I got to see some local players that I’ve gotten to know over the past week and got to say my final goodbyes to them. Jam night ended and I had to rush to the airport luckily there’s a train stop right down the street from the shop so the terra crew walked me down to the stop so we could say our final goodbyes to each other. The experiences/ memories are going to be life lasting. I want to give a special thanks to Alex and Kristian for having spot for me to sleep while I was there and showing me these amazing spots around your beautiful city. Can’t wait to go back next year for VAN jam 4. Till Next year
Throwback Kendama Open (TKO) was a great event. Over 60 players from all over the country came together in Clarksville, Tennessee to jam & compete. Kendama USA Tribe member Zach Porter attended and local crews DKT, GVK, & the Grande Squad also showed up. Needless to say, there was a lot of talent there. The event had fifteen sponsors and many prizes were given out during the mini games, freestyle event, and the speed ladders. The vendors there were Sol Kendamas, Kendama USA, All Out Damanation, and Pineapple Kendama. The weather was brutal but most of the people that attended stuck it out through the heat and the rain for the entire event.
The advanced ladder was beyond intense; here are the top four after it was all said and done:
1st: Liam Rauter
2nd: Alex Mitchell
3rd: Jacob Womack
4th: Austin Ring
A HUGE shout out to Chad Covington and Sol Kendamas for throwing a banger of an event, here is the edit for Throwback Kendama Open 2016.
Take a look at some of the pictures from the event below.
The EKO has always been the place for all the OG Kendama players from Europe to come together. This year it was held at The European Juggling Convention, one of the BIGGEST juggle events in the world. It is super cool to see how Kendama take’s its own place in such big event with mainly just jugglers. It’s truly awesome!!
The competition was a blast, Rob Henman took 1st place and became the European Champion, I managed to take 6th place. The positive vibe’s are always really high at the EKO. Since most of the Kendama players are really OG and have known each other for a lot of years, it’s always bringing up good memories and great new moments at the event itself. Also the flow of new Kendama players new to the competition is really cool, It’s always nice to find out about people that had been shredding and finally come to their first event. Overall it was a great event with people from all over Europe, I hope to see everyone again next year or sooner!
The 2nd Annual Let’s Dama event in Long Beach, CA was an amazing event. It was put on by local LA crew; LEZDAMA.
Over 100 people attended the day long event as did sponsored players and vendors from several different companies.
Many sponsored players that attended the event showed up with some fantastic giveaways. One of which was one of a kind REZ Kendama that went to Charity Cristobal.
We showed our support with Colin Sander, Derek Astin, Haley Bishoff & Dylan Westmoreland all in attendance.
(Pictured below from left to right)
Other sponsored players included EJ Williams from RWB, Steph Lussier & Kristian Aynedter of Grain Theory, Chelsea Perez & Alex Hirota for Sweets Kendamas and Molly Harney from DWI plus many more.
The winner of the Advanced Open Divison was local Emmy Evans. Reppin’ hard for the all the lady shredders out there. In 2nd and 3rd were Tribe Members Derek Astin and Dylan Westmorland
For the intermediate ladders we had Kevin Luong taking 1st . Gabe Romo taking 2nd . Parker Smith taking 3rd
For the Beginner Ladders they had Dylan Trast taking 1st@btampu taking 2nd taking 3rd@mgdama
Haley Bishoff described the event as “an incredible day for the progression of female Kendama. The event was put on by all girls and the winner of the open division was a young female who actually won the beginner bracket at last years’ Lets Dama. Seeing how female Kendama has evolved makes me psyched as ever and I’m very happy I can be apart of it.”
Tosta to represent Kendama USA at World Cup.
By John Hull – Citizen Sports Editor
Published: Friday, July 8, 2016 10:47 AM PDT
Elk Grove Citizen – News
Logan Tosta is a normal 12-year-old boy that lives in Elk Grove. He plays soccer, will be trying out for a part in a musical in a community theatre company. He plays basketball.
But, the soon-to-be seventh grader at Joseph Kerr Middle School is also one of the best Kendama players in the country.
In fact, Kendama USA has asked Tosta to be a part of our country’s representation at the Kendama World Cup, July 23 and 24 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.
In recent years, Kendama has become a craze, mainly amonst young people, but several older folks have played with the strangely-shaped wooden dowel with a round ball attached via a short rope. In fact, a couple of Tosta’s Kendama USA teammates are in their 30’s.
Kendama has been around for centuries. It’s origination is in Japan. Kendama is a toy, generally made from wood, with a main body, “ken”, a spike on the top, “kensaki”, a large cup on one side of the ken, “osara”, a smaller cup on the opposite side, “kozara” and it has a short string, “ito”, with a small ball, “tama,” attached. When playing with a Kendama the object is to do a series of tricks such as swinging the ball in the air and having it land on the spike or one of the cups.
Logan’s father, Seth, says his son has been a Kendama player since he was in third grade and now it is not unusual for him to be practicing all his tricks six to eight hours a day.
“It’s one of those things where his friends stopped playing Kendama, but he kept playing and kept playing and he’s got pretty good,” Seth said. “He’s put in hours and hours into it and always is playing (a Kendama).”
Kendama USA, the biggest manufacturer of Kendamas in this country., discovered Logan and is now sponsoring him in competitions on what is known as the “TRIBE” team.
“There’s some really stellar players on this TRIBE team including last year’s World Cup champion,” Seth said.
This year will be the third year for the Kendama World Cup, considered to be the Super Bowl of all Kendama competitions. Tosta and his teammates will compete individually against others from literally all over the world. The top prize will be $5,000.
“This is the pinnacle of their sport,” Seth said. “It’s put on by GLOKEN, a company that makes Kendamas.”
A typical Kendama competition is a two-round affair. In the first round, each competitor will have two three-minute periods to perform a set of tricks. In the first period, a competitor selects five tricks to do. There’s a break in time and then in the second three-minute period, the competitor selects another five tricks to perform.
GLOKEN establishes a list of 100 tricks from which the competitors may choose. Every trick has a point value attached, anywhere from one to ten points.
“In each period you want to accumulate as many points as you can to advance to the finals,” Seth explained. “If you have enough points to finish in the top 24 then you move onto the finals.”
Last year the finalists scored 70 or more points in the opening rounds.
In the final round each competitor will get three-minutes on a stage in front of typically a large and boisterous crowd cheering him one as he does as many tricks as possible.
“The only different (in the finals) is that everything is ‘squared’ for your point totals,” Tosta said. “If you hit a ten-point trick on the finals’ stage, that’s worth 100 points.”
The points earned in the final three-minute period is added to the points in the earlier rounds for each competitor’s final score.
The competition will be live streamed on the GLOKEN website, gloken.net.
Seth admits he, too, likes to fiddle around with the Kendama.
“It would be funny to watch me as compared to Logan and his friends with the Kendama,” he laughed. “It’s comparing a world-class player to a novice.”
The past several months the entire family has been traveling across the country with Logan as he’s been entering different competitions.
“It’s really special to meet cool people that are into a niche thing,” Seth said. “He’s just 12-years old and most of the people competing are in their 20’s and they treat him like one of their own. They support him and look out for him. It’s something we thought would be a flash-in-the-pan for him, but he’s been so dedicated and consistent with it, not because he had to, but because he’s passionate about it.”
Bookmark this page! This’ll be your one stop shop for all of this year’s tricks for the upcoming Kendama World Cup in July.
We’ve got the entire trick list in one easy to use playlist as well as a link to the entry form and rules.
You can use any regular-sized Kendama (The Ken can not be any taller than 17 cm / 6.7 inches).
You’ll be required to place a KWC2016 sticker on after this “Dama-Check”.
The tama can only have ONE hole in addition to the string hole.
The Kendama is not allowed to have more than one spike and three cups.
You can get up to THREE Kendamas passed per player via the Dama-Check” for the Kendama World Cup 2016.
Ken or tama must not touch your hand/clothes while doing balance tricks.
Don’t change or move the Kendama’s string position with your free hand during the play.
No points are awarded on whether you keep ken and tama stable completely. Once laced go proceed to the next trick.
There are no limits on how many or which direction of turns or flips you do, unless otherwise specified.
How It’s Gonna Go Down:
Qualifying Rounds 1 & 2 – Day 1
Choose 10 different tricks in total from the trick list, the first 5 for Round 1, the other 5 for Round 2. You will get the points corresponding to each trick’s level. The maximum score for each attempt is 50, the total is 100.
Round 1: Try 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama.
Round 2: Try other 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama. You can use different Kendama from Round 1.
Top 24 players go to the Final Round, and additional 8 players will be granted wild cards for the Final.
IN CASE OF A TIE / DRAW
If two or more players have an equal score, their rankings will be determined by the SQUARE basis of the Final Round.
How to be granted “wild cards”
Countries/regions which fail to produce players who qualified may be granted wild cards.
Wild card players must get at least 30 points from the Qualifying Round.
ONE player from each country/region is picked, then up to 8 players w/ the highest score can proceed the Final Round.
If less than 8 countries/regions are granted, the quota(s) will be transferred to the eliminated players.
A total of 32 players go to the final round.
Final Round – Day 2
Go up to the stage, try different tricks (level 3 or upper) from the list as many as possible in 180 seconds.
Points are the SQUARE of the trick’s level.
You will get 100pts from level-10 tricks, 81pts from level-9s, 64pt from level-8s, 49pts from level-7s, and so on.
You can get points only once from each trick.
Final Round is not a tournament, competing by the total point you get.
The points of Qualifying Round will be added to the final score.
If you get 77 points in Qualifying Round and 700 points in Final Round, your final score will be 777 points.
Use ONE kendama throughout the performance.
Bring a CD with your favorite song longer than 3 minutes for your stage, if you want.
Sakura Classic this year was bigger than ever, with an amazing first place prize for the amateur bracket – an all expenses paid trip to the 2016 Kendama World Cup in Japan! Not only did we have members from Gloken fly all the way out to the event from Japan, but we had the world’s best kendama performing duo, Zoomadanke, show some of their most impressive Kendama play ever.
Huge congrats to the winners of the Sakura Classic!
1st: CJ Martinez
2nd: Hayden Brickman
Pro Freestyle Division:
We were stoked to see the commitment from the kendama community to come out and jam despite the rain. Huge thanks to all the volunteers from the Bay Area that came out to help, Gloken, KendamaUSA, Grain Theory and of course, Jake Wiens for putting on another incredible Sakura Classic! See you next year!