Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Kendama USA is back for Atlanta JapanFest!

The Atlanta JapanFest is returning to the Infinite Energy Center on September 16th and 17th. We have been a part of this festival for a few years now and are happy to announce our return in 2017!

We always have an AMAZING time at JapanFest.  There are incredible performances on their stages. From dancers to drummers, karate to swords, there’s something for everyone to experience and enjoy.

Check out the entire performance schedule here!

In addition to two days packed with performances and demonstrations on their multiple stages,  JapanFest also has a variety of vendors to buy Japanese goods from. There are food vendors with delicious cuisine,  game booths for the kids,  Japanese attire and knick-knacks, anime booths, and of course… Kendamas! Our booth is right next to the front door too, jamming all day and lots of Kendama deals, you can’t miss us.

The festival is family friendly and admission is only $10 for a day of fun (under age 6 is free if you need to bring along the little ones).

We also will be teaching workshops this year in Workshop Room 2 – Saturday at 12:30 and Sunday at 3:00! We will be teaching the basics and perhaps a few more advanced tricks also, depending on the student ability. We may even end with a little mini game and giveaway!

Snag your ticket now and we’ll see you there!

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J-POP Summit 2017!

Join Kendama USA at the 7th annual J-POP Summit in San Francisco!

 

J-POP will be one of the most exciting  festivals in SF this year! Jake Wiens is bringing the hype as always as your emcee, a performance by the one and only ZOOMADANKE will leave you with your jaw on the floor, and some of your favorite Kendama USA players will be holding down the fort with non-stop jamming! (Kendamas will also be for sale of course)

The Kendama USA squad will be rolling deep, peep the lineup!

Don’t miss out! So many pros in one place!

Summit Showdown – Kendama USA x Zoomadanke!

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

RSVP HERE

Buy your tickets now! 

For more details on J-POP Summit visit:

www.j-pop.com

https://www.instagram.com/jpopsummit/

Check out the other festival guests:

http://www.j-pop.com/2017/guests/

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Sakura Classic 2017 | Recap

The Sakura Classic is a Kendama event that focuses on the original reason why we play Kendama. FUN! No fees, no pressure, all vibes. This year, the sun was shining and the players were out in full force. This Sakura Classic had the most pros yet, 28 Sponsored players came out to join the 100+ amateurs. The pros hosted workshops and gave advice to the young competitors trying to reach the main stage to become the Sakura Champ.

The speed ladders are always intense. Players were focused and honed this year, finishing the ladder within fractions of a second within each other requiring slow motion replays to determine the winner. Win or loose, everyone was smiling. At the end of a full day of speed ladder battles, we had our top 16 competitors for the next day.
Congrats to -
Matthew Stacy, Hartej Sinjh, Jordan Vargas, Keilan Cancino, Casey Cristabol, Anthoney Leary, Jack Shores, Eli Kertel, Hayden Brickman, Joshual Yanga, Mason Santos, Elmer Juen, Andrew Taldlip, Omrishi Jonnala, Jordan Petiesta &Tim Chow

The Pro / Sponsored speed ladder was a mix of a Kendama contest and a comedy show. As I looked around me, I would call out 5 pros at a time. Mixing up sponsors, friends, and rivals. During each round, I would roast each player.The crowd was laughing and the players were trying to focus while I talked about a modeling agency battle with Kristian Aynedter, Max Norcross, and Tj Kolesnik.

After day 1 in Japantown SF, everyone met at the Hatch in Oakland, a small bar and restaurant with neighborhood vibes in Oakland. Upon arrival, the place was packed with kendama players and Kendama videos were projected on the wall. Drinks, burgers, tacos, and wings were flowing like water. It was great to have everyone in one place for a party. Usually at some point during kendama events the young ones and the adults get split up due to age restrictions. Pancho, the owner of The Hatch opened his doors to all ages that Saturday night and made it a memorable event for everyone. Towards the end of the night, the music changed and a video started to play that ended up being the pro announcement for Kristian Aynedter and Ben Herald! People were cheering and applauding as waves of smiles rushed over the crowd. The goal was to create the “skate video premiere” feeling. Mission accomplished.

Day 2 of the Sakura Classic was the “hone in’ day. The day started with workshops for the top 16 ams that were in the classic. The pros helped each player tighten up their tricks and gave advice on how to stay cool and collected during the contest. While the players were warming up, the rest of the crowd watched the 9 and under and the 30 and up contest. The 9 and under featured a big cup off as well as ken drop and other fun mini games. All competitors walked away with prizes. The 30 and up class were competing for an Original Grain watch and Kendama USA kanji brush shirt. The competition was made up of dads of players and other adult players. The vibe was amazing and everyone had a blast.

The amateur contest began at 1 and players were ready. At the Sakura Classic, there is no stage, only the street. The players paired up and battled in the middle of post street in Japantown. The crowd gathered quickly to watch the young competitors face off. The battles went on until we had the top 4: Jordan Vargas, Keilan Cancino, Hartej Sinjh, and Matthew Stacy.

While the am players celebrated their victory, the pros started gathering for the pro contest. This years pro contest featured some of the most amazing players and match-ups I have ever seen. It is amazing to watch 2 of your favorite players go head to head. In the end it came down to Ben Herald and Josh Grove that would battle it out on the main stage later in the day.

Right after the pro classic, the pace switched to pro freestyle / exhibition. Music was bumpin’ and the crowd formed a circle in the middle of the street. I called 4 players into the circle and they threw down free style for 4 min. If you mess up twice you step out and some one else comes in. After 4 minutes, the crowd judges who will stay and who will go. This years freestyle had some of the most epic bangers laced and the crowd was going nuts. The highlight was when I decided to have all of COTK battle it out in the ring. Wyatt, Stodd, June, and Caleb all jumped in huddled up and then broke into one of the most legendary freestyles. Stodd hitting impossible lunar combos, while Chris June redefined the definition of bird combos, Caleb slinging his way into the next universe, and Wyatt going ham with the most vicious down spike combos. After all the smoke settled from all the rounds, it came down to Gavin Harvey and Micha Logan to battle on the main stage.

At 5:30, the entire squad mobbed up to the main stage that sat under the pagoda where we jam every Tuesday. I grabbed the mic and started to explain kendama to the people. I asked “who knows what a kendama is?” I did not expect the roar that came from the crowd. I then asked “who has never seen a kendama before?” Only a few people in the audience had never seen one!

After some tricks on a normal sized Kaizen and a KROM XXL I brought up the freestyle finals. Micha and Logan were on another level of honed. Both players landing unique tricks that are the definition of modern kendama. After both players had their runs it was judgement time. The crowd undeniably decided in favor of Gavin. Micha lifted Gavin up off the ground and Gavin’s hands when in the air with victory!

Next we went into the Pro Classic Finals. Ben Herald faced off With Josh Grove. Both Ben and Josh were landing the tricks left and right, match for match. It was match point for Ben and the card drawn was the hanging inward flip down spike. Josh came within millimeters of the lace and Ben had a chance for the win. Ben took a breath and landed the trick first try! The crowd cheered and there was a new Sakura Pro champ! Ben was awarded the custom champion Hapi Coat custom made for the contest. Going pro the night before and winning the contest the next day creates a story for the ages.

For the finale, the amateur players made their way to the stage. Round one was Hartej vs Jordan Vargas and Hartej takes the win to move onto the finals. In round two was Matthew vs Keilan and Keilan took the win. Fun fact: Keilan has placed in the top 3 every Sakura Classic!

The finals were two competitors who have trained and worked for the spot both Hartej and Keilan have dreamed of being the Sakura Champ. Just like the pros Hartej and Keilan were matching trick for tricks building the suspense. Hartej had 3 points and needed 1 more for the win. Keilan drew the infamous Handlestall hop to slip on stick. Keilan missed and it came down to Hartej. Hartej hits the handle stall and the hop over. The moment of truth is the slip on stick and he lands it perfectly. The crowd rushes in and the audience applauds the new Sakura Champion. Both players walked away with amazing prizes form Kendama USA and Grain Theory and Hartej was awarded the Sakura Champions Hapi coat.
Sakura Classic Champions - Hartej & Ben w/ Hapi Coats

The weekend was full of kendama, friends, an amazing contest, and all of this in the middle of a 200,000 person festival celebrating Japanese arts and culture. Kendama continues to grow in northern California and the Sakura Classic is the time when everyone comes together from all over the west coast to enjoy kendama together.

See you there next year.

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SpikeDama 9 Edit – Joris Schweppe

SpikeDama 9 / NKO was one of the most memorable. With players coming from all over Europe to celebrate, share & compete in this sport that we all love. It was one of the biggest & most international turnouts of SpikeDama so far. Check out this new edit from Joris’ point of view on how it all went down.

Enjoy & see you at SpikeDama 10!

To read more about Spike Dama 9, see the winners , pics etc… click here.

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Weekend In The Woods Recap

Weekend In the Woods was a huge success. The three days were filled with filming, competition and most of all FUN.

This year’s winners were:

  • Henry Roe – Beginner Champion
  • Parker Giovannetti – Intermediate Points Ladder Champion
  • Hartej Singh – Pro Open Division Champion
  • Logan Tosta – 7 to Spike Freestyle Champion

 

For more images from the retreat you can visit www.Weekendinthewoodsretreat.com

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Rain doesn’t dampen Sakura Classic…

San Francisco’s Chronicle covered the Cherry Blossom Festival and although it rained it didn’t deter anyone from enjoying the festival. Tony Bravo, SFGate & Chronicle contributor, ran into Jake during the festival and had this to say…

Away from the food bazaar, the Japanese skill game Kendama, in which a player juggles a ball on a string between three cups and a spike on the same stick, attracted its own crowd as some of the 90 competitors in the festival’s Sakura Classic demonstrated their techniques.

“The sport has been around for about 100 years,” said Jake Wiens, a professional Kendama player from Oakland.
“This is my third time as part of this competition. It’s a really great event, and we get a lot of support from the Japanese consul general to make it happen. We literally have players as young as 8 years old from all over the Bay Area that have discovered it.”

Read the full story here.

Stay tuned for the Sakura Classic recap!

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Jake Wiens on NBC | Asian Pacific America w/ Robert Handa

Jake Wiens was recently featured on NBC’s Asian Pacific America w/ Robert Handa. Jake talks about the art of Kendama & the upcoming Sakura Classic competition.

 

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Sakura Classic 2017 | April 8th & 9th


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.

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Battle at the Border (BATB) 2017 Recap

Battle at the Border 2017 was an awesome event hosted by Chad Covington of Sol Kendamas. This year’s turnout exceeded expectations, with almost 100 Kendama players in attendance. BATB17 was held in the historic Foundry building near downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The weather was pretty crazy in the southeastern U.S with snow and freezing rain but that didn’t stop groups like DKT, Grande Squad, Pineapple Kendama and others from making the drive. There were twenty two sponsors for the event including Kendama USA, Sol Kendamas, Sweets Kendamas, KROM, Terra Kendama, Grain Theory, RWB and more. As a result, there were tons of mini games and prizes given out throughout the event.

The freestyle competition had some of the most creative tricks around and some of the craziest bangers thrown on stage. The finals came down to a match between Jake Fisher & Max Norcross. Max Norcross nearly won however Jake Fisher came away with the win. Pictured below are the winners of the freestyle event:

From left to right: 4th – Christian Fraser, 3rd – Cam Herrero, 2nd – Max Norcross, 1st – Jake Fischer

The Open division was intense from the first match up to the final round with Liam Router and Ben Herald going head to head for the title of Battle at the Border and Liam taking the victory.

4th – Johnny Kress, 3rd – Blair Sylvester Wesley, 2nd – Ben Herald, 1st – Liam Rauter

 Kendama-USA-2017-01-20-Battle-At-The-Border-Open-Division-Top-Four-Johnny-Kress-Blair-Sylvester-Wesley-Ben-Herald-Liam-Rauter

There were also beginner, intermediate, and advanced ladders that were done during the event as well. Here are the winners for those divisions:

Beginner: 3rd – Lilly Kosicki, 2nd – Alex Jorgenson, 1st – Fame Cristobal

Intermediate: 4th – Tristen Wareham, 3rd – Dalton Hodge, 2nd – Carlos Castro, 1st – Walker Lifsey

Advanced: 4th – John Coffman, 3rd – Antonio Cecchetti, 2nd – Nick Dodenhoff, 1st – Caleb Rush

Again congratulations to all who placed in any of the divisions this year and thanks to Chad Covington and Sol Kendamas for throwing a fantastic event!

 

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Kendama USA Presents | Make Waves World Tour Edit ft. TJ Kolesnik

We’re happy to release the Make Waves World Tour ft. TJ Kolesnik.

Over the summer of 2016, Tj embarked on a six week journey across the world, touring to multiple countries, cities and states upon his #MakeWaves Pro Model being released. Starting in Japan, he traveled to counties like Singapore, Sweden, Canada and the United States. Each day brought a new crowd of eager Kendama players, fun and exciting experiences and memories that will last forever.

We hope you enjoy this full documentary style / video piece Tj shot during his trip. With help from all of you, Tj was able to turn his dream into a reality.

Countries:

  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • United States

“It was crazy to be away from home for 6 weeks. I’ve traveled all over the world for the last couple of years, but going non stop for 6 weeks, I was a bit anxious to start my journey. Every second of my trip was memorable. I met so many amazing people, new Kendama players and like-minded individuals who are chasing their dreams, just like me.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to every single person who has supported me since day one, as well as all of the new players who are just starting their Kendama journey. I realized a long time ago that hard work, dedication an persistence can get you anywhere in life. As long as you’re humble, patient and hungry, anything is truly possible. Thank you to Kendama USA, Original Grain, Goorin Bros., and Dama Mods for sponsoring this tour.

Enjoy some photos along my journey during Tour. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the Tj Kolesnik Pro Model, click below to get yours today.

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Cyber Monday Extended! – 25% OFF

Cyber Monday Extended 2016 25% OFF KUSACYBER16

That’s right! We’ve extended our Cyber Monday Sale for all you Cyber Monday procrastinators! So rejoice, pick up a dama and celebrate! Use code: KUSACYBER16 during checkout to save 25% on your order. Hurry though, sale ends tonight!

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Kendama USA Presents – Kaizen Craft

We’re excited to launch the newest development from Kendama USA:  The Kaizen Craft.  This line of Kendamas is designed and hand crafted by Kendama players and manufactured right here in the USA. We are introducing 2 entirely new shapes: The Kaizen 2.0 and the Kaizen Slim.  Numerous improvements include larger cup sizes, arched cup rims, a refined slip stop, and a new sarado shape that slings amazing while keeping prime lunar balance.  The exceptional craftsmanship is unlike anything we’ve created so far, and we know you’re going to love it.  This is our Craft.

Get yours today from our Online Store HERE.

 

 

 

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