Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Player Spotlight: Caleb Rush – Greenville, SC

Our 1st Player Spotlight of 2018 is on Caleb Rush (slayleb_) in Greenville SC.

“I’m 13 years old, I live in Greenville SC, and I’ve been playing Kendama for about three years. The main reason that I love playing Kendama is mainly all of the amazing people I get to meet and talk to. There’s really no scene here in SC so getting to go to jams in GA is always an amazing experience. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all the amazing people I’ve met through Kendama. (Shoutout Ryan Plourd, Charles Rager, Nick Drummer, Zach Porter, Corey Snipes, C Fraser, & Palmer) These people have always inspired me to keep doing what I love.”

(Photo Cred @palmertrees_)

KENDAMA PICTURED:

Continue Reading...

Kendama Club Spotlight: Clan Kendama

Clan Kendama is one of the newest clubs in the southeast and has been making a splash in the community with their edits and Instagram posts. In the short time they have been a Kendama USA Club, Clan Kendamas has made 16 Youtube videos including five full-length Kendama edits, and have become very active on Instagram.

Gibson, Cameron, and Owen are the founders of Clan Kendama. This trio made Clan Kendamas official just three months ago (September 2017) and have already grown the club to 15+ members. The three founders expanded their club to three different states including Tennessee, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

The club is spreading the Kendama love every day. They have helped dozens of players get their first Kendama and continue to introduce the game to anyone that will listen. According to Owen, Clan Kendamas helps to bring together the community outside of just Kendama players by giving kids a safe place to be themselves and to enjoy another’s company. “We inspire people to enjoy the journey, persevere, and believe that any goal is achievable,” said Owen.

Clan Kendamas meetup bi-weekly to jam and hope to open their regular jams to the public soon. The club is always ready to jam with anyone if you message them on Instagram @clan.kendama

Check out some of their killer edits on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9uyvjL47CRRP7DLBc9qFNA

Continue Reading...

Kendama Club Spotlight: Cherokee Kendama Club – Canton, GA

Meet the Cherokee Kendama Club!

In August of 2017, a young James Matheny had a genius idea…  to start his very own kendama club at Cherokee High School and (with the help of administration) made that dream a reality!

Cherokee Kendama Club has now grown to 20+ members in just over a month, the club meets bi-weekly in the morning before school starts. It takes some serious dedication to get up extra early to jam some dama, but we know it’s worth it.

Cherokee Kendama Club likes to give back to the community by giving kendamas to kids who can’t afford them at school! Isn’t that just the nicest thing you’ve ever heard?

We asked James what his favorite part about kendama is, his response: “The community aspect, it’s just fun to meet new people who share your passion.”

We could not agree more!

And of course, we had to end the interview knowing what players and mod James loves:

His favorite Pro? TJ Kolesnik

His favorite mod? Wyatt Bray Champ Mod

Solid choices.

Keep up with this club on Instagram! @cherokeekendama

Continue Reading...

Kendama Club Spotlight: MKGA – Mailtand, Florida

MKGA Florida - Kendama Jam Meetup | Maitland, FL

MKGA is a Kendama club in Maitland, Florida which is part of the greater Orlando area. MKGA has over 30 members and was started by Andrew Kokol.
We caught up with Andrew and had interviewed him during an event we held in their area; check out what he had to say!

Q: When did you create the club?
A: December 2016

Q: How many members are in your club?
A: Over 30

Q: When is your next jam and where does your club meet?
A: I’m not sure when our next jam will be, but we are located in Maitland, FL near Orlando and we usually do them at parks.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Kendama?
A: I love the way that everyone has their own unique way of Kendama and I love all tricks you can do and the possibilities are endless!

Q: Favorite Kendama USA Pro and why?
A: It’s between TJ and Jake. I love how TJ travels everywhere and teaches Kendama and makes everyone love it, but Jake has his own style in Kendama which I love!!

Q: Favorite Kendama USA Kendama?
A: I really like the Kaizen Silks and the Crafts because you guys created it yourself, and I like all different shapes.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: “If you are content, you will always have enough.” – Lao Tzu

MKGA Florida - Winter Park Kendama Jam | Winter Park, FL

You can keep up with their club happenings on their Instagram @m_k_g_a and join in if you’re in the area!

Want to start a club in your area? Contact us to get started!
Want your club to be featured? Make sure to tag @kendamausa & #kendamausa on your posts so we can see your club.

Continue Reading...

Click Clack Radio S1 Ep. 5 – Ben Herald Interview

Ben Herald is one of the newest Grain Theory pro kendama players and the pro division champion of the Sakura Classic Championships this year.
In this interview we learn about the annual Sakura Classic contest held in Japantown, SF, his pro model design and more!

Head to shop.kendamausa.com/ and use the code: CLICKCLACK to get 10% off your next order.

Special thanks to:
Ben Herald
Jack Baker
Molly Harney
Haley Bishoff
KendamaUSA
Grain Theory
Josh Flow Grove – Rhythm kendama sounds

Sakura Classic recap -
kendamausa.com/2017/04/21/sakura…assic-2017-recap/

“Going pro the night before and winning the contest the next day creates a story for the ages.” – Ben Herald

Continue Reading...

Click Clack Radio – Season 1

Click Clack Radio - Kendama Podcast - Logo

Haley Bishoff and Molly Harney have teamed up to create the first ever co-created Kendama podcast series; Click Clack Radio.

Click Clack began early February 2017 and features players within the Kendama community on their show as well as frequent giveaways.  In season 1, you’ll hear from Joshua Flow Grove, Matt Rice, and Jake Wiens.

Be sure and tune into the next season b/c we’ve got plenty more great interviews coming your way.

Subscribe & Follow Click Clack Radio to hear some amazing conversations between unique players and your lovely co-hosts Haley Bishoff and Molly Harney.
IG: @ClickClackRadio

Continue Reading...

Dama Talk – Episode 2 | Kendama Podcast

Dama Talk Logo

DamaTalk is back?! The first episode was made a little over three years ago by Kendama USA Pro Alex Smith and featured Keith Matsumura and covered a plethora of topics.
In vol. 2 Alex interviews Philip Eldridge, Rodney Ansell, and Craig Langkass. The conversation ranges from life in Denmark to Terra’s new retail shop in Vancouver. Alex even cover some ‘would-you-rather’ questions, and more…
Hit the play button below and take a listen!

Continue Reading...

Click Clack Radio S1 Ep. 7 – Miya Song Interview

Miya Song is a Kendama USA Tribe member, living in Oahu, Hawaii.  Not only is she one of best female players in the game, she’s also an artist and is known for her Strawberry mark when signing damas!

Listen & enjoy this mellow & humorous interview with the one and only, Miya Song.

Special thanks:
Molly Harney (@mollmollz)
Haley Bishoff (@hbishhh)
Miya Song (@_Miyasong)
Jack Baker – Production (@freewheelinfilm)
KendamaUSA – Premiere Sponsor (@KendamaUSA)
Click Clack Radio (@clickclackradio)

Don’t forget to use the code “CLICKCLACK” to get 10% off your order at www.KendamaUSA.com

Continue Reading...

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!

Continue Reading...

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.

 

Continue Reading...

Derek Astin Featured in Local Magazine

Tribe member Derek Astin recently had a column written about him and his Kendama skills in a local Utah magazine called “Draper Lifestyle.”

Kendama used: Wyatt Bray Champ Mod
Link to Dereks Article

Special thanks to Draper Lifestyle and columnist Kelly Erickson for writing such an amazing article about Derek.

 

Continue Reading...

Community Spotlight – Kim Sturdavant Social Kitchen and Brewery

With the launch of crafts we wanted to shine some light on some really crafty like hobbies like our favorite toy

Social Kitchen and Brewery, Kendama, Kendama USA, Craft Beer,

Continue Reading...