Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Kendama USA at JapanFest 2016

X GA DAMAX georgia kendamaX JapanX JapanFestX JewbaccaX KaizenX Kaizen KendamaX kendamaX Kendama USAX NANAX TributeX tribute kendamaX _J_F_K_

This year marked the 30th anniversary of JapanFest Atlanta. Kendama USA had the pleasure of participating in the event for the 3rd year in a row. Going to JapanFest is always an amazing time for us to experience the culture from which our favorite toy comes originates. It also allows us to meet new people and get them excited to try out Kendama. There is so much to do at JapanFest from drum shows, sumo matches, Kabuki Shows, and even eating some amazing authentic Japanese food. It also provides the opportunity to pick up merchandise from your favorite animes while getting to know new people and trying new things. This year, Jake Kopanski and Ryan Plourd were holding it down for KUSA, putting on 2 shows and a workshop to teach Kendama to everyone who was interested. It was great teaching new people how magical Kendama is and we hope to see you there again next year!

We’d also like to give a special shout out to NANA, a company we had collaboration with during the weekend. You can check out their app by clicking here.

Thank you to all of the local players that came out and helped with the event.  Damafam is strong!

“sugoi sugoi sugoi”- Jake Kopanski

 

Continue Reading...

Nobu Nori is Tribe!

We are so proud to announce that Nobu Nori is the newest member added to our Tribe team. Nobu is our first Japanese team member and has always impressed us with his incredible Kendama play, style, and positivity.

Continue Reading...

Miya Song Top 5 DAMA Setups

 

CCS tamaKeyaki Ozora Ken
The CCS•keyaki is a very sentimental setup to me. I used it to compete in MKO which was my first real event. Not to mention the colors go extremely well together.

Natty Classic
I’ve been jamming my natty classic non stop and has grown to become one of my go to setups. I love seeing the work and break in put into a Kendama, especially natty’s.

Green Ozora
A green Ozora was my first Kendama and is still one of favorite Kendama to play till this day. I love the classic feel of an Ozora and it always brings back memories of my first tricks.

Half Split Kaizens
Half Split Kaizens are one of my favorite Kendamas from Kusa. They’re extremely jam-able and colors always come correct.

Zebrano tamaTk-16 Ken
The zebrano•tk-16 is probably one of the best natty setups I’ve played to date. It breaks in perfect for stalls, durable, and looks super clean in my opinion. A solid jammer forsure.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading...

Now Showing: KWC 2015 Japan Video !

2016 Japan Video Sign Up

Every trip to Japan is always an unforgettable experience for us, and the 2016 trip is right around the corner!  As we get honed for KWC 2016 over these next few weeks, we are taking a look back to remember last year’s adventures.  We are excited to release our 2015 Japan video to the public today. Enjoy!~

Continue Reading...

GVK presents 12 Twelve, A Love Story…

Check out this new GVK edit Zach Porter (Tribe) and Austin Ring (Focus) made over the weekend. GVK is a group Zach & Austin started with friends in Greenville, SC after picking up a Kendama, who’s roots are still strong today. #GVKALLDAY

 

Continue Reading...

Joris Schweppes the win @ SpikeDama 8!

Tribe team member Joris Schweppe sweeps the win at SpikeDama 8. Gloken presented him with his first Musou, a limited Keyaki Mugen Musou Kendama.

Here is what Joris had to say about his experience there:

“SpikeDama 8 was a blast!  There were players from Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark and Japan. Zoomadanke  came to the event along with Yuka from Gloken and there was even a professional DJ. This made SpikeDama 8 the most international event and in the Netherlands so far.

The tournament was a Gloken Cup styled competition and I had some great competition from the Kromies;  Rol S Ganer and Theo Baunsgaard. In the final I was competing against Yan Kud from Russia. I had a great time and got the opportunity to meet some amazing players and made friends across Europe. This was the best SpikeDama so far and can’t wait for the next. ”

-Joris Schewppe
Kendama USA Tribe”

 

Continue Reading...

The Kendama craze in Hong Kong: what is it and what makes it so addictive?

Young Post, a Junior Reporter Club recently wrote an article about the expanding Kendama scene in Hong Kong. This amazing article covers some very important topics regarding Education with Kendama and the ability to build a community around it. Alex, Zack, and Jake are all mentioned in the article as well.

Check out the full article below.
The Kendama craze in Hong Kong: what is it and what makes it so addictive?

You’ve probably never heard of Kendama, but think of it as a game similar to cup and ball, with a growing worldwide popularity
By: Alan Yu

Around 10 years ago, skateboarder Smore Chan Chung-yin picked up a Japanese toy made of a wooden spike and a ball on a piece of string, and started playing with it at a skate park after watching a fellow skater do some tricks. Chan was immediately hooked and couldn’t put the toy down for the next three hours.

“I was playing like crazy and even when I left for dinner, I was still playing with it. I didn’t want to give it back. I had to give in and buy a kendama of my own.”

The kendama is a toy that is similar to cup and ball; the only difference is that the kendama has three cups, a wooden spike, and the ball has a hole in it. Players try to flick the ball back onto the spike, but it’s become much more than that, as players try to do tricks shots like landing the ball on each of three cups attached to the spike, toss the toy in the air and catch it again before getting the ball on the spike, balance the spike on top of the ball, or even holding the ball and balancing the spike with just the string. It’s not unlike how people have taken the yo-yo and created all kinds of tricks with it.

Chan has been honing his kendama skills ever since he discovered it. He has won several competitions, including the first ever competition in Hong Kong in 2006 and an international video competition with another player in 2007. The 26-year-old now works as a tour guide, but he founded Pak Fuk Kendama in Fanling, where he sells kendama products and coaches new players.

Kendama is steadily growing as a sport. The US has a team of professional players, and even Pak Fuk Kendama in Hong Kongsponsors seven players, meaning those players get free kendamas and coaching. Sunny Wong, a bartender who helps Smore Chan run Pak Fuk Kendama, says there are around 200 enthusiasts in Hong Kong who practise every day, and that it is a serious discipline.

“The Japanese have judo, ken-do (the art of sword fighting), kado (ikebana, or flower arrangement) and chado (tea appreciation.) For the serious players, kendama is just like one of those pursuits.”

Some people even make their living from kendama, like Alex Smith, a player on the US team who is also a woodworker and makes his own kendamas; and Jake Wiens, another US player who also does a lot of the film production and editing for the team.

People like them are rare though, and Hong Kong doesn’t have a kendama scene like the US just yet, but more and more players are following in Chan’s footsteps and taking kendama seriously.

Wu Tsz-ki is 14 and she’s one of the sponsored players with Pak Fuk Kendama. She only started playing with the kendama in May 2014 after she saw it on Instagram, but she practises every day and spends at least an hour each weekend working on new tricks. In October, she entered a competition and came fourth out of around 50 players. She says her parents are still surprised that she hasn’t gotten tired of this toy already, but she says she’s also hooked.

“Don’t underestimate this toy. It may not look very athletic, but it’s very effective in working up a sweat and honing your arm muscles,” she says. “My reflexes have certainly improved. My accuracy in swatting mosquitoes has gone from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.”

Wing Tang kin-wing, 16, is also one of the Pak Fuk Kendama players. He started playing two years ago, and back in mid-December, he entered the TKA Kendama Contest in Taiwanand beat all the other players from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan to win the timed contest, where the players try to do as many difficult tricks as they can within two minutes.

Chan says his group performs and hosts workshops at schools and universities. He says his next goal is to organise parent-child kendama classes.

Zack Yourd, a professional player for the US team and recent college graduate, wants to develop a curriculum to introduce it to schools in the US. The 22-year-old started playing with the kendama around eight years ago and he says whenever people ask him what the kendama is, he’ll show them a few tricks and they are always impressed.

“I have yet to see somebody who’s like, ‘Oh that’s stupid.’”

Yourd travelled across the US with the team, and he says he was struck by how enthusiastic the players were.

“As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, there would already be hundreds of people waiting, and they were just screaming.”

He also designs his own kendamas with different designs and types of wood, and he gets royalties every time one of those is sold. He enjoys brewing tea and coffee, so his latest model features engraved tea leaves and coffee beans. One of his kendamas costs around US$35.

“As kendama becomes bigger, it’s becoming more of a possibility to live off kendama and make it your profession. Some people that I know are doing that and it’s incredible. Right now though, it is kind of hard to make your living from competing. You would need another job.”

Lau Chun-ho (left) and Chan Chung-yin admit they’re totally addicted to kendama.
Photo: Bruce Yan/SCMP

Continue Reading...

MKO Recap by Haley Bishoff

MKO 2015 was definitely one to remember. It’s always such a joy to see players from all over the world gather in one place and grow as a community. Congratulations to all the competitors, especially Nic Stodd and Jake Fischer for throwing down one of the most impressive freestyle battles of all time and Zack Gallagher for taking the title of MKO Champion!

Huge thanks to everyone at Sweets Kendamas who worked so hard to make this unforgettable event and KendamaUSA for the continual support. See you next year!

Continue Reading...

Spreading The Love of Kendama.

My name is Chris Evans. I live in Lake Tahoe, NV. I am a member of Boy Scout Troop 468. On June 15th to June 19th I went to the Ban Tong Mong School in Phichit, Thailand. For my Eagle Scout Project I built a completely new playground that included two sets of three swings, a tunnel with a slide and I also repaired a spiny globe cage. I painted four buildings along with a few smaller projects to help improve the campus.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club, South Lake Tahoe Rotary Club, Kendama USA, The Red Hut, Boyd Dangtongdee, The People of Phichit, And Countless others!

I encourage any Boy Scout who found this video to do an international project. It is the best experience I have gotten out of Boy Scouts. I was able to plan mine in 2 and a half months imagine what you could do in a year’s worth of planning!

“When I pulled out the kendamas all the kids went nuts!! Their mouths all doped and awed after watching me pull out some quick tricks. I tried to tell them a little about the history of  the kendama but before I finished they all grabbed them and started playing! I put on Colin Sanders Edit 8 and one of Haley Bishoff’s edits for the girls so they could see some pros in action. It was a really cool sight! I handed them all stickers and they made sure they never left them out of their sight during the rest of the day. Even some of the local villagers who helped me out during the week were jamming along with the Thai Royal Army soldiers who also helped out.” – Chris Evans

 

 

Continue Reading...

KWC Set Ups: Alex Smith

“This project highlights each of Kendama USA’s players and the specific kendama set ups they chose to use for the KWC while also adding my own style into the mix. Every photo was taken with instant-print cameras (Polaroid OneStep SX-70 and Fujifilm Instax 210) and every word written by hand. I like taking the foreign route in todays technology era and crafting things by hand. Having a limited amount of film for the cameras also added a surprise/suspense element to it all because each shot was a make-or-break on whether or not it would come out in focus or not. I really want to thank  Jero, Cecilia Chow, Luke Evans, and the K-USA team for their contributions on making this come together ”

For our last players page we are featuring Alex Smith! Look for our KWC Setup Recap here soon!

Continue Reading...

KWC Set Ups: Bryan Scagline

“This project highlights each of Kendama USA’s players and the specific kendama set ups they chose to use for the KWC while also adding my own style into the mix. Every photo was taken with instant-print cameras (Polaroid OneStep SX-70 and Fujifilm Instax 210) and every word written by hand. I like taking the foreign route in todays technology era and crafting things by hand. Having a limited amount of film for the cameras also added a surprise/suspense element to it all because each shot was a make-or-break on whether or not it would come out in focus or not. I really want to thank  Jero, Cecilia Chow, Luke Evans, and the K-USA team for their contributions on making this come together ”

For the next couple of days we will release one of the players pages so be on the look out so you can see what set ups some of your favorite pro players are choosing to jam these days.

Continue Reading...

KWC Set Ups: Dave Mateo

“This project highlights each of Kendama USA’s players and the specific kendama set ups they chose to use for the KWC while also adding my own style into the mix. Every photo was taken with instant-print cameras (Polaroid OneStep SX-70 and Fujifilm Instax 210) and every word written by hand. I like taking the foreign route in todays technology era and crafting things by hand. Having a limited amount of film for the cameras also added a surprise/suspense element to it all because each shot was a make-or-break on whether or not it would come out in focus or not. I really want to thank  Jero, Cecilia Chow, Luke Evans, and the K-USA team for their contributions on making this come together ”

For the next 3 days we will release one of the players pages so be on the look out so you can see what set ups some of your favorite pro players are choosing to jam these days.

Continue Reading...