Let’s face it, people love “power moves” or flashy techniques and often will skip the basics and jump right into trying to land the more difficult ones like taps or juggles. While there may be no right or wrong way to learn Kendama, you may progress a lot faster if you don’t rush things by trying to learn everything at once or trying advanced tricks when you haven’t mastered the basics. You’ll want to learn the basics so you can get to the more difficult aspects sooner and also develop a style as well.
“First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule Daniel son, not mine” - Mr. Miyagi
Our very own Haley Bishoff & Molly Harney have started a new series called “Back to Basics” to show us some of the basics that seem to have been lost with new creative twists. This new series is for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a pro and really focuses on one of the basics of Kendama.
Emily Evans, nearing 14 years old, has been playing for Kendama for just two years and is now finding herself on KendamaUSA’s Tribe Team. She spends most of her time practicing Kendama, reading and playing Ice Hockey for the Anaheim Lady Ducks 14AAA team as the goalie. Emily was asked to be on Tribe after her win in the advanced bracket at the Lez Dama 2 event, summer of 2016. The previous year she also took 1st but in the beginner ladder. Her progression and persistence have gotten her far, as she continues to amaze those around her. Emily was Haley Bishoff’s second tribe pick and is now the third female to be added to KendamaUSA.
“I first met Emily at the Lez Dama 2 event after seeing her videos on Instagram and facebook. Right away, I knew who she was because of her incredibly long hair and the fact that she was wearing her large purple KendamaUSA t-shirt I’ve seen in all her videos. We hung out throughout the whole event and I soon came to realize that Emily is one of the most down to earth, kind, talented and humble young girls I’ve ever met. After she won the advanced bracket, she didn’t stop smiling for probably the rest of the day and handled the win with such a level head. She is truly something special and I am so happy to have her a part of the team.” – Haley Bishoff
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!
Everyone’s Kendama story is different, as is what it means to them. Haley Bishoff, Kendama USA Tribute Team Member, explains what Kendama means to her, its benefits, and the positive impacts it’s had on her life.
What is Kendama to you? Tell us in the comments section below!
“I never want to stop creating. I hope I get to spend every day being an artist.” – Madison Morabito aka Painted Bluu
Madison Morabito aka “Painted Bluu” just dropped her newest custom “The Kaleidoscope”. We took some time to talk about her life as an artist and to get to know her a little bit better.
What inspired you want to paint this design on a tama?
Painted Bluu: As an artist I’ve always tried to expand the surfaces I’ve worked on and to me a tama was the perfect challenge. Whether it be painting, drawing, wood burning. I wanted to apply my medium to this less common surface.
How many different designs have you done on damas?
Painted Bluu: I’ve done about 10 design lines since I started painting kendamas about 2 years ago, and I’ve painted countless customs!
How did you begin painting?
Painted Bluu: As a child I watched my father painting comic book strips, his talent made me want to be an artist. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I picked up a paint brush and it’s been my passion since.
Are you in school?
Painted Bluu: I’m currently a printmaking major at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR.
What drives you to create paintings, drawings, and tattoos?
Painted Bluu: The endless possibilities. As an artist your job never stops. Everyday I am inspired to create something new, something better. While I do paint and draw nearly everyday, I’m excited to begin my tattooing journey! Lately I’ve found my biggest inspirations in tattoo artist John Larsons work, and some of my favorite printmakers. I’ve been very into American Traditional style tattoo work, learning how to convert everything to that style. I also am heavily influenced by middle eastern art, I use a lot of organic shapes in my mandala works.
What’s the craziest thing you painted on?
Painted Bluu: The craziest thing I’ve painted on is either a saw or a skate deck, both were crazy sick to do! I love painting on unique surfaces!
Do you have a muse?
Painted Bluu: Right now what’s pushing me to be my best is so rise above and beyond in the tattoo community, I want to hone in on my painting skills and be able to produce perfect flash pieces.
What has to be going on while your creating?
Painted Bluu: Music for sure! Brand new and Tiny Moving Parts all day, nothing pushes me more than that!
How would you define your style?
Painted Bluu: Id say currently my style is aimed towards the American Traditional tattoo style, but overall I’ve always had a very middle eastern art style to my work. Creating mandalas are a huge passion for me. The symmetry is comforting.
What is your Pokémon go team?
Painted Bluu: MYSTIC FOR LIFE, in my free time I run every gym I encounter. Often with P0WAH0USE
When your not Painting or drawing, what are you up to?
Painted Bluu: Inmy free time I am hiking. I love being submerged in nature.
Painted Bluu: My favorite kendama players… Stephanie Lussier, she’s my favorite person on earth, Wyatt of course, and my DKT boys ❤️
What’s next for Painted Bluu?
Painted Bluu: I never want to stop creating. I hope I get to spend everyday being an artist.
While on vacation, VICE contributor Tom Harrad ran into Bonz Atron. Captivated by both Bonz Atron & Kendama he wrote a story on his experience in meeting him and playing Kendama for the first time. Click the link below to read the full story and see Kendama through the perspective of someone seeing Kendama for the first time and learning how to play from a champion.
Tribe member Zach Porter & Focus member Austin Ring spent the 4th of July relaxing at Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina. They shot this mini edit during their travels and shared it with us. Check it out!
Who is Zach Porter? Zach porter is one of the first KUSA Tribe members, chosen by Pro player Alex Smith. He has a unique style and has been a positive force in the Kendama community for several years. His crew, GVK hails from the southeastern US and is known for creating mind blowing edits and have won several contests over the years.
We are excited and honored to announce Tj Kolesnik as the newest 2016 Kendama USA Pro! Tj is an embodiment of dedication to Kendama. His passion and work ethic can be seen in his progression from a player to a pillar in the Kendama community. TJ has been part of the Kendama community for several years. He began his Kendama journey back in 2010 while he was in his junior year of high school. For years, he has continued to hone not only his Kendama play and steeze but his skills in videography. He’s helped us share great moments and memories with the community and continues to host Kendama events around the globe.
Tj is currently a student at San Diego City College where he is dual majoring in Graphic Design & Communications. He still finds time to jam, capture amazing moments and work with kids. It’s no secret why Tj is such an inspirational and motivational figure to countless Kendama players around the world. Join us in celebrating and check out his journey in the video below.
Casey Patterson aka Mr.Boom gives us a behind the scenes look at his life and what fuels his drive to win on GoPro’s 5th episode of Two Roads. Patterson and teammate Jake Gibb, qualified for the 2016 Olympics this past Memorial Day weekend ranking 4th on the provisional list of teams.
Check the video out and listen to how dedicated Casey is to his sport; something that resonates with every Kendama player and the community. Casey can be seen spiking and playing Kendama w/ his kids @ 2:54.
“When you have a dream, you have to better every aspect of your life to achieve it and be truly successful, bettering your whole self will allow you to accelerate progress.” – Casey Patterson, 2016