Kendama USA

Posts Tagged ‘josh kim’

Dama to the Death 3 Recap!

On the last day of February 2020, Dama to the Death 3 went down in Orlando, Florida at Dead Lizard Brewing Company. Pros as well as many local Kendama players travelled out for this event, including Christian Fraser and Bjorn Reece from Sweets Kendamas, Alex Mitchell, Chad Covington, Lyndon Whalen, and Kevin DeSoto from Sol Kendamas, Isaac Turner from Lotus Kendamas, and Zach Magnuson and Josh Kim from Kendama USA!

The weather was perfect for jamming Kendama outside all day. After some announcements and vending, the event was kicked off with the Amateur Ken Tournament. If you are unfamiliar with Dama to the Death, the event consists of an Amateur KEN Tournament, and a Pro Freestyle Tournament, both double elimination style. The twist though, is that once you are knocked out of either tournament, you have to cut your Ken from your tama and burn it at the end of the event! Controversial? Maybe. A lot of fun and a new way to play? Absolutely.

As the Amateur KEN Tournament came down to the finals, the event moved from outside to inside the venue, with a stage and seating for everyone to watch. In the Amateur finals were Troy Monteagudo and Jacob Ogden AKA Squid. Troy had won all of his matches so far, and Squid had been working his way up the losers bracket for another chance in the finals! The first match went hard. Squid was able to beat Troy the first game, extending the match to a second game to crown the final champion. As the final match played out, Troy was able to take the final game, winning the Amateur KEN Tournament! Congrats to Troy for placing first, Jacob for second, and Ean for third! So awesome to see Florida take the entire podium for this tournament!

The next part of the competition was the Pro Freestyle Tournament. The nine freestyle players went head to head, each with two rounds of forty seconds to show off their hardest and most tech moves to the judges. As the bracket began thinning out, Kendama USA Tribe team members Zach Magnuson and Josh Kim were the ones to make it to the finals. Finally the time came for the judges to pick a winner. The crowd went silent waiting to see who would take first. As the flags went up, the crowd roared as the returning Dama to the Death Champ Zach Magnuson was able to defend his title! Congratulations to Mags for placing first, Josh Kim for second, and Kevin DeSoto for third! Zach used a Nobu Pro Model to win Dama to the Death 3! Click here to purchase your own Nobu Mod!

 

 Dama to the Death 3 Tournament Podiums

Finally the Tournaments were over, and the moment everyone was waiting for was about to happen. The event moved outside with the fire pit and all the Kens ready to burn. Troy and Zach went up to the mountain of Kens and together started the blaze marking the official end of the event. Dama to the Death 3 was one of my favorite events to go to, with a much more laid back vibe and unique take on competition. Special thank you to Honed Media for throwing this event, especially Ryan Reese, Marley Griggs, and Monika Knotts for all the hard work they put into making Honed Media what it is today! Make sure to check out the Honed Media Documentary here! If you ever have the chance to make it out to the next Dama to the Death, make sure to pull through for an awesome day filled with fun and Kendama!

- Josh Kim


Dama to the Death 3 Group Photo



 

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Battle at the Border 2020 Recap!

Battle at the Border 2020 was the best yet. The turnout, venue, and obviously Kendama made this weekend an absolute dream.  My BATB weekend started off with a rainy car ride up to Nashville from Atlanta. Despite the weather, I was excited to see all my friends that I haven’t hung out with since NAKO! Riding with me were Bryan Scagline and Logan Tosta. Jamming out to Scags’ playlist and talking dama made the 3.5hr trip a breeze and I was in great company. Once we arrived safely in Nashville, we met up with Daunyé and Wes and checked in to our rooms for the weekend. Later that night, Dwesty, Mags, and Wyatt made their way to Nashville as well.  After hanging out with everyone that night, I went to sleep a little early to get a good start to the competition the next day!

I woke up a little earlier than most, and made my way to Rocketown; the event venue, with Scags to set up the Kendama USA booth.
We debuted our new Kaizen Super Stick Half Splits coming out later this quarter, and also the birchwood #DWESTYMOD available now.  The start of the competition was great and I was surprised at the number of entries. I was also excited to see the video releases and product launches at the event. The first video to pop off was Tribe member Zach Magnuson’s POV Edit 3 which will be released soon. So many unimaginable tricks were laced in this edit, and the setting was perfect.

Shout out to the new Quill Flow Team, new Sweets members Bjorn Sorenson and Jacob Eames, and the newest Sol Kendamas Pro Alex Mitchell. All of the videos at the event were amazing, congratulations to all these players this weekend.

The first day of freestyle competition began after all the videos were premiered. The freestyle competition was intense! It was amazing to watch my teammates and friends compete at the event. After the first couple of rounds of competing, the day ended came to an end and before I knew it, day 2 was underway.

The KUSA team made it to the venue in time for the competition. The competition flew by, and soon, the final four freestyle competitors stood on the stage. I was so excited to be battling for one of the top spots, along with me Kendama USA Pro Dylan Westmoreland, Tribe Team Member Logan Tosta, and Sol Pro Liam Rauter. The battle for first was amazing, and seeing Logan win first place was momentous. Congratulations to Liam Rauter for placing second, and Dylan Westmoreland for placing third! Having three Kendama USA players place in the top four for freestyle was incredible! Great job to everyone who competed in freestyle, and congratulations again to Logan Tosta for placing first.

Click HERE to check out Logan’s winning setup!

Freestyle Top 3

The rest of the day switched to the Pro Open division. Three matches were held on stage at the same time, and the bracket began to begin to narrow down to the top four competitors Dylan Westmoreland, Alex Mitchell, Kevin DeSoto, and Jacob Trebil. The battle for first was intense, with Kendama USA Pro Dylan Westmoreland and Sol Pro Alex Mitchell moving on to the finals! The match was intense and Alex Mitchell was able to clutch out the win! Congrats to Jacob for taking third, Dylan for taking second, and Alex for 1st place! I was so proud to see Kendama USA podium in both Open and Freestyle and can’t wait to see the things Kendama USA will do in this new year.

Open Top 3!

After the competition, during the awards ceremony, Kendama Cares took the stage with an amazing gift for the Kendama USA family. A shadow box for Dave was gifted to us, along with a purple candle in the shape of a hand making a peace symbol, and a quartz crystal dedicated to Dave. Thank you so much to Kendama Cares, and especially Arque for putting together this amazing memorial for Dave. Dave will forever be remembered in our lives. We miss you, Dave.

The final day of Battle at the Border 2020 was a nice day to unwind and chill. Everyone met at the Parthenon and jammed dama while people began slowly making their own ways. Tricks were filmed, people hung out, it was a great time. But like everything, this weekend had to come to an end. As we drove back to Atlanta that evening, I couldn’t be more happy with how this weekend went. Thank you again to Sol Kendamas for hosting this event! Kendama USA can’t wait to come back next year for Battle 2021. Make sure to check out last year’s recap of Battle at the Border HERE!

Until next time, keep shredding everyone!

Author: Josh Kim
Photography: Kota Kagoshima

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[2019] North American Kendama Open (NAKO) Recap!

NAKO Recap!We had a blast hanging with the Kendama community at this year’s NAKO event; renamed from Minnesota Kendama Open (MKO).  Repping KUSA were Bryan Scagline, Zach Magnuson, Nobu Nori, Rui Sora, Josh Kim, Daunyé Synigal, Dylan Westmoreland, Oliver Malby, Haley Bishoff, Wyatt Bray, Logan Tosta and Alex Smith. Great job to all those that competed, especially Zach Magnuson who took third in open, Oliver Malby who took third in freestyle, Nobu Nori who took second in freestyle, and Josh Kim who won the Yank Spike Contest!

The competition this year was great! So many players coming from all over the country to play Kendama is always such an amazing and unique experience. And the new venue this year was amazing. The first two days in the hotel were perfect for jamming Kendama and watching the competition go down! And the last day in the Varsity Theater was incredible to see the finals take place! Good Kendama, awesome friends, and amazing weather on Sunday made this weekend unforgettable! Congratulations to Motty for taking first in Open, and Nick Gallagher for taking first in Freestyle! Kendama USA was proud to be able place on every podium this year! We can’t wait to see our players compete at other competitions and the next NAKO!

Post competition on Saturday, the Downspike awards were a huge success! Getting to award the community for all their hard work and creative genius is the best. Thank you to Alex Smith and the Sander Brothers for hosting! Make sure to get on Downspike at downspike.com, or download the mobile app on your phone to always be in the loop with Kendama! And that’s right, Colin Sander was at NAKO this year helping judge freestyle and host the Downspike Awards! Hopefully we will be seeing more of Colin in upcoming events. And of course, a special thank you to Sweets Kendamas and all of the gracious volunteers for hosting another great event!

Thank you again, until next year MN!

NAKO Podium Open

NAKO Podium Freestyle

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Josh Kim is TRIBE!

It’s been almost 3 years since Josh Kim picked up his first Kendama.  Since then,  Josh’s passion & determination to lace Kendama tricks has fast-tracked his skill progression and he is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! Josh’s play style is fast & technical, so try not to blink when watching this edit. With trick combinations including but not limited to boarders balances,  123 variations, & even tightropes, Josh’s gravity-defying lines will definitely blow your mind.

Back when I used to yo-yo around 2013, I would always learn tricks from yoyoexpert.com. I saw they were selling Kendamas, so I watched my first Kendama video on the site, which was the Kendama USA 2012 Japan Tour. Still one of my favorite videos to this day. However, I did not get a Kendama until 2015 where just kept it on my desk, and did not start playing until February of 2016. My first Kendama USA dama was a black silk Kaizen Kendama. My current favorite setup is a Watermelon Slim X Dwesty Ken; throws absolute face melters.

Kendamas USA - Josh Kim - Tribe Team

A year later Josh met Wyatt at the 2017 Grand Central Station Jam, where he won a Spike-Off and almost bested Wyatt in a game of Ken.  Wyatt saw potential in Josh and sent him a few kendamas after the jam.  Since then Josh has helped host a number of events and plans on continuing to throw jams and events in the NYC area.

Kendama for me is just an amazing sport that I love. To be able to receive so much support from the community is phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in the past, and special shout out to my day 1′s; my parents. Without them supporting me everyday I play, I never would be where am I today. So grateful to be blessed with this amazing opportunity to play for Kendama USA. Can’t wait for what happens next!

Welcome to the team! Keep shredding.

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