Kendama USA

Posts Tagged ‘Kaizen Kendama’

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

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Back to Basics | Kendama Base Cup Trick Variations

Wake up & base cup people! Don’t neglect the cup that makes your Kendama stand tall. Yea it’s a little harder to land tricks and variations may not be as straight forward but, if you practice landing in base cup, you’ll find cupping, in general, to be a lot easier.

In Vol. 2 of Back to Basics, Haley & Molly show you over 25 different base cup variations to incorporate into your flow and hone your skills with. Check it out!

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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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Back to Basics | 37 Ways to Big Cup Your Kendama

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.

Check it out!

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Wyatt Bray Pro Turns Pro for Kendama USA

We are honored and excited to announce Wyatt Bray as the newest member of the Kendama USA Pro Team.  Wyatt’s contagious positivity, energy and love for the sport has made a significant impact across the Kendama community. His disruptive style and mind-blowing trick combinations have influenced freestyle play by not only raising the bar but also growing the community at home and abroad. From organizing local jams, demonstrating at schools, touring the country for various events, participation in tutorial videos, edits, etc… we’ve watched Wyatt grow; not only as a player but also as a contributing member of the Kendama community.  Wyatt has used his platform as both a world champion and a member of our team to share and spread Kendama worldwide.

Wyatt Bray Lacing a UFO on his Pro Model

Wyatt continues to challenge not only his own limits, but also the laws of physics in general when playing Kendama. He pushes those around him to reach for new heights and we can’t wait to see what’s in store next.
Please join us in welcoming Wyatt Bray to the Kendama USA Pro Team.

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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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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.

 

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Kendama USA x KDMA // Official MKO Warm Up Mix

MKO is around the corner and everyone is getting prepared for the contest. Each year the freestyle contest gets more and more intense as overall skill and creativity evolves in the Kendama world. The finals is without a doubt one of the most hype moments during the contest. This year we are very excited to have our very own Jake Wiens on stage not as an MC or a competitor but as a DJ! Jake has been producing mixes catered to Kendama play and is taking his skills LIVE to the main stage to provide the beats to fuel the freestyle gladiators as they put their skills to the test.

Jake has put together a live recording of his “SESH” mixtape that features a taste of whats to come during the freestyle contest. Make sure to download the mix for free, grab some homies, and SESH!

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD NOW!
https://soundcloud.com/thesoundoflite/sesh-mko-warm-up-mix

TRACK LISTING

MAD TING – SWINDLE
DROP DOWN – LADY BEE
Heard Me – RL GRIME
Sweat Dreams – HEX COUGAR
Tambo Remix – MR CARMACK
Animal – BRO SAFARI , UFO!
ili – TROYBOI
ODB Shimmy Shimmy Ya – MR CARMACK
Voyage Feat. Zepher – PART NATIVE
Ceramic Drips – MORE//NIGHT
Meet in the Middle (REMIX) – EKALI

 

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Kendama Is – Feat. Haley Bishoff

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!

 

Haley’s Favorite Kendamas

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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

 

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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.

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