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 COTK Halloween Battle; Stumptown 4, showed that the Pacific Northwest Kendama scene is alive and well. The hype factor of the legend himself, Tamotsu Kubota brought even more people to this year’s’ event, making it COTK’s biggest yet! Sol Kendamas Pro Kevin Desoto also made his way up to Portland to compete and kick it with the squad for the second Halloween in a row. Tons of Oregon pros such as Matt Rice, Two Bears, and KUSAs own Haley Bishoff came out to shred as well.
We were lucky to have a warm sunny day for the battle and everyone was honed. As is Halloween tradition, we were having players lace a trick for a treat. There were people doing tricks like double whirlwinds and triple J sticks left and right for a piece of candy. Mini games were had, prizes were won, and tricks were laced. This was a special event in the sense that this was the first time and COTK merchandise was available to the public. COTK, with the help of Portland local Colin Cathy, made and sold a limited run of 20 COTK Halloween posters.
Grain Theory’s Eli Cory ended up taking 1st in the Pro bracket over Sweets’ Luke Ford. Shout out the the local shredder Josh Marine for snagging 3rd over Kevin Desoto and multiple other pros in the bracket. I’m always so hyped to see how quickly the local kids are improving. They’re some of the next generation of pros and it’s cool to see them get to that point.
Overall, this year’s battle was a huge success.The brackets ran super smoothly, the prizes were amazing, and the turnout was better than ever. It was so great to have guests like Tamotsu and Kevin fly out and I hope next year is even better!
Playing KEN with your friends is one of the best ways to get better as a kendama player. It drives you and your friends to do better. TJ and Dylan got together and filmed one of their games of KEN. Who do you think will win?
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.
Jamming dama always seems more fun when you are listening to some of your favorite songs. Here are my top 5 songs to jam to and why. Give them a listen and see if they inspire you like they inspire me.
“Keep House” is the perfect song to just go in on. From the comfort of his own home(s), Sander produced the timeless Edit #9 using this song and it has forever just sent me into a cozy but vulnerable place to really center in on dama. s/o colin <3
I have always been a shameless Bieber fan- and with the single “What do you Mean” it just puts me in a discoverable feel for dama with new tricks that can really pop!
Anytime TJ and I are together, one of us starts to hum Travis Scott randomly until we both catch on and just go IN. Boys got BARZ (not at all*) Just a fun fact that always gets me / TEEJ extra hyped!
A$AP Rocky was used in the OG GT Prospect edit featuring 2 Bears, Aynedter, and Stodd. Specifically, with Aynedter’s part, everything just clicked with his trick choice, flow, and of course the red/white/black color way from his prospect mod. Just a memorable edit for me, Aynedter and Wiens know my love of the steez!!! #10fttall #100lbs
Kanye does nothing but get me stoked for any occasion. With his newest album “The Life of Pablo” – the single “Father Stretch my Hands” has always stuck out to me as a song I look forward to playing and just vibing out to.
….and lastly for a bonus track, I have to place G Eazy up there with “Opportunity Cost” as one of my most relatable and vibrant tracks to play kendama to.
The Black & White Half Split Kaizen is one of my favorite Kendama’s from the Kaizen line.
Its perfect for tracking the tama during juggle tricks and when it gets honed in, its perfect for various stall tricks. I tried to combine both juggle and stall tricks in this edit and add some of my own creativity. I hope you enjoy it!
Throwback Kendama Open (TKO) was a great event. Over 60 players from all over the country came together in Clarksville, Tennessee to jam & compete. Kendama USA Tribe member Zach Porter attended and local crews DKT, GVK, & the Grande Squad also showed up. Needless to say, there was a lot of talent there. The event had fifteen sponsors and many prizes were given out during the mini games, freestyle event, and the speed ladders. The vendors there were Sol Kendamas, Kendama USA, All Out Damanation, and Pineapple Kendama. The weather was brutal but most of the people that attended stuck it out through the heat and the rain for the entire event.
The advanced ladder was beyond intense; here are the top four after it was all said and done:
1st: Liam Rauter
2nd: Alex Mitchell
3rd: Jacob Womack
4th: Austin Ring
A HUGE shout out to Chad Covington and Sol Kendamas for throwing a banger of an event, here is the edit for Throwback Kendama Open 2016.
Take a look at some of the pictures from the event below.
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.