Kendama USA

Posts Tagged ‘Tribute’

Kendama USA at JapanFest 2016

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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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Jake Wiens VS Tribute Jumbos

Jake has been experimenting with new play styles using the Tribute Jumbos. Playing string-less opens up new tricks and adding a second ken to the mix changes everything. Check it out in his new edit.

 

 

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Kendama USA Presents – KUSA in JPN 2016

Join the KUSA crew and friends on a kendama-filled journey though Japan. Many bangers where laced and good times were had. Enjoy.

 

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Kendama USA Presents – Behind The Scenes – FlowIVamic DUO – MIXTAPE HERE & NOW

Take a trip and dig deep with Kenyatta Williams and Dave Mateo. Kenyatta had a chance to visit Dave in Las Vegas for his birthday. See what else the Flownamic Duo gets into. In FDIV you’ll find some other hobbies and some behind the scenes of what these two go through.

ENJOY.

Filmed by: Carolina Herrera, Kenyatta Williams, Dave Mateo

Edited by: Dave Mateo

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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

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Kendama USA Presents – Flownamic Duo 3

Kenyatta Williams & Dave Mateo release a 3rd installment. Flownamic Duo strives for you to continue to Kaizen. Kenyatta and Dave give you complimentary versatility within each others play style in FD3 and continue to revolutionize Kendama for the love.

Enjoy FD3

Kenyatta WIlliams – “”

Dave Mateo – “The determination to land a trick in this edit was definitely there. There was plenty of struggle and pain for me in this one. In the end it was all love and fun. The final product Kenyatta and I delivered was worth going through it all.”

If you haven’t  seen Flownamic Duo 1 & 2 Check them out right here!

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FLOWNAMIC DUO 2

New Tribe team member Kenyatta Williams and Tribute team member Dave Mateo team up yet again. New Flow, style, and tricks to change the way you play.

“The second installment between the dup! Three night sessions and hours of blood, sweat, commitment and dedication went into this film. Both Dave and I feek this is the “hardest grind” for tricks since we’ve started playing Kendama! We are beyond stoked that FD2 has become a reality. The chemistry between us is unparalleled with two styles that compliment each other. We hope you enjoy Flownamic Duo 2.”

-Kenyatta Williams

“Flownamic Duo was immediately filmed right after the first. Kenyatta and I wanted to continue to change the way you played Kendama. To challenge and share more with one another. Flownamic Duo wont stop here. Be sure to enjoy FD2 and be ready for FD3. Im beyond stoked to collaborate with Kenyatta (Twiztakat) and look forward to what else we come up with. Enjoy.”

- Dave Mateo

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Kendama USA Presents – Los Angeles Flow

People often talk about a ‘flow state’. Where water flows, there is life. This edit showcases some of the Los Angeles local kendama players on a trip to el rio Kern. California’s drought has made everyone more aware of conserving and appreciating our natural resources. Kendama USA supports getting outside, spending time with your friends, and making kendama a part of a lifestyle of personal growth. In Sequoia national forest, we tried to lay down some tricks, though the hiking legs and short winter days made it a battle.

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Joris Schweppe #3 Trick Fix

Tribe team member Joris Schweppe crushes 3 insane combos, showcasing his Technical play and smooth style. Enjoy!

 

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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!

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Zack Yourd – Single Trick Volume 3 – The Kengarden

Zack Yourd’s Single Trick Series. A 5-part video series consisting of kendama shorts that showcase a variety of Yourd’s style kendama play in various locations. Some words from Yourd regarding volume 3:

“Anytime I find myself in the San Francisco area, instinct kicks in to hit up Jake Wiens, fellow Kendama USA teammate/life long friend. Not only does he know this city like the back of his hand, but he is also the creator of the infamous Kengarden. During my 12-hour layover in SF en route to New Zealand, I was able to link up with him for some tasty bevs around the town and of course some kendama action. Enjoy the stunts.”

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Derek Astin – A Walk In The Park

Tribe Team member Derek Astin (age 13) shows his incredible skill in his latest edit “A Walk In The Park”. We spent a few weekends with Derek at various Parks around Salt Lake City and witnessed some of the most technical Kendama play we have ever seen. Enjoy!

 

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