We’re excited to launch the newest development from Kendama USA: The Kaizen Craft. This line of Kendamas is designed and hand crafted by Kendama players and manufactured right here in the USA. We are introducing 2 entirely new shapes: The Kaizen 2.0 and the Kaizen Slim. Numerous improvements include larger cup sizes, arched cup rims, a refined slip stop, and a new sarado shape that slings amazing while keeping prime lunar balance. The exceptional craftsmanship is unlike anything we’ve created so far, and we know you’re going to love it. This is our Craft.
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!
Jake Wiens got a chance to catch up with Wyatt about their trip to Japan for Catch & Flow 2016:
Jake: Yo Wyatt! We are back in the states after an epic trip for Catch & Flow. You were all over the place. From late night sessions to the podium on the main stage at Catch & Flow. Lets talk about your trip. How many times have you been to Japan now? It seems like you are a regular.
Wyatt: Wassup Jake. Yeah this trip to Japan was epic. As of this trip it has been my 4th time to Japan now, I swear each trip seems to get better and better. Once you start to understand how to ride the train, order your dinner, and find the venue it’s a lot easier to feel less like a tourist and more at home haha!
Jake: What makes Japan trips so epic for you?
Wyatt: Everything! Most of the time you are there you don’t get to just hangout. Each day the crew mobs to different places. Some days I would just find sick film spots and grind, others with the whole KUSA crew checking out the city (sometimes shopping with Weins&Fuegz), playing ken with Nobu, clubbing with the GT Crew, being there with the COTK team, climbing roofs with Bonz, Competing etc. Almost everything you do there is just so insane haha! You are always on your feet, always moving. It’s a lot at first yeah, but Japan really is the most epic place for a kendama player.
Jake: What specifically is special about Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Catch & Flow is a very special and unique freestyle event. Its not world cup, it’s the gritty, cutthroat, do or die world championships. You give it all you got and hope to come out on top, but sometimes you don’t. No one is telling you what tricks to do, or giving you a list to practice, you choose how you want to play kendama, you choose the tricks that you want to do and you choose how you want them to look. The next guy does the same thing and then the judges decide who was the dopest.
Jake: How was it battling Fish in the finals? I was on stage right next to you guys and I could hardly contain myself it was so epic.
Wyatt: Amazing! I love Fish, I have been playing with him for years now. It makes me really happy knowing that he is a great friend of mine. Going against him in the finals of Catch & Flow was so great! Both of us were pretty nervous, we both wanted to give a great performance and show whoever watched the finals how sick kendama is. I think we both laced hard and gave a good show for everyone. So knowing that, it was just sick to be up on that stage experiencing that with such a close friend of mine.
Jake: I have never seen you so stoked during a contest. What made your stoke level 11 during this battle?
Wyatt: Haha I dunno! I guess I was just really stoked that I was lacing all my tricks. It’s a lot of pressure being on stage and its hard sometimes to really focus in and land the tricks that I want to. But during this comp I dunno, I just felt good, like I was in my natural habitat. I took all my nerves and tried to use them as fuel. Instead of being so nervous it just got me more excited I was able to stay positive . After that all the pressure lifted and I felt comfortable to go for what I wanted to and what I thought was fun.
Jake: What was the craziest thing you saw this trip to Japan?
Wyatt: The Underground BMX Battle at Club Asia was pretty insane. Nobu hopped on the mic and started MCing it! Then after words when we hopped on stage and started lacing! That was so wild!
Jake: What are your plans for next years Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Stay Hungry!
Jake: Give the kids one piece of advise on how to never be soft.
Wyatt: Always play kendama how you want to. And work hard, forward moons ain’t easy!
Catch & Flow 2016 was a smashing success! Congrats to Jake Fisher for taking 1st place. Our very own Wyatt Bray took 2nd and KROM’s Bonz Atron took 3rd. The event was full of shredders from around the world showing off their style and flow in this freestyle event. It was awesome to have Nobu and Jake MC the event again this year and bring that extra energy to the stage.
Here is what Kenyatta and Dave thought of the event:
“Catch & Flow was definitely an experience of a lifetime! Everything was beyond memorable from seeing Friends halfway across the world to meeting new Japanese players I didn’t think I would ever have opportunity to meet. I loved the vibe of the competition. Awesome to have Harold DJing the event. I genuinely felt love from everyone I was fortunate enough to let and spend time with. I truly look forward to next years event.” – Kenyatta
“This years Catch & Flow competition was another epic one for the history books, the talent and skill level just gets more and more insane every year.” -Dave.
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.
Last weekend’s LVKO was a big success for Kendama USA. Our team was able to take the top three in both competitions. The entire KUSA crew advanced to the second day of the open division with Max Norcross and Christian Fraser from Sweets along with Oliver Velasquez. The newest member of the Tribe team; Gavin Harvey took the open division win. Check out the photos and the placings from the event below.
Bookmark this page! This’ll be your one stop shop for all of this year’s tricks for the upcoming Kendama World Cup in July.
We’ve got the entire trick list in one easy to use playlist as well as a link to the entry form and rules.
You can use any regular-sized Kendama (The Ken can not be any taller than 17 cm / 6.7 inches).
You’ll be required to place a KWC2016 sticker on after this “Dama-Check”.
The tama can only have ONE hole in addition to the string hole.
The Kendama is not allowed to have more than one spike and three cups.
You can get up to THREE Kendamas passed per player via the Dama-Check” for the Kendama World Cup 2016.
Ken or tama must not touch your hand/clothes while doing balance tricks.
Don’t change or move the Kendama’s string position with your free hand during the play.
No points are awarded on whether you keep ken and tama stable completely. Once laced go proceed to the next trick.
There are no limits on how many or which direction of turns or flips you do, unless otherwise specified.
How It’s Gonna Go Down:
Qualifying Rounds 1 & 2 – Day 1
Choose 10 different tricks in total from the trick list, the first 5 for Round 1, the other 5 for Round 2. You will get the points corresponding to each trick’s level. The maximum score for each attempt is 50, the total is 100.
Round 1: Try 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama.
Round 2: Try other 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama. You can use different Kendama from Round 1.
Top 24 players go to the Final Round, and additional 8 players will be granted wild cards for the Final.
IN CASE OF A TIE / DRAW
If two or more players have an equal score, their rankings will be determined by the SQUARE basis of the Final Round.
How to be granted “wild cards”
Countries/regions which fail to produce players who qualified may be granted wild cards.
Wild card players must get at least 30 points from the Qualifying Round.
ONE player from each country/region is picked, then up to 8 players w/ the highest score can proceed the Final Round.
If less than 8 countries/regions are granted, the quota(s) will be transferred to the eliminated players.
A total of 32 players go to the final round.
Final Round – Day 2
Go up to the stage, try different tricks (level 3 or upper) from the list as many as possible in 180 seconds.
Points are the SQUARE of the trick’s level.
You will get 100pts from level-10 tricks, 81pts from level-9s, 64pt from level-8s, 49pts from level-7s, and so on.
You can get points only once from each trick.
Final Round is not a tournament, competing by the total point you get.
The points of Qualifying Round will be added to the final score.
If you get 77 points in Qualifying Round and 700 points in Final Round, your final score will be 777 points.
Use ONE kendama throughout the performance.
Bring a CD with your favorite song longer than 3 minutes for your stage, if you want.
World Champion, Wyatt Bray had a chance to film with Jake Wiens in Oakland CA for his new video part with Kendama USA.
“Over 3 Days we explored Oakland and laid down some of the crazies tricks for the camera. It was amazing to have the time to properly document Wyatt. He has such crazy energy and a drive that is unmatched by any other player. When he gets into a zone he is in it until he gets it. I was prepared to film for hours on each trick only to have wyatt bang each one out with the quickness. TJ Kolesnik came along for the 2 days coaching and documenting behind the scenes. This was the dream squad. There was so much support and drive to make this something amazing and memorable. ”
Over the past two weeks we’ve shared what each Kendama USA team member used in the KWC qualifiers and finals.
We wanted to recap it all into one area and offer a limited 15% discount on these items with code: KUSAWorldCup15
1. Zack Yourd – Zebrano Ken x Tribute Half Split Red/White Tama
1 Zebrano Kendama
1 Tribute Half Split (Red/White)
“It’s a mash-up of some of my favorite kendama parts, and I like when the tama is a couple of grams heavier than the ken. Half splilts also help for tracking which is nice for more stressful/competition play.” – Zack Yourd.
2. Wyatt Bray – TK16 Master Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama
1 TK 16 Red
1 Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model
“I wanted a freshy, competing with a fresh is the best. TK 16 are one of my most memorable damas because they were the first I played when I first started.” - Wyatt Bray
3. Turner Thorne – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama.
1 Kaizen Zebrano Kendama
1 Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model
“Strictly for the balance ratio between the ken and tama. It was also the one that was most broken in around the bevel which helped with bird tricks” – Turner Thorne
4. TJ Kolesnik – Colin Sander v4 Pro Ken x Tribute Red/White Half Split Tama
1 Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
1 Tribute Half Split (Red/White)
“The v4 ken matched super well weight-wise with the tama, and the half split is a reallygood visual. The bottom white half makes the tama hole pop. Once playing a few days the silk paint on he tama breaks in really nicely.” – TJ Kolesnik
5. Keith Matsumura – Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
1 Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
“I like the 3-tone tama, it’s easy to track for spike tricks. Also in the past I’ve gotten good vibes from playing Colin’s pro models.”
- Keith Matsumura
7. Haley Bishoff – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Silk Turquoise Tama
1 Kaizen Zebrano
1 Kaizen Turquoise
“I like the look of it, the color-way was nice. Matching is key. It played well for me too, I landed all of my tricks in my 2 runs. When choosing a Kendama, 60% is based of looks, the other on playability.” – Haley Bishoff
8. Dave Mateo – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Translucent Wine Tama
1 Kaizen Zebrano
1 Kaizen Red Wine Translucent
“I’ve lately found that I’ve been able to lace nutty multiple J-Sticks/UFO’s with the grip from the translucent paint. Also this tama is a bird machine. Once beating it in, the bevel allows the tama to just sit n grip.” – Dave Mateo
9. Bryan Scagline – Kaizen Birch Ken x Tribute Black / Yellow Half Split
1 Kaizen Translucent
1 Tribute Half Split (Yellow / Black )
“I wanted to rep the hometown colors, and the half split is good for tracking. I found this useful when performing up on stage and during on-the-spot play.” – Bryan Scagline
10. Alex Smith – Kaizen Birch Spike x Maple Cups x Alex Smith v4 Pro Mod.
1 Kaizen Translucent
1 Alex Smith v4 Pro Model
“Can I get a glass of water?… The tama was nice and solid and the tama’s weight matched well with the ken. The hybrid Ken was not planned and was pieced together after some Kendama mishaps, but it played really well.” – Alex Smith