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Jarvis Lawrence is TRIBE

Jay Lawrence is TRIBE

Meet Jarvis a.k.a Jay, the newest member of the Tribe team! His quick wits and even faster hands will have yous guys blinking in disbelief. The ‘Scansin native, has been playing kendama for 3 1/2 years and first encountered kendama at school when a kid in his class pulled a kendama out and started playing it; after that Jay picked up his first Kendama a green & black Tribute Kendama and the rest is history.

Jay is constantly challenging himself and those around him to improve. His flow, consistency, and dedication to both the sport and the Kendama community are inspiring and we can’t wait to see more from him.

Watch his Tribe announcement edit below and help us welcome him to the family!

A few years back Bryan Scagline first met Jarvis and saw the potential of being a great role model and leader in the community.  Not only has Jay’s skills evolved since then but he hosts jams in his home state of Wisconsin with his crew 608KEN.

Current Favorite Setup: Maple Craft Shift X Kaizen Red/White Half Split!

- Much Respect -

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Player of the Month – Colin Hislop – July 2020

Meet July Player of the Month Colin Hislop, from Sandpoint, Idaho. Slaying since the 8th grade, the first kendama he put his hands on was a friend’s.

Kendama USA Player of Month July 2020 Colin Hislop

“I was instantly hooked! Soon after, (June, 2012) I visited the @sportscreel in Spokane, WA and picked up my first dama: a Purple Shenzhu! I love simple tricks with spicy tech thrown in. Late goons, grip trades, and fast hands all get me juiced. My favorite setup is whatever feels good! Currently,I am loving the #NOBUMOD.”

Kendama USA Player of the Month Colin Hislop 2 - July 2020

He’s currently working on a year-long project, filming a trick every day. Over 200 tricks deep, Colin believes it will likely release on January 1st, 2021! We can’t wait to see it!

“I’m so incredibly grateful for this tool and everywhere it has brought me. It’s been an unforgettable 8 years, and I can’t see myself ever stopping.

The shout-out list is endless, but to start: the day one homie @_samcannon_, @asapcrvst, @mikey_schelling, and the sensei @benherald. From friendship, to motivation, to tutoring, these dudes have inspired me more than I can put into words.

Love to Kendama USA, the community, & everyone pushing to help it grow.”

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The Race Horse Named Kendama

Racehorse Kendama Wins at Maryland

Meet the racehorse named Kendama; a beautiful, three-year-old Colt from the prestigious Audley Farm. General Manager Turner Kobayashi, a Japanese-American, who’s been part of Audley Farm for over 20 years now, tells us that they named the horse’s pedigree; after his mother, a mare named Bilboquet.  Kendama won his last race on Friday, July 10, 2020.  It was a mile and one-sixteenth turn stretch at Laurel Park in Maryland. Check out our favorite racehorse in action below.

A little more about Audley Farm,  a 3,000-acre historic farm in Berryville, Virginia founded in 1749. George Washington’s adopted daughter; (Martha’s granddaughter), Nellie Custis lived here. Once the very first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton was a stallion at Audley back in the 1920s. Currently, Audley Farm is a champion thoroughbred racehorse breeder and owner as well as a registered Black Angus seed stock and beef producer. To learn more about the racehorse named Kendama and Audley Farms check out www.audleyfarm.com.

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#BISHMOD Kendama Sports A Crisp New Look

The Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama has a new look and updates that are sure to help you progress. The new colorway and packaging around Haley’s new pro model mirror the changes she sees in her environment; moving from Oregon to Nevada, forest to desert.

Custom artwork captures the essence of the desert and the beautiful hues seen in the sunsets there. A UV topographical map of Zion National Park wraps around the packaging and art. On the back of the box, you can visually climb one of Haley’s favorite routes in the park called Moonlight Buttress. On the Kendama, there are cacti under the slip stop, an engraved OG Tribute logo on the base cup, Haley’s engraved signature along with the ken, and gold engraved SHCL tribute to a Kendama pioneer who positively changed the lives of many around the world: Dave Mateo. Spike Hard Catch Low Forever.

“There’s something uniquely special about the desert. It brings a certain kind of appreciation to how something so simple can be so vast. As of now, the desert is home. There are not many other places in the world that bring such rich reds and deep oranges. The desert always provides.” – Haley Bishoff

Watch the unboxing to learn more about the #BISHMOD and an in-depth comparison to the v1.
Follow Haley and the Girls Kendama Collective.

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Nobu Nori’s Pro Model Kendama Restocked!

Nobu Nori Pro Model v1 v2 Comparison

Just looking at this kendama will get you excited to play it. The “just-right” bright yellow against those soft and bubbly blue waves will make this the only Kendama you’ll want to play. The entire kendama is now completely made of maple and is adorned with a 360 wave engraving for a classic look and some added grip on the ken. We’ve kept the top dot at the apex of the tama, the stark contrast between the tama hole and the white top dot makes it easier to keep track of tama position and decide your next move.

Nobu Nori Pro Model Kendama Big Cup

Nobu Nori’s pro model Kendama has been updated and restocked! Inspiration for the model comes from one of Nobu’s favorite beverages and its crisp high energy vibes. The #NOBUMOD Kendama still has all the original features like the shift shape, refined silk paint plus a few updates we know you’ll love.

The Nobu Pro Model Kendama is a high-vis playable art piece with a clean design that is easy on the eyes, easy to play, and easy to track.

Grab one today, limited quantities available.

Nobu’s love for the sport and drive to excel himself and others in Kendama is inspiring. See more of Nobu’s mind-blowing trick combinations and and more @Nobu.Nori0411

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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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AGKO 2019 Recap

AGKO Girls!

I’m in a van full of Kendama players blasting early 2000′s Emo Punk music as we all take turns to yank spike a mini Kendama on our road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. That’s how my weekend started leading up to the All-Girls Kendama Open!

I got to join my friends @kmarqued @cho.dama @stephlussier @nikki_deo & @karendufus on our journey to AGKO. We rented a van, stocked up on food & drinks, (a whole lotta SunChips), good vibes, and a playlist full of nostalgic music! The first hour or so we were stuck in classic LA traffic but it didn’t matter at all because we were all having so much fun already, and everyone was just so hyped to be together in one place! In the car we would lace tricks with a mini Kendama we brought along, and during our pit stops, we’d have a film sesh or just jam to stretch out our bodies. We would even practice the AGKO trick list. It was honestly a Kendama road trip that I’ve always wanted, and I already knew at that moment that it was gonna be such a fun and unforgettable weekend!

The following day was the big day. We had a whole day of free time until the competition, so we decided to check out Seven Magic Mountains and film some tricks there. I ran into a group of Japanese tourists and they noticed my Kendama, so of course, I got them to try it out. They all took turns trying to spike, and one of them already knew how to play and managed to lace Around Japan first try! I taught him how to Lighthouse and he managed to get it after a few tries! He was so stoked and it gave me so much joy!

We then headed to the venue Distrct Arts where I was welcomed by a whole lot of familiar and unfamiliar faces. It was such a crazy experience meeting friends I’d known for over a year online and also meeting people I didn’t know but was able to connect thanks to Kendama. I was also welcomed by organizers Haley Bishoff, Carolina Herrera, and Kevin DeSoto. Some of them I was meeting for the first time but was warmly welcomed like we’ve known each other for a long time. The whole room was just filled with such good vibes and it was so beautiful to see so many purple colors everywhere and I could feel so much love in that room.

As well as the main competition, 7 to Spike was also planned for the event. As I was registering for the competition, I suddenly decided to try out 7 to Spike. I saw the list of names who had signed up for it and I thought I wouldn’t be much of a competition to those people and I might end up embarrassing myself not being able to lace anything in such a freestyle situation which I didn’t have any experience in. But I knew it won’t matter at all as long as I have fun. It was also an opportunity I knew I won’t come across often, and I thought it would be the best way to celebrate Dave Mateo. Just going out there and having fun. And I’m so glad that I decided to do so! The whole energy I felt was incredible, I was honestly a little nervous and shaky going up there at first so I wasn’t able to land any tricks. But the crowd’s reactions to seeing what I was attempting gave me so much energy and helped calm me down. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging! I’ll never forget that energy I felt during that game!

The competitions were also such an amazing experience. This was my first ever competition and big event so it was even my first time watching a competition live! It was so exciting being able to support my friends compete in person! I was shouting and screaming so much with excitement with everyone that I was starting to have a sore throat! There were so many great matches and it was so inspiring to watch everyone compete! I wish I could talk more about the competitions and some of the matches I got to see, but the whole day felt so surreal to me that it’s all kind of a blur. But I remember every emotion that I felt. I remember somehow managing to lace tricks on stage that I really struggled with leading up to the competition and scooping up spikes which I was proud of. It was honestly such a privilege getting to compete against Nikki, Jenny, and Steph in the Open Division and sharing the stage. It was so calming getting to face my friends in a competition when I thought I would be so nervous, and genuinely getting excited whenever they scored a point against me! The whole competition was like a roller coaster of excitement.

For the final round, it was me against Steph. We had a very suspenseful match but I managed to take the lead with Opposite Hand Around the World as I scooped up a spike onto one knee. When I was announced as the winner, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I never would’ve imagined I would take the win at my first ever competition. Just being there in that place at that moment with all my friends was already a win for me. So it was all such a surreal experience that I will never forget and a memory I will treasure forever! I’ll forever be grateful to everyone who made this event possible and to all the friends I got to spend time with on this journey. It sure was such an incredible experience and I’m so inspired to play Kendama more than ever! I hope to make it out to more events in the future!

- Lisa Komatsubara @lisakendama

 

Check out the Kendama Lisa used to win the AGKO here!

 

AGKO Winners!

AGKO Winners

First Place – Lisa Komatsubara (center)

Second Place – Steph Lussier (right)

Third Place – Jenny Cho (left)

AGKO 2019

 

 

 

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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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Player of the Month – Danny Rankin – February 2019

This month’s player is Danny R in Florida! We took a minute to chop it up with the @kendamagoat and this is what he had to say:

Waddup it’s Danny / Kendama Goat! I was born n raised in San Jose, CA. I lived in Portland for 6 years, then in my van for a few years with scattered months in Philly, New York, Thailand, and Mexico. Now I reside in Florida but I’m always driving back and forth to Nashville, TN.

I found Kendama from my buddy Zach. (@kendama_odyssey ) He posted a video on Instagram that I thought looked really weird so I asked him about it. He sent me a dama and now I trip border balance first T every time switch. Outside of kendama I like to make weird rap videos, play piano, beat everyone at chess, sometimes skate, but kendama is better, shmob my scooter to the beach, thrift, go down weird conspiracy holes, read the taco bell subreddit, eat taco bell, ride by bike, Rubik’s cubes, stuff like dat. A few people I wanna shout out / thank – My buddy Cameron (@kendamalicious ) shreds super hard, is always posting clips, loves the game and just has a lit AF genuinely great personality so he’s one I look up to. Scags (@bryan_scagline) I’ve always looked up to that dude. He has a super fresh style and really comfortable flow, like not just clacking around, but actually hitting the cups and doing a lot of grip changes. Anyone that flows really..


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Some quip simplistic flow #crispy . . #kendama #kendamausa #kaizendash #kendamalovegang #kendamaodyssey #kendamagoat

A post shared by WHRL GVD (@kendamagoat) on

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Daunyé Synigal is TRIBE!


Daunye Synigal, a 21-year-old Kendama whiz from Modesto, CA, has been playing Kendama for seven years and is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! Daunye was introduced to Kendama in Vacaville by a friend at their middle-school bus stop.

“I remember some of the kids at the stop being super hyped on trying it out. I thought it was a super cool toy that he stole from his older brother who was in high school. He soon showed me videos of professional/highly-skilled kendama players and told me that he was a part of a kendama team called Balanced Kendama Team (check them out on Youtube). It really interested and amazed me that my friend was on a team, especially considering everyone else on that team was in high school while we were middle schoolers. Their Youtube Edit had over 1000 views (in 2012!) and that made it seem super legit.”

The same friend gave Daunye his first Kendama which was a natty Sunrise Kendama which he played for 3 months before buying his first Kendama from Kendama USA; a Black TK-16 Kendama.

BONUS: My next three kendamas were a sky blue ozora, a blue on black triple stripe KUSA Tribute, and a Zack Yourd 2012 Pro Model.

Daunye is an all-around Kendama player who has an appreciation for all tricks and styles. He was sponsored by Dave Mateo onto the Tribe team. Daunye met Dave for the first time at a Learning Express jam hosted by Dave, and Logan Tosta in Roseville CA.

That event was an amazing experience for me. I won second place at a mini game and there wasn’t a prize for second place so Dave took it upon himself to give me his personal Grain Theory kendama. I was stoked!

Daunye helps host kendama jams at Japan Town San Francisco every Friday from 5-9pm called KG Fridays.

We jam inside the Peace Pagoda in the center of Japan Town Plaza and when the weather is bad we jam near the Kinokuniya Book Store inside Japan Town Mall. These jams are a homage to KG Tuesdays that KUSA’s Jake Wiens hosted for years.

Kendama USA - KG Jam CA Japanville Peace Pagoda

Daunye’s current favorite setup is anything with a Shift shape and a long string. ;)

Help us in welcoming Daunye to the team! We hope to see Daunye continue to spread the game, push his limits and those around him.

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Have you seen Zach Magnuson’s latest Kendama edit yet?

Here are 10 comments pulled from the Kendama edit as to why you should watch this edit right now!

“Amazing honestly this inspires me to go outside and just jam”

“Seriously had to watch the majority of the clips like three times ! You absolute monster wtf !! Best edit I’ve seen in so long.. hell ya man !”

“Every trick was a banger, phenomenal edit Mags”

“That edit was the definition of Kendama”

“This was amazing! Definitely the best edit I’ve seen in a while!”

“This isn’t ok. I’ve watched this edit at least 12 times and i still can’t process how ZMAGS is doing this.”

“One of the best edits I’ve seen! Seriously man, keep it up, amazing work!”

“Oh.”

“This is insane”

“Absolutely crazy. very inspiring.”

⚠️ WARNING – This video will make you want to get out and sesh Kendama. ⚠️

Zach Magnuson POV Kendama Edit #2 2019https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2gWa30BEBM

 

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