Kendama USA

Posts Tagged ‘kendama’

Cyber Monday Kendama Sale

Take 25% OFF your order & pick a free gift! Hurry limited stock & the sale ends Wednesday!

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Hong Kong Youth Wins World Juggling Championships With A Kendama

The IJA Festival, hosted by the 75-year-old International Jugglers’ Association (IJA), is a grand 7-day juggling industry event. The Festival took place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in mid-July this year. There were eight performers on stage every day, and thousands of people in attendance watching the performances.

22-year-old Hong Kong youth, Pu Ho Lam, participated in the competition with a kendama as his juggling prop; immediately standing out from the competition.

“The audience was very enthusiastic, and when the music played and before the performance officially started, they already gave me cheers. When I completed a beautiful movement, they would applaud and cheer. Everyone was very engaged, especially after the performance, when the audience stood up and clapped, I was so surprised!”

Many of the contestants were talented and some of them have set Guinness World Records. But Pu didn’t let that get to him.

“My attitude was to ‘enjoy the stage,’ if I keep thinking about whether I could win or lose, then I put too much pressure on myself.”

After the performance, Ho Lam left the stage feeling like a winner just from the crowds reactions but then there was another unexpected surprise, the judges announced his score, and he was the 2022 IJA Juggling Championships Champ!

“It was a dream come true. My head was blank, I didn’t know what to think so I just went on to accept everyone’s applause. I was humbled b/c I was already happy just to be there and be able to perform on the international stage level but winning was truly a bonus.

And although Ho Lam did not have his family and friends with him when he won the trophy in America, Niels Duinker, a juggler who holds 8 Guinness World Records, took the initiative to congratulate him on winning the award. This overwhelmed him. He said,

“I watched Niels’s video when I started learning juggling. I wouldn’t be a good juggler without him!”

Ho Lam happily took a photo with Niels and had a brief exchange with him. Niels also gave his autograph on the KendamaUSA Kendama which he used in the competition. This experience became his precious memory of that day.

Pu Ho Lam & Niels Duinker.jpg

The short trip to Cedar Rapids was an eye-opener for Ho Lam. He not only witnessed in person the performances of jugglers from all over the world but it also inspired him to continue on his journey. Now he is studying a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering at the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong and is working in the field.

Want to get into Kendama? Check out our recommended kendamas for beginners:
https://shop.kendamausa.com/collections/best-kendamas-for-beginners

Sources:

Zeng, Jenny. (2022, September 28). Hong Kong Performer Wins World Juggling Championships Despite a Bumpy Road? The Epoch Times.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/hong-kong-youth-wins-world-juggling-championships-despite-a-bumpy-road_4759764.html

 

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VR Kendama Game to Treat Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) in Children

Innojin, a eye-care startup in Japan, has teamed up with Sumitomo Corp, and VR developer ImaCreate Co. to create a VR kendama game app for clinical study to treat amblyopia also known as lazy eye in children and hope to get it approved for the public by 2025.

Amblyopia is a disorder that causes blurry vision because of abnormal visual development where one’s eyesight can’t be corrected with the use of eyeglasses. The main method of treating it is to use eye glasses along with an eyepatch to cover the healthy eye for a certain duration every day, making the patient forcefully train the eye’s visual development. However, children are often unwilling to receive this treatment, and because of the decline in adherence to shielding the healthy eye, the efficacy of the treatment is decreasing. So finding a method that kids would adhere to was the main goal.

VR amblyopia Digital therapeutic lets kids receive treatment using stuff they would probably already be doing or are drawn to; such as video games, making the treatment effective and easy for everyone to follow.  Head of Innojin, Takenori Inomata states the app / game is less likely to strain kid’s eyes compared with conventional games bc VR technology can distance images from players.

The VR app works by displaying different VR images to the left and right eye respectively, with the aim of achieving the same level of benefits as the eyepatch treatment. You can also train your eye hand coordination by landing various tricks.

Sumitomo Corporation (2022, September 29). Joint Development of a VR Amblyopia Digital therapeutic for Children (Press release)

Bernama (2022, September 30). Japan Startup develops VR game to treat kids’ amblyopia. The Sun Daily  https://www.thesundaily.my/world/japan-startup-develops-vr-game-to-treat-kids-amblyopia-YC9895652

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Player of the Month – Kellie Kawahara-Niimi – May 2022

Meet May player of the month Kellie Kawahara-Niimi; @kelli.love.art

Kellie Kawahara-Niimi - Kendama USA

Kellie’s partner has been playing for years and asked them to create a custom tama. Kellie decided they couldn’t paint one without knowing how to play, so they started using the kendama as a canvas and Kellie practiced in-between painting sessions.

Literally, my whole life is kendama now. It’s amazing!

Kellie’s is a huge fan of bold graphics or matte solid colors, but right now my their favorite is a sticky ash tama + ash ken. and just learned how to do ken flips.

I’m obsessed. It’s the only thing I want to practice.

“Special love to the artists and art lovers that support, encourage, and inspire us all to keep creating. It can be really scary stepping into something new, but the community has been so incredible. Big, big hugs to the new friends I’ve made. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve seen so much kindness, friendship, and joy. I love how you hype each other up and want the best for one another. Keep that. It makes the world a better place. Also, hamsters can only blink one eye at a time.

Follow her on Instagram for more inspiration @kelli.love.art

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Player of the Month – Nick Dodenhoff – April 2022

Meet April Player of the Month Nick Dodenhoff, from Marietta, Georgia. Nick started playing Kendama in 2011, “kendama was especially popular the high school I was attending; Cherokee. Everyone was playing it, and everyone got good enough that we were making edits. For most people, it was a fad, but for me, kendama stopped being fun.”

Nick Dodenhoff - Player of the Month - April 2022 - Kendama USA

“Currently, one of my favorite setups is the nova shape craft ken with a saucy coral tama, that is the move. My favorite kinds of tricks right now are stalls and strings, the Sweets’ Special has a place in my heart as the first advanced trick I ever learned. My left index finger actually has a callus from ‘em, haha.”

So many shoutouts. Shoutout to Ryan Plourd for coming to my jams at KSU and introducing me to so many people. Shoutout to Christian Fraser for being the first kendama player I looked up to and helping me plan so many GA Kendama events. Shoutout to Jero for believing in me years ago and showing up out-of-the-blue to a jam just to hand me my first ever prizes for our jams (and not to mention the WHOLE GA DAMA COLLAB Ken we did years later). Shoutout to Corey Sipes for being the biggest Kendama homie ever and pushing me to get better in those early days. Shoutout to Chad Covington for giving me the roadmap to hosting great Kendama competitions. And probably most importantly shoutout to Nick Fisch, Aidan Smith, Aidan Hitz, Jay Garland, Jonah Holcomb, George Marshall, Austin Johnson, Juwan Shields, Katarina Dodenhoff, T Mac, Alissa DeCoteau, and all the Georgia homies that come out to the jams on the regular. You all are the reason I play and do what I do for GA Dama.

“Georgia has one of the best squads in the nation (the world!?).  Any time you are in our state, hit us @gakendamaplayers and we will make things happen for you! Hope to see you all in September at ATLO 2022!, Much Love & Respect to Kendama USA, the community, & everyone pushing to help it grow.”

 

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Parks & Rec Tour

The 2022 Parks and Rec Tour is a collaboration tour between Kendama USA and Sol Kendamas. We’ll be visiting 5 National Parks together over the course of 2 weeks with a squad of 8 players, and we’re excited to meet you along the way!

On Jam days, we’ll be hosting mini-games, hanging out, filming tricks, and selling exclusive tour gear. Come hang out for a beautiful day of playing Kendama and meeting the Pros.

On Rec days, we’ll be hiking, filming, and exploring the National Parks as a squad. Come explore some of the most epic National Parks in the country with us.

Jam days will be open to the public at a location just outside of the National Park, so no entry fee is required to participate.

Rec days will be inside the parks, so an entry fee per vehicle or Park Pass would be required.  Please check www.nps.gov for specific details.

Please remember to plan responsibly, especially if you are joining for the Rec days.  Bring appropriate clothing for the weather, food, water, and any other supplies needed for your trip.  Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

Tour Summary

Tour Schedule & Info

 

 Yosemite National Park

April 29th |  Rec Day 

Meetup @ Curry Village Parking Lot | 10AM

Address: Stop 14 Curry Village Parking, Half Dome Village, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389

Directions: Click Here

April 30th | Jam Day 

Bass Lake Pine Point Picnic Site | 11am – 4pm

Address: Bass Lake, CA 93604

Directions: Click Here

 

 Zion National Park

May 3rd |  Jam Day 

Springdale Town Park | 11AM – 4PM

Address: 126 Lion Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767

Directions: Click Here

 

 Bryce Canyon National Park

May 4th |  Rec Day 

Sunset Point Parking Lot | 12PM

Address: Sunset Point – Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

Directions: Click Here

 

 Moab National Park

May 6th |  Rec Day 

Dead Horse Trail | 10AM

Address: Dead Horse Point Trail, Utah, 84532

Directions: Click Here

 

 Boulder Colorado

May 8th |  Jam Day 

Hyphy Warehouse | 11AM – 4PM

Address: 4949 Broadway #144 Boulder, CO 80304

Directions: Click Here

 

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Tama Only Options Now Available

Tama only kendama options are back and better than ever! Now, every kaizen kendama style can be found as a tama only option. Starting at just $9.99 there is a tama for every ken, style, and budget. Or build your own complete setup by choosing both ken and tama.

We’ve been serving the kendama community for over 15 years and one of the ways we succeed in that is by providing the highest quality at the lowest prices that we can. Tamas come in tons of different styles, paints, and sizes, each bringing its own unique tracking points and advantages to the table. We offer professionally designed tamas for any ken and playstyle, our tamas range in size from 61 to 62mm.

Choose your tama from top brands like Kaizen or Craft and choose from silk rubberized or super stick paints, we are sure that there is a tama that will fit your style and help your land more tricks.

For more information on replacement tamas for your kendama check out our products here, or contact our knowledgeable customer service staff.

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[2021] Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament Recap

This year’s Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament was amazing, there were 58 players competing in 6 different groups battling it out for a 100,000 Yen grand prize, trophies, & more.
The final round consisted of 16 players (13 players and 3 seeded players) in a 90-Second solo freestyle run where players were judged on the following four catagories:

CREATIVITY ● VARIETY ● COMBO ● FLOW (fluidty, atmosphere)

The last 2 players battled head to head to crown the champion and these were the results:

Results:

1st Place: Yasu – JP – Also Announced as KROM Pro

2nd Place: Nobu – JP – Kendama USA

3rd Place: Soma Fujita – JP – KROM

But just in case you missed the tournament live, you can watch it all in the video below.
Thank you to all the sponsors, judges, players who participated and folks at home who watched!

Much Respect

Podium Battle QuickLinks:
Nobu Nori vs Takuya Igarashi
Nobu Nori vs Yasu

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Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama Now On Nova Shape

The Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama now features the Nova shape and is available in both silk or super stick paint options. The colorway and packaging around Haley’s new pro model mirrors the changes she saw in her environment when she moved from Oregon to Nevada, forest to desert. This pro model kendama captures the essence and beautiful hues seen in the Nevada sunsets. 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, a drilled base cup for better balance. Custom engravings include Haley’s signature along with the ken, and gold 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

Follow Haley and the Girls Kendama Collective.

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Black Friday Kendama Sale

Take 20% OFF your order & also win the chance to win some freebies! Hurry limited stock & the sale ends this weekend! The discount applies sitewide, save on your favorite brands like Craft, Krom, Ozora, Kendama USA & more!

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Logan Tosta is PRO | Kendama USA

Logan Tosta is a Kendama USA ProLogan Tosta is a Kendama USA Pro! Logan has been an inspiration since we met him back in 2013 during the KG Roots Tour in SF. It’s hard to believe he was just 9 when he gave TJ Kolesnik & Dave Mateo a run for their money in Games of KEN. We saw an amazing role model, ambassador, and potential champion of both the community and the sport and that’s exactly what Logan has become. Join us in welcoming a champion of Kendama to the pro team!

Logan’s style, energy, positivity, and competitiveness is a vibe that’s been felt worldwide. His near impossible and gravity-defying combinations continue to raise the bar and not only built awareness around the kendama as a whole but continue to motivate and challenge players everywhere. Logan and his family continue to support, organizing, and attend jams, filming tricks, demonstrating at schools, and simply sharing kendama everywhere he goes… we’ve watched Logan grow; not only as a person, player, and as a contributing member of the Kendama community and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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Zach Magnuson Pro Model Kendama Review

What’s good everyone! Jon here from Honed Media bringing you another kendama review. This time I want to especially thank Sharif from Kendama USA for allowing me to guest write for the KUSA blog. Without further ado, let’s talk about Zach Magnuson’s Pro Model  #MAGSMOD.

I’d like to frame my article around “what makes a pro model” – because the first impression I get when opening the box and feeling the kendama is that THIS IS A PRO MODEL. From a tama design that no one can come close to imitating to the custom stickers and even the orange string – everything about the experience screams unique.

People who have followed Zach Magnuson aka Mags on social know that he is a talented photographer from Detroit and I personally enjoyed how elements of his passion for photography are designed into his other passion. Passion-ception.

Even the box feels high quality. The material is hard with textured prints and would stand out on any shelf. But enough about the aesthetics, we’re here to talk about how the kendama plays.

Let’s start with the shape – we have a modified Shift introducing the Kaizen Base Cup Hole and let’s just say it’s what the doctor ordered. I’ve been a fan of Kaizen for many years and have played a range from 1.0, 2.0, Slim, and Shift. I will admit that lunars were a challenge with the Shift because the wider base cup results in an increased weight shifted there. It made the kendama a ken-flip machine, but the trade-off was lunars.

With the balance hole available on Mag’s mod, the lunar balance has improved significantly without much compromise to the ken-flip capability. It feels like one of the most complete kendamas that I’ve played out of the box. Complete in part as well because the spike comes glued – something that I do for all my kendamas. When it comes to the paint, I personally prefer jamming sticky tamas, but something about KUSA’s silk paint slaps different. It seems to be rougher out of the box and allows for a nice adjustment when playing your balance tricks.

To each his own, however, I’d say that both paints will not let you down and it’s really a matter of personal preference which paint to use. I had an easier time with landing lunars on the sticky paint, while catching and adjusting lighthouses felt better on the silk paint.

 What about durability?

Part of this review involved a 2-week test doing cup tricks, ken tricks, and tama tricks. Let me be upfront – I miss the spike a lot. Despite that, there were only minor chips after 2 weeks, mostly around the bevel making it a relatively durable kendama. This could be in part that the weight of the tama was heavier (80+) and therefore the wood would have been harder and denser.

What might be more important to note was that I did not feel the tackiness of the respective paints change much – something you do not see often.

In the playability section, I test the smoothness and ease of landing tricks in the 4 criteria, Lunar, Stalls, Slings, and Ken Flips.

A difficulty rating out of 10 (1 being easier than usual, 5 being no difference and 10 is much harder than usual) will be given to each category at discretion.

Lunar

Stall

Sling

Kenflip

Pull-up Bird

  3

Pull-up Sling

  4

Kenflip Spike

2

Lunar

3

Bird Over The V

  3

Pull-up Double-Sling Spike

  4

Double Whirlwind

3

Double Lunar Flip

4

Handlestall – Ring

  4

Pull-up Sling, Late Sling

  4

Kenflip-

ken flip Spike

4

 

 What does this compare to?

You know when you’re headed out of home for a short bit and want to grab a kendama off the shelf you can just walk and jam without worry? This is it. Despite being a pro mod with an extensive and complex aesthetic design, it still plays like a daily jammer – and that is one of my favorite things about it.

I play a lot of kendamas and found it easy to rotate in and out of the #MAGSMOD which makes it and really worthy investment.

At $40, this is one of the most value-for-money kendamas out there. The level of design on the tama, sticker pack, and packaging indicates that it must have been relatively expensive to produce – yet Kendama USA prices it comparable to other kendamas in the market with a less complex design.

As a plus point, each #MAGSMOD purchased goes to supporting Zach’s kendama journey – a win-win situation if I ever saw one.

Bonus: To show that this dama is for the everyday average player like me – I shot a three trick fix with different balance and stall tricks to show how player-friendly it was out-of-box. Enjoy!

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