Kendama Entertainment Network

A community for the balanced lifestyle.

  • SOOOOO hyped to FINALLY drop the 2nd MOST REQUESTED GAME OF KEN ever. Straight from KUSA HQ in Atlanta GA - we have Logan Tosta (14) duking it out in an EPIC Game of Ken against his best friend and teammate - Gavin Harvey (13) !!! *BEFORE YOU WATCH* Comment below who you think will take the W for the TRIBE TEAM! ...AAAAAAAAAND as always we have SCAGS as the guest REF with eyes of a hawk and a memory of an elephant to break up any messy bangers, hand touches, and weak taps. GAME ON. -kusa

    More... Posted: Jul 20, 2018 at 3:20 PM

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    Posted by: Bryan Scagline

  • Jerred Bradley is Yumu USA. Peep his first edit on Yumu USA's official channel.

    More... Posted: Jul 8, 2018

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    Posted by: Vincent Dimaya

  • Hey everyone! Sorry for the late upload, lotsa work this time around. Also, the audio is a little whack this month, whooops. Hope you enjoy your (somewhat) f...

    More... Posted: Jul 5, 2018

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    Posted by: azleonhart

  • Jam night happens every Tuesday in our workshop, 5-7 pm. Shoutout Troy and @CaribooBrewing for hooking up the goods! Stop by for jam night if you're ever in Vancouver! 37 W 7th ave, entry through the back laneway.

    More... Posted: Jun 25, 2018

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    Posted by: TerraKendama

  • Sweets Kendamas partnered up with Kendama Institute to do a School tour in Michigan led by new team member Joshua Grove. Traveling along side with Cooper Eddy, Nick and Zack Gallagher, Cody Griz and Zack Sieger, the team visited 5 schools in Michigan.

    More... Posted: Jun 21, 2018

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    Posted by: goenKendama

  • This vid was shot back in 2015 shortly before Wyatt won KWC. If you really wanna know why it's just being released now, go to YouTube and check out the channel this video is posted on, he said he'll elaborate it in a later video. This is such a cool edit, I think it does a really good job of showcasing how epic kendama can be. There's some beautiful shots in there as well as some criiiispy slowmo. Yes the tricks are by no means the hardest, but I think if you were to show this video to a new kendama player or someone who's mildly interested, they would definitely be stoked on it. Also, I wish my camera could handle that kinda frame rate lol

    More... Posted: Jun 17, 2018

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    Posted by: Nick Lectura

  • Azrin 29 April 2018 The KWC Tricklist - Behind the scenes. As April rolls by every year, kendama players find their eyes invariably glued on the Global Kendamas Network YouTube channel, eagerly awaiting a series of 12 videos to be released over a span of two weeks. And these videos are none other than that of the infamous Kendama World Cup tricklist. But, what is it? Why is it so special? And why are people paying so much attention to it every year, even though only 3-5% of the world's kendama population attend KWC? The History To attempt to answer that, let's first enter a crash course in the KWC tricklist history, and inevitably, KWC history as a whole. Despite its perceived beginnings in 2014, KWC actually had its roots in the year prior to that. It was Tamotsu Kubota's vision of seeing players from around the world gather in the birthplace of kendama, and enter fierce competition to seek the title of "World Champion". And to that end, Tamotsu and Hajime Ishibashi, decked out in full ninja gear, armed with Mugens (not Musous, mind you), and with the help of a young Zoomdanke and a Handicam, set out to film a series of 70 tricks for the 2013 GLOKEN Cup. As you may have guessed, these were then arranged into 7 levels of 10 tricks each, in ascending levels of difficulty. Not long after, about 50 people, and amongst them some of the biggest names in kendama (at the time), including Alex Smith, Keith Matsumura (who was then Dama Fest 2013 champion), Matt DeCoteau, Trevor Starnes, Matthew Ballard, Thorkild May, Rodney Ansell, and Kristin Olinyk gathered at the Uchi Gymnasium, at Tamotsu’s hometown of Nara, Japan on the 15th of July 2013, and duked it out, in what those in attendance agree to be the best kendama event, of all time. (2013 GLOKEN Cup attendees.) Japan's Masatoshi Hamazaki (pictured right) went on to win the event, and Thorkild May won freestyle, and the GLOKEN Cup set in motion, what was to be the greatest kendama event for the years to come. The Sorting The following year, GLOKEN announced the Kendama World Cup, and with it, a set of 100 tricks to choose from, in of course, 10 ascending levels of difficulty. But many seem to overlook a simple question - how do they choose and sort these tricks? It usually starts with GLOKEN showing up at competitions or events that they sponsor, such as : 2014 - Yo-Dama Hawaii 2015 - NKR 2016 - GLOKEN World Tour 2017 - MKO & Various And GLOKEN shows up with a camera in hand, and requesting prominent and notable players and figures in kendama to perform a trick (or some tricks) for them. Pro players are usually approached first, before GLOKEN finds more players at events. GLOKEN also opens submissions to the public, beginning 2018, and prior to that, GLOKEN has been accepting email submissions (though, not a widely known fact), so long as the tricks are recorded with a good resolution (generally 1080p, 60fps and above), in focus, the kendama themselves to be recorded within the frame at all times, and unobstructed. For this year alone, GLOKEN recorded over 450 trick videos, mostly above Level 5, and to add the cherry on top of the cake, an additional 200+ trick submissions came in from the public. Once the tricks have been recorded / submitted, players are asked not to leak tricks, either via social media or by word of mouth, and the tricks are then brought back and compiled. Hajime and Kota Kagoshima take on the arduous task of naming the 650+ video files, and organizing them to a list before they are brought to the KWC trick committee, which usually consists of Tamotsu, Hajime, and Kota, with the addition of kendama legend Katsuaki Shimadera, Zoomadanke's Hiroki Ijima, and KWC emcee, Nobuaki Komoto. GLOKEN takes pride in knowing that no KWC competitor possesses any decision making power, let alone insider knowledge on what tricks will be selected for KWC. Sure, you could find a way to get GLOKEN to receive your trick video, but there’s no real guarantee that your trick will be used. (KWC trick planning.) It generally takes around 2 months to decide what tricks will make the cut, and the process is nothing short of easy. Shortlisting 120 tricks among over 650 submissions (which is a meager 18%) is indeed, a daunting task, and GLOKEN hopes that players who submit tricks do not get disappointed that their tricks aren't chosen - after all, GLOKEN wants to make the best trick list every year (i mean, we are choosing a World Champion, after all). Speaking of shortlisting, at its infancy, the GLOKEN Cup started out with 70 tricks in total. GLOKEN soon discovered several flaws in this approach, namely the scarce variety of tricks, and that it wasn’t that difficult to rack high points in the final stages, by spamming mid level tricks. The following year, GLOKEN went with 100 tricks, which remained until 2017, where the trick list was then expanded to 120. This is done to keep kendama spreading and growing, to keep up with the frighteningly fast evolutionary pace kendama tricks go through, and make KWC much more enjoyable for beginners, who simply want to experience some fun in a competitive kendama event (the Tosta family is a fantastic example of this). (The 2018 KWC tricklist) Okay, let’s consider the following: If there were still 100 tricks to this day, tricks from higher levels of past years trickle down a few levels, leaving no room for the very basic tricks, which might mean you’d find a trick such as juggle spike at Level 1! It’s hardly vexing for the capable, but you end up with a lot of players who just want to come by and enjoy the experience, and end up feeling marginalized. And that surely won’t fit with the “Even More Fun, Even More Global” tagline that KWC adopted this year. As for the trick selection, GLOKEN considers several factors, such as new, creative, unique and inspiring tricks, tricks that are not lengthy and are easy for the judging panel to judge upon, and also the current trend and flow of tricks (BBs in 2015 for example, taps and cushions in 2016, ghosts and fasthands in 2017). For this year, i am told that swivel and gravity drops are the new thing, and that trends are really difficult to determine. GLOKEN always keeps an ear to the ground in making sure they don't get left behind in trends. The Release Once everyone has sorted the tricks out, Kota gets into action and starts editing the trick videos to be published on YouTube. Generally taking about two weeks, and done on Adobe's Premiere Pro, Kota mentions that stitching the tricks according to the assigned levels is not too difficult, but what adds to the bulk of the editing process is the addition for the trick description (which is on the top left corner of the video in both English, and Japanese), and the trick performer's name, country of origin and represented company / group on the bottom left corner, plus the country flag. The addition of the name and country began in 2016, as a way to easily identify who's performing the trick, and for which team, and country. Kota and the GLOKEN crew replay the videos over and over again to find tiny mistakes to fix, taking extra steps to ensure the videos go up on YouTube without complications. Having taken up the position of in-house editor since 2015, Kota has been ecstatic to receive so many submissions from the public. In a way, the KWC trick list would not have been possible, if not for the overwhelming help and support kendama players give towards the creation of the trick list. He hopes that future submissions keep coming, as long as they are not filmed vertically, and enough space on the sides are given for Kota to place the trick description, name and logos. Once the videos are complete, they are uploaded on GLOKEN's YouTube channel in mid April (with the exception of 2014, which was uploaded during the month of June). Competitors then have approximately 3 months of grinding, practice and preparation towards chasing the World Champion crown. GLOKEN also provides a trick list in PDF format, for ease of viewing. In the earlier years (2013-2015) however, the links pointing to the PDF files were quite obscure, and is usually released within a week after the final trick level has been published, and for competitors who were a little impatient, that meant resorting to compiling tricks in their own PDF files (including yours truly), and distributing it to everyone who needed it. GLOKEN made links to their PDF files more prominent in 2016 (and with it, a revamped KWC splash page on their website), and Japanese app developer Shinya Hata released the KWC 2016 Trick Master Sheet app on Apple's App Store platform. Thanks majorly to the hype surrounding KWC, and the immediate availability of the trick list, everyone wanted to have a crack at it, to see if they really have what it takes, or even a glimpse of what it takes to be World Champion. It helps that a huge number of prominent players are on the list, busting out difficult tricks, and others wanted to try and hit it, too. The KWC trick list became a de facto litmus paper of sorts, acting as sort of a skill level gauge for a player. The Day Once you manage to make the pilgrimage to Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima for KWC, you're given a swag bag, in which contains, among other items and trinkets; your player number, and two pieces of paper - the score sheets. This is where you write down the trick level, and trick description (10 tricks for each paper in Prelims) to be brought to the dama check counter to be verified by event officials, where one copy will be handed over to them. During the GLOKEN Cup, written text made it a little difficult for the event officials to inspect, as everyone had different writing, and some proved to be borderline illegible, and then there’s the bit where writing everything down takes time. Lots of time. So, for the following year, the process is improved upon and simplified even further, where players were given an adhesive, pre-cut KWC tricklist sheet, in which you are able to detach your 10 desired tricks and stick them onto the two pieces of paper. (KWC registration counter.) (Sticking time!) (KWC sticker trick list) The officials will then bring a copy into the judging room - where around 4 officials work together to group every single score sheet into a cumulative level of tricks chosen, and then pair you into groups of three. This is done to ensure that you are paired with players who have roughly similar capabilities as you are, which in turn makes scoring much more efficient and easier. Once the preliminaries are over, the second score sheet is surrendered to the KWC officials, who hastily transport them to the judging room, where our 4 officials tally and ensure the points are correct, then sort out the preliminary ranking, where the names of finalists will be given to Nobu and Jake Wiens, to announce, and then the complete preliminary ranking list will be printed out, and pasted on the wall just to the right of the judging room. (The start of Day 1, KWC 2017.) (KWC judging room. The gentleman seated calculates scores mentally while the rest wait to sort.) When the final round commences on Day 2, a special judging table is set up at about 10 or so feet away from the stage, and is occupied by 3 individuals; Katsuaki Shimadera as the head judge, Hajime, who writes down every single trick the players attempt, and the results of each trick attempted, and finally Kota, who figures out the trick level and number (e.g. 8-6, 4-7, 12-9), and relays this information to Hajime, while Kota himself mans a review camera, pointed at the player, where said camera is generally equipped with slow motion capabilities, should there be a need for settling disputes. The Aftermath After all is said and done, and the World Champion is crowned, GLOKEN’s job doesn’t quite end there. Everyone might be outside, mingling, and having fun at the afterparty, but Hajime and his crew spend an additional 2 hours of clean up. Hajime himself has been sacrificing his own afterparty time ever since KWC began, relying only on photos and videos to catch a glimpse of what the afterparty looked like. And then of course, once everything is completely dismantled and the crew head back to GLOKEN headquarters in Nagano, there is still more work to be done, such as uploading complete finalists score sheets, updating the World Kendama Ranking list, and tons more. Being honored guests to the world’s best kendama event, and by extension, the kendama birthplace of Japan, it’s easy for us (even myself) to overlook and take for granted the hard work GLOKEN puts in to make KWC a successful event, year after year. This article is merely a tip of the iceberg; there are things that aren’t covered in this article like planning, logistics, funding and sponsorship deals, this article alone is more than enough for one to truly understand the scale of what is necessary to ensure a smooth operation for KWC. It’s a monumental amount of work and effort for a motley crew of 7, so whenever you see the GLOKEN crew, give them a hug, because they really worked their asses off to pull this event, and the worldwide kendama community together. Afterword (The current GLOKEN crew, plus Zoomadanke) Special thanks to the GLOKEN family for making this article possible. Kubota Tamotsu, Ishibashi Hajime, Kagoshima Kota, Hyuga Yuka, Matsuzawa Tomoyuki, Yoshizaki Reiko, Kamishima Kazuya, thank you all from the depths of my heart, especially to Tamotsu, Hajime and Kota, for endlessly barging you with questions, and quite possibly annoying you to a certain level along the way. Thanks also to Shimadera Katsuaki, Matt DeCoteau, Thorkild May, Philip Eldridge, Alex Smith, Trevor Starnes, and the community at Downspike and the Facebook Kendama Community for your help in answering some queries i had. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as i had fun writing it. I also hope you learned something from it, as much as i did, and i hope to get to meet every single kendama player at KWC (i am unfortunately not going this year, though), and any kendama event in the future.

    More... Posted: Apr 29, 2018

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    Posted by: azleonhart

  • ZOOMADANKE If you've ever wanted to know more about the duo, this is your chance. A+ cinematography, color grading, editing and storytelling set this edit apart. Cool to hear from Tamotsu, Jero, Thorkild, and Sweets in this edit. Enjoy! cop the Mugen Musou seen in this vid: follow Zoomadanke on twitter: Featured in the Japan Times: LIFESTYLE Kendama: spin doctors BY MASAMI ITO On the streets of Tokyo, Zoomadanke’s “Kodaman” (Takeshi Kodama) and “Easy” (Hiroki Iijima) look like any other young men in their 20s or 30s. The second they start playing kendama, however, the pair will put on a performance that completely redefines the traditional wooden toy. Zoomadanke is a professional kendama performance unit that was formed in December 2010. There was no major company pulling strings in the background — just two men, Kodama and Iijima, who decided that they enjoyed kendama so much they would make it into a career. “It all just started out as something fun,” says Kodama, 34. “The image of kendama was rather uncool, and people mostly looked down on it as a plain and sedate toy. I thought that if we could change that image, people would see how great it really was.” The two met at a toy-consultancy course, at which Iijima introduced Kodama to kendama. Iijima, a college student then, and Kodama, a former salaryman, had one thing in common — their love for toys. “I think kendama has and will continue to evolve,” says Iijima, 23. “The amazing thing about it is the potential it has to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to collaborate and create something.” Zoomadanke’s performances are a reflection of such a philosophy. Using hip-hop, beatbox and even traditional Japanese music, Zoomadanke performs tricks using a kendama with a combination of smooth, graceful and sharp movements. The pair’s choreography is unique and entertaining, completely in sync with each other as they jump, twist and turn — all the time while doing kendama. The two men have performed on television, at public spaces, parks and have even gone abroad to destinations such as Brazil and Hawaii. “When you think about the fact that most people outside of Japan have never heard of kendama, imagine the endless possibilities it has,” Kodama said. “And like all toys, the great thing about it is, you don’t need to speak the language — you can communicate through kendama with anyone.”

    More... Posted: Mar 12, 2018

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    Posted by: Dæmon

    Jerred Bradley is Yumu USA. Peep his first edit on Yumu USA's official channel.

    More... Jul 8, 2018

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    Here is a little edit I made with the JKA style concept of JKA approved dama with 2-finger string length. Worked pretty hard on it, so I hope you enjoy. Used a natty Tk with 2 finger string throughout.

    More... Jun 3, 2018

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    This is such a great video. As someone who is currently editing their final project for a video production class, I really appreciate all of the time, planning, and effort that George put into this video. He was filming a ton at Sakura Classic and it's great to see it paid off. It inspires me to want to go and play kendama even more now! Definitely give this a watch and refer people to this video that may want to learn more about kendama. Great job George! . . . . . George Marshall’s final project for his film production class was to make any video he wanted, no requirements. So naturally, he made a kendama documentary. “I wanted to make a video geared towards anyone who doesn’t know what kendama is all about. It explains what it is, why I like it, and where it’s gotten me. Focusing on the community aspect of kendama was my goal because that’s what is really important to me. Thank you to everyone who helped film in San Francisco and anyone who has ever supported my kendama addiction. I’ve been wanting to make a movie like this for years now so I worked really hard on this project and am excited for everyone to see it!”

    More... May 16, 2018

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    The HK boys hosted me over my Spring Break and showed me what Hong Kong is all about! Took a toll on my fresh Lollipop, but I loved every minute of it! Be sure to hit these guys up if you ever hit Hong Kong!

    More... May 18, 2018

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    We've all seen him slay, but what makes him tick?

    More... May 9, 2018

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