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The Road To KWC
(Or any other comp in Japan)

Hello everyone.
After seeing how most foreign players had some difficulty during their time at the Kendama World Cup, i thought i'd contribute a little by providing this guide of sorts.

I hope the guide below will help you loads, and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see added to this article.


Section 1 :
What to bring

  • Coin purse / pouch / case : Coins are king in Japan, so a coin purse is the best way to go.
  • Suica / Pasmo card : These make public transport travel easier. Accepted all over Japan, it's just tap-in, tap-out. Let the card worry about the fare, not you. Most convenience stores also accept Suica / Pasmo cards as a form of payment. Less cash in hand, less worry.
  • Japan Rail Pass : If you are in Japan for extended periods of time, and you need to travel super long distances by train, look up the Japan Rail Pass. It’s a great way to travel.
  • Train map : No, not the foldable kind. We're in 2018, fam. Surely there's an app for it, otherwise a simple Google image search will do. Save that map in your phone.
  • Cooling towel : With temperatures reaching up to 35ºC/95ºF, July is also the most humid month in Japan, at around 70%. Do yourself a favor by getting a cooling towel. You'll be thankful you did.
  • Water tumbler / bottle : In case you haven't the above,...
Friday, May 18th 2018

Last month, Kris Cabal dropped a bombshell on the Kendama community when he announced via Instagarm that he would not be producing any more kendamas. If you've never had a chance to play with a REZ, it's a totally unique experience. This small passion project turned into a cult following for players who sought out the flex, grip, and heaviness that only a REZ could provide.

@Cheech_Sander sat down with Kris Cabal of REZ kendama to talk about the REZ story from origins to the end. Listen below:

Thanks for all you've given us, Kris!

Sakura Classic is the annual kendama competition held in Japantown, San Francisco during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in April. It is always a weekend filled with friends, fun and kendama, and this year was no exception.

This year’s Sakura Classic tried out a new contest format: double elimination. Don’t quite understand how double elimination works? Check the example below (you can skip this next section and go to DAY 1 if you already understand the concept):

I’ll use my situation as the example. My first match was against a young slayer named Connor LeSeur (Svlty Bois). I won the match, meaning I advanced in the winners bracket while Connor was moved into the losers bracket. Unlike past events, Connor isn’t fully eliminated from the competition after this. He still has one more chance to keep advancing in the competition, provided that he doesn’t lose a second time. Same goes for anyone else who loses their first match. Because I advanced in the winner’s bracket, I would be facing against the winner of whoever won the match that was occurring at the same time as mine. Some of the pro/sponsored players had a bye for the first round because of an uneven number of competitors.

Unfortunately, the player that I would end up facing would be Wyatt Bray. Yeah that’s right, 2015 Kendama World Champion Wyatt Bray; I felt pretty confident in my competition abilities this year, but this guy definitely knows his way around a trick list. I ended up losing the match, so I was moved into the losers bracket while Wyatt advanced in the winner’s. My loser’s bracket match was against a cool dude named Alex Guzman (Rogue Dama). We had an awesome back and forth match, 2-2, neck and neck. He ended up winning on the hanging 1 turn inward lunar trick. We both missed it twice, but he managed to snag it on his 3rd and final attempt, and snagged the falling in from out of the ground. It was a well deserved win in my eyes. Double elimination is a great concept because it...
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...
From The Sweets newswire:

Calling all creatives! This is your chance to be an official Sweets Kendamas designer! Our #DesignAPrime contest is live!

How it works:
1. You draw a (realistic) prime kendama design
2. Sweets picks their 10 favorites
3. The public votes on their favorite 3!

The top 3 designers win 5 of their own kendama and their art featured in a line of Prime Customs.

Designs will be chosen based on:


Submissions are due May 16th.


Enter as many tama design as you’d like. Only 1 design will be chosen per artist.
Create your design any way you can. Digital designs are preferred but hand drawn pictures will work too. *All submissions should be original designs created by you.

Upload designs to your public Instagram feed and use the hashtag #DesignAPrime to enter the contest.

10 semi-finalists will be chosen by Sweets Kendamas staff and posted to our Instagram where the public will vote for our 3 winners.

Each of the three winners will receive 5 kendamas of their own design.
All submissions are due by May 16th.

prime 2 .jpg

Check out all the entries by clicking #DesignAPrime
#SweetsKendamas #kendama#kendamadesign #design...
KWC has just dropped their trick list for this year's competition.
We've posted them here for quick access.

Are you headed to KWC? Discuss:

Kendama World Cup Hatsukaichi 2018 Tricks

Tricks - Level 1

01: Spike
02: Airplane
03: Big cup, Spike
04: Trapeze
05: Big cup, Orbit, Spike
06: Baseball
07: Big cup, Kneebounce big cup
08: Candle block
09: Hanging, Double clap catch
10: Moshikame x 11

Tricks - Level 2

01: Gunslinger spike
02: Jumping stick
03: Around Japan
04: Swing spike, Earth turn
05: Stuntplane
06: Kenflip big cup, Spike
07: Finger solar flare, Spike
08: Lighthouse, Falling in
09: Penguin base cup, Spike
10 : Downspike

Tricks - Level 3

01: Candle, Spike
02: Specewalk
03: Around Europe
04: Swing spike, Whirlwind
05: Juggle big cup, Spike
06: Base cup hanging lighthouse, Falling in
07: Bird, 1 turn spike
08: Lunar, Flip in
09: Turntable , Spike
10: Airplane, Base cup, Downspike

Tricks - Level 4

01: Lightning drop swap spike
02: 2 turn airplane
03: Around USA
04: Airplane, 1.5 turn tradespike
05: Juggle spike
06: Flying V, 1 turn airplane
07: Candle grip underbird, Spike
08: Stilt, Tradespike
09: Sara grip big cup, Orbit penguin big cup, Grip change spike
10: Lighthouse, Stuntplane

Tricks - Level 5

01: Swirl to swap spike
02: Triple jumping stick
03: Around Denmark
04: Base cup, Kenflip base cup, Kenflip lighthouse, Tradespike
05: Juggle kick big cup, Spike, Earth turn
06: Ghost lighthouse insta lighthouse flip, Tradespike
07: Underbird, Nod off underbird, Falling in
08: Inward lunar flip, Falling in
09: Swivel downspike fasthand, Swivel spike
10: Candle grip kenflip downspike
Monday, April 16th, 2018

The latest JKA Certified Kendama is available, and this time it's from Yumu Kendama.
The kendama is reported to have that classic shape from other JKAs, with the durable, grippy paint that makes Yumus so fun to jam. They will be available in In 8 different colorways, with excellent tracking to help you reach the next Dan level.

Yumu was founded by Kendama enthusiast Parker Yu. Yu admired the JKA methods on Kendama education, and attempted to use their methods to build the kendama scene in Taiwan. He created the Taiwan Kendama Association in 2008 and his goal is grow kendama into a visible public sport. Yu's initial factory was influential in early sweets and Kenco productions.

These JKA damas are available on and Amazon.
If you have any questions, or need help with US shipping, contact fellow Downspiker Vincent Dimaya who is a Yumu USA Team Manager.

07 April 2018

How to go pro?
A meticulous and insightful article, typed by a non-pro.

There's a really good chance that once you've picked up your first kendama, it's likely thanks to watching a professional kendama player (yes, this is actually printed on a name card and resumé), and there's an equally good amount of chance that you want to be as famous as that player is.

So then, the question arises - how do i become a pro kendama player?
You're in luck, as i happen to know how.

Any professional kendama player worth his or her salt will tell you that there are 5 stages - a tried, tested and proven system, commonly called AHURA, on the long road to joining them in the ranks of the elite few.

  1. The Admiration
  2. The Hard Work
  3. The Undying Love
  4. The Rise
  5. The Acceptance

1. The Admiration.

Of course, every player starts out by admiring a company, or a professional player, representing a certain company.

And pick a professional player you shall. Follow said person. Follow everything he/she does. And i mean everything. Start an Instagram account called bonzatron_official for example, decorate it with images and videos of Bonz doing tricks, gain many followers and get verified, and reply to comments and messages, as if you are Bonz, take the time to even dismiss people who think the account is fake, and you are not Bonz.
Then, own one used Krom kendama, since you're most likely to be broke when starting out, but be sure to get that particular kendama signed by Bonz (or your favorite professional player), because this is a very important step, since owning a kendama signed by a professional player not only immensely increases it's value, but also your...
Los Angeles, CA -
We are pleased to announce the launch of DS NEWS, the hub for all top stories in kendama.
Downspike now supports news articles, created by a trusted team of moderators, writers, and content curators to make sure all stories are accurate. We'll break exclusive stories, product announcements, events, and more.

But wait, there's more... we listened to your suggestions in the "what do you think of Downspike?" thread.
The new app update features a totally re-designed menu, and most importantly a more prominent search bar. (No excuses for double threads you n00bz!) Introducing DS NEWS!...