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Elementary School Kendama club

Discussion in 'The Sesh' started by Brandon Jensen, May 12, 2017.

  1. Brandon Jensen

    Brandon Jensen Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    So I work at an afterschool program for elementary school children, and I have been given the opportunity to make a club for the duration of the summer. I would be able to have these kids once or twice a week for a couple hours and just let them play or practice Kendama.

    I am looking for teaching resources, ideas to get a ton of kendamas, and basically how I can get up to 100 kids to fall in love with Kendama.

    It would be awesome if anyone had any info on how I could reach out to companies in order to get coupons that I could distribute to parents in order buy the kids kendamas. I rummaged through everything I have and only have around 8 kendamas that I would allow a bunch of kids to play with.

    This would all have to be funded by me, or involve reaching out to the parents, as the program I work for is directly working for the state, and only has a set amount of money to work with.

    I'm also wondering if anyone has any experience on how open players on any of the teams are about showing up and chilling with a bunch of kids that suck at Kendama for a couple of hours.

    Another project involving this that I would love to do is film the kids as they learn and make an edit. If you have any tips for this, as I've never done it before. That would be awesome!

    Hit me up with any info or ideas that you all have! I'm open to anything and everything!
     
    May 12, 2017
  2. KeeganS

    KeeganS DS Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    I actually did the same at my old job at an after school community center this last year. Didnt have that many kids participate so I was able to use the spare jammers in my collection for them to use.
    In the end, not a lot really kept attending so it fizzled out after a couple weeks. The kids just werent really liking all the work and attempts to catch the tama in the big cup in the end, and we had other activities available to them that they seemed to prefer (darn you minecraft and roblox!) so my advice is if this is going to be an ongoing thing this summer to really focus on teaching the kids who really want to learn. I ended up only having at most 3 kids who were still interested after everything ended and it was great teaching them all the coolest beginner tricks they could learn (orbits and airplane really impressed them). All the other kids really enjoyed playing/trying kendama, but even after trying to get them truly interested they were more interested in swinging it around.

    Which brings me to my next point, really emphasize how to correctly pull the tama straight up and help them with it. Even after multiple explanations, many kids I have shown how to pull up to big cup still swung it up and got really close to hurting themselves.
     
    May 12, 2017
    Jasper B. and quacktaped like this.
  3. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    @Brandon Jensen Sorry for my lack of knowledge but what is the age range of kids in Elementary School? Will you have all the kids at the same time? Will there be other kendama "teachers" available to help you? Will you have access to electricity, tables, chairs etc. or is it an outside event?
     
    May 12, 2017
  4. Brandon Jensen

    Brandon Jensen Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    @goenKendama

    So I can make it inside or outside. I have access to a huge projector to do it inside.

    If enough of the kids want to keep doing it, I would love to split it up, have certain ages meet on certain days. I would probably do that first, so that they have there own little "wow I can do this" moments, as I freak out that they got big cup.

    The ages are 4 - 11? Although I would probably ban anyone under 6 just for safety.

    I could get help, but none of them are good at Kendama, so they wouldn't be able to teach by example, but all my coworkers are very good at teaching and helping.

    @KeeganS

    Ok, so I have the mindset that a lot are going to quit because it is hard, and some more will quit because they don't enjoy it. I've brought them in a little over the past few weeks and when I was working 1 on 7 or 8, like half seemed excited the whole time, while the rest just grabbed it, tried once, and then left.

    Is there anything that you would want to have done differently, other than teaching them the correct way to pull the Rama up in order to protect there face?
     
    May 12, 2017
  5. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    We've been teaching beginners of all ages (youngest are 4 but they often are taught different tricks) since we've opened so these recommendations are from those experiences. Hopefully you'll find a few ideas that will help.

    If you have electricity then running video(s) of kendama edits and even basic how to videos like the ones from Shimadera-san would be a helpful distraction for those not being taught currently.

    If you have helpers teach them all the very basic JKA catches up through spike (an abbreviated trick list would be big cup, base cup, moshikame, spike with and without spin). Before the meetings with the kids get them to "teach" each other once you've taught them and fix/adjust anything they don't get quite right. Concentrate on over exaggerating the knees and start with the "sara grip" (pen grip) I know some like the ken grip to start but if they hold the sara grip correctly it auto levels itself when you hold it in front of you. They don't have to adjust for pitch/yaw/roll like they do with ken grip and it transitions easily to Moshikame. Additionally you can show the toss for catching a ball is just straight up and down and now you're just turning their "hand" into wood.

    Make up activity cards that you can stamp or sign as each completes a trick and maybe give a sticker to the ones who complete all challenges.

    Use non-traditional tricks for younger players like this one (without the timer).



    The new Taisei kendama from the makers of Ozora would probably really help with those unable to get tricks with the standard size kendama. It has huge cups. Also bring a jumbo if you have one. Sometimes the heavier weight will help with people who have a hard time adjusting fine motor control.



    If you are successful getting some to regularly catch various tricks teach them games where they can entertain themselves while you go around and help others. Games like "circle ken race" (don't know a better name for it) where you put a circle or even a piece of bond paper on the floor and a bunch of people stand in a circle and do a given trick, more times for the people who can do it. When they complete the trick they put the tama on the spike and set it on the floor inside the circle or on the paper. (I can probably make a video if you don't quite understand. It's something I learned watching Zoomadanke.)

    Unicorn or Balance relays can also break up the time they're there and if you have enough kendama you can try kendama balancing. The idea is to keep them interested by showing all sorts of things you can do.

    There are a bunch more ideas but I don't want to wear out your eyes. Let me know if you have any questions. Sometimes it's hard to do this without visuals. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.


    Edit: More info here: GETTING KENDAMA INTO GYM CURRICULUMS
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
    May 12, 2017
    Jasper B. and Brandon Jensen like this.
  6. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Jun 21, 2018