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Tricks with the Kendama

Of course there are loads of tricks that you can do with a kendama, but to get you started let's take a look at the first ten tricks from the Kendama Association Skill Level table. Clicking on 'view gif' will link you to the Japanese Kendama Association's gif animations for the individual tricks.

Big Cup or 'Oozara' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Sara Grip so that the spike points towards the floor and the ball hangs at the end of the string. Pull the ball straight up and scoop the kendama underneath to catch the ball in the big cup.

Small Cup or 'Kozara' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Sara Grip so that the spike points towards the floor and the ball hangs at the end of the string. Pull the ball straight up and scoop the kendama underneath to catch the ball in the small cup.

Base Cup or 'Chuuzara' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Sara Grip so that the spike points towards the floor and the ball hangs at the end of the string. Pull the ball straight up and catch the ball in the base cup.

Candle or 'Rousoku' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Rousoku Grip so that the spike points towards the floor and the ball hangs at the end of the string. Pull the ball straight up and catch the ball in the base cup.

Pull-up-in/Spike or 'Tomeken' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Ken Grip so that the spike points upwards at a slight angle and the ball hangs at the end of the string. Pull the ball straight up and scoop the kendama underneath to catch the ball on the spike.

Aeroplane or 'Hikouki' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the ball in the Tama Grip so that the hole in the ball faces up and away from you and the kendama hangs below. With the other hand pull the kendama back towards you with the spike pointing away from you. Let go and swing the kendama up and catch it with the spike in the hole.

Swing In or 'Furiken' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama in the Ken grip. With the other hand pull the ball back towards you with the spike pointing away from you. Let go and swing the ball up in an arc and catch it on the spike.

Around Japan or 'Nihon isshuu' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Ken grip. Pull the ball straight up and catch it in the small cup. From here throw the ball again and catch it in the big cup. From this position throw the ball one more time and catch it on the spike.

Around the World or 'Sekai isshuu' - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Ken grip. Pull the ball straight up and catch it in the small cup. From here throw the ball again, this time catching it in the big cup, and then again, catching it in the base cup. From this position throw the ball one more time and catch it on the spike.

Lighthouse or 'Toudai' - view gif - view instruction video
Using the Tama grip hold the ball so that the Kendama hangs below, spike upwards. Pull the kendama straight up and catch it balanced on top of the ball, the base cup resting on top of the ball. Hold still for 3 seconds.

Moshi Kame - view gif - view instruction video
Hold the kendama using the Sara grip and throw the ball back and forth between the side cup and the base cup. Try to keep up a steady rythmn whilst doing this. See how many catches you can make before dropping!

Done all those? Now head to the Advanced tricks, and apply the techniques you learnt with these ones.

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