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British Kendama Championships 2010

bko 2010 by fak
Competitors by fak
Back row: David M., Sam B, Liam, Sam, Mark T., Gareth, Richard O., Nicky, Dave B., Chris M., Jan, Ian H., Lawrence. Middle row: Boo, Catherine, Kevin, Matty. Front row: Sean C's representative, Jon R., Void, Tom D., Amanda, Donald G., Guy H. Not pictured: Jon U., Huw, Tom, Matt B, Jimi,

Watch the video here

The third British Kendama Championships took place on Friday 9th April at the British Juggling Convention in Huddersfield. Extra interest was drummed up on the 2 days prior to the comp itself, and come the morning we had a total of 31 players who had entered either Speed, Beginner or Advanced divisions, which is the highest number of competitors yet. No international entrants though, unfortunately.

Judges Guy Heathcote, Donald Grant and Tom Derrick were introduced by compere Void, then things kicked off straight away with the beginners division. Several brand new players plucked up the courage to enter, some doing better than they expected. For the first time, there were also female competitors, plus one husband and wife duo. Three-time entrants Mark and Lawrence both increased their standings over previous years, and David, who was converted last year as a spectator, came in third in his first competition. Above him there was a tie-break between Jon U, who had been playing for just over a week, and Sam B, who had been taught by Lawrence some months previously. By the time the tie-breaks were called, Jon had had to leave, so Sam B became the Beginners champion without having to resort to moshikame to settle the matter.

Next up was the announcement of the names of the top 4 qualifiers for the Speed Trick Challenge. Donald posted the best-recorded time yet in competition, of 25.92 seconds, and qualified in first place, followed by Guy with 34.53s. Third best time was by Fred, 39.32, but he had had to leave the night before, so couldn't compete. Next, with 41.03, was Norbi, who didn't bother to show up, so the fifth & sixth fastest players, Tom (41.84) and Gareth (42.48) took their places. The first semi final was between Donald and Gareth (judged by Guy and Tom), and while both of them succumbed to stage pressure, with several misses, top seed Donald won through.

judges by fak

Sean by fak


On it was to the first half of the Advanced division, with 8 entrants, two of whom, Gareth and Richard, earned respect by voluntarily stepping themselves up from Beginners. The first pair up had both missed last year's competition, but were back to fight again: Tom & Jon R. Tom got off to a shaky start with two misses of Orbit, but recovered until Around The World proved to be his nemesis. Jon powered on with a strong performance, only to miss FTG by a fraction. Richard then faced off against Guy, falling at the dreaded Aeroplane hurdle. Guy then managed to make it 2 TeamKD players who crashed on their Around The World trip. Stage pressure claimed another victim. Then history repeated, with Gareth missing Aeroplane, and TeamKD's Donald not getting past Furiken. Next up was youtube demon Matty, who had arrived too late to enter STC, and only just in time for the competition. Void then announced that he would enter after all, to give Matty a run for his money, and the crowd a good battle to watch. Both made it through the first 10 tricks (the first players to do so), with Matty just ahead, 2 misses to Void's 3.

Next, the STC players and judges swapped over for the second semi. It was all TeamKD as Tom faced Guy. With misses on both sides, it was a close thing, but Guy made it through to set up a top-two seeds final.

<-Ian by fak

Back to the Advanced division. Matty hit his next 2 tricks first time, while Void added 4 more misses as he negotiated them. Jumping stick nearly proved Matty's undoing though, but he hit it on the 5th attempt, to a big cheer - not least from Void, who seemed to want his opponent to win! He nearly did, as Void added 4 more misses on his next two tricks, which Matty sailed through. Next up was Slip Grip special, and after a slight query about the grip, both players started with a miss. Then Void hit, but Matty couldn't manage it, leaving just one player centre stage. Void carried on, and although he tallied up 16 misses, he also managed to make it all the way to the top of the list. That's the way to win!

The final of the STC was last up, Guy v Donald. Again there were misses on each side, and Donald even managed to get the trick order wrong at one point, but the fastest qualifier couldn't quite edge out last year's British Champion, and Guy took the STC title to add to his roster.

Tom by fak->


matty by fak

While the division scores were tallied, the music was cranked up for a jam. No rules, anything goes, and we got some mean moves busted out from Matty, just to show his class, a Big Cup Mexican Wave, several string variations and much more.

Prizes! Everyone got something - even if it was just a bead & string. Thank you to Oddballs, kendama.net and kendamas.eu for their generous prizes. Our main sponsor, David from kendamas.eu, came up to present the prizes to the competitors. He also announced an extra prize - the 'style' prize, which went to Jan.

Thanks to everyone who entered, spectated, judged or organised.
Stay tuned for news of future competitions.

Position. Name. Highest level reached (misses along the way)

Advanced Division
1. Void 20 (16) British Kendama Champion
2. Matty 15 (6)
3. Jon R. 9 (2)
4. Guy H. 7 (1)
5. Tom D. 7 (2)
6. Donald G. 7 (3) Scottish Kendama Champion
7. Gareth 5 (0)
8. Richard O. 5 (5)

Speed Trick Challenge
1. Guy H.
2. Donald G.

Beginners Division
1. Sam B. 11 (4)*
2. Jon U. 11 (4)*
3. David M. 9 (1)
4. Matt B. 8 (0) Welsh Kendama Champion
5. Mark T. 8 (1)
6. Lawrence 8 (3) *
7. Sam 8 (3) *
8. Jan (5) Northern Ireland Kendama Champion
9. Tom 7 (7)
10= Kevin 6 (2)
10= Huw 6 (2)
12= Ian H. 5 (1)
12= Amanda C. 5 (1)
14. Chris M. 5 (4)
15. Sean C. 4 (0)
16. Nicky 4 (2)
17. Jimi 4 (3)
18. Liam 3 (0)
19. Dave B. 3 (2)
20. Catherine 3 (3)
21. Boo 1 (0)

Style Award

* Separated by moshikame tie-break