English-language friendly kendama forum open for everyone worldwide. Welcome!

Main Menu

Alternative Terminologies

Started by GbH, 27 June, 2011, 20:34:51

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Something I've been noticing more recently, when viewing online content, is that there are some obvious variations in what people use as trick names.  For the same trick, sometimes the Japanese word is used, other times a translation of that and then a completely different English word for it too.

So, where this happens, would it be a good idea to maintain a current log of what names people are using and what they might mean?   

BKA was an attempt to clarify/unify the terminology. Void & Donald's books have followed this, as have the BKO & EKO contests. But as you say, people have often gone their own way with trick names. I suppose it can't be stopped. Well, here's a couple for your list. Feel free to add:

Rotor Blade (aka UFO)
Bamboo Horse (aka Stilts)
Somersault (aka Flip?)
(-although Somersault is meant to indicate a 360 turn of the ken back to the same balance it started from. Flip seems to be used more loosely.)
Suicide.... (aka Spacewalk... )


Also Kendama Revolutions has the google translations of all the Kendama trick names when you translate the page. this is a bad thing in some cases but in others its good. For example that balence i was doing at leister Void is called "Axe'.

The Void

Yes, whereas google translate can work well with most indo-european languages, it can really struggle with Japanese. "Axe" however, seems to fit quite nicely for that one. (If it's the one I think you mean: Hold ball, ken hangs down, pull ken up and catch the under-edge of the big cup in the hole. Ken stays balanced on the ball. (Same relative positions of ken & ball as Bat)).

Hmmm, this thread could get very big very quickly.....
If you don't want to BUY MY BOOKS 😉, then why not ask your local library to order them in, and read them for free? That would help too. Cheers!


Thats the one! its hard though. you have to be really minimalistic with your hand movement!



Naming tricks gets very difficult very quickly... Guess we might as well give it a go though
Some basics and what the players I know commonly call them:

(our lingo = more common name)
Spike flip/frontflip = earth turn / reverse earthturn
Underbird = bat
Fork = normal grip, let ball come to rest in cradle of sarado
Lunar kickflip = lunar rollover to lunar

Stilts are stilts.. UFOs... Etc
As a general rule around here it seems a more literal description of a trick will often displace the more 'accepted' English name. Hence 'spike flips' or saying things like 'flip up lighthouse flip to lighthouse, in'

... I'm not even going to begin to get into naming 'spacewalks'... :P


The terminology on here will always be a little whack. for example the Japanese term for a "lunar kickflip" is "Tornado" so you can full tornado or half tornado any balance you like. e.g Half Tornado Bamboo Horse.


I have a few questions about some trick names, so if you have any other names for these tricks post them.
Wing walker = bird on the side of the cups.
Stunt plane = airplane downwards.
Down spike = spike downwards.
Inverted jumping stick = pretty much a stunt plane jumping stick.


I think Wingwalker is Bird but where the ball doesn't touch the spike. I think Bird on 2 cups is Bird Fly Over The Valley and Wingwalker on 2cups is Wing Runner.

Is Down Spike the same as Stabbing Heaven (ball comes up with a 180 turn, stab the ken in)?

I was thinking about new tricks the other day and came up with what I think you're calling Stunt Plane. Good name - I shall consider that the official name of the trick (until someone tells me differently ;)


Wing walker is like bird but the ken is on its side so the spike is pointing away.
down spike is stabbin heaven.
As for stunt plane ive always called it downwards stabby spikey thing because i didnt know what it was called.
Stunt plane sounds good to me :P

The Void

Sorry Willem, but I find it hard to visualise these tricks from your brief descriptions.
This video might help - it has the names of some of the tricks mentioned:
Kendama School - juggling videos hosted @

If your tricks are none of the ones in there, can you describe the "downwards" ones in a bit more detail please?
If you don't want to BUY MY BOOKS 😉, then why not ask your local library to order them in, and read them for free? That would help too. Cheers!


I've been calling stuntplane 'airplane downspike'.
For an added level of difficulty try doing a ken flip up to stuntplane


After watching that video this is what I found these tricks to be called.
Wing walker = wing walker
down spike = stabbing heaven
stunt plane = scoop spike
I still don't know what the correct name for doing a jumping stick, but the bottom cup is parallel to the ground when starting and when finishing, spiking it downwards.  I just call it inverted jumping stick, but I feel like it deserves a cooler name.  Also this trick that I'm not sure if I invented, which I call double tap, which is where you do a tap with sara grip, but twice while it is in air.  If anyone knows it to be called something different or has seen it in a video post them.

The Void

So if the bottom cup is parallel to the ground, then I assume it must be hanging down to start with, since otherwise it would fall out of the hole! Therefore I think what you are discribing is "1-turn scoop spike". But again, I may have misunderstood you...

Double Tap soundsright to me. I've done a triple, and if my memory serves me right, I think I've seen dutchkendama do a Quad....
If you don't want to BUY MY BOOKS 😉, then why not ask your local library to order them in, and read them for free? That would help too. Cheers!