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Introduce yourself!

Started by BKA, 24 June, 2011, 15:09:04

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Welcome to the BKA forum!

Why not take the time to introduce yourself in this thread? Perhaps give us a little bit of info about yourself - where you are, how long you've been playing, or anything else you feel like sharing with your fellow Clickers!


So, this is my first post!

Hi all - I'm Guy Heathcote (aka GbH) one of the more elderly Team KD members.

I've been playing with kendamas since first seeing Donald Grant and Fritz Grobe (of Mentos/Coke fame!) practicing with them at a juggling convention many years ago.  For a long while, I just used the plastic versions that were, back then, occasionally found in British toy shops.  As I knew all-but-nothing about Japanese kendama culture and what was really possible, I didn't make too much progress (some might argue I still haven't....).

Eventually, having looked around the web for any English-language instructions, I decided to write my own Kendama page (which can still be seen here -  I still didn't know any of the terminology or many of the standard tricks at the time, but the page came to the attention of at least some people in Japan and I was kindly sent my first proper JKA damas (yep, including my first Mugen), along with some other cool stuff.  As it happened, this also seemed to coincide with a slight increase in interest from at least a few others in the juggling community, eventually leading to the whole Team KD idea getting hatched on a long coach journey from Bodmin to Redruth during the 2006 British Juggling Convention.  The Team KD idea seemed almost like a joke at first, but somehow Robin (and, later, Void) managed to turn it into something real.  I was officially asked to join the team some while later and wear my official shirt with pride (when Void makes me...  :) ).

I've since competed in each of the UK competitions, previously winning both the Advanced Trick List and Speed Trick Challenge competitions.  I also won the recent BKA art competition, which was a nice surprise.  I've also served as a competition judge.

I've been responsible for two kendama videos, Kendama Variations and More Kendama Variations, both of which can be found on  I've also made appearances in a few of the other TeamKD/BKA productions, to a greater or lesser extent.

Personally, although I still like to learn a certain amount of standard technique, I seem to have more fun thinking up different ideas, silly variations and eccentric ways to present the prop to others.  But, maybe this is just an admission that I'm not good enough to be attempting the 'sick tricks' that now feature in so many on-line videos? 

Oh, and before you ask, no, I don't know how many kendamas I have, nor what make they all are.  And, no, I'm not currently interested in selling Mugens!

Click, click....


The Void

Hello, I'm Void. I've been playing since 2006, but seriously since 2007. Based in the UK, and I usually run the British Kendama Open, and so far I've also run 1 Dutch Kendama Open, and 3 European Kendama Opens.

I love meeting up with other players, and having fun.
I like kendama 'cos there's always a new challenge around the corner. I also [noembed]make videos[/noembed]  - on kendama and other stuff.

See you around!
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'm Dave and i have been playing kendama for about 137 days and Im totally addicted. i basically haven't put the thing down and I m coming up with some really fun stuff. Loving the Hydra kendama since Leicester convention after playing with Voids.

i Have 3 regular oozora's a Yumu and a Deathray Hydra with an oozora ken.

Im a big fan of the Kendama Kettle Rule and my current Kettle Trick is speed Trick B which Im down to nearly 100 seconds!!!!

Big Love For Kendama



Juggle Sensei

Hi everyone!

My name's Matt Hall and I've been a kendama enthusiast since 2000.  The short version is that I was the translator for Masahiro Mizuno at the 2000 Portland Juggling Festival, and as a thank-you gift, he gave me my first kendama--an old school Japanese Kendama Federation model (that's right, there used to be TWO organizations).  Being a Japanese teacher gave me ample opportunity to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun and score some great learning materials in the original Japanese, as well as get tested for a JKA 1st kyuu certificate (still need to go back and get my 1st dan....sigh). 

For many years I dabbled with translating some of the classic Japanese kendama instruction books, but thanks to the herculean efforts of The Void and Donald Grant, I no longer have to sort that out.  Cheers to them! 

Peace be the journey!

Team KD


I'm Arron, I'm an Alcoholic and I've been sober for 12 days I've been playing with KD for a few years, before that I used to amuse myself by laughing at GbH play with them.

I also make my living performing with Yo-Yos, juggling and other KD related stuff.


Tom Derrick


I'm Tom Derrick, one of Team KD, and have been playing since 2007. I learnt from the incredible Matt Hall at the IJA, got hooked, and bought one at the same convention!

I'm fairly active on the juggling convention scene, so if you see me about, then come and say hello :-)


Morning all

I'm Louis but tend to be known as Looby amongst friends.  I've been clicking on and off for a few years now thanks to Void getting me hooked at BOB three and a bit years ago.

My Ken was admittedly gathering dust up until the beginning of the year when Dave sprung up as an instant master and motivated me to put some more practice in.  We're heading to the French convention next weekend in a bid to gather some interest and finally give the hydra a proper whirl, can't wait.

Thanks for setting this up chaps, I genuinely think it'll become a brilliant resource, there isn't a dedicated forum out there from what I can see and looking at numbers on facebook groups and video views, kendama's getting super popular. 

Tata for now and keep clicking!


Afternoon all. I'm Jon from TWJC.

I first picked up a kendama at BJC 2006 for one of Matt Hall's workshops, I still use much of the innuendo I learnt in that workshop today.


Wow, what a great idea!  A forum at last.

Hi, I'm Grant (a.k.a Mr Jumpshoe).  I was introduced to kendama in 2006 by a Japanese friend I met in Canada.  I learned the beginner tricks (putting myself through the licence - I was honest and didn't give myself any extra goes or anything), then kind of forgot about it.  I was given one in Canada and brought it back to the UK with me, but didn't play with it much.  Then in 2008 I started watching kendama vids on YouTube.  By that summer, I started to take kendama more seriously.  I made my first edit and contacted Void to show him.  Even though it's a very boring video, Void was delighted that there was another UK player emerging.

Since then I've done four more edits, a promo video, two short videos with a balero I found, a bloopers vid and a couple of online reviews.  Much to my surprise I became the Scottish kendama champion at the BKO this year.  I have it tattooed on my face so that people know.  (No, I don't - that would be wrong for many reasons).

Unlike most people on here, I have no other circus skills at present.  I thought of taking up cigar boxes because they kind of appeal to me.  That and I thought I might try busking with 'em.

I'd love to go to next year's BKO if I can.  Void & co did a bang-up job this year.

Looking forward to seeing how this forum progresses.


Music Has the Right to Children



I'm Rob I first saw a Kendama in 2007 when a friend picked one up on holiday. We both had no idea what it was but found it addictive, I will be honest the novelty wore off after a few weeks as we was unsure how to progress and carried on YoYoing instead. Skip forward to six weeks ago and I stumbled across a Colin Sander video on youtube and my mind was blown, I have been watching load of videos and reading up on the subject as much as I can. I have just ordered a SunRise Kendama and I look forward to starting the hobby for real.
Obama can't Kendama


Welcome aboard Roam, (and everyone else too, of course!) and welcome to your new addiction. May we introduce you to a fun little concept?

Click on!


Tx to Void for fueling the fascination with the kendama. BJC kendama viewed from a table at the back in 2009 did it for me plus a now battered green Ozora.

So dave spotlight finds a new passion after making juggling props for 25 years. String driven things Donald & Void inspire.
Off to the Japan juggling festival in 2009 just outside Tokyo, met a bunch of great and crazy people then off to the Ozora factory to take (smuggle) a suitcase+golf bag full back to Amsterdam. Turns out that there is no import duty on wooden toys so smuggling was not even possible.
Met Yuji and had a good time together. But no way was he allowed to make any other colours in the days of plain/green/red/pink/light blue from the competition seal issuers - the JKA. This organisation is probably run by some nice people but at the time was experienced as the Spanish Inquisition by kendama manufacturers. Now wonder how the JKF would have reacted? (thanks for that Matt). On to Naranja shop in Tokyo but still only five colours available and about 2000 different types of finger-spinning pens. Oh well.

So no kendama available in my favourite colours? Back to basics and design my own, SunRise. No JKA sticker so EKA is born to take over exactly the same ruling on manufacturing as JKA but without colour limitations. Void & co make sure that the models are up to expectations and not too easy to play (hard but fair critique). First models made in China then after a year of that brought the entire production line back to Europe. Less co2 from airfreight and I can now hop on the bike and be on the front line as required. European paint does not chip and is lead free which makes kendama ok for the USA!

Working/travelling with Alex (supernog73) and Jeffrey (dutchkendama) has been great and good for kendama in Holland, thanks guys and your BigBoy Performers are ready next week.

Thanks to kendama for meeting some really fine people on this journey, click-click-'dama



Hey guys,
My names Alex, I've been playing kendama for just a little over a year now. I bought my first red tk16 almost two years ago now, but didnt use it much as I didnt have any friends to play with. Then about a year ago a couple of my friends were playing with my dama and decided to order some of their own. Soon I had a number of friends hooked, and we decided to start a group called Kendama Edmonton. We've now imported and sold over 150 kens (mostly Oozora and Shin Fujis) to people in and around Edmonton, so we have a fairly strong community of players here. All the profits were put towards things like hosting competitions and buying prizes, and it's been a super fun time being a part of it all. We produce videos (I've posted a link to our two most recent edits in the videos forum), as well as Tshirts and other things like that.

Kendama is a strange little toy... it's funny how addicting it can be. I love it though haha


Morning people,
I've not been playing kendama for very long, it'll be coming up to a year or so in September time.

I first learnt about kendama around two and a half maybe three years ago when three of my friends got a TK16 each. I dabbled with theirs but never took it too seriously, which I regret because if I had from the word 'Go.' I might have been able to find a Shin Sakura. or even a Mugen at a reasonable price, from owners willing to part with their (then) not so recently discontinued kendamas.

But yes... I'm 18, I'm from England. I like to play kendama and to drink tea:)