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FAQ - newbies start here! :-)

Started by BKA, 24 June, 2011, 18:57:40

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Hi newbie! Welcome to the kendama forum. :)

If you're not used to forums, check out this post first:,2984.0.html

Meanwhile, here are a few things you might like to do to start:
-Make a post in the Introduce Yourself thread:,2.0.html
-Add yourself to the Member Map:
-Have a read of the FAQ below.
-Have a general browse around the forum to see what people are chatting about
-Got a question? Use the Search box at the top of the page to see if it's already been answered. (Select "Entire forum" to search.)
If you've done all that, dive in and start posting! We hope you like it here.

  • What is a kendama?
A kendama is a Japanese version of the old cup-and-ball toy, with extra cups and a spike. There are thousands of possible tricks, from the easiest to the near impossible. See the BKA anatomy page.
  • Where can I buy a kendama?
In the UK, buy from the BKA, which helps to support the local kendama scene:
Or support your local stockist. If you can't find a shop near you that sells kendamas, (try juggling shops and skate shops) , then there are lots of places on the web you can order from. (Go google!)
  • What type of kendama should I buy?
A good kendama will be ~17.5cm tall (with the ball on the spike), with a big cup of ~4cm diameter. If you want to consider entering a competition (in Japan/Europe), buy one that's JKA/BKA approved. In the US, Sweets and KendamaUSA are very popular, commonly used brands. For general play, most kendamas of standard size are fine. Avoid smaller kendamas (they often have a few painted stripes on the cross-piece), as although they are cheaper, they are much harder to use.
  • No, but which one should I buy? WHICH ONE?
Okay, calm down. :) It's all a matter of opinion really, so head over to the Gear section and have a search/read of some reviews. In fact this question is so common, we created a whole sub-forum for it. See,13.0.html
  • How can I learn the tricks?
Start by checking that your kendama is set up okay. Next, learn the grips, then you can move on to the beginner tricks, then the advanced tricks when you've had a bit of practice.
  • What other resources are there?
You have read everything on the main British Kendama Association web site, right? There are also books, DVDs and an app available.
  • Where can I meet other kendama players?
Start by having a look at the Member Map (Make sure to add yourself, so that you can be found too.). If you get the chance to go to a kendama event, do it! It's a great chance to meet other players, swap tricks, learn stuff, and maybe have fun at a competition. If there are no events near you, look for your local juggling workshop here. It's quite likely that someone there will know at least a few tricks with a kendama, and if they don't, then it's your chance to teach them! Maybe your local skate shop sells kendamas, or your local skate park has a few click-addicts.
If you can't find any other players near you, then you should realise that this makes YOU the local expert. Spread the word yourself: Play in public, where other people can see you. Be friendly if you're asked about kendama, let people try, teach new players, and you'll soon have a local kendama club! Also, read the advice in this thread.
  • Are there any videos of kendama?
Yes, one or two. ;-) There is a whole channel of kendama videos on JTV. Of course there are also plenty on youtube, vimeo etc. Many of the best are/will be listed in this thread. <--- Oooh, that thread got a bit out of date, sorry, there are just so many great vids coming out so often these days!
  • There's this trick I'm having trouble learning. Got any advice?
If you know the name of the trick, head to the Tricks forum and search for the name. There's quite possibly already some good advice there for you to read. If you can't find anything about that trick, post and ask for help. If you don't know the name of the trick you're having trouble with....
  • What's that trick called....?
If you're not sure of the name of a trick, check out the JKA gifs of the Kyu and Dan tricks via this page at the BKA. Also watch all the BKA tricklist videos, and Kendama School. Void and Donald's books are also great sources for trick names, in English and Japanese, and are recommended (essential?!) reading. If you're still stuck after all that, then make a post in this thread.
  • What do those things like "Cup Holder" and "Lighthouse Keeper" by people's posts mean? How can I change my entry?
They are simply fun names we assign based on how many forum posts you have made. As you make more posts on the forum, your "rank" will increase. Don't get too hung up on them though - they don't really "mean" anything.
  • How do I attach/embed a photo in a forum post?
See here:,1217.0.html


This has been really interesting and though I am relatively new to this type of playing style, I have been seeing more people that are interested with just the same.  I hope to be familiar with them even more just so I could be better at it.

The game is not that known right about my area but I am looking to get a couple of other blokes into this similar thing as well.



Was going to ask what damas are allowed in competition, then stumbled across this..

Thank you, helps a lot!
:) :)