The Kendama Forum

Forum categories => General Discussion => Topic started by: Misterwhang on 30 September, 2013, 14:30:48

Title: Not getting any better
Post by: Misterwhang on 30 September, 2013, 14:30:48
I have been practicing almost every day, but I dont feel I am getting any better. Don't get me wrong, I can land tricks easier and more often, but I just dont know how to progress to the next level. I see edits where people do the most creative and amazing tricks but when I pick up my kendama I am still just practicing around the Japan/world plus a few other tricks like bird, lighthouse, and jumping stick. Does anyone have any advice?
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: HansNickmans on 30 September, 2013, 14:50:02
I got a lot better practising for my dan exam. I just went through the ladder daily and always tried to beat my personal bests. My girlfriend got significantly better of the course of one week, just by practicing the EKO beginner ladder over and over again.

Another good way for a challenge is finding someone to play with and challenging each other for specific combos. I did some tricks I never thought I could do that way.

If you're willing to spend some money, I recommend the Spike and Knees books. They have over 150 tricks, variations on these tricks and tips on how to find your own variations.

And just have fun! That's the biggest part of it :)

Hope it helps!
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: the milky oolong on 30 September, 2013, 15:58:42
[user]Misterwhang[/user], there was a fantastic post by Void once listing all the ways to break 'Kendama block', I can't find it right now but hopefully he will come across this post and give his expert opinion.

From my point of view there are lots of things you can do to remedy the feeling that you're not getting anywhere - every time I feel like this I spend some time doing the following:

Pay more attention to resets, untangling the string and starting 'properly'. This applies more to single tricks than anything else.

Try to invert everything you can, grips and spin directions: if you can do Lighthouse and Jumping Stick, can you do a Lighthouse with your hand upturned? Penguin? Can you manage Falling Down or Build The Lighthouse in the opposite direction? Can you flip to Lighthouse from: - Swing In, even Bird?

Break up your Around Japan/the World with some Whirlwind/Tornado type tricks: try to flip the ken every which way between Big Cup landings - now Small Cup in sara grip - now forward and reverse between Base Cup - bend your knees and get some huge height in there at first, and try to work through the Around with a different flip in between each landing.

Change the time and place of practise - this might sound ridiculous, but I often have days where it is impossible to land anything much in my room, and on getting out to an inspiring spot, I start breaking out of old patterns and can see new ways of linking tricks together. If you usually practise in the evening, get up an hour earlier, 'dama in the morning, and vice versa.

Eat some mixed nuts or some dried fruit, try again.

Try to get a modification into those 'easier' tricks of yours - start at Spike and go for an Earth-Turned Bird, or try for a Swing-Bird. Tap your Lighthouse and see how it spins, just experiment with how you might catch it. Try a Corkscrew Jumping Stick - put your free finger on the Big Cup on take-off to get it to spin sideways as well as towards you.

I am pretty convinced that messing around with these things improves your general kendama control greatly, which is half way to opening up a whole new avenue of tricks, and presents you with the opportunity to think outside of trick ladders.

Don't give up!
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: The Void on 30 September, 2013, 16:29:54
[user]Misterwhang[/user], there was a fantastic post by Void once listing all the ways to break 'Kendama block', I can't find it right now but hopefully he will come across this post and give his expert opinion.
I think you mean http://www.kendama.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,876.msg6227.html#msg6227 (http://www.kendama.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,876.msg6227.html#msg6227)
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: Kev on 30 September, 2013, 16:46:07
Hey @Misterwhang I think everything Milky Oolong says is spot on.

(Big +1 on getting hold of Spike and Knees if you can afford to).

You also mention that you practice nearly every day, maybe it's time to take a break?

I work a lot with creativity and learning and it is accepted across all disciplines from sport to art, that rest is as important as regular sustained practice. It's during rest time that the skills you develop during practice are (in simple terms) "hardwired" into the brain. Remember, creativity is a skill too, it can be practiced and developed - but in order to see opportunities and find new combinations you need rest.

Put the kendama away for a week - forget about it, no forum visits, no watching kendama on youtube - go and do something else then come back to it some other time.

You may well find your skills have had the chance to settle down and bed in - and of course, absence makes the heart grow fonder so you'll come back super keen to play again.

Essentially,

If it ain't fun, stop and come back when it is again.

P.S.

Eat some mixed nuts or some dried fruit, try again.

This is my fave piece of advice ever. :)

 
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: Dimensions on 30 September, 2013, 16:53:07
When I started - I had the same problem
So I brought a new kendama (but this will only work if you only have 1 kendama)
Different kendama's open up a variety of different tricks - but try not to buy anything too Similar
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: Misterwhang on 01 October, 2013, 01:59:15
Wow, a lot of awesome advice thanks everyone! I see people come out with their newbie 2 month edit and they can do some crazy stuff I could never do at my current level. It is a bit discouraging but it is inspiring at the same time. I think once I get to the next level I will probably get super obsessed all over again. I will eat some almonds and continue to practice linking some tricks together! If I get frustrated I will take a break. I will also start playing with my new kendama that isn't an ozora. And...I really do need to get a copy of Spike and Knees!

p.s.- Are there tricks that are a must know before advancing on? (excluding the 10 basic tricks of course)
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: PikWik on 02 October, 2013, 20:13:12
im right there with you. i think people focus on particular tricks so everyone's arsenal is different

ive been trying to do everything reversed and/or different grip and spinning opposite to what i have been. like for earth spins, jumping sticks, airplanes, furiken, etc. pull/spin them in the opposite direction.

the biggest tricks that i feel advance my skills for the day are when i can land many 1 turn lighthouses and throw up lighthouses/somersaults. that action of spinning the ken and then catching with the tama gets my balance "in-tune" and sharpens my game. and of course bird over valley. once the somersaults and birds feel easy, it will be time to try 1 turn lunars and stilts!

id say practice all the "around the" like crazy. be able to spike from any tama position and fluidly land everything. thats what i tries to do

(http://i39.tinypic.com/kd1ndf.png)
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: YellowJacket on 02 October, 2013, 20:42:57
Your other hand is bored.  Most of us tend to over-practice with our "good" hand and ignore the "off" hand.  Go back to the start and learn everything with the other hand....then see what you can do with both hands at once.
Title: Re: Not getting any better
Post by: the milky oolong on 03 October, 2013, 21:37:23
[user]Misterwhang[/user], there was a fantastic post by Void once listing all the ways to break 'Kendama block', I can't find it right now but hopefully he will come across this post and give his expert opinion.
I think you mean http://www.kendama.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,876.msg6227.html#msg6227 (http://www.kendama.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,876.msg6227.html#msg6227)

Yeah, Void, I couldn't find it, but that's the one I meant.

Turntable. "What would happen if I tried this trick on a roundabout?" Vertical Turntable (against direction of roundabout spin)  :D
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