A Kendama is a toy that can be used as a sport or used for amusement. It is an ancient Japanese toy that requires patience and intense hand-eye coordination and is commonly made up of wood and composed of three cups and one spike. The ball has a hole in it. The game’s main objective is to manage to land the ball onto the spike and into either of the cups. Sounds hard, right? But no worries, after you read this, you’ll know how to use a Kendama toy and master it in no time.
4 Easy and Helpful Tips for a Beginner Kendama Player
Here are some basic tips that will help you achieve that pro-Kendama player moves that you’ve always wanted to achieve before anything else. Please note that mastering the basics will help out a lot if you want to get good fast and learn how to use a Kendama toy!
Hold the Ken like You’re Writing a Pen or Pencil
Now don’t be confused, the “Ken” is the handle that looks like a sword’s hilt, and the “Tama” is the ball. Holding the Ken like that would make it easier for you to land it on any of those three cups because it reinforces your optimal control grip.
Instead of Swinging the Ball, Pull It Up
Speaking of control, swinging the ball would make it harder to predict its momentum. If you pull the ball up, that makes the ball’s direction and speed easier to control.
Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
As easy as it sounds, focusing on the ball to the cup helps you track its trajectory and cushion it as well.
Not to pressure you or anything, but mastering the Kendama takes months or even years sometimes. It’s important to stay calm at all times and avoid getting frustrated.
And that’s it for the basics! It’s pretty simple to follow, and even with the basics alone, you could tell that it does indeed require a lot of time, patience, and even immense focus. Now that you know these four basic tips, it’s time to learn some tricks!
Easy Tricks to Master Using the Kendama
These easy tricks involve the different cups that the Ken has: the Big cup, the Little cup, and the Base cup. Your goal is to land the Tama in any of those cups. Learning these tricks would surely help you learn how to use a kendama toy efficiently and give you an advantage because they are the foundation of the more complicated tricks that you will surely master in the future.
You will have to land the Tama from the Big cup for the first trick, then to the small cup, and back to the big cup. Sounds simple enough, right? You have to do it to hold the Ken horizontally while the big cup is facing upward. Remember tip number one, which is to hold the Ken like a pencil or pen for a more stable grip and control.
You have to pull the string upward and move the cup carefully below the ball to catch it. Once you successfully have the Tama on the big cup, masterfully toss it up into the air, and remember to keep your eyes on it so that you’ll see where it’s going. While paying close attention to the moving ball suspended on the air, quickly turn your wrist 180 degrees so the small cup would face upwards. After it lands, toss the ball again and turn your wrist 180 degrees to catch the big cup.
You Did It!
Good job! You just executed the very first basic trick that you’ll surely show off to your friends who might not know how to use a Kendama toy. Keep practicing, though, and don’t hesitate to experiment and tweak the trick to your liking once you’ve mastered it.
It’s time to utilize Ken’s spike and not just its cups. As you’ve noticed on the ball or Tama, there’s a hole that perfectly fits Ken’s spike. To do it, you’ll have to hold again it upright with the spike pointing to the roof or sky if you’re practicing outside. The ball should just be hanging calmly below the string. After that, you can safely pull the Ken upward to the direction you pointed your spike. Then you swiftly move the spike below the ball to catch it.
There you have it! Another basic trick, which is great for beginners and pros too!
The Kendama surely is a fun toy to mess around with. It’s only difficult if you’re not patient enough and not that determined to master it. From the tips and techniques you’ve learned so far, it’s safe to say that you officially know how to use a kendama toy. Remember that it has an infinite amount of cool tricks that you can try once you’ve got the hang of using the Ken and the Tama. But you know what they say, practice makes perfect, and that surely applies to this ancient Japanese masterpiece! Get more tips on games.