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Kendama


Various Techniques (3)

3. Basic Techniques

The Japan Kendama Association officially recognizes a broad variety of techniques, so let's learn just a few of them today.

Ozara (big cup), chuzara (medium cup), and kozara (small cup)

Ozara (big cup), chuzara (medium cup), and kozara (small cup) are the three most basic techniques. To perform any of these moves, start with the ball hanging below the stick, then quickly bring the ball into the air and catch it in the cup. (All three of these are performed the same way, so we will only refer to ozara below.) Make sure to bend your knees, and try to catch the ball as though it were an egg.



Tomeken (pull up in)

To perform tomeken (pull up in), begin with the ball hanging below the stick, but this time catch the hole of the ball on the point of thestick. While this may seem difficult, it is not so hard once you get the hang of keeping the ball's hole facing down as you pull it up.



Hikoki (airplane)

For the next technique, instead of holding thestick, you will hold the ball. This is called hikoki (airplane). Use the angle stance and swing the stick out in front of you. When it comes back around, catch the point of the stick with the hole in the ball. The secret to performing this trick is also to keep your knees flexible and to try to catch the stick very softly. This is a difficult technique, so once you have mastered this, you can really call yourself a kendama expert!



Around Japan

To perform "around Japan," use the "point grip" (holding the stick underneath the big cup and small cup with the point directed upward) and let the ball dangle below the stick. Then bring the ball up and catch it in the kozara. Next, toss it from the kozara and catch it in the ozara. Finally, toss it from the ozara and perform the tomeken by catching the ball on the point of the stick. It does not matter if the ozara and kozara are performed in reverse order. The key to successfully pulling off this trick lies in always keeping the ball's hole facing toward you. If you can do this technique, you are very good at kendama indeed.


(Data provided by KIDS PLANET)