Am I Good Enough to Compete?

Am I Good Enough to Compete?

With kendama competitions happening all the time, all over the world, we wanted to help answer some of the questions and concerns we hear from new players.

Am I good enough to compete?

Of course you are! Kendama competitions are for all skill levels!

I have only been playing for a few months..

That's OK - you will have a blast! Generally, competitions have divisions for Beginners all the way up to Pro level. Beginner division is awesome too! It consists of a list of basic tricks that you probably have already landed once, and if not, you'd would be surprised at how quick you can learn them! Additionally, there are EPIC prizes and mini games too! 

I can’t land all of the tricks… 

Even the pro’s can't land all of the tricks yet!

Many Pro Players can land somewhere around 65% of the entire trick list with some consistency. That's just the way the game goes, and it makes the head to head matches more fair!

Every player has their strong points and weak points, it is all about giving each attempt your best effort - if you do your best, then you have no reason to walk away feeling anything but proud of yourself!

I have never competed before, I’m nervous and I don't get how it all works…

That's OK too; everyone gets a bit nervous and feels a tad shaky when competing - even the Pros!

These sensations are a powerful opportunity for us to practice building self-confidence and our mind-body calming regulations. Remember to breathe, smile, and try to slow it all down.

Check out this quick video to see how "Open division " style competition works as this is how we will compete at NAKO 2020! It's super fun and you get to meet people from all over the world in your skill level!  “Open Style” competition is also a really fun way to play games of Ken with your family and friends!

I’m a bit older and don’t want to compete against kids…

You are ageless; we play because kendama brings us joy, no matter our age!

Consider the “inner game“ of kendama: you are only truly competing against yourself, not your adversary. Only you stand in the way of landing the trick, not your opponent - your opponent is simply there to help push you in giving your best effort.

Whether you or they are 5 or 65, you will experience a fun and fair match and receive the same from the player on the other side!

What is Kendama Kentei? Do I need to do that? 

Kendama Kentei is a simple system of trick progression from beginner to pro level created by GLOKENIf you want to enter the Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced divisions at a competition, you might need to to do Kendama Kentei before competing to ensure you are in the proper division for your skill level.

Before competing, you will take a quick kendama test with a Kendama Sensei who will help you discover what division of competition is a good fit for your current skill level!

We generally require Kendama Kentei at Sweets Kendamas' hosted events because we want to make sure every player has as fair and equal chance in the competition as possible. 

Some people don’t think that Kendama should be all about competition - what's so great about these things anyway? 

Kendama isn’t all about competition. Kendama is what ever you want to make of it, It just happens to be a professional sport as well! A huge element of competitions isn’t the competing, it is the gathering and meeting new friends from around the world. This is a huge benefit for the community because it is a melting pot of like minded people of all different backgrounds and provides a really powerful opportunity to share, create and build a better community.  Some times people will come to competitions not to compete at all but to simply meet new like minded people from around the world and sesh Kendama together. 

Competitions are also a really awesome method of putting your skills to the test in a fun and engaging challenge. Many people feel a little shy or nervous coming to their first competition especially when they have just recently picked up a Kendama. My thoughts on these types of things, “you can always leave if you don’t like it”, but you will never know if you don’t go, and you will likely surprise yourself at the amount of fun you will have.

OK, I can see that now,  but why are there Girl divisions? That seems sexist separating them…

Great question! Women can compete in both the regular and girls divisions! We have offered the girls divisions for the past couple years because women spoke up and declared that this is something that they wanted. Women at large are treated unfairly not only in the kendama community at times but in many ways of everyday life in the world we live in. In the past some female players felt it was a division that was missing and so we listened.  The girls division is a space dedicated to female identifying players only. We have continued to keep this division a part of NAKO because we feel that it is important to give all of the new and old amazing female players a place to shine and feel comfortable if they desire to do so. It is our duty to create a safe feeling environment for women and all people and we hope that this can be a step to do so.  They can choose to do one division and not the other or vise versa. For example, Haley can enter “Pro Open Division” AND “Girls Open Division”, OR just the “Girls Open” or "Pro Open".

Wow ok that makes more sense now thanks for answering my questions. I suppose I was just nervous because I am new to this whole kendama thing. Well Ok then, whats the best that can happen!? I will give it a try! Why not! Where do I sign up, how do I do my Kendama Kentei and where are the trick lists so I can start practicing? 

AMAZING! You are going to have a blast and I know you are going to level up your kendama game just by participating in the competition!

Trick lists are here - NAKO 2022! 




AM Division

Girls Open

Open Division

Click HERE for our page including all of the NAKO 2022 trick lists.

Thank you for answering my questions, can't wait to compete in my first competition!!! 

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