Age, what year were you born?
I was Bjorn in 1993!
Where are you currently living?
I have deep roots in the Twin Cities, and I’m staying in Southern California these days!
When were you first introduced to kendama?
My dear friend Salvatore Frattallone introduced me to kendama in 2011. I got my first one (shoutout ATACK) in 2013 following an injury that left me unable to play sports anymore. That injury was an absolute blessing in disguise!
How were you introduced to Sweets?
Sal was working at Sweets Kendamas in Bloomington, MN when he first introduced me to kendama. I’ve known Sweets since my day one!
What players did you look up to / inspired you at the beginning and now?
There are too many to name! Jake Wiens and Cooper Eddy are especially inspirational because of their unique styles and video skills. I was and still am inspired by everybody in the kendama world!
Who are currently your favorite players?
First of all, I love my team! That includes everybody involved with Sweets Kendamas (y’all know who you are <3). Secondly, the entire Minnesota squadron (y’all know who you are <3). Some of my off-brand, out-of-state favorites include: Hanton Dungannon (GOAT), Haley Bishoff, Chad Covington, Nic Stodd, Chris June, Ben Herald, Teodore Fiorina, Yui Nakamura, Kaito, Adrian Esteban, Colin Hislop, Dave Lamb, Markus Lander, Dauny Signal, Jake Wiens, Damon Kirchmeier, Kota Kagoshima, Rumina, Yukie Yao, Motty, Mizuki, Alex Mitchell, Cam Herrero, Ninja Bear and Zachary Wichers. Just to name a few...
NAKO! It’s the ultimate gathering! Low key favorites: Van Jam, Sakura Classic SF, BATB
Whats your favorite style of play? Casual, the grind for a banger, freestyle, competition?
I’m a casual player in general, but I love competing and I always appreciate a deep grind!
What trick was the most satisfying grind? / took the longest to lace and film
The most satisfying grind I’ve ever had was for Around the Smooch. Think of all the smooches I got to share with my kendama! It was laced in my edit, Dama Dreams, in 2017. The longest grind I’ve had was probably the last trick of my #28trickslater in 2018. It took ELEVEN DAYS to lace it! But I got it first T!
I definitely have a bias for my own edits: MKO 2015, Dama Dreams, Lace It Chase It, LACIN’, and Triplet Edit #1. Watching them vividly brings me back to those epic times that were milestones in my kendama journey! Other favorites include: Rocky Mountain Rumble 2015, Colin Sander - Practicing Kendama, anything made by Cooper Eddy or Jake Wiens, George Marshall’s Edit 3, 11 or Better with Dave Mateo, Sweets Kendamas 2013 Pro Edit, FRINGECASE, etc……..
Favorite wood type?
Dat ASH dooooeee
Cushion or sticky clear?
How many kendamas do you own?
The current tally comes to 23, including keychain size. There’s definitely a shelf and a couple bags full back at my parents house.
What has been your favorite kendama trip?
I’m going to smush KWC 2018 and Van Jam 5 together, because I basically went straight to Vancouver from Japan. Incredibly fun and adorable times! It was my first time in both of those places… I spent a month in Japan. Not only did I attend KWC, but I spent time climbing Mt. Fuji with internet friends, visiting a dear old friend in Nara, falling in love in Tokyo, and enjoying all of the delightful vibes of that magical place! Van Jam 5 was legendary. I drove up to Vancouver from Portland with Haley Bishoff, Nic Stodd, and Darlene De La Paz. Some fond memories include: meeting Lucas Adverse, tackling Jarod Porter to win a DWI ring that didn’t even fit, cuddling with Chad Covington, and placing 3rd in the amateur bracket! Renegade was insane (if you know, you know). So many laughs with the famly!
Forgetting my reusable bags, utensils, drinking vessels, etc. at home when I go out.
Where do you want to go with kendama?
Everywhere. Let’s go! I dream of MCing the big events in Japan and Europe.
What are some of your other passions besides kendama?
Yoga, food, reading, travel, nature, improv, sports and music!