Location

Dayton, Ohio

via Minneapolis, MN

Accolades

1st Place Minnesota Kendama Open 2014

2nd Place Minnesota Kendama Open 2015

2nd Place Kendama World Cup (Japan) 2015

2nd Place Kendama World Cup (Japan) 2016

4th Place Kendama World Cup (Japan) 2017

17th Place Kendama World Cup (Japan) 2018

Top 8 Minnesota Kendama Open 2017

2nd Place Camp Kendama 2017

5th Place Battle at the Border Open 2018

1st Place Battle at the Border Freestyle 2018

Lukas Funk

Age, what year were you born?

21 years old. Born on September 20th, 1997

Where are you from and describe where you grew up

I was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, right next to Sweets Kendamas! I loved growing up in Minnesota. Beautiful summers, cold winters to play hockey in, it really is a great place to be. I lived about a block away from two different lakes so I spent a lot of time swimming and ice skating as much as possible.

Where are you currently living?

I am currently living in Dayton, OH as I am attending college at the University of Dayton

When were you first introduced to kendama?

George Marshall and I were good friends before kendama and he asked me to tag along to a juggling convention called “Mondo Juggling Festival” that he went to every year. When we got there, we actually ended up meeting Matt at the Sweets booth and pretty much instantly bought a kendama. Since that moment, we were hooked and spent the rest of the weekend jamming as much as possible

How were you introduced to Sweets?

Pretty much the way I said in the last question. We got to know him better as we started hanging around the old retail shop. We would go almost every weekend to jam and hangout

What players did you look up to / inspired you at the beginning and now?

This is a tough question, there are seriously endless players that inspire me and that I look up to. I’d have to say my biggest influences when I began playing were Christian Fraser, Sam Cannon, and Kris Bosch. Those guys were constantly putting out videos of tricks that are still mind-blowing to this day. I couldn’t even comprehend what they were doing half the time. I remember seeing some of those guys at the first MKO and it felt surreal to even see them in person.

Now, there are so many people that inspire me. It’s impossible to name them all so I guess I’ll try and briefly list a few: The Gallagher’s, George, Nonoka, Christian, Willy, Coop, Fischer, Josh Grove, Stodd, June, and of course the SWKT boys. I could list so many others but I think you guys would get bored reading names if I tried to list them all.

Who are currently your favorite players?

Currently, I’d say I’m really hyped for the younger generation of kendama players. They’re doing tricks every day that people thought would never be possible. I just listed a lot of players that inspire me so I’ll leave it at that. I’m truly excited to see where kendama continues to go.

Favorite competition?

I’m sure everyone is going to say the same thing, but my answer is KWC. The World Cup is amazing because you have the opportunity to be in an entirely different country with people that are just as hyped about kendama as you are. Being with your friends and being able to explore, eat good food, and compete on the biggest stage in kendama is like nothing else. I get goosebumps when I think about my trips to Japan

Whats your favorite style of play? Casual, the grind for a banger, freestyle, competition?

Recently I’ve been jamming a lot more casually. I’m incredibly busy in college so I jam as much as I can when I have some free time. Competition-wise, I just recently started participating in freestyle competitions and I have to say, that has definitely been my favorite format. I think it’s really awesome to watch different styles of play go head-to-head like that. It’s definitely a hard competition to judge but that just makes it even more fun.

What trick was the most satisfying grind? / took the longest to lace and film?

This one was from a long time ago. I was grinding for a Grip Kendama Film Contest and spent about 4-5 hours trying to hit a juggle late kenflip line but I just couldn’t land it. I ended getting some variation of it and putting it at the end of my entry but I wasn’t satisfied. A bit after that, I was filming for my introduction to the Homegrown team after my first year at KWC and ended up hitting the trick 2nd try while filming. Funny how that works sometimes.

Favorite edits?

Honestly, anything Christian Fraser does. His edit 10 was one of the edits I watched most for sure. I also have always really loved edits for things like sponsor me sweets and the kendamaco pro contest. Seeing people go for the most insane and creative tricks they can and laying it all out on the line for a spot on the team ALWAYS gets me hyped.

Favorite edits?

Honestly, anything Christian Fraser does. His edit 10 was one of the edits I watched most for sure. I also have always really loved edits for things like sponsor me sweets and the kendamaco pro contest. Seeing people go for the most insane and creative tricks they can and laying it all out on the line for a spot on the team ALWAYS gets me hyped.

Favorite wood type?

Maple. Nothing else to say.

Cushion or sticky clear?

Cushion all day. I feel like it’s more versatile in various weather conditions. Sticky clear can sometimes behave very differently and be less reliable.

How many kendamas do you own?

I’d say I currently own about 80-100 but I’ve probably had close to 300 in my time playing kendama. Most of them have been giving away at events or kendama club.

Favorite wood type?

I would say the first time in Japan for the KWC. Experiencing something for the first time is always so memorable. It felt so surreal to me because I wasn’t even a part of the Sweets team yet but I was traveling with all these incredible pros that I had watched on YouTube over the last year or two. It made it even better when I realized how welcoming and supportive these guys were. I knew they were gonna become family.

Bad habits?

Doing the same trick on stage at KWC two times in one run and missing tradespikes...

Where do you want to go with kendama? Like places

I would love the opportunity to visit parts of Europe via kendama. I know the scene is growing and I really hope it continues that way

What are some of your other passions besides kendama?

I’m passionate about music. I grew up playing the cello, piano, and singing and music, in some way or another, is a part of my everyday life. I also love being outside. I play a lot of spikeball with the SWKT boys and that’s always a great time