Today's Kendama

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Today's Kendama:

Today's Kendama

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As time went on the number of players, the number of differnet tricks and the number of different forms of competition increased. Therefore in 1975 Issei Fujiwara founded the Japanese Kendama Association, JKA. He standardised size, form and shape of the Kendama and had licenced kendama game produced to these norms. Furthermore he defined a goup of standart tricks and based on them he developed a set of rules for attaining graduations like in Judo or Karate. He also created the regulatory framework for official competitions on a local and national level.

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Due to his professional background as a children's book author he also was determined to make Kendama popular among younger people. These innovations quickly made Kendama a game people from all age groups enjoyed and kept on playing throughout their lives. Since then graduations and annual competitions are held up to national levels. Under the patronage of the "Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture" a national competition of elementary school children is held every year. The official masterships for all age classes are organised by the JKA once a year and are open to Kendama players from all over the world.

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Because there is a large variety of trick-combinations, the freestlyle-scene has been getting larger and larger and is developing new tricks and integrating tricks from other games like juggling. That's why there is a continuously increasing number of Kendama tricks. In Asian countries this relatively young form of Kendama is spreading quickly as a trendsport.In Europe and America the Japanese Version of Kendama only became known recently but since then is getting increasingly popular. An ever growing international community exchanges Kendama tricks over funsports websites and Youtube, where a great number of Kendam Edits can be found.

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In 2008 the British Kendama Association, BKA, held the first European Kendama opens and in in 2009 they did it again. Looking at the recent developments one can well call it an international boom, there are Kendama websites springing up like mushrooms all over the world: China, Taiwan, Russia, Poland, Czechia, USA, UK, France just to name a few. This shows that in times where children learn to play football on a PlayStation before they actually learn to play football,people see the Kendama as a welcome change.

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