For the first time in history, Battle at the Border will be held online! Collaborating with Sweets Kendamas, this normally in-person event will be hosted and streamed worldwide from the Sweets Studio. The event is scheduled to go down January 23-24, a little under a month from now. Players are already getting registered for competition and practicing the tricks, which were just released the week of Christmas.
Here's what you need to know to be prepared for the event weekend!
This year will include four divisions total: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and... wait for it... Double Elimination Open! Keep in mind, you only need to Kentei test if you are competing in Beginner or Intermediate. You will need to retest as a "Skill Check" if you are currently ranked in Kentei but are still competing in Beginner or Intermediate. We are always improving in kendama and we are utilizing Kentei to make sure that you and every other player has the fairest chances of success on event day. Players who pass Advanced 3rd Class in the Kentei rankings will be moved to the Intermediate division by event organizers.
If you haven't tested before and aren't sure of which division to enter, one of the Kendama Institute Senseis will help you through the process of testing and then, based on your success with the Kentei tricks, help you determine which division is best for you. Don't stress about whether you pass the Kentei test; it's all about assessing your individual skill level. You'll still be able to compete even if you miss during your testing!
You do not need to be tested if you are registering for Advanced or Open division. Stay tuned on the Kendama Institute Instagram page through the coming weeks. Starting January 4th, Kendama Institute will be testing every weekday from 4-5:30 PST. You can go to Kendama Institute's website to register for testing HERE. Alternatively, you can contact me via my Instagram page or any of the other Senseis for testing individually. You can find a list of several Senseis HERE.
The competition has limited spots and the deadline to register is January 17th unless all spots are filled beforehand, so if you are planning on competing and haven't registered, I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible! Contact Chad Covington or Joshua Grove with any Kentei or division registration related questions.
You can register for the competition HERE!
Once you've registered, keep an eye out for e-mails that will arrive from Sweets Kendamas regarding the links you'll need for competition and a Challonge link to your division so you can follow along live during the event. If you haven't created a Challonge account to use for yourself in these competitions, you can go to Challonge HERE.
Yes, you read that correctly, there is some cold hard cash up for grabs! Winner of the First Place Open division will be stimulated with $500 USD. If that isn't some incentive, I don't know what is!
Listed below are each division's tricks and their respective video links. Practice and ask questions about any tricks you might have beforehand; it's always great to get all the confusion cleared up ahead of time!
Cody Booth is a kendama player of 5+ years from Huntington, WV who helps with multiple organizations pushing kendama forward. Cody's Instagram.