Battle at the Border 2021: What You Need to Know!

January 04, 2021

Battle at the Border - Need to Know - Feature Image

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!

Divisions, Kentei Testing, & Registration

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.

Open Cash Prize

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!

Trick Lists

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!


  • Swing Spike
  • Candlestick
  • Big Cup Orbit
  • Around the Block
  • Big Cup, Spike
  • Big Cup, Clack, Big Cup
  • Pull Up Spike
  • Penguin Catch
  • Airplane
  • Around Japan
  • Moshikame x 5
  • Sara Grip Spike
  • Big Cup, Knee Bounce, Big Cup
  • Rising Dragon
  • Hanging Stunt Plane Snatch


  • Airplane, Jumping Stick
  • Swing Spike, Earth Turn
  • Trapeze, In
  • Stunt Plane Big Cup, Kenflip, Big Cup, Spike
  • One Turn Airplane
  • Around the World Sara Grip
  • Downspike
  • Slip on Stick
  • Around Europe
  • Airplane, Bottom Cup, Spike
  • Bird, in
  • Hanging Lighthouse, Falling In
  • Gunslinger Spike
  • Lighthouse, Trade Spike


  • Swing Spike, Whirlwind
  • Underbird, Spike
  • Lunar Flip, In
  • Airplane, Tap Reverse Flip In
  • Lighthouse Flip, Trade Spike
  • Sweet Special
  • Turntable, Spike
  • Stunt Plane Fasthand
  • Airplane, UFO
  • Stilt, Trade Downspike
  • Handle Stall, Spike
  • Candlestick, Swap Spike
  • Spacewalk, One Turn In
  • Opposite Hand Swing Spike, Earth Turn
  • Inward Lunar, Flip In


  • Three Turn LH, Falling In Fasthand
  • Inward Stilt Flip, Falling In
  • OG Tap to LH, OG Tap 1.5 In
  • Lunar Barrel Roll, Falling In
  • Swing Spike, 1.5 Juggle Downspike
  • Underbird Nod-Off, Bird Nod-Off, Spike
  • Airplane, 1.5 Swap Late Kenflip Spike
  • Gooncircle Juggle Spike
  • Inward Lunar Rover, In
  • Two Turn, Tap Juggle Spike
  • Airplane, One Turn Swap Downspike Fast
  • Swing Spike, UFO Whirlwind
  • Airplane, Tap Swap Throw In
  • GS Spike, Loaded Revolver, GS Spike
  • Airplane, 1.5 to LH, Flip Tap LH, 1.5 in

Open Division Top 8 Tricks

  • Candlestick, LH, Candlestick, Trade Spike
  • Stunt Plane, ET to Penguin FH Ken Grip Spike
  • LH, Reg Insta Inward Insta Reg LH, In
  • Lunar, Juggle, Ghost Lunar, In
  • Opposite Hand Airplane, Cushion Tap
  • Spacewalk One Turn Lunar, Tré Flip, Trade Spike
  • Hanging Swing Cushion IL, Flip Cushion In
  • Trip Jumping Stick, Reverse Trip Jumping Stick
  • Handle Stall, Ring Stall, Bird, Nightingale, In
  • Juggle Candle Juggle Spike
  • Bird Juggle Bird, Spike
  • Sweets Special, Opposite Hand Spike
  • LH, Inward Flip, Inward Toss LH, Inward Falling In
  • Inward Lunar Backflip, Tap Juggle Spike
  • Stilt Monkey Tap, Downspike Fasthand

Cody Booth is a kendama player of 5+ years from Huntington, WV who helps with multiple organizations pushing kendama forward. Cody's Instagram.