looking back at tct2

This year’s Twin Cities Throwdown was bigger and better than ever. With nearly 50 players and over 100 prizes, it was a truly memorable afternoon. Before diving into a recap of the day, we want to thank all of the amazing companies who sponsored this year; thank you Sweets Kendamas, Rez, Krom, Kendama USA, Atlantic, JAC, Cobra, Fujin, RWB, Lunatac, Kendama ISR, Catch&Flow, 430 Clothing for all of the prizes and Rustica Bakery for hosting the event.

I would personally like to thank the companies that sent a few prizes specifically for us to paint. Creating one-of-a-kind kendamas is one of my favorite parts of Kendama MPLS, and it was an amazing experience being able to paint community-provided prizes from all over the world. It was heart-warming to see how hyped people were for a few of these. So again, to all of our sponsors, thank you.

The KMPLS team had a few goals going into the TCT2:

  1. Make it better than the first.

  2. Make sure everyone has a good time.

  3. Make sure as many people have a chance at winning a prize as possible.

  4. Focus more on the event than the competition.


Keeping these goals in mind, we decided to overhaul what we did last year. We got rid of beginner and intermediate divisions and instead focused on mini-games and activities. We also got rid of the freestyle division, which was invite only last year, in favor of a one-of-a-kind doubles speed ladder that anyone could sign up for. We also had the first-ever Design a Dama art competition! First place, and an Atlantic x MPLS custom complete, went to a very cool Latino pride design.

Between classic mini-games and raffles, we sent home a ton of prizes. Some highlights include a Rez x MPLS, OG Hickory homegrown x MPLS Sweets Ash, a whole box of Krom kendamas,  a design-your-own-custom JAC, and tons of accessories.

The competition portion of the day broughts us some very competitive matches as we whittled the pool down to the final 8 players. This year’s deck was created by the entire Kendama Minneapolis team and was stacked with difficult and unique tricks. For those who got hung up on one-turn stuntplane - juggle to spike you can blame Christian. I was able to match Parker in our very short match on my own trick, airplane - 1.5 UFO. We asked our lunar monster, Carter, to keep it possible and he agreed; only doing a 360 rover. And Luke came up with one of the more memorable tricks, ken flip - .5 inward flip - downspike fasthands—yeah, he’s a beast.


One of the most entertaining part of the day was the doubles speed ladder. It was awesome seeing teams spend down time practicing and helping other each other with technique. The coolest thing was seeing people who didn’t come with a partner, find someone at the Throwdown to pair up with. Having a partner to play with can really take the pressure off, and some took this opportunity to get their first competition experience. In the end, local phenom Kaden Weller and the owner of Cobra Kendamas, Jacob Trebil, took first place. For winning, they snagged matching prize packs including Atlantic carrying bags, Catch&Flow hats, paired RWB x MPLS customs, and matching trophies.

After crowning the winning team, and giving away even more prizes, it was time for the grand finale of the Twin Cities Throwdown open competition. There were some crazy quarter and semi final rounds. In the end it came down to Sweets Kendamas Homegrown team member Parker Johnson, and none-other-than Kaden Weller (Kaden happens to be Camp Kendama’s first MVP and carried our team to King of the Camp). In an epic game to 5 the guys traded some points, and even matched on every attempt for two tricks. Parker took the crown with a grueling 5-3 win and put his first championship under his belt.

KMPLS would like to, once again, thank everyone involved with TCT2. With the success of this year, we are motivated to bring an even better event to the community next year. See you then!

Tyler A, KMPLS Co-Founder