Kendama Workshop and Official Rankings by Legendary Japanese Kendama Association Member Hiromu Imada


Hiromu Imada, a certified Japanese Kendama Association Examiner (teaching and testing the skills of kendama players–See below for list of tricks that will be tested), will be visiting San Diego from Japan!

Kendama is a traditional skill toy that has been around for over a century, and has become popular here in the US over the past few years. Hiromu Imada teaches Kendama all over the world. Kendama is good for building hand-eye coordination, focus, and general health.

Stop by to learn  from a legendary kendama player with traditional japanese style, and while you’re at it get officially ranked by the Japanese Kendama Association by completing challenges. Everyone from beginners to advanced players are welcome to join!

When & Where:

PRACTICE for Kendama Examinations:

Saturday, May 7th, 1-3 PM: GUNNZO San Diego
2445 Juan St. San Diego, CA 92110

Saturday, May 14th, 1-3 PM: GUNNZO San Diego
2445 Juan St. San Diego, CA 92110

Saturday, May 21st, 1-3 PM: GUNNZO San Diego
2445 Juan St. San Diego, CA 92110

Kendama Workshops and Exams:

Wednesday, May 25th, 3-5 PM: SD Central Library Teen Center
330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Friday, May 27th, 3-5 PM: SD Central Library – Childrens’ Room
330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Saturday, May 28th 10:30 AM – 12 PM: Japanese Friendship Garden
2215 Pan American Rd. East, San Diego, CA 92101

Saturday, May 28th, 1-5 PM: GUNNZO San Diego
2445 Juan St. San Diego, CA 92110

Sunday, May 29th, 1-3 PM: GUNNZO LA / Anime Jungle 3
319 E. 2nd St. #112 Los Angeles, CA 90012

Who: Everyone is welcome to join! Even beginner players who have never held a kendama can try! Hiromu Imada, a certified JKA Examiner will be visiting from Japan to share his love of Kendama. Hiromu has been to over 10 different countries spreading the love of Kendama! Invite your friends and family to meet a member of the Kendama community in Japan!

Why: To test your kendama skills, learn some new tricks, meet an awesome kendama player, and share the love of kendama!

Good luck practicing!

*Please note that due to construction on Juan St. parking is somewhat limited, and you may have to park at the bottom of our hill in the Old Town general parking lot (on the corner of Harney and Juan) and walk up.

The table for Kyu level(basic level skill) category
 Reps  Reps  Reps
Level Trick(s) Grip
10 Big Cup x 1 Sara
9 Big Cup x 2 Small Cup x 1 Sara (All)
8 Big Cup x 3 Small Cup x 2 Base Cup x 1 Sara (All)
7 Small Cup x 3 Base Cup x 2 Candlestick x 1 Sara, Sara, Candlestick
6 Base Cup x 3 Candlestick x 2 Pull-up Spike x 1 Sara, Candlestick, Ken
5 Candlestick x 3 Pull-up Spike x 2 Airplane x 1 Candlestick, Ken, Tama
4 Pull-Up Spike x 3 Airplane x 2 Swing Spike x 1 Ken, Tama, Ken
3 Airplane x 3 Swing Spike x 2 Around Japan x 1 Tama, Ken, Ken
2 Swing Spike x 3 Around Japan x 2 Around the World x 1 Ken, Ken, Ken
1 Around Japan x 3 Around the World x 2 Lighthouse x 1 Ken, Ken, Tama


Trick Grip Repetitions Attempts
Pull-Up Spike Ken 5 10
Airplane Tama 5 10
Swing Spike Ken 5 10
Base Cup, Spike Ken 4 10
Around Japan Ken 4 10
Around the World Ken 3 10
Lighthouse Tama 2 10
Slip-on Stick Ken 1 10
Moshikame Sara 100 1


New Sweets Homegrowns!

Let’s face it. Sweets Homegrown (HG) kendamas are some of the most premium quality kendamas made today. The sound, the feel, the balance, the look, the durability and even the packaging are all amazing aspects of this great product. They have come to be acknowledged by the kendama community as the epitome of a natural kendama. Even the painted series is amazingly constructed.

Now, with that being said, I’d like to announce that we are now carrying the newest line of HG’s! This new line brings with it all of the qualities of its predecessors, but in amazingly new colorways. This line revealed that the Tequila sunrises were not just a rare run of a widely-popular spectra-ply style.

This line includes, but is not limited to:

Harvest Moon Spectra-ply complete, KWC maple, and the Fire Opal Maple.

This is a whole new run that you won’t want to miss out on.


– Ryan C.


A photo posted by GUNNZO (@gunnzostore) on

Sweets F3 New Gloss Coat Formula

Hey everybody!

Today I’ll be reviewing the new Sweets F3 gloss coat formula that is used on the new product line of F3s (excluding the aTack F3 series).

First off, I’d like to discuss my first impression of it. Right out of the new and sleek packaging, the Solid F3 kendama was incredible- it had the perfect tack:gloss ratio. If there are any OG Mugen fans out there, I would like to start by saying that I have jammed at least three OG mugens: a broken in black, a broken in yellow, and Bonz Atron’s 8.5/10 Wine Mugen. With that being said, I personally think that the F3 gloss coat is the closest match to the sought-out OG Mugen gloss coat. In some ways, it may be even better. For balance tricks, it has just the right amount of slip to be able to fix the positioning of the ken/tama in your hand, yet it will lock into position like a dream without having to have a super sticky finish.

After playing with it for about a month now, the paint has remained intact and has not chipped more than a couple of millimeters from the circumference of the tama hole. This tama can take a beating.

Now to address the question many of you will have at this point- how does the paint/gloss coat feel after being broken in? To which I would respond by saying that although it wasn’t exactly like how it played directly out of the box (which most would see as common sense), it retained a great tack:gloss ratio and I had no problems with it.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I was much more than pleasantly surprised with how this new coat turned out. I have owned over 60 kendamas and played much more than 100 and I would definitely have to say that for their price point, the F3 Solid gloss coated series of kendama blows any kendama in it’s class out of the water.

How to String your Yo-Yo

Hey everybody,

For those of you who do not know how to string a yoyo, this is for you!

So, to start you’ll need a yoyo and a string. Some strings have an end with a loop already tied like the one we will be using here:


So now that we have all that you need, lets start by identifying the two different ends:

One will have the finger loop, and the other will just look like a twisted segment of string:


Now, with the top end (pictured above), go ahead and untwist a bit of it so that you can wedge your finger in between the twisted strands like so:


Now take two more fingers to help separate the loop a little bit more while untwisting the string more:


Take the bigger loop that you have created and pass one half of the yoyo through it:


Then, when the string has fully been passed over that half, let your fingers out and pull the opposite end of the string a bit to keep the tension so that it looks like this:


As you can see, there is still a little bit of space between where the string forks and the surface of the bearing. Hold up the yoyo by the string and spin it horizontally in the direction that your string twists:


Now return it to a resting position on whatever surface you are using. It should now look like this:


Notice that the fork of the yoyo string is now almost in contact with the bearing itself.

You’re ready to start yo-yoing! (throwing)

Yo-Yo used: YoYoFactory Titanium Dream

String used: XL Kitty String

YoDama Session Recap!

The first YoDama session in San Diego was a success! Lots of kendama players, yoyo players, and kendama/yoyo players came out to have fun and win some prizes!

Some examples of mini games played are 7-to-spike and a quick competition ladders game.

We’re looking to branch out even more and grow our new YoDama community by spreading the word – so bring your friends to the next one!

If you are new to either kendama or yoyo, there are many people that attend the session that are willing to help you out either by sharing some tips on a trick that you may be working on, or even teaching you something completely new!

We’ll see you at the next YoDama session!

New World Yo-Yo Contest Champion!

Yes, there is such thing as the World Yo-Yo Contest.

For many of us, we thought the only thing you could do with a yoyo is “Rock the Baby” or “Walk the Dog.”

On the contrary, the modern yo-yo is designed to maximize spin (sleep) time in order to bust out massive, amazing, and intricate tricks.

The World Yo-Yo Contest (WYYC) for 2015 has just ended and there is a new World Champ- Zach Gormley.

Sponsored by a very prestigious company, Zach was able to take the title of World Champ with a prototype of his newest signature yoyo, or “throw” as yo-yo players refer to them nowadays, and a complete and well-rounded arsenal of tricks.

Below is a link to a quality review of the tournament, as well as an interview of Gormley himself. Check it out!

WYYC 2015 Champion

GUNNZO YoDama Session at Heritage Park!

Hey everybody!

For the most part, yo-yo players and kendama players have been two separate communities with very little collaboration and cooperation. We would like to start joining both of the communities together for mutual benefit. There are many things that yo-yo players and kendama players can learn from each other.

For those of you who were not able to attend our first YoDama session that was held at our location in LA a couple of months ago, we will be having our first of many kendama AND yoyo sessions.


At Heritage park in Old Town, San Diego across from our store


Saturday, August 22nd from 10am to 1pm


YOU! Bring your friends and family. Oh, and bring an open mind for those of you who haven’t seen kendama/yoyo like this before! Our community is very nice and approachable so don’t be afraid to ask people to teach you new tricks for either yoyo/kendama.

We hope to see you all there!


GUNNZO is Now on Ask.FM! Visit

A photo posted by GUNNZO (@gunnzostore) on

Great news!  GUNNZO is now on under the profile gunnzostore .  So what does that mean exactly?  It means you can ask us anything you want and we’ll do our best to answer it (within reason of course).  Ask us about our products, kendama / yoyo preferences, plans for upcoming events, whatever!  We look forward to being able to connect with our customers, friends and followers!  Visit to start asking us questions.

Choosing Your First Yoyo


So you’re thinking of picking up a yoyo, but you’re not quite sure which one is right for you…  Choosing the right yoyo for your skill level and desired trick style can save a lot of time and frustration… not to mention money if you end up just wanting to get a different one.

Let me start off by briefly discussing the two main types of yoyo: Responsive and Unresponsive.

The more classic style of yoyo is referred to as Responsive.  This means the yoyo will return to your hand with a slight tug of the string after it’s been thrown.  Responsive yoyos are excellent for people who are picking up a yoyo for the first time, or for individuals who haven’t played yoyo in quite some time.  The most popular kinds of tricks that people do on a responsive yoyo are things like Walk the Dog, Around the World, Rock the Baby and looping tricks.

An Unresponsive yoyo means the yoyo will not return to your hand with a tug of the string.  Once thrown, the yoyo will continue to spin (sleep) indefinitely, until you perform what is called a “Bind Return”.  This is the more modern/popular style of yoyoing.  Essentially this unresponsiveness means you can do a whole lot more in terms of the kind of tricks you want to do without having to worry about the yoyo popping back up in the middle of a trick and possibly whacking you in the hand or something like that… (trust me, it’s no fun when that happens).  Learning the bind return definitely definitely takes some practice to get the hang of (like any skill toy), but in the long run it’ll pay off and you’ll be able to do some really cool stuff with your yoyo.  From my own personal experience and what I’ve observed, it takes anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days of just tinkering with the bind return to become proficient at it.

So which one should you choose?

To someone who has never thrown a yoyo before, or for younger children around 5+ years old, I’d recommend starting off with a good Responsive yoyo… something like the YoyoFactory “One” or YoyoFactory “DV888”.  The “One” is made of durable plastic in a variety of colors, medium sized for a comfortable fit in the hand, and is easy on the wallet in case you want to upgrade later on.  The DV888 is a solid aluminum yoyo for extra weight and superior spin times, also mid-sized (great for smaller hands), and although it’s a little higher in price, it can actually be upgraded to fully unresponsive with the addition of the YoyoFactory “Modern Play Upgrade Kit”.  This saves having to go out and buy another yoyo if you eventually want to learn Unresponsive play.

I’d say, if you’re familiar with the classic responsive style yoyo, but are interested in learning something new and are willing to stick with it, definitely give Unresponsive a shot.  It’s what has taken my interest in yoyoing to a whole new level, and there’s an endless amount of tricks you can practice and learn.  If I could recommend a great starter Unresponsive yoyo it would definitely have to be the YoyoFactory “Replay Pro”.  It’s a low cost durable plastic unresponsive yoyo with an “organic” shape, a larger diameter and a really cool look.  The price alone is convincing enough just to give it a try, but above all, it plays exceptionally well.  Of all the plastic yoyos I’ve played, I’d say it performs as well if not better than some of the more expensive metal rim-weighted plastic yoyos.