Matt Nix, a.k.a. Kendamatty
Matt is no longer living in Limmerik, but in Spain.
I started playing Kendama in late 2007 when I first started University. My new friend Tim had been to a rollerblading event called Winterclash earlier that year, and he got speaking to some of the guys that had been on tour in Japan some weeks before about a funny little cup and ball game, so he decided to get one.
Since he brought it back, I was hooked, and decided to purchase my first kendama from Kendama-World (based in the UK). I was obsessed, constantly challenging myself with basic cupping tricks, rare spikes, and the infamous “side catch”(later I learned it was called a bird). My neighbour Rich was always a good kendama buddy during my time at University.
My kendama knowledge was scarce at the time, so I was figuring it out as I went along from the little manuals in the packages, until I saw a guy called on Youtube called Etoc who really inspired me that kendama could be really stylish. And then some talented guy called Colin Sander came along with his edit one, and since then I was always trying to chase his tricks from his series of videos (tama tricks at that time were seemingly impossible for me, so I was in complete awe).
I kept playing, and started then releasing the odd youtube video (you will see that my first video did not have the craziest tricks by a long shot, but I just wanted to film SOMETHING). When Jeffrey Van Reeven came out with his Dutchkendama videos, that is when my progression for harder and harder tricks came about in what I can only try to describe as an arms race of technical tricks, always trying to outdo each other (to this day, Jeffrey is still my favourite player).
Then I started being involved more in the British Kendama scene, going to every event I could which was generously hosted by Void – this guy has been great and very supportive since day one (a true veteran of kendama). The events have been a great opportunity to meet all of my youtube heroes old and new, and a great place to meet like minded people who share the same passion about a strange little wooden toy as me.
I have recently moved to Ireland to start my Masters at Limerick University, of course with my hefty kendama and supportive girlfriend in tact. The collection was a burden to carry (weighing over 15 KGs), but I’m glad it came as it is the perfect selection of toys on a rainy day (and over here, there are a lot of these days!)
Before it was an arms race, but now it is just a fantastic little toy which I try to introduce to lots of people to have a little mess around with – great time-waster/ice-breaker/friendship-maker.