Kendama as physical therapy story.

Hi folks. I wanted to share a story of something that happened on Saturday.

A friend of ours, Chris, was in a bad accident many years ago. He fractured his skull and was in a prolonged coma. He’s now paralyzed on his right side. He can walk with a leg brace but his right arm hangs limp at his side.

It was his birthday this weekend and we had a party at our house. Some of us were playing Kendama and I said “Chris, I bet you can do this with your good arm.” I know he can’t do yoyo because he can’t wind it up. But Kendama is possible.

We worked on his grip and I showed him how to use his knees. He has moderate movement in his right leg still so he could bend both his knees. After about 15 tries he landed the ball in the big cup!

I should add that although he’s in his 30’s he’s mentally at about a 12 to 14 year old range. Some times it’s better, sometimes he seems even younger. But this time there was nothing but joy in his face. He went on to land the big cup 4 more times in about 10 tries.

I asked him if he wanted to try the end cup? He wanted to try it so we worked on Big Cup to End Cup and after a lot of work he landed it twice.

By that time he needed to rest because his knees and back were getting tired. But wow, that was some great hand eye coordination exercise as well as the physical exercise for his core and his knees.

It was just great to see the smile on his face when he landed the trick. And who knows, if we get him his own Kendama then maybe it will help him be more active and do more body movement. He certainly seemed to enjoy it on Saturday.


This needs more praise than it got. It’s awesome that he accomplished what he did. Get a dama in this mans hands. Strengthing the mind and body in any state is important. cant wait to hear of any progress in the future.

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I love to hear stories like this! Thanks for posting, and keep us informed on his progress, please. :slight_smile:

Thats awesome! ThAt feeling of getting it is like a drug. Sometimes its the best one. :slight_smile:

Quick follow up: Chris and his family came up for dinner on Sunday. I ended up giving him one of my Kendamas so he could practice at home. My step daughter is his care giver so we went over how he should use his knees and core to move the tama instead of swinging it with his arm. After several tries he landed a big cup catch again.

It may be a small amount of body movement but I really think that anything that gets him off of the couch and moving is a good thing. If we can make any part of physical therapy fun for him then that’s a win.

This is such an awesome story and outcome.

Thank you for sharing this inspirational story