When I graduated from college, I wanted to continue playing taiko and improve my skills. I always remembered talking to Kris at collegiate invitations. He was very friendly and generous with his knowledge, inviting anyone to come practice with him in Gardena/Torrance. I was lucky enough to move back to the area while Kris was planning his first Matsuri Battle, inviting anyone to practice with him. I decided to ask if he could help me develop a Matsuri Battle solo and he agreed!
The one thing I appreciate about Kris’s teaching style is his patience and willingness find the root of a problem or challenge. I would come to practice with ideas and he would help me translate them into hits and movements on the taiko. At the time, I really wanted to work on basics, my left handed stance and creating new movements to add to my repertoire. Kris helped me accomplish all those goals making sure I was ready for my first Matsuri Battle. I felt prepared going into one of my first solo performances as a taiko player. It was so much fun! I’ve also taken his teaching methods and applied it to my own practices, developing other solos on my own and with Kris’s help to participate in other Battles. It’s great being able to battle against and play with so many different taiko players. I’m sure the World Taiko Gathering Battle will be EPIC!