Kazuyuki Yokoyama, a.k.a. “Kaz,” or “The Kazmanian Devil,” has been a staple at SPiN New York since the beginning. He can be found most Friday nights playing in the Dirty Dozen where he continues to entrench his reputation as the most freakish pro player to ever hit the circuit.
As a former No. 1 defensive player in both the U.S. and his native Japan, Kaz is known for his brilliant chop – a skill that lets him wear down his opponents while setting him up for devastating attacks.
His place in SPiN lore has been firmly cemented as one of the original 3 (along with Wally Green and Marty Reisman) who helped bring the underground ping pong movement from its grassroots beginnings as “Naked Ping Pong” into the spotlight as a network of global ping pong social clubs.
When and why did you start playing ping pong?
I started playing when I was 12 years old, because, well it’s fun. I was a really competitive kid – I wanted to compete in sports or music at the national level. The ping pong club in my junior high school was top 12 in Japan, but I wasn’t really interested in the sport until a few of my friends said they were going and I tagged along. And the rest, as they say here in America, is history.
What has ping pong taught you the most?
“Bushidou,” the Samurai way of life.
Where do you see ping pong going?
What do you love most about ping pong?
Anybody can play ping pong. No boundaries of race, age, gender, religion or countries in the world of ping pong.