The Pain of the Disco Ninja

| November 8, 2002

The Pain of the Disco Ninja, Matt Palmquist, San Francisco Weekly
When you hear the phrase 'hacky sack,' does the image of stoned hippies sloppily kicking a ball around come to mind? Or do you think of the highly competitive sport of footbagging, where contestants perform sequences of gravity-defying moves like the 'Paradox Blender' and 'Shooting Torque,' keeping a sack airborne in routines set to music? Though footbagging remains rather obscure, its participants bring to it an unparalleled devotion, sometimes crippling their bodies in pursuit of footbagging perfection. Such is the case with Tuan Vu, a world-renowned competitor known as the 'Disco Ninja' of footbagging. Though Vu is plagued by repetitive injuries of his knees and ankles, he's still seeking to win the one title that has eluded him--the world singles footbag champion. Despite now needing a cane to reach the competition floor, Vu says, 'When you're competing...when you nail a trick, and you're looking at the bag and a dexterity goes around...there's nothing in the world like it.'
--Erica Sagrans
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