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Tour of ‘nam


One of the sports I was interested in shooting at the Asian Indoor Games was vovinam, a high-flying Vietnamese martial art. Saw some fun videos online while doing research.

Unfortunately, the schedule for the Games seemed always in flux. Both the performance and competitive finals of vovinam ended unexpectedly early, while I was still in Hanoi.

Fortunately, vovinam could still be had. Nhat pointed me towards a Saigon fitness center, which I visited on my last night in Vietnam.


With nasty, rush hour traffic, I arrived later than I’d have liked. Turned out, I was early for the start of vovinam class.

Several martial arts classes were happening that night. Kids were playing volleyball on the surface which would later host taekwondo. Indoors, inside one large sauna, vovinam students warmed up on a large padded surface.




The class was fine but slow. I became drawn to the taekwondo students out on the volleyball court. A few minutes later, I found the real vovinam, advanced students doing various, insane somersaults. Fun to watch, fun to shoot.

The flood lights added a certain feel to the scene, which I loved. However, some of the high-flying stunts didn’t quite come together as images, for me at least. Next time I’m in town, I’m going back for more.


I stuck around just long enough to make a couple photos I liked. Then I split to meet up for dinner & laughter with Kevin & Thuy-Doan & 2 of their hilarious Indian friends. Great times all around.

Thanks guys for the friendship and place to crash. Glad you had a chance to see me on this short tour of duty.


  • Chris Pietsch - November 13, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    Happy Birthday, just a little late ;-) Nice additions to the World of Wacky Sports body of work.



  • Sol - November 15, 2009 - 7:55 am

    Thanks, buddy. And you hit my BD right on time. I’m catching up on you and Wayne.


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