Yugen models his practices on the poi spinning of New Zealand's Maori people, which involves spinning weights at different rhythms and with different effects, some glowing or on fire. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

It was a gray Sunday morning in the Mission, with overcast weather and light sprinkles keeping most people at bay. There were, however, a few interesting sights on the street.

A good number of street vendors were peddling their wares at different corners, many with boxes and boxes of vinyl records, hard to sell in this era of digital music. Others sold vintage clothes and decorations, which might find a better audience in the hipsters walking along Valencia.

A long line of cars was parked in the center lane outside Mission Pool and Playground, for the soccer game going on there, I thought at first, before being informed that the rules of parking are relaxed for the Sunday morning church crowd. Not sure how police ensure that the cars really do belong to church-goers, and why this center lane parking relaxation doesn’t apply for non-religious events, but alas.

And on 21st near Bartlett, a man named Yugen was practicing swinging his “single nunchucks,” which he said he invented because regular nunchucks are illegal in California, a “stupid law.” Because they’re his own invention, he says he needs to come up with a way to practice with them, and has modeled his techniques off of the Maori art of poi, which involves swinging weights on tethers, some glowing or even on fire.

Other than that, things were quite calm. No sirens, no fighting, no yelling, just a quiet, gray Sunday morning in the Mission.

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