Mas­ter­ful Moves

Noida-based Shifu Kan­ishka Sharma, the ap­pointed head of Shaolin Tem­ple in In­dia, has been pop­u­lar­is­ing the Shaolin cul­ture in the coun­try with his mas­ter classes.

India Today - - FEATURE - By Ak­shita Khosla

Ever felt cap­ti­vated by Shah Rukh Khan’s dar­ing stunts in the movie Don 2 and won­dered if you could do them too? Head to Noida to train un­der the man who chore­ographed these fight se­quences. Meet Shifu Kan­ishka Sharma, the ap­pointed In­dia head of Shaolin Tem­ple by The Ven. Ab­bot Shi Yongxin (the cur­rent head of Shaolin Tem­ple in China), who has been pop­u­lar­is­ing the Shaolin cul­ture in the coun­try with his mas­ter classes. Sharma hap­pened to watch the movie The 36th Cham­ber of Shaolin at the age of six and went on to watch it over 300 times. He had no idea then that this would be the first source of in­spi­ra­tion for what would turn into his life’s pas­sion. Shifu Kan­ishka, as he is known to­day, trav­elled to the es­teemed Shaolin Tem­ple Sec­u­lar Dis­ci­pline Union in China in 2001, thus be­com­ing the first In­dian to train there. “The ex­ten­sive train­ing went on for six years be­fore I earned the ti­tle Shifu, which means mas­ter in Man­darin,” says the 39-year-old. With a back­ground in mar­tial arts for over 25 years, Sharma spe­cialises in Com­mando Close Quar­ter Com­bat, which teaches a prac­ti­tioner to knock out their op­po­nent in three sec­onds. Dis­cussing his self-de­fense mod­ule, which he has specif­i­cally de­signed for women, he says that em­pow­er­ing women is the need of the hour. “My woman em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme has no age limit. It in­tends to con­vert what­ever is avail­able into weapons. With ball pens, credit cards, pen drives and hair pins as im­pro­vised weapons, the tech­niques are ap­pli­ca­ble even when some­body is empty handed,” says Sharma.

The mas­ter had trained Anil Kapoor for the pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion se­ries 24 and Priyanka Cho­pra for Don 2. He says, “My con­nec­tion with Bol­ly­wood has helped spread the Shaolin cul­ture in the coun­try. Chil­dren blindly follow their favourite celebri­ties and of­ten come to me with queries,” he adds. As for Kung-Fu not be­ing at Olympic sport, a heart­ened Sharma says, “I am glad that it is not a sport. It is more of a per­son­al­ity de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme that makes you fear­less and con­fi­dent be­sides pol­ish­ing your ob­ser­va­tion skills.”

FACT FILE Where to go G-12, Sec­tor 27, Noida What to Learn Shaolin Kung Fu forms, Shaolin Kung Fu weapons, Shaolin Chin Na (joint lock­ing sys­tem) De­tails shaolinin­

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