Fit For Life

Vispi Kharadi’s jour­ney from a banker to a mar­tial artist

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - there is no rocket sci­ence to it. I eat clean and healthy food, eat at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals, work out in the gym and prac­tice mar­tial arts reg­u­larly. My mo­ti­va­tion is that I want to be fit in my 70s and 80s. But a healthy mind is also very im­por­tant be­cause

Four times Guin­ness World Record holder in mar­tial arts feats, Vispy Kharadi is the first Asian to hold the max­i­mum Guin­ness World Records. Cur­rently, a full-time fit­ness and mar­tial arts tu­tor, Vispy is also a sports nu­tri­tion­ist and strength trainer. He has also been im­part­ing train­ing to the Su­rat po­lice since the last five years and con­ducts selfde­fense camps for women across Gu­jarat, free of cost un­der the ban­ner of ‘Su­rak­sha Setu’ for the Gu­jarat Govern­ment. He also runs Ak­shay Ku­mar’s self-de­fense academy for women in Su­rat and has been part of his movie ‘Brothers’. Along with that, he has also acted and trained (in stunts) the star cast of the movie ‘Naam Sha­bana’, and im­parts VVIP pro­tec­tion to em­i­nent people across the city. Ex­cerpts from our in­ter­view…

How does it feel to be a four­time Guin­ness World Record holder? I al­ways wanted to rep­re­sent In­dia in a sport but couldn’t do it. Be­ing a Guin­ness record holder is def­i­nitely a mat­ter of pride but the num­ber of records is only for self­ac­com­plish­ment. It helps me ex­pand my own lim­i­ta­tions and dis­cover new strengths.

What in­spired you to pur­sue mar­tial arts? My dad was a wrestler; I grew up see­ing him work out ev­ery sin­gle day and I liked when ev­ery­one used to ap­pre­ci­ate his physique and per­son­al­ity. He made me watch movies so that I get in­spired by char­ac­ters played by Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, Sly Stal­lone, Van Damme, Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan. All these movies had a great im­pact on my mind since child­hood. I liked ac­tion, karate or kick box­ing movies but there was a myth those days that a body­builder can­not move fast and a mar­tial artist can­not have a good physique. I wanted to bridge the gap and be a mar­tial artist but with a good physique.

From bank­ing to chore­ograph­ing and act­ing, your jour­ney has been an ad­ven­ture. De­scribe a mo­ment dur­ing this time you will never for­get. Be­ing born in a Parsi fam­ily, the fo­cus was al­ways on ed­u­ca­tion but since school days, I was known by most as a sports­man and mar­tial artist. I did my MBA in mar­ket­ing from Gu­jarat Uni­ver­sity and spe­cial­ized in Port­fo­lio Man­age­ment from IIM, Ban­ga­lore. I worked in cor­po­rates and my ma­jor ten­ure was with Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank for 10 years. Along­side my job, I prac­ticed and trained people in mar­tial arts and strength train­ing. I en­joyed this part though and al­ways thought of what could be done to help people live a healthy life. Then, in 2015, I de­cided to con­vert my pas­sion into my pro­fes­sion. I left my job and started a small class where I taught kids KUDO (a Japanese mix mar­tial arts) and also started train­ing my clients in strength and weight train­ing. I’m still do­ing the same but now I have mul­ti­ple classes and have my own fit­ness cen­tre in Mum­bai named ‘Ath­let­ica.’

How did you come up with the idea of start­ing selfde­fense classes for women? This idea was put in me by my Sir, Me­hul Vora, who hap­pens to run a self-de­fense academy in Mum­bai with sup­port from Ak­shay Ku­mar and Aa­ditya Thack­eray. Since the past eight years, we have been teach­ing self-de­fense to women for free.

How was your ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with ac­tors like Ak­shay Ku­mar and Tapsee Pannu? Ak­shay Sir was, again, a big in­spi­ra­tion for me and I will al­ways cher­ish my days of work­ing with him. His punc­tu­al­ity, de­vo­tion to­wards fit­ness, hu­mil­ity and vi­brancy on the sets was closely ex­pe­ri­enced by me and it touched me deeply. Work­ing with Tapsee Pannu was fun too. I had to train her for the shoot of the ti­tle song; she got hurt many times but she was very re­silient and fo­cused on what the di­rec­tor wanted.

What was it like to per­form on an in­ter­na­tional stage of ‘Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent’? We were very ex­cited to re­ceive a mail from AGT about the au­di­tions as this was one more plat­form to show­case our (my team) ef­forts - we were the first In­di­ans to be on that stage. Our stunt was risky as we played with Japanese Katana; un­for­tu­nately, there was blood shed and the judges felt it was very risky to al­low us to per­form in the next rounds. But for the first time, we all got a stand­ing ova­tion from one per­son, Mr Si­mon, who sel­dom ap­pre­ci­ates. So that was our win. Even af­ter the show, when we came out of the stu­dio, people were stand­ing out­side in a queue to ap­pre­ci­ate us, which was an over­whelm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

What is your per­sonal fit­ness rou­tine and mantra? My fit­ness rou­tine is pretty con­sis­tent since years now and fol­low these five mantras in my life: l Love your­self. l Be happy in the present. l Work hard. l Think and talk pos­i­tive. l Who do you want to be? Ask this question to your­self ev­ery day.

There was a myth those days that a body­builder can­not move fast and a mar­tial artist can­not have a good physique. I wanted to bridge the gap and be a mar­tial artist but with a good physique.

Ak­shay Sir was, again, a big in­spi­ra­tion for me and I will al­ways cher­ish my days of work­ing with him. His punc­tu­al­ity, de­vo­tion to­wards fit­ness, hu­mil­ity and vi­brancy on the sets was closely ex­pe­ri­enced by me and it touched me deeply.

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