From training Shah Rukh Khan in Don (2006) to helping Abhishek Bachchan deliver accurate ‘kali’ movements in Game (2011), martial arts expert Kanishka Sharma has now moved to training the army combat missions in Shaolin techniques of combat.
“I have been involved in training the missions in ‘pekiti tirsia kali’, which is a technique used to immobilise a person at close
quarters.For security reasons I can’t divulge any more details,” says Sharma, who is the only Indian to have ever been accepted as the
personal disciple of the head of Shaolin temple in China.From 2001 to 2007, the master has spent six months every year at the temple, learning and perfecting his skills.
Vow of celibacy
But acquiring this esteemed label wasn’t easy. Not only did he have to put himself through tough physical and mental challenges, but also had to live like a monk, “You have to pledge vows such as living in celibacy like any other monk.
We practiced for more than eight hours continuously, starting at 4 am,” says Sharma, who coached Priyanka Chopra to handle the ‘9-section whip chain’ for a fight sequence in Don. “She has an excellent memory, while Abhishek has a vast knowledge of guns, knives and grips. And Shah Rukh is very hardworking,” he adds.
Thirty-three year old Sharma, who has trained in seven forms of martial arts over the last 25 years, adds that with numerous martial arts schools in China promising to teach students Shaolin techniques, there isn’t a dearth of so-called Indian experts who claim to be Shaolin experts.
“It took me three years to get selected as a disciple. A lot of people who spend a few months learning in private schools claim they’ve been trained at Shaolin. These people are simply fooling others,” reveals Sharma.