The Templar of Shaolin
By Ayesha Singh
Published: 13th Apr 2014 08:45:11 AM
Kanishka Sharma, 37, Martial Arts Guru
His heart is in Delhi though his art is from China. He has imparted Shaolin Kung Fu action to actors like Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Shah Rukh Khan and Boman Irani for Don, and has also worked with Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan and others. Shaolin warrior Kanishka Sharma was inspired by the words of his father, who said as he lay dying of cancer, “make your passion your profession.” After bagging a gold medal in MBA—another wish of Dad’s—he quit his corporate job and moved to China to study Shaolin—the first Indian to learn Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple. After extensive training, he travelled all over the world promoting the Shaolin culture of Chan, Wu and Yi (Chan Buddhism, Martial Arts and Shaolin medicine). His Miyagi is his driver Suraj, who was a Kung Fu movie addict, regaling his employer with scenes from Drunken Master and 36 Chambers of Shaolin. “I spent most afternoons hitting my desi punching bag; a jute bag filled with sand and sawdust,” laughs Sharma. He also learnt Kung Fu Toa and Kalaripayattu. In the early days, money was a problem. He would return to Delhi as soon as funds ran out to give kids Kung Fu classes and then go back to China to resume studying Shaolin. “Delhi has been very supportive as it made me realise that many youngsters have a passion for martial arts. I am glad I can and give something back to the city that’s given me so much,” says Sharma, who loves Delhi’s open spaces and food, but dislikes the increasing violence against women. “I recently started an urban street survival self defence programme for women and only wish that they would take self defence more seriously,” he says.
Best Chinese restaurant in city: The Chinese in Connaught Place
Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan: Bruce Lee as he is a real fighter while Jackie Chan is a good stuntsman who earlier was a Chinese opera dancer
The most dangerous moment: Fighting five people with a plastered leg. These men hit my car and came to fight with me, not knowing they were about to face hell. They were all hospitalised and I was taken to the police station
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