Step 1: Create a questionnaire and put any five questions on it pertaining to martial arts.
Step 2: Take it with you and distribute it among real Martial Art fans, quizzing them about some signature moves, stunning martial art movies, amazing records and the likes.
Step 3: Ask your audience about their responses.
Step 4: Don’t be all that surprised to read the answers duly filled in. At least seven or eight respondents would mention the name of a certain Bruce Lee in your questionnaire. Yes, Bruce Lee, the very man who’d famously said, “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
But truth be told, if the martial arts legend were here amid us in all flesh, blood and glory, then noting the achievement of one of India’s most under-appreciated sons, he would have joined his hands in admiration.
Well, actually one could be compelled to imagine just that when noting of Vidyut Jamwal’s latest achievement. You saw Vidyut Jamwal kick butt in 2013’s Commando. You saw him back in 2011 against John Abraham where his tour-de-force action-packed, high-octane performance nearly ruptured John Abraham’s on-screen avatar in a movie aptly titled Force.
Imagine then, the intensity and powerful effort behind the scenes that would’ve led to such brutal action sequences. You’ve probably also seen Vidyut Jamwal on and off the television screen, giving interesting demos to a group of females, teaching them self-defence techniques.
But it’s somewhere sad and rather disenchanting that despite bagging a tremendous feat, now duly hailed around the world, there’s so little we’ve come to celebrate about Vidyut Jamwal.
The Mumbai-based actor and martial-arts expert recently bagged the prestigious merit when he was named among the top six martial artists in the world. You read that right.
For an actor who many might have trouble in spelling the surname of, it’s both rare and befitting that Vidyut Jamwal’s name is taken with a lot of pride all along the country today.
It’s not hard to understand why. In a country where the current campaign roots for women and girl safety, in particular, where chants and slogans of “Beti Bachao” are in full swing, it is but an urgent matter to teach women’s safety techniques and self-defence at a Pan-India level.
Since the past 5 years in counting, Vidyut Jamwal- whenever he found time from his shooting schedules- has been doing just that through passionate and informative martial arts-based self-defence training videos. The same has been shot with Vidyut performing the stunts himself and patiently explaining the same to curious onlookers and the girls in attendance.
It might even sound outrageous but a mere look and a few relooks at his hugely-passionate and informative self-defence videos suffice to learn some tricks in a handy and pocket-friendly manner, instead of going out there and buying the paraphernalia related to martial arts learning.
In light of his recent achievements, Bollywood took a note of Vidyut’s class act, when Shatrughan Sinha took to social media to take a moment to congratulate Vidyut for bringing such a distinct honour to India. At all this time, we remained glued to only admiring the work and dare if it might be said, the gloss and soapy cliched acts of other lame Bollywood storylines that are often as predictable as yet another Kohli masterstroke in international cricket.
You know what’s going to happen next; you know it’s around the corner!
For someone who may have been seen as a rather off-beat action-genre specialist, perhaps the tag of being one among the world’s only six best martial artists at present, there may not be a greater reward for perseverance and passion. Wondering why?
Even today, centuries after the birth of Kalaripayattu, the oldest-known form of martial arts that emanated from India, the world’s largest democracy continues to rue the birth and celebration of action movies. Of course, let’s not make any bones about the fact that only in an India would one have found nonsensical jokes regarding Bruce Lee, inarguably, the greatest of them all.
Here’s a small reference. A popular school-time joke that did the rounds was- Which musical instrument does Bruce Lee play? The answer and everyone derived senile pleasure in sharing, “Daphli.” Of course, it never became a matter of concern when other renowned martial artists turned actors such as Akshay Kumar preferred to completely copy the scintillating moves of Jean-Claude Van Damme as seen in the latter’s ebullient display in Hard Target, a poorly-shot and flimsy sequence of which was seen in Kumar’s comic-hit 2005’s Deewane Huye Pagal.
It, of course, didn’t matter one bit when Sanju Baba pulled off a stunning carbon copy act, yet again of Van Damme in the famous 90s epic Sadak, the sequence where he’s shown hanging from a cross, bearing carbon-copy image of Van Damme, who’d been hung in the similar position, of course, a few years ago, Sadak was even conceived in Cyborg.
For a truly imaginative country that is winning the attention of the world through the contemporary philosophy of Make in India, it was but little surprise to see Ajay Devgan do a complete Indianised-version of Bloodsport, an 80s martial arts cult in a film rather abruptly titled ‘Jigar.’
But honestly, neither should the actors nor the directors be blamed for they were only trying to courageously enter a trajectory whose true manifestation seems to have arrived in the rare peak of Vidyut Jamwal. The man recently directed caution and threw renewed focus on what lies beyond the swag and flair of martial arts.
Upon being bestowed with his remarkable distinction, Vidyut shared candidly, ” A great Martial Artist is one who takes time to read one’s opponent.”
Allying the soulful prose of a Jiddu Krishnamurthy with the tenaciousness of Lee, Vidyut’s time to take his own flight seems to have come. He’s way more than any epic action-adventure movie role or reality tv stunt, truth be told.
With those burly biceps and chiselled physique, Vidyut’s fast-breaking the established norms about action-movies being no-brainers and reiterating focus on where its due: on the painfully-correct regimen of building one’s body for one’s true well-being instead of flaunting it.
You also get a sense of purpose if you happen to follow some of Vidyut’s thoughts about the whole concept of fitness. Shrugging off baseless rumours that in order to “sculpt” one’s physique, it’s imperative to wake up at 4 or 6 a.m., the actor feels one can wake up at any time as long as he or she is interested in being disciplined and consistent with one’s training regimen.
Secondly, he’s also of the view that instead of being obsessed about abs, a factor that Bollywood has taken too seriously for its own good, the real focus lies in building traps, a newer challenge that most Mixed Martial Arts stars have already aced. It also seems refreshing to say the least that a lot about Vidyut Jamwal’s martial-arts regimen and practice concerns with being in nature and understanding the way of the wild.
The latter shouldn’t confuse you a bit. He’s just finished shooting for Junglee, a challenging one-of-a-kind role for the smiling man who’ll be seen playing a friend to elephants in his yet to be released flick. There’s a sense in what he suggests in regards to the body is capable of fully healing itself and that a lack of dependence of painkillers and related drugs and leave one in better chance and in a good stead.
A keen fan of the idea of taking fitness and martial arts training to schools and colleges, part of his heartening idea to transform fitness and increase the level of awareness among the young, he can easily do about 110 pushups in a single go. At present, Vidyut Jamwal needs to be congratulated and patted on his back for working wholeheartedly in his aim to take Kalaripayattu to a global stage.