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Just for KICKS!


INDEED HE is disciplined, focused and patient with an unrivalled poise. But when Akshay Kumar swears by God and attributes all these traits to his first love, for a moment he seems to be on a wife-pampering spree. No, he is not. He has not divorced his black belt in Karate. "Martial arts have changed my life and they can change yours as well," phrases Akshay, in New Delhi to promote Seven Deadly Arts With Akshay Kumar starting this Sunday on National Geographic Channel where the action hero will take viewers on a journey through seven martial arts, Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwando, Aikido, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Kalaripayattu.

"When I was nine-year-old, my father, a wrestler took me to a Karate school. I didn't find it interesting. But next day, I found a boy in the neighbourhood challenging nobody could better his flying kicks. I joined the school out of competition but soon realised the craft has more to it than becoming powerful," recalls Akshay.

"Through this series, I want to dispel the myths associated with the martial arts. More than arts for self-defence, they help in controlling the temper. In fact, this is the first lesson," adds he.



Akshay Kumar... Time to swing into action. — Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Rewinding his career, Akshay narrates when he was Rajeev Bhatia and was doing small jobs in Thailand. "For four-five years, I learnt Muoy Thai there. When I shifted base to Mumbai, I taught Karate and did small modelling assignments. Soon, through a model coordinator, I got the offer to act in Pramod Chakaravarty's Deedar and rest is history."

However, these days he is trying to be different. On screen he is walking away from his action image and off screen he is doing things as strange as designing jewellery. "Well, jewellery is my wife' s first love, so it is to impress her. There also I love simple designs. As for shedding action hero's image, I was fed up of the action tag. The shift started with Hera Pheri, Sangharsh and Dhadkan. I am particularly happy that audience accepted me in comedy roles." Certainly it has, and Khakee is the latest one. But known for his dare devil stunts, Akshay doesn't want to lose touch with action altogether. "I have decided to do an action film a year." One such, Madhur Bhandarkar's Aan: Men At Work is eagerly anticipated and Akshay describes it as a "fast-paced action flick on the working of police force" but quickly adds his next comedy act is Mujh Se Shaadi Karoge.

For future, Akshay plans to open an institute in Mumbai to train youngsters in martial arts. "I owe this much to the craft." At home, he finds Twinkle fit enough to teach him a kick or two but he will definitely train his son.

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