Abhimanyu Dassani and Vidyut Jammwal on taking up Mixed Martial Arts for their films
A Mixed Martial Arts novice Abhimanyu Dassani and a veteran Vidyut Jammwal talk about taking to the training format for their respective films
Touting his upcoming offering, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, as a tribute to the action stars of cinema, including Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Sammo Hung, Abhimanyu Dassani says the film is a reflection of his fitness journey. "I'm chubbier in the first half, and ripped by the climax. We shot it in continuity. From being an obese kid to achieving this level of fitness was unimaginable," says the newcomer.
For someone seeking a healthier lifestyle, Bhagyashree's son got more than he bargained for, with his debut vehicle, which demanded him to be fluent with his movements.
To look seamless when pulling off high-octane action in the film, Dassani was thrown into a vigorous training programme. How much, you ask? "I trained for nine hours a day, for nine to 12 months," he replies.
Dassani's days were divided into training for three specific programmes. "I commenced my day with three hours of martial arts training, in which I learnt eight forms of it. Later, I spent three hours learning primal combat under the guidance of Bikash Barua [MMA and fitness coach]. I learnt the basics of karate, taekwondo, jujutsu and jikone. Pure boxing training, with attention paid to technique, was also included in my routine."
As was demanded for the film, Dassani also endured lathi training and would wrap up his days with swimming 20 laps. As is common practice with every intense physical training programme, a conditioning component was introduced for the actor to maximise the benefits of the toil. "I began to spend a chunk of the day meditating and practising yoga. It helped me get the [gravitas] needed to ace the martial arts movements," he adds.
With more than 30 years of training in Kalaripayattu - a fitness format that he describes as the mother of all mixed martial arts - Vidyut Jammwal had once reportedly said that he finds it "funny" when actors of current times talk of learning the practice that takes years to master. Yet, when prodded upon for his own routine, he is selective with his words, choosing to describe his fitness regimen as one driven by skill practice only.
"My daily routine is non-disciplined. If I have decided to develop a skill, I will do it at any time that I see suitable. Discipline is not regimental. It's about finishing what one decides to do. My training depends on the skill I wish to achieve," says the actor, who apparently pulls off a "first-of-its-kind" action sequence in the upcoming film, Junglee.
Vidyut Jammwal. Pic/Instagram
"We could probably be the first film in the world doing this. We have executed animal movements in the film. If you can move like a monkey, squirrel, scorpion or horse, you can imbibe all their good qualities." The celebrated fitness format, Animal Flow, he says, is a mere "warm-up" in his practice. Born in a family that exposed him to the fitness format at the age of two, Jammwal says his training has been built by observing the follies in others. "As a Kalaripayattu exponent, one is expected to know all about the six different systems of the body. When I was learning [with weapons], nobody was monitoring me. It's the brain that monitors people. I started noticing people who were not fit, and started changing [the follies] in my diet and posture."
Dassani's fitness regime includes:
Parkour: A discipline developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment in the fastest way possible.
Karate: Now predominantly a striking art that includes punching, kicking, knee strikes and open-hand techniques.
Judo: Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to take down the opponent.
Kickboxing: A group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing.
Nunchucks: A traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope.
Taekwondo: A Korean martial art, characterised by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks.
Kendo: A traditional Japanese martial art, which descended from swordsmanship and uses bamboo swords and protective armour.
The food you love to eat on a cheat day?
Three cheese risotto and mint chocolate chip ice cream.
How often do you indulge in a cheat meal?
I try to maintain a balance in my meals but give into my cravings every now and then.
Is your cheat meal a single portion or do you indulge throughout the day?
It's usually one meal.
Do you alter your eating/training habits on the day you have a cheat meal?
If I want to compensate, then I limit my dinner to just a bowl of soup with a piece of protein-rich food.
In Aayush Sharma's fridge
Lots of fruit
Aparshakti Khurana's Gym playlist
Dilli De Sardarboys
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