Interview with India's best commando trainer: "Treat martial art as a sport only"
Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj talks about his passion for commando training and much more in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
He is considered the country’s best commando trainer and one of the best in the world – well trained in Marmah & Varam Kalaripayattu and various deadliest martial art forms, Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj needs no introduction in the Indian commandos and martial art circles.
For someone, who has trained special armed force commando units of various security forces including the elite special forces, Grandmaster Shifuji has now moved on to mentoring the instructors of commandos after having trained commandos over the years.
Grandmaster Shifuji talks about his passion for commando training and much more in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
Here are the excerpts:
Q There are various martial arts experts across the country but what do you think has enabled you to stand out as one of the best commando trainers in India?
To be honest, I have never considered myself to be one of the best commanders – I am a simple patriot – I am a born soldier and like to do my bit for the country through my sessions. I agree that there may be people who are better than me but one thing that has enabled me to gain recognition as a commando trainer is my patriotism and customisation.
Q Can you tell us a bit about a close quarter battle (CQB) and unarmed combat lessons you impart?
Well, I think unarmed combats are old and obsolete. I focus more on lethal customised close quarter battle (LCCQB), where you are hemmed in by three or four gun-carrying terrorists. You can’t use martial arts to get rid of them – you have to use your commando training skills with presence of mind and snatch the weapon of your enemies and kill then and there. In contemporary times, unarmed combat has little relevance when dealing with armed miscreants.
Q You have been training commandos of Indian security forces for many years and then you shifted to training or mentoring the instructors of commandos.
I have been training commandos of various security forces for 20 years now. I now focus more mentoring the NCO, JCO instructors of our commandos – something I have been doing for the last 11 years. The speciality about my training is that I don’t just yell out instructions but also train with them. You have to lead from the front when you conduct a training session and I always train with whoever I’m training.
Q Enlighten us about your Mission Prahar program?
The Mission Prahar program is one of my success stories I have trained more than 37 lakh women across the country in my own invented methods of situation reaction tactics , survival tactics and anti-rape tactics etc. As you know, I train people free of cost and have till date not charge a penny from anyone, for me it is worship not a business.
Q How important it is to treat martial arts as a sport?
Martial art is a sport only and it should be treated as one. This art should not be used to mess around with anyone. In fact, there is a wrong notion that martial arts are good for streetfights. I don’t agree to this line of thought – all you need to overcome a streetfight is courage, endurance and presence of mind.
Q Martial art sports like judo and taekwondo are Olympic sports disciplines but there are many like karate, kung-fu, wushu and kalarippayattu who are yet to become an Olympic sport. Do you think multiple associations for these various sports are a big hindrance?
I think what is important is to respect each other’s art. Until that respect creeps into our system, I don’t think any of these sports should become an Olympic sport. Look judo belongs to Japan, wushu and kung-fu belong to China, taekwondo belongs to Korea and kalaripayattu is the pride of India.I will be happy to see kalaripayattu become an Olympic sport one day but first of all, we all need to have equal respect for various martial arts.
Q You have trained various Bollywood actors well. Can you throw some light on them?
I have trained many Bollywood actors over the years. They are legends but yes I shared my little micro knowledge with them yes I have trained ‘God of Action’ Rohit Shetty, Ajay Devgan, Vidyut Jamwal, John Abraham, Kajol, Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor among many others. They are all very good fitness-wise. As for who is the fittest in Bollywood, I must say that Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty are the fittest. Akshay taken fitness levels to a new high and even Sunil Shetty – he is 54 but is so fit. Salman Khan is also fit as a fiddle.
Q It is learnt that you are making your Bollywood debut in the coming months & you are the action mentor and designer as well?
Yes, I do & I’m making my Bollywood debut in the upcoming Tiger Shroff-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Baaghi, which is slated for 29th April release. As for my role in the film, I don’t wish to say anything about it.