India’s Shaolin Gurukul & Its Kung Fu Master | 101 Subway | 101India

Meet Shifu Kanishka Sharma: the first Indian to ever train at the Shaolin Temple.

Watching ‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’ changed Kanishka Sharma’s life. Introduced to the film by his driver, he was so awestruck by the film that he decided to learn the martial arts himself. Starting at the young age of 6, Kanishka has been practicing martial arts for 31 years now, mastering 7 different forms of combat.

Starting with Karate, Kanishka went on to learn Kung Fu and Kerala’s Kalaripayattu, followed by the Northern Pai Shaolin style, and the Southern Shaolin style called the 18 Hands of Lohan. He is the first Indian to ever train at the Shaolin Temple, and is now a certified Master himself. Granted the title of Shifu (Master), he has been blessed with the Buddhist name ‘Shi Yan You’, which means ‘perfect’, in recognition of his skills.

Eager to impart his knowledge to others, Shifu Kanishka returned to India to set up his own martial arts training camp near Nainital. Following the gurukul system, students must hike up to the school, where they undergo a rigourous training ritual. Shifu Kanishka wants his students to learn martial arts the right way, not the sports version of it that so many teach. His students come to him as much to learn combat as to learn the Shaolin way of life.

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