Just for kicks

INDEED, HE is disciplined, focused and patient with an unrivalled poise. 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, hinting at his Seven Deadly Arts With Akshay Kumar which started recently on the 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 years 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 self-defence, they help in ontrolling temper. In fact, this is the first lesson," he adds.

These days, Akshay 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."

But, Akshay doesn't want to lose touch with action altogether. "I have decided to do an action film a year." One such flick in the offing is Madhur Bhandarkar's Aan: Men At Work.

The actor also plans to open an institute in Mumbai to train youngsters in martial arts.

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