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Martial Arts: Discover a New ‘Orient’ation of an Ancient Art.
 
Jump back, aerobics enthusiasts! Wait a minute, power-lifters! Step up the challenge,stair-climbers! There’s an ancient art finding new life in the fitness world that combines the best of cardiovascular and muscular conditioning. Dating back thousands of years back thousands of years to the Far East, the martial arts are making a comeback in today’s gyms as athletes and fitness enthusiasts look for new ways to tone their bodies while staying mentally challenged.


Shihan Aashish Kuki, is an internationally ranked 4th Dan black belt, World karate champion. He has been honoured with several national and international medals for his expertise in Martial Arts. Aashish was one of the first local fitness experts to stress the conditioning benefits of martial arts. Drawing on over 22 years of experience, he created, and taught in 1998, his " Kaerobics" class where men and women of all fitness levels, punched, bobbed and weaved to the beat of rock music. Now it is called "TAEBO".

When combined with a professionally designed weight training programme, martial arts is one of the most efficient ways to simultaneously build endurance and muscle tone. " Kicking is great for the large muscle groups of the legs, and punching quickly strengthens those upper body muscles in the back, shoulders , and chest," says Aashish. " Plus, you’re learning valuable self-defense and fighting skills."

Sports and fitness enthusiasts of all types are discovering the mind-body benefits of martial arts training. For the elders, Karate is a way to constantly challenge ones mind and body through friendly competition. " By getting involved with karate early, the young can learn the values of respect, integrity, and discipline that will remain with them throughout their lives. I can’t think of a better way to instill a sense of self-esteem and pride in a child," says Kuki.

Unlike many other fitness activities, no special equipment is needed to get started in Martial Arts. Beginners should wear loose clothing and may go barefooted or leave their shoes on. More advanced students may eventually purchase a uniform called a ‘gi’, martial arts shoes, protective gear for sparring, and any number of weapons that resemble those used in the Orient.

  • Exemplify a positive attitude
  • Possess the knowledge , skills and experience of a trained black belt
  • Most importantly, be able to coach and teach skills to a student

    Whatever reasons a person may have for studying a martial art, there are many benefits to be gained. Martial arts training can become an outlet for stress, a way to prevent boredom in your workout and a tool to develop mental awareness, self-esteem and discipline.

    Myths formed on Martial Arts

    Aashish dismantles the myth that Martial Arts is all about kicking, breaking boards and basically full of violence. He says " Martial Arts is not meant for fighting with others or showing off one’s strength outside with but basically to fight the battle going on inside oneself , to fight the ego". Certainly a revelation!

    Aashish Kuki’s ‘Kukikan’, yes that’s what he calls his counseling and training center caters to all those who want to ‘realize’ themselves. In today’s stress-filled and hectic world , the programs offers both a solace and relief to the mind and body. Kukikan means ‘the search within’. It helps a person become more aware of the ‘self’, thereby making him more calm and patient.

    Aashish is equally appreciative of other forms of fine arts like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odysee .....etc. "All these arts basically have their roots in ancient Indian tradition. All the mudras used come from the murtis (statutes) just like martial arts which also finds its roots in it. Hence even practicing one of these dance forms is extremely good for both the body and mind. Kuki also shares his views on the following....

    ....on smoking and drinking

    Kuki takes a slightly tangent view where addictions like smoking and drinking are concerned. He says " I don’t consider any addiction as bad. You live once so enjoy it! ...but that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard with any addiction. Control is essential. If your mind and body are constantly engaged in any productive activity, chances of the damage will be very minimal. However if the person is idle , doing nothing worthwhile, then ofcourse addiction can be disastrous.

    .....on food, diet and health capsules

    Another myth that Kuki shatters is regarding food. He says "Indian food is the best for our body constitution. It is wholesome and rich , suiting our taste buds. Health foods have been flooding the markets but their benefits are very limited. To stay healthy and fit, just stick to a pure and nutritious Indian diet."

    For all those who are overweight and been vigorously working out at gyms to reduce those extra callories, Kuki has a word of caution, " Don’t follow any exercise regime that you do not enjoy. Don’t punish yourself by going on a diet or eating capsules. They can have many damaging results. Physical activity must be enjoyable. Listen to what your body tells you and you will come to respect it more" he says.

    Shihan Aashish Kuki also specializes in personal fitness training and stress management counseling. He can be contacted at:

    759/49 Kalewar House, !st floor, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune-411004,
    Maharashtra, India
    Phone: 91-(0) 20 -5660101
    E-mail : kukikan@hotmail.com

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