Its mostly the architecture, the food or the scenic locations that make people travel to a particular destination. But there is no bigger pull than the urge to learn something new. Kunal Kapoor has always been fascinated by martial arts. He was introduced to the art form at an early age, but over the last couple of years he lost touch with it. Untill Veeram happened.
Kunal had to go through some heavy training for this Malyalam-Hindi-English period drama that is high action. Besides putting on 12kgs of muscle, the actor also had to master his martial arts skills. During this training period Kunal connected with the art form that he loved as a child. And once this love was rekindled, there was no looking back. The shooting of Veeram got over but Kunal remained commited to the art form. He continued to train in Kalari and also added MMA to his repertoire. His fascination made him dig deeper. And about a few months ago he came across an article about a family of Ninja warriors in Japan that have a 400 year old history. The Jidaa School is one of the few ninjutsu dojos in Japan with strong family origins having served generations of emperors. After the release of Dear Zindagi and finishing his last schedule of Tigmanshu Dhulia's Raagdesh, Kunal headed to Tokyo for a holiday that had a learning agenda at its focus. 'I have always been a huge fan of Japanese culture, having grown up on Manga comics, their movies and food. I have been wanting to go there for a long time. When I found out about this family, my urge to go there grew all the more. And the moment I got a break from my schedule, I enrolled myself in the programme. While I was there, we worked on movement, weapons training and a meditative technique known as Ku.'
The training happened in a small dojo. And whats more intriguing is that Kunal didn't even get to see the face of his instructor. "Yup, he wore a mask all the time. If I meet him on the street, I wouldn't even recognize him" he laughs.
While his stay in Japan, Kunal also visited many monuments and eateries. The trip will remain etched forever in his memory. "The Japanese are such lovely people. So humble and disciplined. I am totally enamoured by their culture and would love to go back again and train"