When he entered the industry, he knew two things - Punches and Kicking! Acting followed and though it took a few films for the industry (as well as himself) to realize his acting potential, it was Akshay's expertise in martial arts that kept the show running for him. The young man who flew from Chandni Chowk to Bangkok and landed in Mumbai, his initial films like Mr. Bond, Ashaant, Paandav, Kaayda Kanoon and many more ran in theaters solely on his action power!
Now close to 20 years after establishing himself in the industry, Akshay Kumar is all set to live his dream. He is now sponsoring a Karate Championship for the youngsters so that they can enhance their talent, represent the country and then move on to showcase their skills and abilities at an International level.
The championship has rightly been termed as 'Akshay Kumar 1st Invitational Open National Karate Championship'. The event is expected to see participation from as many as 2000 athletes who would be traveling to Mumbai from across the country. The Championships would be held from 22nd-25th October 2009 at Andheri Sports Complex Mumbai.
Says an official connected to the championship, "Akshay has always been passionate about Karate and is especially considerate about the fact that there is so much talent in the country that needs to be nurtured. He was particularly moved by the plight of some really talented athletes who could reach the highest level if given an opportunity but haven't been able to do so because of lack of funds. With this championship, he wishes to create a platform where young and budding talent from all over India would get together and get into a world class fighting event. This event will also promote Karate and Martial Arts to the remotest corners of the country."
The entire championship is a brain child of Shihan Mehul Vora, a martial arts practitioner for over 27 years and International teacher for 15 years. Incidentally, Akshay's son Aarav gets trained on martial arts at Vora's class.
"I still remember Akshay coming to my Karate Class to watch Aarav train. Whenever he would see a child in need, he would ask me if he/she child would need a sponsorship", says Vora, "When I would tell him that there were so many out there who couldn't afford going to a Karate tournament due to lack of funds, he would always encourage me to think around how this situation could be bettered and he would extend any help that I would ask."
This is when Vora decided to bring up the topic of the championship. "I shared the idea of championship with him and he was immediately on board", Vora gets nostalgic here, "The idea of Akshay Kumar Invitational Open National Karate Championship was born there and then. The students who would be coming for this championship won't have to worry about the cost implications since Akshay would be bearing it all."
While bouts would be held from age groups as young as 6 years in all weight categories for men as well as women, it is also expected that some of the biggest names in Indian Karate would be taking part in this championship. Also, there would be a team of world class referees, judges and coaches along with international grandmasters and observers from Japan, Holland and Italy joining in.