Kunal Kapoor trains in Judo with Ninja family

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 in which he was seen in a never before avatar as an ancient warrior. Adapted from the Shakespearean classic Macbeth, the film Veeram’s soundtrack ‘We will rise’ has been nominated for the Original Song category at the 89th Academy Awards. The song finds its place in a list of 91 songs from eligible motion length pictures.

After a busy and fruitful 2016 winning accolades from audiences, fans and industry for his exceptional performance in his last film Dear Zindagi starring Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor recently took a much deserved break to the beautiful country Japan.

The actor- entrepreneur  has been juggling between his hectic schedules shooting for  Veeram and Raagdesh, to giving time for his crowd funding platform ‘Ketto’ to making time to learn new things.  A trained pilot, and rally car driver he is also known to be a tech geek and co- founded Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform called Ketto, which raises money for social and individual causes.  The actor’s urge to learn new things took him to Tokyo, where he trained in judo with a ninja family.

Kunal had to go through some heavy training for Veeram which is a tri-lingual ( Malyalam-Hindi-English) period drama . Besides putting on 12kgs, the actor also had to master  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, he remained commited to the art form and continued to train in Kalari and also added MMA to his repertoire.

A few months ago he came across an article about a family of Ninja warriors in Japan with 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 wanted 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.

. “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”

Kunal was spotted with a fan during the shoot of his new film Raagdesh in Dehradun.

Not only is he looking great, but also completely different from his last film Veeram.

He recently said he felt like a time traveller considering he is playing a 16th century warrior, a soldier from the 40’s and a millennial man! I think ‘timeless’ would be more appropriate