Kung fu master in Chennai area teaches silambam

By A Harsha Vardhan Published on Aug 02, 2018 11:27 AM IST

Chennai: If you happen to take your daily morning walk inside Anna Nagar Tower Park, in the city you would have noticed a group of people practising the ancient Tamil martial art of silambam for the last few weeks.

Curious to know more, ‘News Today’ team approached the group and found that they were being trained by 51-year-old martial art veteran P K Raja.

Talking to Raja, we were surprised to discover that he is also an acclaimed stunt master who has worked in 1,500 movies as on date (as a fighter, fight choreographer and stunt director) in all four south Indian languages.

Moreover, we learnt that Raja’s expertise in martial arts extends beyond silambam to other forms of self-defence techniques.

Raja says,“I know Kung Fu, Varmam, Vovinam, Wushu, gymnastics and Tai Chi, to name a few. In 2014, I was ranked 9th Dan in Kung Fu.”

Talking about his early years, Raja said,”It was unfortunate that I had to stop my education when I was just 13 years old. But, fortunately, I discovered Kung Fu and fighting at this point and learnt a lot by practising martial arts in Bangalore. In 1989, I came to Chennai and started teaching silambam and other martial arts at the Marina.”

Seeing Raja’s skills at the beach, a Kannada filmmaker gave him his first break as a fighter in a movie starring popular Karnataka hero Vishnuvardhan.

From a fighter, Raja has now progressed to become a stunt director and has even acted as a villain in a few movies. In 1989, he founded the Shaolin Buddha’s Kung-Fu school and Buddha Silambam Palli.

Raja’s interest in traditional Indian martial arts grew and he became an expert in por silambam, kuthuvarisai, vaalveechu, mankambu and surul.

He has given ‘long-lathi’ training to around 300 personnel of the Tamilnadu Police force in 1999 and martial arts training to army and military personnel at the Secretariat in 2001 and 2002.

Raja says,”Martial arts like silambattam and Kung Fu are not just self-defence techniques. They are a way of life. Kambu, manushanukku thembu.”

“It is important to learn a martial art and anyone can learn. We have men, women and transgenders learning self-defence at our academy and, I have students ranging from age 5 to 70 here. For children, martial arts will instil confidence in them and help them make their own decisions,”says Raja.

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Raja is the founder and residing chief instructor of 28-year-old Shaolin Buddha’s Kung-Fu school and Buddha Silambam Palli which is now spread all around Tamilnadu with 20 branches in Chennai alone.

When ‘News Today’ asked him what he was doing in Tower Park teaching silambam to morning walkers, Raja said,“I don’t want silambam restricted to training schools. I want the public to experience the sport. Money should not be a deterrent to learning martial arts. If someone asks me about fees in Tower Park, I simply tell them - modhalla suthunga, fees appuram paathukalam.”

In the locality, Raja teaches silambam and martial arts at Tower Park and inside Metrozone. You can reach him at 9444190457 / 9952925481.