Born to a Pehalwan and Ustaad of the Kushti Akhara who retired from the Gun Carriage Factory, Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj over the last year has created a wave in the online world, with his aggressive videos and his army look-alike uniform.
An expert in various combat techniques and inventor of MITTI (Soil) Swadeshi Customized System of Situation Reaction Tactics, he has trained multiple divisions of the armed forces, and is one of the most respected trainers today in India.
In the last few months, he has been accused of numerous crimes and slammed by anti-nationalist media. He has been accused for being a fake, donning a military look-alike dress and being abusive towards critics of India’s sovereignty, integrity and its armed forces. However, Shifuji never stated that he is an army officer, nor has he claimed to be recruited or held any post in the armed forces.
In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz, he spoke about his life and more…
There are various martial arts experts across the country, but what do you think has enabled you to stand out as one of the best commando trainers in India?
I am known for my desigiri. People misunderstand martial arts with the one we see or get trained for. However, real martial arts come from the culture and it is named as Kalaripayattu. It is considered to be one of the oldest surviving fighting systems still in existence in the world. I worship this art as it is something I do it for my country.
How important is it to treat martial arts as a sport?
The term martial arts is derived from Latin, and means “arts of Mars”. The art by the warrior. I feel sad that there are a lot of sports, but the oldest form of martial arts Kalaripayattu is still missing from the Olympics games. I respect all form of arts, but this should be given a place in sports.
You have trained various Bollywood actors and you were also part of the movie Baaghi as well. Can you tell us about the experience?
I am fortunate enough that I got to train a lot of people in Bollywood. The best people I have worked with are Rohit Shetty, Suneil Shetty, Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Tiger Shroff, Athiya and Ahaan Shetty. I have taught them and even learnt a lot from them. In Baaghi, Tiger considered me as his master. I taught him fusion martial art and it was a challenge for me too. I feel Tiger is a weapon and he is an inspiration for millions.
How has your journey been so far?
I have had tough times. I have washed cars, been a paperwala and earned money. Be at whatever position I am today, my parents have taught me to be humble.
Who has been your biggest support?
My Maa and Babuji have been my backbone. They have not given me luxurious facilities to learn the proper values in life. They have taught me to respect things in life. I give the credit to my family for my success in life.
Why the name Master Shifu?
I got this name from Guru Mahakaal Baba. Shifu came from a Chinese name. So basically, Shi – is the origin of Mahakaal Stotram, Veer Bhadhra and Kaal Bhadhra. Fu – wooden feet (Paadukaayein) Ji -Seed.
You are a digital star… Web as a medium today is empowering or intimidating… given the rise of fake news and trolling?
Trolling is a normal thing now-a-days. However, I feel ‘burai wahi karte hai, jo barabari nai kar sakte’. People who have 5 followers do such things. But I take all this very positively.
What do you have to say about allegations of you not being an army person at all? How do you deal with criticism?
It’s a long story, but I have never been behind the bars. The allegations which were put on me are all cleared. I have respected the constitution and been there whenever called for clarification. The fake people who put all the allegations were proved wrong and proper actions were taken by the officers. I am a free man now.
Final words for your fans???
I would say, be what you are and never change your goals. Be good citizens of India. Respect our constitution and people. Be thankful for everything.