Chennai:C Lakshmipathi (32), roams in his two-wheeler all day, delivering food to various places. Just as you think that he is one among the run-of-the-mill delivery guys, his toned physique presents a different story.
A resident of Kannagi Nagar, Thoraipakkam, he teaches martial arts to young boys and girls.
Conducting classes on kung fu and silambam, Lakshmipathy is currently learning boxing, so that he can teach his students.
Those belonging to the age of 11 and above, are part of his classes. He has 32 students, of which 10 are girls.
‘Kannagi Nagar was earlier known for its notoriety. I wanted to distract the children from the negative aspects and utilise their energy for positivity and self-building,’ he says.
He also trains students of a primary school in the same neighbourhood, it is learnt.At the school, his students R Haritha and R Mukundan, both siblings, display few steps of silambam with ease. His classes help children of same ages come together and have fun before the actual sessions begin.
‘I am not strict with them. I want them to love it instead of being forced to learn. The martial art form is making them more disciplined and fit’, he says.
So how did he learn it?
‘My father had learnt kalari and encouraged me to pursue it. I found it similar to silambam and was drawn to it. Earlier, I took classes in Indira Nagar, Adyar, and in surrounding areas, but then I saw the children here and felt I needed to teach them first. I wanted to give them exposure and bring out their talents. I hope they make a name for themselves,’ he says, adding that three of his students have earned brown belts.
Soon, he plans to conduct sports events on a large scale for the young ones here, with a senior police official as the chief guest.