Babu Antony, who holds a Fifth Dan Black Belt, plans to extend online classes to India and across the globe.
As resources and activity centers across the world ramp up their models to accommodate a large number of kids who are now home bound, here is another fun and useful activity for kids to keep themselves active and entertained while the schools are shut.
Popular Malayalam film star Babu Antony, a well-known martial artist and trainer, has decided to take his classes online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought everyday life to a standstill in the United States and globally.
The Indian American actor, who has been practicing martial arts for 40 years, is a celebrated trainer and a Fifth Dan Black Belt holder in martial arts. Since 2015, he has been running the popular Babu Antony School of Martial Arts (Basoma), which teaches karate, thai chi and kung-fu.
Antony, who introduced many martial arts to the south Indian film industry, especially the Malayalam industry, has been trained in various martial arts, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), kung-fu, taikwando, aikido, jui jitsu, judo, kick boxing and western boxing, under some of the best Indian and international trainers.
The school’s morning and evening online tutorials would be open to not just the kids already enrolled in the academy but also to other interested children across America.
The star told the American Bazaar by phone from Houston that he would eventually expand the online classes for kids interested in learning martial arts and other physical training forms to outside of the United States, to train children in India and other parts of the world.
Antony began training in martial arts as a six-year-old in Kerala, where he started practicing kalaripayattu, an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in the southern state of Kerala.
After moving to Pune, in Maharashtra, to do his MBA at the Symbiosis International University, he continued to hone his skills there and trained under some of the city’s best-known masters. Eventually, he would branch into karate and other martial arts forms. For a while, he taught karate to missionaries in Pune.
Antony came to the United States and set up his academy to impart what he had learned over the years. “This period is an important time for kids to learn martial arts as it teaches holistic discipline,” the actor told the American Bazaar. “With many hours devoid of activity at home, it is important that kids burn out essential energy while learning a new form.”
Basoma’s online classes will be open for all age groups and would include various forms of training. The actor said the school also plans to include Bollywood fight training.
“Bollywood training in fight is unique as it is very different from what it appears,” said Antony. “You have to flex force, but not hurt your opponent. It teaches great discipline.”
Before settling in the United States and setting up a popular academy, Antony was known for playing lead roles in many Malayalam movies and other regional South Indian movies.
He made his film debut in 1986, with the legendary Malayalam filmmaker Bharathan’s Chilampu, where played the role of the main antagonist.
So far, Antony has acted in almost 200 films, playing the roles of protagonist, villain and action hero. His first Bollywood movie was Hatya, a blockbuster during the late ’80s, starring Govinda and Neelam. Since then, he has done a string of commendable films in Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu languages.
He has also starred in a lead role in a Hollywood movie, the martial arts and action film Bullets Blades and Blood, which is yet to be released.
Antony lives in Houston, with his wife, Evgeniya, who is a pianist, and their two sons, aged 14 and 9.