Oliver Christopher, a Martial Arts expert from Gujarat and a student of Grand Master William Cheung (close friend of Bruce Lee), is in city to impart training in ‘Wing Chun Kung Fu’ (karate, kick-boxing) style and also self-defence for students at No. 40, 2nd Cross, Gayatripuram 2nd Stage, near PF Office from 6 to 8 am/pm till Oct. 24. He will be visiting Australia in January to learn one of the famous styles ‘Kung Fu Wing Chun’, which was popularised by Bruce Lee.Even today, actor and martial arts expert Bruce Lee is a global phenomenon and an inspiration for martial arts experts around the world. One among them is Oliver Christopher, hailing from Baroda in Gujarat.Like most boys, Christopher too went to see Bruce Lee’s hit movie Dragon in 1976 with his friends and started dreaming of becoming a martial arts expert. He turned his dream into reality when he was seven years old by practicing Karate six hours a day without any formal training.Christopher, who is a Black Belt 4th DAAN, was equally good in his studies. He has done his BE in Mechanical Engineering. With his dedication and hard work, he has won many State, National and International awards. Now he is a Karate, Kung-fu, kick boxing, martial arts, Kobudo expert.Christopher's first guru was Bipin Rathod. After some time, he started training under Rumi Mathew, a purple belt-holder and was a student of R.V.T. Mani who is believed to have introduced martial arts to India. Under Rumi’s guidance, Christopher won the Gujarat Grand Karate Championship for three successive years from 1988. He is also Va-dodara’s fir-st national Karate champion holder and he was only 17 then.Christopher has won the gold medal in All India Open Martial Arts Championship (full contact category) at Pune (1988) and at Bangalore (1994) and entered the arena in the same year.He has also bagged the gold medal in international kick-boxing championship at the Iran-India Goodwill Tournament held in 1997 at Baroda in which there were about 50 competitors, 30 of them being black belts from Iran."Due to some family problem I took a break for six years. But Bruce Lee’s poster, hung in my room, kept inspiring me to kick away my troubles and I continued practicing at home regularly," he added. "Martial arts should be made compulsory for children in schools as it is very useful for self-defence and it improves concentration and induces self-discipline," says Christopher who is concerned about the dire need of self-defence in today’s world of extreme stress and violence.Christopher added that these arts are not only meant for defence but they also help people to handle themselves in different situations. This strong man with a soft heart says he can’t see anyone in pain including animals. Christopher has trained more than 5,000 students and has given special training to Gujarat Police and Western Railways staff. He got the chance when Superintendent of Police K.S. Das decided to give martial arts training to cops. He has also trained IPS officers at National Police Academy in Hyderabad. Christopher hopes to win the world title and if given a chance, he is ready to act in movies as a stunt master. He may be contacted over Mobile: 093762-47989.
[October 20, 2009]