Martial arts practitioner and bodybuilder Abheesh’s videos, which are strikingly similar to Tovino’s superhero stunts from ‘Minnal Murali’, went viral online after the release of the film.

Abheesh breaking a helmet with the force of his wristPhotographer Rajeev Prasad
Features HUMAN INTEREST Friday, January 21, 2022 - 12:35

Minnal Murali’s Jaison, a fictional superhero, and 38-year-old Abheesh P Dominic, a native of Poonjar in Kerala’s Kottayam, have a lot in common. Both of them have the physical strength to single-handedly pull a bus. They can break bricks with the force of their wrists and stop a ceiling fan with their bare hands. However, what differentiates the two is that unlike Jaison, Abheesh does not rely on lightning to strike and miraculously gift him superhuman powers.

A bodybuilder and martial arts practitioner, Abheesh has been training meticulously for over two decades to gain the level of physical prowess that actor Tovino Thomas displays as homegrown superhero Jaison in his recent Malayalam outing Minnal Murali.

“I started learning Kalaripayattu at the age of 10 and Karate at the age of 15. While Kalaripayattu and Karate acted as the foundation, I’ve been self-training and working on strengthening different parts of my body,” Abheesh tells TNM. He adds that he also participated in athletics and javelin throw from the age of 13, although he couldn’t pursue them professionally.

From pulling a KSRTC bus for 50 metres with his teeth to breaking coconuts on his head, many of Abheesh’s videos are remarkably similar to some of the sequences from Minnal Murali. These videos have been circulated widely by social media users.

In fact, Abheesh even outshines Jaison in some stunts where he is seen shattering helmets with one blow of his hand and stopping a pedestal fan with his tongue. “I had posted my videos on WhatsApp and some of my friends helped me to edit these and make a mash-up with clips from Minnal Murali.”

 

 

Abheesh has been in the spotlight since the release of Basil Joseph directorial Minnal Murali in December 2021. But even before his videos were circulated on social media, he gained popularity through the records he set. He set the Guinness World Record in 2017 for smashing the most number of coconuts shells – 122 – under one minute using his hand. “The record was earlier held by Muhamed Kahrimanovic from Germany. I was interested in this especially since Kerala is known for coconuts but the record was not held by a Malayali and I was keen on changing that,” he shares.

His record video has garnered 93 million views on the Guinness World Records official Facebook page. After he set the record at Thrissur in 2017, he has appeared in a number of regional language television programmes. Interestingly, his videos have also been featured in international TV programmes. He was also roped in for a Redmi advertisement in 2021.

Although Abheesh has set similar records in the Arabian Book of World Records and the Limca Book of Records, he says that it is not fame or money that he is chasing. “From a very young age, I was completely motivated by the idea that when we set our mind and undertake the necessary training required with passion and grit, nothing is unattainable,” he fondly recalls.

In addition, Abheesh – who adheres to a strict fitness regime and maintains a diet of home-cooked meals that includes meat, eggs, vegetables and fish – believes that we don’t have to depend on protein supplements to strengthen ourselves. “Leading a disciplined life, choosing natural and healthy food, and staying away from alcohol are some of the important things that one has to watch out for when they are undergoing this kind of training,” he says.

What does the future hold for him? Abheesh, who is working as a physical trainer at the Amal Jyothi College of Engineering in Kanjirappally, says that he wants to spread awareness about the marvels the human body can perform when one puts the right amount of hard work and determination into their training. “I would like the younger generations to further excel in the field,” he quips.

As for his personal goals, Abheesh is currently training to pull a truck with his ear for a distance of 50 m. Training to set a second Guinness record for a different act is also underway, he says.

READ: Why the centuries-old martial art Kalaripayattu is still drawing followers  

ALSO READ: Kalaripayattu to Silambam,how ancient martial art forms have gone virtual

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