Saturday, December 18, 2010

India has a Human "Monkey King" (video)

(NTDTV) Jyoti Raju has an unusual set of skills to entertain visitors at the Chitradurga Fort in India's southern state of Karnataka. His ability to jump from one rock to another and to scale walls or any man-made height without any aid has earned him the title "Monkey King."

His swift, smooth, efficient, and direct moves resemble those in Parkour ["PK" or "FreeRunning," Wisdom Quarterly's favorite dis-organized sport], a mixture of acrobatics, sports, and martial arts that is quickly catching on with youngsters in Western countries:

Twenty-three-year-old Raju started practicing this new form of acrobatic art only four years ago. He was facing a major turning point in his life and was contemplating jumping off a cliff. But rather than committing suicide, he was inspired by the relative ease and physical strength of the monkeys. Now Raju has mastered his craft by studying his favorite animals. The kinship he has developed with the creatures in the Chitradurga Fort area has earned him the new name of "Kothi Raju."

[Jyoti Raju:] "In Chitradurga they call me Kothi Raju in Karnataka, meaning 'Monkey King' in English and Bandar Raja in Hindi. I got this name when I started imitating maneuvers of monkeys while jumping and climbing up trees and walls."

He now wants to popularize his art among kids and is looking for help from the government or individuals.

[Jyoti Raju:] "I want to start a mobile van club to give practice to children and thereby highlight the name of my country in this genre of adventure. I am looking for support to fulfill this task."

When he's not watching monkeys, Raju invents new stunts and maneuvers by watching the movie "Spider Man."

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