Action hero Vidyut Jammwal, with his imposing presence and deft Kalaripayattu moves, is the perfect dojo master as he welcomes 16 contestants for the test to choose India’s Ultimate -Warrior. The tone is set for an exciting clutter-breaking series, where the toughest engage in a physical and mental challenge like no other, where the viewer is hooked right from the start.
In the third episode, we look forward to superstar Akshay Kumar paying a visit to take the action a notch higher and introduce some exciting twists and turns with wildcard entries and surprise eliminations. It will also be a treat to watch two of Bollywood’s biggest action stars, Jammwal and Kumar, share the stage together.
The picturesque surroundings add to the viewing experience as the action takes place in a sprawling 50-acre Fight Camp, home to the Empower Camp Lake. Set in the foothills of the Western Ghats with mountains in the backdrop, there is nothing to distract the 16 men and women as they battle it out for the championship. As the mentors and Dojo Master Jammwal himself maintain, it’s all about control, focus, balance, determination and courage. India’s Ultimate Warrior scores for this reason as it values control to rise in the ranks, which is impressive for a show that is ostensibly about displaying physical prowess.
As mentor ‘Killer’ Bi Ngyuyen, MMA and Mury Thai champion remarks, “Show me your skill, not your aggression.” Shaun Kober, among the world’s strength and conditioning coaches, reiterates, “What I look forward to in a warrior is the ability to control their output.” Meanwhile, Mykel Hawke, special forces combat veteran and survival expert, states, “The biggest thing I’m looking for is, do they have the ability to stay calm and in control?” And as Shaolin warrior and mentor Shifu Kanishka puts it, “A warrior knows the hell he can let loose, so he chooses the path of peace and respect.”
During the show, Jammwal is joined by four mentors who are experts in a range of mixed martial arts, combat and survival skills. They each mentor a team of 4 students as they are put through intense training and a series of gruelling challenges building to a finale where one is crowned ‘India’s Ultimate Warrior’.
The tasks, though physically demanding such as the Forward Facing Rappel, which requires one to climb down a mountain slope, are also about conquering one’s fear. As a viewer, you find yourself rooting for them with each new task, whether it’s Shock Knife, Iron Palm (Water Slapping) or Murder Ball, willing them to push their limits further, even as the action keeps you on the edge and eventually, addicted to the show.
In the weeks ahead, as the episodes drop on Discovery Plus app and discovery channel, it will be interesting to see the journey of each individual contestant and the bonds they form with each other. Our favourite moment was when mentor Shifu took aside his teammate to understand the root of her aggression. As she opened up to him about growing up with an abusive father, which pushed her to build her physical strength as she could not protect her mother as a child, it was impressive to see the mentor act as a stabilising influence to channel her aggression. We are sure there will be many more such heartfelt exchanges during the course of the show.
Don’t miss watching India’s Ultimate Warrior for its unique blend of sportsmanship, courage and dedication. Join the homegrown warriors on their journey and prepare to enjoy the rollercoaster ride!