Fights have been winning the hearts of one and all ever since the films started. Mass heroes who could fight always stood first in the film
industry and stayed longer at the top than real good actors. Mass following can be achieved only by
good fighting. Fighting is not that easy as it appears to be. Lot of risk and some times luck are
involved in fights.
When we see a hero perform an excellent fight, we whistle and clap in an exhibition of our appreciation of his performance. The feeling that the
good is winning over the evil elates our spirits. Not all heroes perform the fights themselves and face the risk factors. When a
hero takes risks and does the fights himself he wins the hearts of the audience.
To elevate the hero's image the fights are well planned. When the shots
are too risky, even the producers request the heroes not to do the fights, as a fracture to a hero would mean delay in the production and
loss to the tune of several lakhs of rupees. So most of the times the dupes take the risk and they are the real
dashing and daring heroes of a commercial film.
The dupes or the fighters are well trained and are very efficient. Think about the person who somersaults in the air and drops on a table
breaking it to pieces, when hit by the hero. What about the one that crashes into a wall and lands on the
other side of it breaking the
bricks, due to a single blow from the hero ? Have you ever observed the risk he is taking ?
The techniques have improved now. But in the good old days, things were very risky and difficult for the fighters.
We see the hero breaking the glass and landing into the villain's den quite often in the films. The fighters
generally do these jumps. In olden days glass like material made of sugar was not available down
south though it was used in Bombay films. Fighters used to dash through real glass, of course pre-cut
slightly with diamond to several small pieces so
that the glass would turn into pieces with the slightest impact. Even then, fighters who either jump or drive through the glass doors sustain
There are incidents where these fighters have been hospitalized for several days with glass pieces embedded in different parts of their
bodies. Fights using fire are the riskiest of all fights. Here also the dupes
and the fighters do the major work and take the major risk. Most of the times they sustain burn injuries.
They of course wear a fireproof costume inside the filmy dress which may offer protection to them
to an extent, but not ensure total safety. Hair, eyebrows, eyelashes of these
fighters are always burnt when they
act in such scenes. We see one of the villain's cronies burning. Highly inflammable rubber
solution is mixed skillfully and painted on the costumes of the fighter. The fight director and his team are always on the alert during
picturisation of such scenes. Assistants stand with water and water
soaked cloths around the shooting spot, ready to douse the fire should
it become out of control. Inspite of all these precautions, some times some thing goes wrong and the fighter sustains injuries. In the olden
days, these poor fighters did not have even the insurance cover. Though films are being made since 100 years, the fighters did not have the
insurance facility till few years ago. With changing times and changing tastes of the audience, several
skillful fighters are facing financial problems as their techniques are
deemed out dated.
There is this CHAKU MASTER (knife thrower). In those days, when throwing knives was the main attraction, Chaku Master was at his peak. He has
practiced for several years, various methods of throwing a knife and perfected the art. In those days most fighters used to practice knife
throwing. Stunt men like chaku master were behind all those wonders whether a hero or a villain performed with a knife. Guns, rifles and
revolvers have replaced the knifes and chakumaster's skill is no longer needed to the film industry. He is past his prime age, to learn some other technique for a living. Several skilled artistes like sword
fighters, spear throwers and horse riders are now suffering and starving. Neither the industry nor the stuntmen's union has offered any succor to
them. Those with special skills are doing the roles of stunt men in small scenes for lively hood and forgetting their skills which they have
have acquired through years of practice.