Published: 13th January 2021
Here's how this Tamil movie actor and his students achieved multiple Guinness World Records
The folks at Gokulnath Unique Talent Academy managed to achieve 16 Guinness World Records amongst themselves. We find out how they did it
Guinness World Records has over the years become a benchmark for one to prove their unique talent. While some of these records are plain bizarre, there are others that are truly remarkable. And it becomes more remarkable when children achieve them. Well, the students at Gokulnath Unique Talent Academy are truly of the latter bunch. Among them they have achieved 10 world records (you read that right) over the last year, taking the total tally of the academy to 16. But what is so special about them, you may ask? These kids achieved the feat performing gravity-defying and mind-bending activities. From gymnastics to hula hoop to martial arts forms like silambam, these kids are definitely unique and talented.
Led by their mentor and founder of the Academy, Gokulnath, who himself achieved four of these 16 world records, these students trained at home during the lockdown to achieve this feat. "The academy had to be shut during the lockdown and we didn't have much to do. This was shortly after a new branch of the academy was opened. At that point, I was thinking about what I can do to make a difference. After consulting a few peers and friends, I decided to apply for the Guinness World Records," says Gokulnath. Soon, his students followed suit and enrolled themselves to officially become the best in the world at their chosen form.
Gokulnath set a record in nose hooping | Pic: K Gokulnath
All the students who set a world record are aged between 9 and 12, says Gokulnath. "Kids below the age of 16 can only attempt to set records in the one-minute category. Our students attained records for performing the most number of spins with a hula hoop in a minute. Vainavi Saravanan, one of our students achieved the record by performing the most number of spins around the knee. Other students who set records were Sajan Gokul, Andriya Varghese, M Sakthipoorani, Monisha V, Jessica J, AS Ishwarya, Lakshitha Rajesh, Divina Smrithi, SD Divakar, Garima Pansari and S Rianna Andrea," says Gokulnath.
The students trained over video calls and perfected their art over a period of three months. "The process is lengthy. We could only send videos from June and then the results were declared between November and December. Our latest record was announced in January, where a trainer of the academy set a record using a silambam stick," says Gokulnath.
The latest record was set with a bo staff, which is used in silambam | Pic: K Gokulnath
Flow art also comes with major physical benefits. Speaking about those, Gokulnath states, "Juggling improves hand-eye coordination and concentration, by activating both halves of the brain. Poi spinning, another type of flow art, improves motor skills. Silambam strengthens the upper body. At our academy, we focus on developing a student's flexibility and strengthen before they take up a flow art form."
Gokulnath Unique Talent Academy, founded in 2018, specialises in teaching students flow art, which include activities like hula hoop, miming, aerial yoga, juggling and gymnastics. The institute also specialises in teaching students dance and acting. "I have been an actor and worked in several Tamil movies and TV shows. But flow art has always been my passion and I would always explore it during my travels, whenever I visited a new country. I wanted to teach kids about this form and the talent academy is my way of doing that," says Gokulnath. "Whatever you see at a circus is taught at the academy. The 60 students of the academy attend two-hour classes twice a week.