Where do I start about being the Chief Instructors student. Well I was trying my hardest to dodge writing this, because writing is definitely not my thing, but I know the Arakan way is; even if we don't like it, we still get it done. That’s the Warrior Way. So here I go; let me tell you a little story…
When I was 15, I turned up after school one day to play basketball. Little did I know there would be no basketball that day as one of my brother’s friends had seen Rob teaching someone at the school and asked him what they were doing. He said 'its called Arakan, a Burmese martial art.'
Rob told him to get some friends together and he would show us what he teaches.
So we pretty much got smacked around and we all started as a little group class.
I remember at our second lesson, Rob kicked our ball away. He intended for us to get our shit together as it was training time. Some of the boys quickly dropped out. Some were always stoned and dropped out later. Rob was definitely on a mission to share Arakan with everyone. Back then there were no cool t-shirts, just tough lessons.
I was playing rep basketball at the time and was pretty fit. I think Rob worked me harder because of that. It definitely wasn't easy, but very rewarding and helped me on so many levels. He didn't talk to me much but at end of he would have a little chat. I remember he had an old Red Ford Laser and long hair haha.
Soon it was just my brother and I training on Saturday morning’s and Rob was still only charging me the group price of $6 for a private lesson. My brother never showed up, even though he always said he would be there. Rob became very busy and said he wasn't going teach us anymore; I think it was because we always go into fights and he thought we would seriously hurt someone, so his older brother taught us for a while.
When I was 19 years old, I came back to the Gold Coast from working commercial fishing in the Gulf (top of Australia). I really missed training and practised every day whilst I was there. I called Rob when I returned and he was so happy to hear from me. He now had other instructors teaching Arakan so I started with one of them.
It was probably another 5 years before I was able to get Rob to teach me again. By this stage I was now teaching Arakan. Rob lives and breathes what he does. I’m sure I probably frustrated the hell out of him over the years.
I have never been one to follow the rules, but he has always backed me and believed in me; knowing my heart was in the right place and I would always get the job done.
My biggest privilege is helping Rob teach his two boys from 2 ½ years of age. They are such amazing, humble and confident kids.
I have a relationship with Rob like no one else on this planet. He is my teacher, my friend, my mentor, my boss and the one that challenges me to be more and have more. Also, the one that punches me in the face (and Serpz haha ) Every time I see him, he always asks me about Armi (my 4 year old son).
This is my 14th year of teaching and life is amazing. I honestly have the best students on the Gold Coast and in Sydney. I live on the Gold Coast and live Wednesday to Friday in Sydney, where Jayson (Osborne) and I manage the Sydney region. Being the Chief Instructors private student is truly amazing; I learn so much about the art, directly from his family’s blood line.
Those that knew me as a messed up kid know how far I have come and this is only the beginning! Arakan has made me live life at my potential; humble, fierce, happy and proud. With my goals written down and the strongest belief in what I do; success is my only option. I feel I am truly living my purpose and I am here to share Arakan Martial Art with the world. I am excited for my students and those I haven’t met yet, to see and feel what I get from training every day! I am so grateful to have such a hard working, amazing leader, who trains harder than anyone I know and always leads by example.