Chris Walsh - Yellow Belt Grading Story

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Chris Walsh - Yellow Belt Grading Story

By Chris Walsh on June 5, 2018 in | comments

I started Arakan just interested in the discipline of keeping fit and learning this fantastic skill at the same time. This appealed to my rational mind and it made sense that this could actually be applied in a real life situation.

I have been training for over 5 years and like some students starting out I had to find a balance with regularity of training with cost and other commitments. What I didn’t expect was that as I trained but I became more empowered, decisive and a leader in my business.

Arakan, I came to realise, was the missing link. My professional progression was not just down to hard work and time I was putting in the office but the hard work and time in the park. This development meant that as my means increased I was able train more and ultimately reinvest back into myself by way of Arakan.

I was pretty oblivious to the grading system and told belts weren’t really a thing. I was just content in learning such a great art from my inspirational trainers Mark Boulton and Josh Cheeseman. Little did I know what I was being guided towards and before I knew it I was on the Yellow Belt Journey…

Once I started yellow seminars I was hooked. The intensity pushed me on so many levels, physically, mentally, emotionally as well as learning new aspects of the same techniques from Rob. It really ignited me to work towards something, not that it’s about getting the belt but it gave some drive and validation that I was progressing and developing into a better Arakan student now too.

I felt like I did everything I could in the lead up to the grading, it was a little rushed and I had little exposure to Rob but I was confident. I was there early and Rob came up to the gate, opened it and jokingly pronounced “I am the gate keeper”. Shortly after, it was on. Sure enough, not long after the gate was closed and my grading was stopped half way through. It felt a little unexpected but I trusted Rob's judgement that it was a really good lesson but not a grading. I was deflated but even more disappointed that I let my trainers down more than anything. I had failed at something I had worked so hard towards and it felt more personal than any other failure.

My second attempt, seeking redemption. This time it was different, still just as hard but I was more mentally prepared. A formality in the way of where I needed to be. I focused on my breathing and went hard call by call. It was a close one right at the end but it got done and what a relief.

This journey has been one of the most challenging but rewarding things I have ever done and this is just the beginning. They say this is where the real Arakan starts and under Josh Cheeseman's guidance along with many others I can’t wait for the years to come.

Chris Walsh, Student 5 years

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My son Deklan is a naturally kind and gentle boy, who as an only child has never had to endure the competition and ruff and tumble of other siblings. Reading how daunting and challenging schools can be these days I was very keen to get him involved in self defense but wasn’t sure what was going to be the best fit for him.

In a chance encounter at a community fate we saw the Arakan stand and after talking to the guys I was really impressed with how friendly the team was and how passionate they were to get Deklan into his first lesson. And here is the part that grabbed me the most, the training is done outdoors in parks and school grounds while wearing shirts and shorts and everyday shoes, now that’s real life training. We booked in straight away for our complimentary lesson and Deklan couldn’t wait to get started.

On the day of his first lesson Deklan was quite nervous but Ryan his instructor made him feel completely relaxed and the lesson was a great mix of training and learning through fun games. At the end of the lesson Deklan ran straight up to me and asked if he could do more training tomorrow and the next day, which was a sure sign he loved it. He has now been training for over 3 years and as much as Arakan is about learning self defense and getting fit I have seen Deklan grow in confidence, co-ordination, self respect and self belief. 

Deklan now jumps at every opportunity to do extra lessons and group training and he totally loves going to school holiday training days and he wears his Arakan uniform with absolute pride.

I can honestly say I have been totally impressed with how Arakan has taught him practical, useable skills in real life environments and we look forward to many more years involvement with the Arakan family.


Mark Sculley

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During this time of uncertainty, we would like to reassure all our current and future members that we are still providing Arakan Martial Art Training as usual. 
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At Arakan Martial Art, we specialise in Private Lessons which are conducted outside in the fresh air and are still allowed under government restrictions. Alternatively, if you would like to train but are unable to do so in person, we also have the option of online video lessons via Skype or other video streaming platforms.  READ MORE