Starting to write this article I asked myself do I include all the interesting events, ups and down I’ve endured along my Arakan journey hmmm….. yes. Just like training there will always be peaks and troughs and times where lessons are harder than others and times where the planets align and everything seems to fall into place. Whether its physical, mental or emotional Arakan has always taught me and given me the strength to battle through any situation. On the flip side of this Arakan is the place where I have had the best times of my life and met my best friends, amazing training partners and my partner and mother of my child. On top of this I’ve had such an incredible, patient and understanding mentor and instructor Rob Kyaw to guide me along the way.
I still remember my first lesson 16 years ago at Palm Beach soccer oval. I was training Jeet Koon Do and Muay Thai which I had only been doing for six months and one of my friends said I should come along and check it out so he organized a lesson for me. A guy jumped out of his car walked over and said hi I’m from Arakan hit me half dozen times in a second. I had no idea what had just happened but I knew it was extremely effective and I said sign me up! A short time later I was training a couple times a week privates and groups and practicing as much as I could with my friend who got me started.
Before this I had studied natural medicine and at this time I was cooking in a café which I enjoyed but the more I trained the more I was enjoying the rewards that training brings. My passion for Arakan continued to grow stronger with time and a few years later I was asking my instructor “How do I become an instructor??” He said it’s a very tough process and I believed him but I guess I didn’t understand how much I needed to grow to before I was ready to fill these shoes. Hot tip for anyone wanting to become a Arakan Instructor maybe don’t sink a golf buggy to the bottom of a lake on an Arakan golf day. I still remember the look Rob gave me…….unforgettable haha.
I was stubborn, determined and still wanted to teach and a few years later I had made it to an interview with Rob. It all seemed to go well and as I walked out of the office in Miami Rob ran out and stopped me. He’d just received a call from a lawyer in the club who trained saying someone wanted to press charges from an incident that had occurred so Rob recommended I get this sorted before heading down the instructor path.
After the minor setbacks 4.5 years later I had another interview with Rob and Christina and was accepted to become an Arakan instructor. This was just beginning of a path where I would learn so much about myself and others.
Since becoming an instructor I’ve met so many different people and watching the benefits people get from training and how they transform is the biggest reward you can ever get.
To Rob and the guys I train with we have shared lessons and moments you just don’t get whilst living everyday life. I cant thank you all enough. I’m sure you’d all agree that whilst you are sweating and getting pushed beyond your physical, mental and emotional limits you really get to see and learn so many things about yourself and others.
Through teaching I can honestly say all my students feel like such good friends to me and every day I wake up I’m so grateful I get to share it with them. Whether is be a strong young guy wanting to learn how to fight or a lady wanting to learn self defence the dynamic of teaching has never left me bored or unfulfilled. I genuinely love pushing people beyond their comfort zone and have so much fun doing it haha.
Seeing my amazing partner train with my child by her side or under one arm and hitting pads with other ladies makes me so proud of her she is incredible. Max gets to hang out with the other instructors and students’ kids and I cant wait for the day they are all training together.
Today I go and train with a super talented bunch of guys where every lesson is like an advanced seminar and the techniques we do are mind blowing. I then fly to Melbourne where I have the opportunity of sharing a small bit of what Rob has created on the Gold Coast in Melbourne in hope to replicate the amazing culture and art down there. I’ve enjoyed so many challenges and I have had so many great moments with so many amazing people every day I can’t imagine doing anything else. Looking forward and excited to what the future holds with training, teaching, family and friends.