Renee has been training for over 6 years. She has been training hard for her Yellow Belt Grading, which she passed in earlier this year in July. Renee is a committed and dedicated student who is such a pleasure to teach. Renee’s courageous approach is an inspiration to us all.
In the story of our life it is said that everyone will have a chapter that they do not read aloud. In my experience is it this chapter that changes us without even realizing that it's happening. However, as with everything that happens in our lives, we can decide what type of change this unspoken chapter has on us. We can choose to let it bring us down and negatively affect the way we live or we can do the opposite, learn from it and allow this chapter to help us evolve into a stronger and better version of ourselves.
Four years ago I reached this very chapter. I was unsafe in my own home and the threats of violence being made towards me had started to be followed through with. After months of trying different methods to get help and support for this particular family member I was faced with a choice, continue down this path and be seriously injured or try something different. This is when Arakan Martial Art came into my life and changed it forever.
When I began training with Arakan Martial Art going through a grading process never even crossed my mind. However my instructors had other plans and two years into training I was given the opportunity to attend the Yellow Belt seminar with Chief Instructor Rob Kyaw. I remember being a nervous wreck, worried that I wouldn't know what I was doing or I'd get the drills wrong and petrified that I would end up embarrassing my instructors. What I wish I had of known at the time is how incredible the journey I was about to go on was going to be.
The seminar was amazing and I learnt so much, but it was the months after that taught me the most about myself and have changed me for the better. Preparing for my grading was one of the toughest things I have ever done both physically and emotionally. The lead up to grading forced me to deal with unresolved issues and emotions from my past and I have to say a huge thank you to my instructors Jonathan Hampson, Mark Boulton and Andrew Serpell who were so supportive and encouraging in every lesson. Even on the days were I was emotionally not with it and an absolute mess they pushed me to keep going, in the way only an Arakan Martial Arts instructor can.
The final two months leading up to my grading were the toughest and most rewarding weeks I have ever lived. My training intensified immensely and while I was still dealing with some of those trigger moments I was on an exciting path. By the time Monday 4th July came around I knew I had done absolutely everything in my power to prepare myself for this moment and I couldn't wait to get in there and train.
The grading itself was just … Wow! How does one even begin to describe the journey you go on in that hour and a half? It was tough, but it was worth it! My grading was one of the best things I have ever done for myself, and that moment of shock, relief and pure joy when I heard those words ‘that’s it you’ve passed’ are the best I’ve ever heard and felt. Thank you Rob for giving me such a wonderful experience and pushing me further than I ever thought I could go with my training.
Arakan is everything I didn't know I was looking for and continues to teach me not only lifesaving skills but life changing lessons. In the last four years I have become a happier, calmer and more grateful person. I have a lot more confidence and don’t doubt myself as much as I once did. For something that was only supposed to last 6 weeks I am so grateful that it has become a part of my daily lifestyle and I am so excited to see where the next part of my Arakan Martial Art journey takes me and the impact I know it will have on my life.