Yellow Belt Grading with Dean Mayer


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I started Arakan 3 years ago after deciding that I needed fitness (was sick of the gym) and also wanted to learn to fight/defend myself, being a smaller bloke in the height category. So began my journey. The first year was a nice and slow understanding of the craft. I wanted to dedicate myself to turning up and creating a new routine and I didn’t want to do what most people do, go hard, feel like they have achieved something and then quit.

I was doing a private with Riley and then decided that it would be great to do a group class, so joined Jono’s level one I did. I started to become more martial and shifted my focus to becoming better every day. I felt like I was beginning to understand Arakan a wee bit more and was thrilled. I will never forget the feeling of being dropped in a class demo and knowing that this stuff works.

The next week at my level 2 lookup, I was welcomed with another reminder that Arakan works extremely well when I found myself pealing myself of the floor from another demo. Both of which were great learning moments. Then once I found out I was invited to do the Yellow Belt training I was excited to continue the journey of learning.

So we started our course in Broadbeach, and it was great to have the challenge of brain gymnastics. Knowing the strikes is one thing, being about to put them all together, judge distances, timings and multiple attackers is another kettle of fish. When I found out my date to grad was June 28th, I was a little nervous and realised I had an amount of work and dedication ahead of me.

After going through the course I was ready to start putting it together or rather, try to put it together. I have many a memory of doing the wrong call, linking the wrong step or loading the wrong side. But continue you must if you really want to learn. And so I did. I started getting closer to my grading date, I picked up a half hour lesson with Serpz, and did as much Arakan as I could. At the same time I was rehearsing for a show at the Gold Coast Art Centre that finished on June 24. I can certainly say I didn’t have much free time and my body was always recovering from one session or another. Although I didn’t have a choice, I was loving every moment. 10 days before my grading a close friend/mentor of mine passed away which doesn’t help your focus. I really had to leave my problems at the door before training and focus on the moment as each one happened.

The funeral happened, the show finished, and my grading day was upon me. I went up with Rob smiling and super excited. I felt ready and made sure to listen and live each moment. It was an intense session as it’s meant to be. I had to pull out the drive after I thought it was all gone so to speak. It wasn’t until the very end when I heard ‘That’s your grading” till it was done. I was perplexed as to whether or not I had passed until Josh said “Congratulations”. I went through a second of denial until I saw Rob’s face and then I was ecstatic! I passed the first step.

I am loving this lifelong connection Arakan has given me. I feel more in touch spiritually, physically and cognitively. I am hooked and love the family feel within the club. My personal thanks goes to Riley Delanoue, Nathan Hinga, Andrew Serpell, Scott Morisset, Ben Ho, Richy Burkett, Josh Oppatt and every instructor that has somehow contributed to my improvement. I also want to thank every other member I have trained with as without them I wouldn’t be able to improve. Thanks Rob for sharing Arakan. Now to be a beginner in the next step!

 




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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