Matthew Smulders - Arakan Martial Art Instructor

Matthew Smulders


I have been training in Martial Arts almost my entire life, and started Arakan in 2018 after moving to Melbourne. I originally began my training for strength and fitness, but found my true motivation to learn self defence when a family member got attacked on the street a month into my Arakan journey.

Since then I have learnt to strike with speed and power, but also to remain fluid and adaptable as well. I am constantly striving to better my skills and technique so that I can share it with the rest of Melbourne.

When I am not teaching or training I find myself at the beach, skateboarding, or spending time with the people that mean the most to me.

I truly believe self defence is a necessary life skill worth investing in. Arakan has shown me not only how to defend myself in a bad scenario, but also how to defuse it safely, or avoid it entirely. And that, along with the discipline, strength and confidence you will find in your training, is why I'm so passionate about teaching as many people as I can.

Student Testimonials

I have been doing Arakan Martial Art for the past one month for self defence training. I find it very practical when it comes to self defence. From day one Matthew Smulders, my trainer would have us do at least one street scenario where I apply whatever I learnt in the lesson. In the last lesson he taught me how to deal with collar grab. First we practiced the movement, then we practiced the scenario. What I like about training with Matt is that he adjusts the training intensity based on how much I have absorbed the lesson, helps me make the small adjustments and then ramps up the intensity. And he is a super nice guy to talk to. I always feel heard and enjoy these lessons a lot.

If you are in Melbourne, I highly recommend training with him.

Humzah Al Kindi


Book a complimentary intro lesson with Matthew Smulders

*Limited places available, subject to instructor availability.

I originally started training in Arakan Martial Art as a form of self defence when there was a rise in attacks on women on the Gold Coast. 
Being a small lady (all of 45kg), I knew that I would be an easy target for uncomfortable or life threatening attacks so I decided to take action and learn a form of martial art / self defence.
It has not been a year yet in my Arakan journey, but looking back I have never regretted the choice I made to learn this life changing skill. An added bonus is also becoming fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been before. I am much fitter physically and mentally than I could ever be, and this is just the start (still an Arakan baby), looking at life in a more positive way.

I highly recommend all women to learn self defence. From a woman’s point of view, it is a rewarding and empowering feeling to be able to be in control and take control of an uncomfortable or life threatening situation through the skill of martial arts / self defence

Saroeun Grantham


Watch how Arakan has changed the lives of our students

Being in the Moment
Contrary to what many people think, a long term disciplined practice in martial arts can help you become more tolerant, calm and peaceful, rather than aggressive. 
Many people avoid training in a martial art because they’re “not a violent person”,  in fact, it’s a misconception that martial arts equates to violence.  This misconception actually robs people of a martial arts journey as well as the massive array of benefits that form part of that journey.

Time - the key to success

In todays’ society we expect so much so quickly. There is always so much pressure on ourselves and people around us to gain immediate results, no matter what the venture maybe. 

Our concept of time has changed dramatically; I often hear comments such as, “I have been training for so long now, it’s been almost three years,” and “I have given myself three months to see if my new business can make big profits,” and “it’s time to find a new job, I have been in this same job for two years, it’s been too long.”

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers states that it takes 10,000 hours for someone to master a topic...