Melissa Vay - Arakan Martial Art Instructor

Melissa Vay


Mel began her Arakan journey in 2015 searching for a practical self defence style that would be effective for a petite lady. She quickly feel in love with how confident and empowered Arakan made her feel and how incredibly effective it is for someone of a small stature to still be able to protect themselves against a physically larger and stronger opponent.

She was blown away how Arakan teaches women to defend themselves effectively, regardless of the size or shape of your opponent, through body weight, momentum, appropriate skills sets and techniques. She loves sharing this knowledge with her students and is passionate about empowering her students to learn fast and effective self defence skills.

Mel loves watching her students grow each week, in their confidence, gaining empowerment and learning practical self defence skills. She is a passionate and caring Instructor and also loves to train hard and is committed to her training and journey. Mel is open to learning and growing each lesson, both physically and mentally. She always gives 100% to her training and inspires her students to do the same.

Arakan has given Mel the confidence to hold herself through life, pursue her goals and provided her a with a career she loves. Mel believes that being an Instructor is a privilege and her caring and compassionate nature makes Mel approachable and likeable. She loves sharing Arakan with everyone she meets and shares her knowledge to her students. Mel believes her purpose is to empower her students to train hard as well develop inner strength and courage to grow and develop as a person to pursue life.

Mel's greatest Arakan achievement to date was achieving her Yellow Belt so that she could become a fully qualified female Instructor. Mel is the first female Instructor in Melbourne and is a great ambassador for all women in our Club.

When Mel is not training or teaching, she enjoys artistic pursuits such as painting and photography and spending quality time with her family and friends. She also enjoys spending time in nature and going for long hikes in the mountains.


In late January 2020 I had my first lesson one on one under a big tree in the gardens with trainer Melissa Vay.
Melissa is fearless, supportive and strong. She taught me how to tap into my internal focus and external strength Arakan way. I felt empowered!
I was about to turn 60 and I started to feel slower, weaker and more vulnerable. I wanted to strengthen myself and focus on the future.
I had always wanted to train in martial arts. I searched and found Arakan had body and mind techniques that I could learn and practice. Arakan is an amazing journey, you don't know what you will discover about yourself until you are put to the test. I have learned that it is better to be ready than to hide away from danger.



I started Arakan officially in January this year after being invited to bring a friend in November last year. Although I had started my fitness journey doing pilates and barre, I wanted to find something that pushed me further and took me out of my comfort zone. Something that would help me toughen up mentally and physically. My goals are to stop overthinking and to switch into beast mode as quickly as possible and also to be able to do pushups properly! My greatest achievement so far is that I see changes, although I am not the strongest or the fastest, I am still improving myself. My advice to new students is to keep showing up, don't overthink and just enjoy it because you'll meet a nicer, more dedicated group of instructors.

I cannot recommend Melissa enough, she always encourages me and pushes me to my limit. Being of a similar size and to see what she can achieve shows me it's possible with enough dedication and time. I look forward to each lesson and always come away with a smile on my face.

Ashleigh Fisher


I've been training Arakan for a year now, when i first started i wasn't sure what to expect, i was definitely out of my comfort zone that was for sure.... Little did i know i would fall in love with it, i love everything about Arakan. It has taught and given me confidence to believe in myself more, push pass what i think my limit is, strength, focus and my fitness with out a doubt has increased. Arakan has also given me the drive to want to do better, i love turning up to training knowing my instructor Mel is going to push me, it makes me always want to give everything i have. I have met some great people through Arakan, there's nothing better than having a laugh with the instructors and other students and continuing to train hard. 

Demi Lacey


Our child, Lucy has been attending Arakan martial arts class for over one year now. Our instructor Melissa is patient with children and know how to break the art down into elementary level and engage children to learn step by step. Our daughter really loves the class and is excited to continue. We are very pleased that she did not just become fitter but also gained confidence and focus through achieving her targets.  

Bohan Lin (Daughter, Lucy) 


My 3 children (ages 5, 7 and 9) have been attending group self-defence classes for the last 6 months with Mel. She is fantastic with kids and sets clear boundaries for the children to improve self-discipline, develop self-confidence, learn respect, and improve their fitness. Mel is friendly and has a great sense of humour. The kids always look forward to their class every week because it’s fun, interactive, and most importantly they feel safe in this positive environment. 
I have also been attending group classes as well as personal training with Mel. She is strong, encouraging, supportive, and inspiring. Not only am I learning the self-defence skills to protect myself, I also have a sense of accomplishment through hard work, dedication and perseverance and understanding the importance of making time to commit to these classes for myself. I have developed self-awareness and social awareness and at 40, I have noticed increase levels of strength and fitness which I am proud of and continuing to strive towards. I want to thank the team and Mel for the continued support and for being part of this journey with my family.

Nga Nguyen


I started Arakan in order to become a more assertive person and increase my confidence in all areas of my life including work relationships, public settings and friendships. The discipline and training of Arakan gave me exactly that and more. I have grown significantly more confident to speak up in the workplace, to stand up for myself and others in relationships and to feel safe and confident in all real-life public scenarios as well as improving my overall fitness. Learning practical self-defence and how to deal with grey-area scenarios has been especially rewarding as a young woman. Arakan is such a diverse martial art; it can adapt and apply to any challenge you may face. Another benefit of Arakan is that you don’t need to be muscular to be able to do this martial art. Arakan teaches you that fluidity of movement and understanding of body mechanics is much more important, making it a perfect discipline to learn for people of all ages and especially ladies. I cannot recommend this enough. 

Ryana Ishaq


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It all started four and a half years ago when I was an unfit father & husband with ongoing lower back issues and had done a couple of years of karate in my younger days but couldn’t stick with it because I found it a little boring to be honest. I have always wanted to get into some other self defence classes but never really got around to it, until one day I made my mind up there and then that I was going to join some form of martial art and it was only because one of my work mates had being training in Arakan and told me all about it so I tried it and have never looked back.

My Journey to my first yellow belt grading was tough mentally and physically as I am 43 years old now but also very rewarding, my state of mind has been to train 110% every lesson and to push myself to my limits and if you continually challenge yourself every day you naturally will get better.

The focus for me has being learning how to retrain the brain so when I train I can work on being present in the moment and try not to let the thinking process come into my head as that is what has been built up in there over the years so I found it very rewarding learning how to control the mind a lot better and once I could improve on that over the years, my Arakan skills got better and better.

The most pleasing thing about the art itself, in my opinion, is that it’s not just about the awesome self-defence skills you learn but the continual growth & learning as a human being in general life, as most of us when we hit that middle age we think we know it all but after training in Arakan for years now I have found myself at peace in life and that everything in life seems to be so much easier and positivity is highly contagious and the better version of yourself really rubs off on others around you.

Arakan, if you train hard, makes you rock hard fit, it empties your mind as you learn the art so you can better manage your life overall. Arakan is a street effective martial art so it is very practical and effective in these times and the self defence skills you learn are second to none, I can’t praise the art enough as now I have my two children also training in the art and it is giving them so much more confidence in life that they can achieve anything they put their mind two so thank you Rob and the entire Arakan family I look forward to many more years of training to come.

Lee Gaylard


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