What is Arakan Martial Art?

What is Arakan Martial Art?


Arakan Martial Art® is a derivative of a traditional martial art called ‘Burmese Thaing’. This ancient form was one of the few arts practised for generations by tribes in the Arakan region of Myanmar (formerly Burma). 

Chief Instructor Robert Kyaw (Ne Htoon Kyaw) was born in Myanmar and raised learning this unique art. When he moved to Australia he began adapting the style to suit today’s urban environment. He worked on creating a fast and effective self-protection style that better suited the modern world in which we live.

Robert has been training Arakan for most of his life and has been teaching since 1993, he is the first person to introduce Arakan to the western world from Myanmar, his passion for Arakan and teaching grows stronger every year.


Arakan Martial Art is a unique and complete self defence system. Based on ancient martial arts techniques and concepts, Arakan Martial Art has been adapted to meet the self defence needs of modern urban environments and situations. 

Arakan Martial Art® is not, nor has ever been, a ‘ring’ or competition based style. The focus is on perfectly practical, no-nonsense and adaptable self-defence techniques. The very nature of a ‘real life situation’ can be chaotic, so there are no set rules or parameters in being able to defend yourself and your loved ones. 

Arakan Martial Art® utilises your whole body as a weapon - from elbows to knees, open palms, edge hands, closed fists, locks, deflections, traps, blocks, bridges, kicks, forearms, your head – the list goes on! With consistent training, you will develop impenetrable defences and intricate footwork that allow you to dynamically flow around an opponent, giving you a huge advantage in a street situation.

Arakan Martial Art® is an incredibly powerful, effective and efficient martial art form that can be utilised in a huge range of situations. Whether it’s close quarters combat or in longer range scenarios, against one or multiple attackers, or even against street weapons. Practitioners become conditioned to develop lightning fast reflexes with the ability to strike and defend at any distance and from various angles.

This journey is designed to challenge you, motivate you, inspire you, and bring out the very best in you.

Once you begin your journey, you will learn to tap into energy reserves you didn’t know existed, and command your body in ways you never thought imaginable. 

You will learn to move your body in dynamic ways by developing a greater understanding of body weight, momentum and how to move with a path of least resistance. Through dedication and commitment to your training, you will learn to strike and defend in any distance and from various angles and gain an advanced understanding of energy slings and circuits to produce your movements with precision, speed, power and flow. You will learn how to use your opponent’s size and energy against them, meaning you don’t have to be the biggest person in the room to protect yourself effectively.

During training, you will master a greater awareness of how every course of action has a reaction, and how this relates to a self-defence situation as well as your life journey. When you are fully immersed in your training you will begin to see amazing results that transpose into all areas of your life.

We believe that Arakan Martial Art® better equips you to deal with challenges you will face throughout life, giving you greater confidence, empowerment, focus, and awareness whilst also improving your overall health and well-being.




Chief Instructor Robert Kyaw

Master Robert Kyaw

Robert (Ne Htoon) Kyaw was born in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and was taught a form of Thaing from a young age by a close family member. 

In 1993, at the age of 22, Robert started teaching his closest friends his form of Thaing, which he had adapted to better suit today’s urban environment. This was the beginning of Arakan Martial Art®.

It was at this time that Robert was offered several career opportunities after having just graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. A corporate career however, was never Robert’s dream, so he continued to spend his time teaching martial arts to his closest friends and working several part-time jobs. 

His passion and dedication to Arakan Martial Art® was infectious and he began to attract more and more students. Fast forward to today and Robert has now been training martial arts for over 40 years, and teaching Arakan since 1993. 

Robert is both a dedicated husband and father. When Robert is not training Arakan, you will find him teaching Arakan to the next generation (his sons), or spending time with his family. He loves mountain biking, snowboarding, going to the beach, training at the gym, reading and meditating. Spiritual growth and self- awareness are very high value to Robert.

Master Kyaw considers teaching a true privilege; he believes his calling in life is to be of service to people, by helping them towards greater levels of empowerment through sharing his knowledge of Arakan Martial Art®. 

Hear from some of the people Rob has trained over the years...


I’ve sat to write this so many times and deleted more than I’ve written, either my words are too emotional or they just don’t capture the man that is Robert Kyaw.
The end of 2006 I started my journey with Arakan.
I thought I’d be learning a Martial Art, Robert Kyaw taught me about life.
He taught me the value of myself and ignited a fire that I previously hadn’t discovered, he gave me skills to protect myself and project my energy in a way I don’t attract harm in the first place. Robert showed me the value of community and being a part of such an incredible club I’ve always felt supported and loved whilst being stretched outside my comfort zone because Robert strives to bring out the best in you and show you just how much you’re capable of, even when you’ve lost faith in yourself, Robert’s belief in you continues.
Training Arakan Martial Art has been the only ‘exercise’ I have ever committed to and although I have had periods of training less I have never quit. The skills I learn and use in my everyday life are far too valuable for me to ever stop learning.
In the time I’ve trained Arakan I’ve discovered my life’s passion and live it everyday, the skills Robert has taught me opened my heart and mind and connected me to myself, helped me to work through trauma I had experienced and allowed me to use the experience to help others.
I will be forever grateful to have met Robert Kyaw, I consider him to be one of the most influential people in my life and am blessed to have him as an Instructor and a friend
Thank you for all that you do and all that you are Rob
I love you

Tracey McMahon


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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...