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.


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

Knowing and recognising the signs that your child is being bullied is an important first step towards helping your child. The effects of bullying may be longstanding and may carry through from childhood to adulthood. These signs may be also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse.


Neuroplasticity (also known as brain plasticity or brain malleability) is the brains ability to reorganise itself. New research shows this phenomenon continues throughout our adult life.