Martial arts helps young Australians wrestle modern life

Martial arts expert Mas Taufan shares his tips for staying positive with martial arts.


Martial arts professionals are renowned for impressive combative moves but less is known about their ability to develop and promote a positive mind set.

Years devoted to learning a martial art means painstaking hours perfecting technique, pulling muscles, sparring, getting hit, falling and getting right back up to do it all again.

It’s hard to find a more suitable analogy for wrestling with the challenges of daily life. Difficult things are hurled at us on small and large scales, especially as we get older and take on more responsibility.

Those with a positive mindset that look at each setback and understand that it isn’t the end of the world when facing adversity, have an advantage over those who feel every blow as a major setback.

As martial arts expert Mas Taufan explains, “with this mindset, new opportunities will start to open up for you.”

But how do you get started without accidentally breaking your mum’s vase while attempting to perform a spinning roundhouse kick in the living room?

The key is taking a class and learning from a pro like Mas Taufan.

Mas is the Head Instructor and Director at Southside Academy of Combat, a martial arts school located in Logan, Queensland. Southside Academy of Combat offers courses in a variety of martial arts disciplines from Brazilian ju-jitstu to kickboxing.

You can also take general fitness classes if that’s more your speed.

But the academy’s speciality is silat, a class of martial arts originating in Indonesia. It’s highly technical, skill-based and requires a lot of complex moves.

A a is all you really need

Mas says the most important thing for young people looking to start martial arts, and anyone following their passion is to keep a positive mindset.

“With a positive attitude you will only open up more opportunities for yourself,” he says.

“The more you win, the more awesome opportunities will present themselves to you. It’s just the way it is. But it all starts with changing your mindset.

“Remember life is short – live to be the best version of you. Don’t waste away dreaming of what you could have been rather than working on

Benefits beyond knowing how to throw a punch

Surrounding yourself with positive people is key.

Part of what makes martial arts, and Southside Academy of Combat in particular, so popular is the emphasis on brotherhood and community.

At Southside, every member of the gym is treated like a member of the family.

Mas says the people you meet along the way and the bonds you make are just as important as the skills you learn in your martial arts journey.

“If you hang around a blacksmith you will get soot and smell like one, if you hang around a perfume seller you smell like perfume,” says Mas.

“In other words, you become who your company is. Surround yourself with others that benefit you.”

Discipline and focus required

Getting started in martial arts is a little bit more complicated than tying a bandana around your forehead and adopting a stance from a Bruce Lee film.

But anyone can do it. All you really need is discipline and focus.

Mas says setting short term and long term goals can be great when you’re just starting out.

“Set realistic but challenging goals,” he says.

“Don’t go too easy on yourself but don’t kill yourself over it either. Set goals which you can be consistent with.”

Have you ever given martial arts a try? Let us know here.

And don’t forget to like Rapt!’s Facebook page and follow Rapt! on Instagram for more stories like this one.