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Do you need to be fit to begin?

No.  You start where you are at right now. The approach is to train within your capabilities, commit to being ‘better each day’ and aim for sustainable, longer term progress. Much of the concern comes from media and cinema misrepresentations of the martial arts. At best, these are exaggerated and computer-generated depictions of acrobatics not martial arts!

What is the minimum age for children to begin? 

We recommend that children be at least 4 years of age to begin (Grandmaster Walsh began training at this age himself). Much, however, depends on the child and parental expectations. Experience tells us that children do better training with a parent, as opposed to being watched by a parent. Unlike regular sports, parent-helpers in WMAA are on the floor with their children and providing a community role model to other families. Most of our instructors are parents (and even grandparents) themselves and will be very open with you if they assess that your child is not yet ready.

Am I too old to start?

No. Our eldest student is nearly 80 years young! Age is only a number as long as you listen to your body, and act safety in mind. This is the same guidance we give every new starter, regardless of age. Unlike regular sports, age is an advantage in WMAA because you leverage ‘life experience’ and judgement on what to do and when to do it. Mature students are cherished as a valuable role model to others and their presence is celebrated.

Why don’t you hold separate classes divided by age, grade or gender like regular schools?

Experience tells us that everyone learns faster when they can see people ahead of them to guide the way and people behind them whom they can mentor. This concept applies in martial arts as well as life. We value diversity. We value results. So, everyone trains together. We have 1,000 black belt holders since the 1960s in support of this approach. 

Why do people choose WMAA?

WMAA students are discerning. They ask lots of questions and have often visited several schools before settling on WMAA. They query the motivations of commercial schools and are more interested in proven training methods than marketing claims. Since our start in 1968, students have chosen WMAA for one of these four reasons:

  • They wanted to learn a complete and traditional martial art (something that challenged the mind, body and spirit);
  • They wanted to learn self-defence techniques that made them feel confident they could protect themselves and others in their care;
  • They wanted to engage in physical exercise without injury caused by unsupervised classmates, inexperienced instructors or unproven training methods; and
  • They wanted to train with their friends and family in the same class, at the same time and venue, and not be artificially divided by age or gender.
What is the aim of WMAA?

Since the 1960s, WMAA has aimed to make traditional martial arts accessible to everyday Australians and adapted these for civilian, law enforcement and military application. From practical weapon defences to multiple attackers, WMAA has been designed to equip you to protect yourself and others responsibly and ethically.

We teach self-defence, not fighting. Although the distinction may be lost on the uninitiated, it is an empirical fact that all martial arts were devised as an ethical and peaceful method of self-defence, not attack or fighting sports. Modern applications involving attack and initiating violence are not martial arts. 

Accordingly, WMAA methods are unsuited to tournament competition or cage fighting despite their effectiveness in self defence and popularity for law enforcement and military applications. Instead, WMAA instils positive human values of self-control, personal discipline and defence as a last resort.

What is Tae Kwon Do?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art that integrates kicking, striking, blocking and avoiding techniques. Its techniques and philosophy began development more than 2000 years ago.

Tae Kwon Do aims to unite the body, mind and spirit of the practitioner into a single, concentrated force capable of swiftly overpowering an aggressor regardless their of size, age or strength. Accordingly, Tae Kwon Do is suitable for men, women and children and does not require any level of fitness or knowledge to begin.

In its pure form, Tae Kwon Do is an essentially linear hard-style martial art emphasising explosive and dynamic kicking techniques. From the black belt level, students advance into non-linear or circular aspects of the art.

The practice of Tae Kwon Do involves the beneficial stretching and conditioning of the entire body; improves concentration, discipline and self confidence; and promotes good character and ethical conduct.

In recent years, the techniques of Tae Kwon Do have benefited from on-going scientific scrutiny by Tae Kwon Do Masters and human movement experts.

In Australia, Walsh Martial Arts Australia has led the movement to adopt the latest research and development to ensure that it teaching programme and methods produce the most scientifically advanced martial artists in the world.

What is Hap Ki Do?

Hapkido is a Korean martial art that integrates striking, avoiding and blocking, joint locking, holding, throwing, weapons and internal energy techniques into a single, coherent martial art.

The seemingly eclectic range of Hapkido techniques are drawn together and universally governed by the three principles of Hapkido:

  • continuous flow
  • circular motion
  • non-resistance

Hapkido utilises approximately 1000 core techniques that can be intuitively combined or modified by the practitioner to create tens of thousands of applications. It is an extremely practical and versatile martial art that is widely used by law enforcement and military professionals around the world.

Hapkido emphasises the integration of the body, mind and spirit; the perfection of human character; social responsibility; and the use of appropriate force in a self-defence situation. Internal energy development is fundamental to Hapkido training, and leads to better health and greater efficiency in the art's self-defence techniques.

Students of Walsh Martial Arts Australia who attain the rank of Tae Kwon Do Cho Dan Bo or higher are personally taught Hapkido by Grandmaster Rodney Lee Walsh (8th Dan Black Belt), Master Anna Walsh (5th Dan Black Belt), Master Andrew Walsh (5th Dan Black Belt) and Master Jonathan Walsh (5th Dan Black Belt).

I’m a WMAA student: where can I download a GRADING application form?

Eligible students may apply for rank promotion testing. Complete this form and bring it with you to your instructor.

Information regarding testing dates, venue, eligibility, testing requirements and fees are available from your instructor or under the "Gradings" tab.

How can my school affiliate with WMAA?

As a network of expert teachers rather than a federation, we are pleased to help schools affiliate with WMAA for themselves and their students. Affiliates are vetted by Grandmaster Walsh to ensure an alignment of ethics and values. Affiliates may then seek international rank certification and access to expert-level training, independent grading examination by Grandmaster Walsh, and structured, professional development for rank and skills advancement.

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Can I transfer my rank from a non-WMAA school?   

Students transferring from non-WMAA schools with assessed ranks present as White Belts for their first grading. They are independently assessed by Grandmaster Walsh at the equivalent WMAA Belt level based on their demonstrated competency. Over many decades, this approach has proven to be the fairest way to account for assessment disparities that may exist in non-WMAA schools.  

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