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Dylan Mraz

Dylan Mraz

How long have you been training?
10 years

Why did you start practising?
I was studying Japanese at university and always held an interest in traditional Japanese culture. At the time I wanted to join a martial arts club for fitness and fun, and I really had no other intention aside from picking a Japanese one to coincide with my language studies. I then discovered Melbourne Aikido nearby, and without knowing much about what it is, I went and trialled a class and haven’t stopped since.

What has the practice given you and why do you keep practising?
The physical changes were the first thing I noticed after training for some time, but as I became more committed to the practice my mental well-being and self-confidence improved dramatically. I always find something new in the practice, and in turn, it gives me an opportunity to develop physically and mentally in different ways, so it only feels natural to keep practising.

Why do you teach?
Teaching has challenged me to become more finely attuned to my own practice and to develop ways to communicate and share ideas with others. However, I don’t see it as a separate thing from the practice – we’re always teaching and learning from each other as students of the art. It’s also a way to give back to the community after benefitting from senior students and teachers who have guided me along the way.

What other hobbies/interests do you have?
I enjoy hiking and walking through national parks when I have the chance to get away. And I usually spend the rest of my spare time reading fiction

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