found this thread after googling arakan, as i am a former pupil from '98 - '03
after reading through this thread i can clarify a few points from personal experience..
firstly, my observation is that 'arakan' is a keen "novice" with a great deal to look forward to
secondly, everyone who is questioning the origin is within perfect rational logic to be doing so as there is no real info out there (and even as a student i secretly questioned the true name of the art)
let me bullet point a "few" things (unbiasedly and without any hype) that may give you some inkling
(remember, you can't judge it until you've seen/studied the art)
- firstly, the person's heart/mind/will always truimphs over the lesser (regardless of art)
*neutral (no fixed stance)
*adaptable to change and flow (neutral)
*fluid (like water / ether, endless flow)
*relaxed body mechanics (dead weight striking)
*yielding (energy absorption and redirecting) instead of clashing
*energy flow and body mechanics (not brute strength)
*strikes can come from unumerable angles, distances, shapes, processions, (posture is key for this) - correct posture is everything!!
*strikes can come from pratically any part of the body that can be employed
(hands in hundreds of different manners/shapes) forearms, elbows, shoulders, head, knees, feet
*striking range covers long distance right through to second skin (grappling)
the blows are mostly directed at the bodies most vulnerable points and are capable of anything from a mild stun - knock out - concusion - coma - death
some of the strikes would be well capable of killing most human in a first blow without any shadow of doubt (if delivered with the intent by a capable exponent)
no arakan student at a novice level would be capable of taking on 15 or more people, though a more advanced student with 'heart' 'mind' and the essential element of 'mungrel' and lack of compassion for the enemy would have a much better chance in making it through than would a boxer or kickboxer (for example) who had the same 'heart' 'mind' and the essential element of 'mungrel' and lack of compassion for the enemy.
this is due to the ferocity and effectiveness of the art and its ability to adapt (like water) to situations
multiple attack scenarios are not as complicated as first you might think (only about 4 people would be capable of getting to you at one time even if there was 15 or so)
... a few more points
there IS sparring (though not like the conventional blow for blow of boxing)
sparring is in various forms
for example: it often trained as more of an attack situation where someone comes in full force with blows kicks grabs or anything at all and you unleash in rapid continued procession until the opponent is neutralised or beaten down (with one or many blows all dependant on how hard you wish to strike back and the situation and amount of opponents at hand)
ie: if you unleashed at 100% then the opponent would be cactus completely, so full speed is used but the power is back off significantly so you dont "destroy" them
(remember the target areas are mostly the body's vulnerable areas)
-eyes, nose, carotid, throat, temple, sternum, solar plexus, ribcage, heart, kidneys, pubic bone, groin, jaw, spine etc...)
i would often come away from sparring and training bloodied, bruised, punch drunk and battered
THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD SPAR "FULL CONTACT" with the art without seriously destroying someone if not killing them.. (a line HAS to be drawn somewhere)
other times sparring is slowed down to work on lines of attack and flow etc...
principal instructor kyaw is an incredibly capable martial artist (he IS lethal)
he was my personal trainer for several years (no bias, just some home truths here)
have i used arakan in a real street situation before?
Yes, and never initiated any of the situations but was left with little choice
in all 4 cases walked off unscathed with the opponent neutralised within a few seconds (either stunned and rendered useless to continue or knocked out) and there was never any requirement of these situations to get any heavier handed than that to resolve it
it was extremely effective and my attacks came from the subconscious without any pre-mediation of any 'next move' and was a knee jerk reaction that allowed me to walk away unhurt
prior to training arakan i trained different arts (freestyle karate, muay thai, tong long) and have trained in total approx 15 years all up
i no longer train the art as i moved 1000klms south (and there aint no clubs for it down here) :) ... though i still have it in my blood :)
to conclude: it all comes down to the person training the art (regardless of what art you train)
i hope that has cleared up some questions (or at least allowed you to gain a different perspective)
peace all and enjoy whatever you train in !