Melbourne, Australia — After nine months of backpacking and living in hostels in Asia, I decided to change things up and have a routine in my life for a while. With my Australian Working Holiday Visa in hand and no job secured, I arrived in Melbourne, Australia. Luckily, I found a full-time position as a bartender rather quickly (although I had a few other jobs in Melbourne). There I absolutely (no pun intended) fell in love with training at Absolute MMA.
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Melbourne, located in Southeastern Australia, is the second largest city in the country. From one of the oldest cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria to famous annual international events including the Australian Open and the Australian Grand Prix, the city is full of creativity and energy. Melbourne combines historic buildings and cobblestone alleys with its beautiful natural surroundings. Also, popular tourist destinations such as the Great Ocean Road and Yarra Valley’s fine wineries can be easily reached from this wonderful city.
Absolute MMA is one of the well-known academies in Australia, and it offers a variety of combat sports from Brazilian Jiujitsu and MMA to Boxing. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program is headed by Thiago Stefanutti, a 3rd-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, and other instructors for Absolute MMA include Lachlan Giles, Craig Jones, Livia Gluchowska, and Peter Vela. With qualified instructors, Absolute MMA has produced top BJJ practitioners who frequently place in international competitions such as ADCC and EBI and maintained a high quality of training for students at every level.
At the same time, one of my memorable parts about Absolute MMA was its people. Despite its large class size due to the popularity, the instructors and other students always knew you by your name and paid attention to your progress. Further, from local MMA fights to Christmas parties, the academy organized events to create a community for its students and instructors. As someone who moved to Melbourne without any connections, I instantly felt included into the Absolute MMA community whether during classes or outside of the gym.
Absolute MMA has an extensive schedule with classes offered from 6 am to 9 pm in 3 different convenient locations in Melbourne so you cannot make an excuse not to train. Currently, Absolute MMA is in the process of expanding its reach internationally. The academy established its presence in Shanghai, China and Phuket, Thailand. In Phuket, Absolute MMA offers Jiu-Jitsu camps run by Craig Jones and Lachlan Giles and an intensive women-only training camp taught by Rikako Yuasa and Livia Gluchowska so stay tuned for possible opportunities to train with Absolute MMA!
After four months of training and making new friends in Melbourne, the list of people I need to thank at Absolute MMA will go on and on. Thank you, everyone at Absolute MMA for making my Working Holiday experience in Melbourne unforgettable. Absolute MMA will always be my second home in my heart.
The academy has three facilities in Melbourne: Melbourne CBD, St. Kilda, and Collingwood. All gyms are located within 30 minutes from each other, and they can be reached via public transportation. (Google Map: Link)
Schedule & Facility
Absolute MMA’s most recent training program can be found on its website. The facilities are equipped with MMA octagons and enormous training spaces that could hold multiple sessions concurrently. With its weight training equipment, Absolute MMA completes the training for your fitness objectives.
Absolute MMA offers visitor passes:
- Day Pass: $35 AUD (~$25 USD)
- Week Pass: $65 AUD (~$47 USD)
<<Exchange Rate: $10 AUD=~$7.2 USD as of September 29th, 2018>>
- Hosier Lane — Located near the Flinders Street Station, this famous laneway completes the Melbourne urban art scene filled with graffiti street art created by local and international artists. This street remains one of my favorite landmarks in Melbourne.
- Yarra Valley — The valley, located east of Melbourne, is known for boutique wineries producing Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and sparkling wine. You can join an organized tour, visit a few wineries and spend your day surrounded by the scenic mountains while drinking Australia’s famous wine.
- National Gallery of Victoria — Commonly known as NGV, the art museum is the oldest and largest art museum in Australia. The museum hosts fine arts collections and exhibitions.
- Great Ocean Road — The road stretches about 240 km along the southeastern coast of Australia. Combining 12 Apostles limestone stacks with a winding road through the coast, the Great Ocean Road attracts tourists from all around the world.
- St. Kilda — Melbourne’s beachside suburb is located 6 km south-east of Melbourne’s Central Business District. It is known for its St. Kilda Beach, which is surrounded by lowkey bars and restaurants.
Bonus Section: Jobs I held in Australia!
- Dog Walker
- Festival Crew