The idea that you can and should make a space that’s welcoming and accepting and feels like home, while at the same time producing *better* results than many of the “hardcore” (which is usually a trapping, not a truth) schools, should not be revolutionary, but is.
The top predictor of longevity and quality of life is almost certainly having a strong and supportive community, which makes it shocking how often self defense folks take a hardline “lone wolf” mentality, and completely miss what actually leads to human thriving.
Kaja is a forerunner for creating systems and communities that show you can be happy and healthy and a bunch of badasses, and they are one of the best folks I know for showing that you can take your work and training seriously without taking yourself seriously.
Kaja’s excellent blog posts, videos, book, and random social media thoughts on martial arts have been a go-to for me for years now. They have a wonderful way of pushing my thinking past the overwhelming wall of ‘stuff’ when thinking through martial arts and instead breaking down my views on instruction and personal training into small, USEFUL, chunks.
Every teaching or school culture change of theirs that I have implemented has been a resounding success for both myself and my students.