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 study and knowledge of human interaction, beyond just their excellent technical, martial know-how, is worth their weight in gold. Their ability to make otherwise awkward topics approachable and comfortable is an incredible gift.
They communicate concepts clearly, and without judgement, while also highlighting the need for logical, forceful response when it’s appropriate. Overall, they are a bulwark against ignorance in use-of-force, and a standard bearer for self-defense.
They’re also a hell of a dancer.