photograph of crocuses blooming in a cemetery

Broken Links

You might have noticed that the kajaswords website got a big facelift lately. I've been working hard all month to make this space as pretty, functional, and easy-to-navigate as possible in preparation for some exciting announcements in the coming months. Part of that process has involved cleaning up the blog specifically, which I'll admit I've … Continue reading Broken Links

Sliding Scale Pricing, by the Numbers

The following post was originally published on the Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly blog on July 30, 2019. When we tell other martial arts instructors and school owners that we offer sliding scale pricing for events at Valkyrie, one of the most common responses that we get is: "But don't you lose a lot of … Continue reading Sliding Scale Pricing, by the Numbers

group photo of Big Gay Sword Day attendees

Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Last weekend's big event for Valkyrie WMAA, Big Gay Sword Day, was created in a moment of frustration. Someone had posted in one of the biggest online HEMA forums and asked a simple question: were there any HEMA events aimed at members of the LGBTQ community? The resulting conversation thread was a shitshow. People scoffed … Continue reading Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Queer Toughness

I had a really great conversation after today's self defense talk that solidified a lot of floating ideas I had about why we need queer spaces for teaching this stuff. One of the things we discuss a lot in the "observation" material of our talks is body language. How unconscious cues can betray a person's … Continue reading Queer Toughness

Violence Dynamics and Gender: Unsorted Thoughts

I've been doing a lot of thinking about violence lately. I've just started teaching another round of our women's self defense course at Valkyrie; I'm working on a writing project that touches on how we need to be able to categorize and break down different kinds of violence to train for them; and I've started … Continue reading Violence Dynamics and Gender: Unsorted Thoughts