How do we cultivate inner strength?
Martial arts and self-defence are about so much more than physical skills. Learning to fight is a catalyst for growth. It makes our students stronger, more confident, and more resilient — at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Too often, the students who need that strength the most struggle to find it.
Learn how to build a training environment that helps all of your students grow. Help them face their fears, grapple with failure, test themselves, and come out far more capable than before.
Fear is the Mind Killer covers the fundamentals of designing a healthy training culture, from policy-writing and classroom strategies, to building drills and stress testing. You’ll get a primer on the science of motor learning and motivation, and learn how to work more effectively with underserved populations, including women and survivors of violence.
This system-agnostic guide gives you the tools you need to assess your existing school environment and make sure that it's serving the needs of all of your students, or to build a new school that is accessible, ethical, and effective. It will help you ask the right questions and find the answers that make the most sense for you and your community, and includes sample drills and planning exercises to get you started.
You know what your students need. Here’s how to get it to them.
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About the Author
Her primary weapon is the rapier, and she also teaches unarmed striking, grappling, knife combat, and self-defence. Kaja has been a civilian auxiliary with the Vancouver Police Department's Force Options Training Unit since 2015, participating in realistic tactical training scenarios and providing guest instruction to their Special Municipal Constable program.
She holds a Master of Arts in English Literature, and did the majority of her graduate work on medieval English and French chivalric romances. She has presented at a number of academic conferences, and has taught at the undergraduate level in literature, history, and medieval studies. She regularly leverages her academic training to serve her martial arts research.
Kaja lives in Vancouver, Canada. When she's not punching people in the face, she enjoys embroidery, board games, and powerlifting.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Failure: The Keystone of Learning
Blocked, Random, and Variable Practice
Failure and Problem-Solving
Chapter 2. Policies: Reducing the Cost of Failure
Chapter 3. Training Culture: Cultivating Self-Reliance
Chapter 4. Stress Testing and Stress Inoculation
Chapter 5. Hitting Girls and Other Taboos
Force and Realism
When Equal Isn’t Equal
Chapter 6. Dealing with Psychological Trauma
What Is Trauma?
The Instructor’s Role
Fixing the Conversation
Appendix I: Sample Exercises
Getting Comfortable with Contact and Hitting
Reading a Partner’s Movement, Intention, and Mental State
Integrating Play and Problem Solving
Introducing Students to Stress Testing
Appendix II: Recommended Reading
Appendix III: Works Cited
About the Author