Episode 158 ADHD, speedboats, and wrestling in kindergarten, with Katriina Malkki

Episode 158 ADHD, speedboats, and wrestling in kindergarten, with Katriina Malkki

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Katriina Malkki is a historical martial artist, dietician with an MSc from the University of Eastern Finland, a Ph.D. student and mum of four plus a lizard. She's an author and also a sea rescue volunteer.

In our conversation we discuss nutrition: What does Katriina think of the Paleo diet, fasting, or keto? Top tips from a nutritionist are eat more vegetables and drink less booze!

We also talk about ADHD, the symptoms, medication, and living with the condition. We discuss what historical martial arts instructors should bear in mind when teaching students with ADHD, and also what might help an instructor who has ADHD to run their classes. Katriina mentions Adele Diamond and her work on Executive Functions. Here’s an article and a video about it:



Katriina has an excellent and novel idea of what to do with €1 million to improve historical martial arts, and it involves very small children.





Guy Windsor: I’m here today with Katriina Malkki, who is a historical martial artist, nutritionist with an MSc  from the University of Eastern Finland, a Ph.D. student and mum of four plus a lizard. She's an author and also a sea rescue volunteer. So without further ado, Katriina, welcome to the show.


Katriina Malkki: Thank you.


Guy Windsor: And whereabouts in the world are you?


Katriina Malkki: I live in Finland, Kuopio, which is 200 kilometres from Russian border.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Bit of a nervous time at the moment?


Katriina Malkki: Oh, slightly, yes.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Yeah. Well, given the speed that modern tanks move means you've got about 3 hours.


Katriina Malkki: They’re not going to be here.


Guy Windsor: Sure. Yes, I've been to Kuopio and there's not a great deal there. It's sort of Finnish countryside with a small town in the middle of it.


Katriina Malkki: It's really beautiful.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, absolutely. Now, one of the problems I have as the interviewer, particularly when I'm interviewing someone I know, I actually know the answers to most of the questions in advance anyway, so I have to remember to actually ask them. Otherwise, it gets a bit confusing. Now my next question. Feel free to be honest.


Katriina Malkki: Sure.


Guy Windsor: How did you get into historical martial arts?


Katriina Malkki: I first went into sports fencing and I have to check the year. It was 2004, and there was a weekend to get to know sports fencing. And then some of us really liked it. And I was actually one of the founding members of the Sport Fencing Association in Kuopio in 2005. But then I gave birth to two children in a row and stopped training because, well, at the time I had a rather incompatible husband. So things didn’t work out. And then later, 2011, there was a beginners’ course of historical martial arts in Kuopio. And well, I obviously signed in and the rest is history.


Guy Windsor: Okay, so at that point you had two kids and they were a bit older, so you had a bit more freedom to go and train.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, they were older. Actually, I had three children at the time, but yeah.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. It's turning into a bit of a theme for this show is interviewing women who manage to do historical martial arts while looking after a whole bunch of kids.


Guy Windsor: I get to say it's my job. So when I had children, it was like, okay, I'm off to work now. And that was fine. No problem. It is much harder to keep a hobby going when you have kids. So how did you manage that?


Katriina Malkki: At that time I realised that I have to do something on my own and doing historical martial arts is something of an exercise. So, it was both. It was a hobby, which took my thoughts elsewhere really well. And also it was something for me. So it's exercise and a hobby. It was a good combination. And I just took the time to come to the training once a week. And got someone to look after the kids.


Guy Windsor: Yes. So you got a babysitter in. So am I right in thinking you started your own club?


Katriina Malkki: Eventually, yes. But it didn't last for a long time.


Guy Windsor: Okay. What happened?


Katriina Malkki: Well, I didn't find enough people to run it, so if I'm the only one teaching and handling all the administration stuff. And there are like three people or four people in the club. So it was not very practical. So I quit it and just trained with the same people without the club.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So the activities continued, but the kind of formal organisation is gone, so you don’t have to worry about paperwork and admin and renting halls and all that kind of stuff.


Katriina Malkki: Exactly.


Guy Windsor: That's actually not a bad way to do it. And that's actually how most clubs start with a completely informal people getting together and doing stuff, then they realise when they get big enough that they need to organise that.


Katriina Malkki: So I just did it a bit wrong way around.


Guy Windsor: It's useful I think, for people listening who may be in similar situations to hear that if it becomes impractical to run it as a formal club, you don't have to. You can just carry on running it as an informal club instead and it's fine.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And because you're doing it for a few people, you don't need that much space. So in Finland, the organisation or association is good if you need to hire a space or rent. But since we don't need it, it's not necessary.


Guy Windsor: Okay, excellent. And what is it that you practice?


Katriina Malkki: Well, mostly Fiore, like longswords, because that’s what I know.


Guy Windsor: Okay. And is that what you're most interested in?


Katriina Malkki: Oh, yes. The dagger and wrestling are also in my scope of interest.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Now, so you're a nutritionist, but I know because, we've spoken about such things that you are not a fan of dieting. So what exactly do you mean by that? And what actually is a nutritionist? And what do you do?


Katriina Malkki: That is a lot of questions. Well, dieting first. Losing weight by dieting is very rarely a sort of healthy weight to actually lose weight.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So how should you lose weight?


Katriina Malkki: Um, well, the good solution is to gradually change what you eat. For instance, increasing vegetables, fruits, this kind of stuff into your diet, maybe drinking a bit less alcohol.


Guy Windsor: When I went to my father's funeral in December, on the Friday, before we had to drive up on the Saturday, the funeral was on the Monday. I was packing for the Saturday. And I thought I’d just better try on my suit and it turns out that during lockdown, some absolute fucker broke into my house, went through my entire wardrobe and every smart pair of trousers I owned, they had taken in the waistband like couple of centimetres so they didn’t fit. Bastards, right? So I dashed out and I bought a suit and I thought, okay, this is not good situation. So, about six weeks later, I was back into my old suit again. And the main thing I did was I cut out alcohol entirely for a month. That really helped.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: And I cut out fast carbs for breakfast. So I stopped having toast for breakfast, and I was just having vegetables and other stuff. So basically, swapping out the toast for vegetables leftover from dinner the night before. So it seems that I've been following your nutritional guidelines, and it seems to have worked. Adding vegetables and cutting out alcohol. So yes, back into the old suit. Now I’ve got to get the new suit taken in. And then of course, the same thing will happen again at some point. And then I’ll be like, oh fuck, now I need to go and buy another big suit. I guess the trick is six weeks before I need it, I need to try the suit on. It takes me about four weeks to six weeks to shift. I don't have scales in the house, so I don't know how much I weigh. I don't know how weight’s come on or come off. The waist size is the only measurement I'm considering.


Katriina Malkki: Actually, it's the best. It is the very best. And if you have a belt, which is good for you, for instance now. Just try on the belt, I’d say weekly. And then you know where you're going.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. And what I was doing with the trousers is to make sure that what I was doing was working, once a week, Saturday morning, I think it was, I would try on the trousers and see if they fit. And after about four or five weeks that was a “yeah, I could wear these if I needed to.” They weren’t fully comfortable for four or five weeks but at least I could get them on. And if I needed to wear a suit for a day, I could do that without giving myself a hernia.


Katriina Malkki: Yes, it’s a good way.


Guy Windsor: So, you have an MSc in nutrition. What exactly does that entail?


Katriina Malkki: Well, I'm an authorised nutritionist in Finland, so I could go to a hospital and guide people to eat in a certain way if they have a disease or a condition or something. It's the kind of highest level of nutritionists and what you need in a hospital.


Guy Windsor: Okay. But what does the training involved? Because I mean, it's not a medical degree, because most doctors don’t know anything about nutrition.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. So it's not medical. Oh, my goodness. It's very sort of multi-science degree because the first year is quite the same as what the doctors study, the basic human body stuff. And then I have learnt, for instance, how to guide someone to cook, even, and the practical stuff also. But then there's chemistry, psychology, everything between.


Guy Windsor: I know we're running up against some translation barriers here because medical terms in Finnish often don't translate precisely to medical terms in English. Like, for instance, most of my Finnish friends get ‘inflammation’ and ‘infection’ wrong in English.


Katriina Malkki: Yes. I'm not surprised.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, because I think because the Finnish term for ‘inflammation’ is I think ‘Infektio’. So, it’s no wonder they get it mixed up because it's a false friend in the language. So I know we’re bumping up against a language barrier but I think it's not common for most people to get access to a nutritionist because it's not covered in most healthcare things. So, for the sake of listeners who might be interested, I want to extract as much of your nutritionist stuff out of your head as possible.


Katriina Malkki: Well, that would take a lot of time.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. Okay. But surely we can cover your entire MSc in like 15 minutes of chat, no? Then let me ask a specific question. It's well known that different foods affect different people differently. So, you know, a donut that spikes blood sugar might not spike yours. But ice cream might spike yours but not mine, for instance. And I actually happened to have tested this with a continuous blood glucose monitor and ice cream does not particularly spike my blood glucose. Toast is actually worse for me than ice cream in that regard.


Katriina Malkki: No, I believe that. Yes.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. So the question is what should a person do to find out what works for them in terms of nutrition?


Katriina Malkki: In terms of nutrition? Well, the best thing to do is to, well, that was one wide question.


Guy Windsor: Well, let me make it easier. Somebody comes into your office. Let's say you were working in a hospital. I know you're doing a PhD at the moment so you're probably not spending much time working in hospitals, but let's say you are in the hospital and somebody comes in with some nutrition related disease or maybe they they've just managed to get their doctor to give them a referral just so they can get some good advice on their nutrition. For general health purposes, we're not treating a specific disease. Okay. What would you tell them to do?


Katriina Malkki: Eat more vegetables? That's the usual. Have more colours in the food. Because that gives the majority of the very much needed nutrients. But also, check that they have enough... Sorry, I'm forgetting some words, it's like oil.


Guy Windsor: Fat?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, but it's actually oil. So it's like rapeseed oil or something like that. Because often people think that they should not eat any fat. Well, some people think that.


Guy Windsor: Terrible idea.


Katriina Malkki: It's a terrible idea, actually.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. You'll die. If you don’t get any fat at all you'll die.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And there are some very much needed nutrients in fat, but it has to be sort of runny fats.


Guy Windsor: So you’re not a fan of saturated fat, then? Hang on a sec. This is too important. I'm going to do a quick bit of Googling. The Minnesota study done in like the sixties or the seventies when they took thousands of inmates of various institutions because they could control their diet really precisely. And one cohort had all animal fat removed from their diet, and they were just giving vegetable fats. And the other cohort had basically a normal proportion of like animal fats and vegetable fats and other things. And if I remember rightly, they had to abort the experiment early because the people in the no animal fats cohort were dying at a much faster rate than those who were getting animal fats.


Katriina Malkki: All right.


Guy Windsor: And this this was run by a cardiologist who was so offended by the results that he got because he was very much in the vegetable fat camp, that he buried the data and it was discovered like 40 years later. So maybe ten, 15 years ago in these digital tapes, in the basement of his house, long after he died.


Katriina Malkki: Fascinating.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. It's discussed in a book called The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. Because I'm very much in the animal fats: good, vegetable fats: we have to be careful.


Katriina Malkki: I know that. Yes.


Guy Windsor: So go ahead. Shoot me down. That's fine.


Katriina Malkki: All right. Well, any sort of saturated fats can be done in the body. So if we get these long chain fats, like vegetable fats, they can be cut down into shorter, which is saturated fat. So anything you need, the body can make the saturated fat on its own. So, yes, it's okay to eat saturated fats. But the knowledge of is it needed? It is not certain at the moment. The data from hundreds and hundreds of studies shows that well, we need the long chained fat, which is like rapeseed or olive oil. But the rest is okay to eat, but may not be necessary, but what is also commonly misleading in some studies, that it's not ceteris paribus, to describe if one thing changes.


Guy Windsor: What was that word?


Katriina Malkki: Ceteris paribus? It's Latin.


Guy Windsor: Okay.


Katriina Malkki: I applied to economics school when I was young, so this is what I remember of that. So if one thing changes in diet, it usually changes something else because you have to put something instead. If you take something out, there's going to be something, you know.


Guy Windsor: Like a low fat yoghurt will usually have sugar added.


Katriina Malkki: And if there's carbs, if you take them out, there's going to be more protein and fat. So in nutrition studies there's always interaction. So in the seventies they might not know what was the interaction with some other things that they looked after. So it's not possible to study only one thing unless you're sort of having it on a plate and looking at it in a microscope or something like that. Human beings are really, really complex and nothing is like 100% sure.


Guy Windsor: So, yeah, I mean, decapitation will definitely kill you, and breathing is definitely good for you. Everything else in between is negotiable.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. So as you said, there are things that suit for you might not suit for me for several reasons. Like you’re a man. That's one big reason for some things not to be equal in nutrition. Like, in medication or anything like that. So we are different on cell level. But if there is a consensus on something that's like this Mediterranean diet style. So that's what I would recommend to common people who have no restrictions in their diet. And it has a good combination of nutrients.


Guy Windsor: Okay, So you're a fan of the Mediterranean diet. Less so than Paleo? Tell us about that. Okay. For the listeners who couldn't see that, she just literally covered her face in both hands and kind of cringed when I said Paleo diet. Now, before this becomes an argument, I don’t follow the Paleo diet and I am deeply suspicious of the story that it tells. Just from a historical perspective, because firstly, we don't really know what cavemen actually ate. Secondly, we are pretty sure the cavemen didn't actually live that long. So what part their diet played in how long they lived is unknown. And also what evidence we do have for what people from pre-industrial societies or pre agricultural societies ate, I it varies enormously from place to place because it's entirely dependent on what happens to be local. And of course, these people are often nomadic, so they'll be eating different things in different places at different times of the year and so on. So I find the story of the paleo diet to be unconvincing. But if I want to lose weight, going Paleo and cutting out alcohol is a fast way to do it for me.


Katriina Malkki: Well, the carbs in UK and carbs in Finland are different things.


Guy WIndsor: How so?


Katriina Malkki: Like we eat rye bread.


Guy Windsor: Which I'm allergic to, by the way. I'm allergic to rye and wheat, so I can't eat them anyway, which is very, very sad.


Katriina Malkki: That's sad. Yes. If the carbs have a lot of fibre, it's a good combination. It's not something you should absolutely forget from your diet and, you know, like vegetables are carbs mostly, and water too.


Guy Windsor: There is a difference in how, for example, the starches in cabbage hit your system relative to the starches in a slice of white bread.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: I mean, yes, they're both carbs technically, but from a nutritional perspective, surely you wouldn't treat them the same because they are acted on very differently by the body.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, that's true. There are shades of grey. More than 50. So if you look at it in black and white, then it's likely to lead to some kind of to strong dieting. And we have to remember that dieting is a multi-billion industry, which makes you feel bad on how you look. So if you need to lose weight, it should be on how you're feeling or are you feeling strong enough to do what you like to do and swing a sword or that sort of stuff. So it should not be about the looks.


Guy Windsor: No, but fitting into your trousers is quite important.


Katriina Malkki: It’s very convenient.


Guy Windsor: It is bloody expensive to go and buy a new suit every time you need to go somewhere. And, increasing waist size with age is not correlated with improved health outcomes.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. Yeah. There is stuff like how many centimetres your waist should be, and that's associated with likelihood with heart diseases, for instance. So yes, size matters, but if you're trying to lose weight, it doesn't happen instantly.


Guy Windsor: No, it shouldn't.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, well it has taken time to gain the weight. But usually there are industry people who tell you that this is a sort of fast way to losing weight.


Guy Windsor: Eat these magic protein bars and you will look like this person who has been training like a complete fucking maniac for the last 20 years.


Katriina Malkki: Yes. There are no such things.


Guy Windsor: No. Where do you stand on fasting? I mean, not for weight loss, just for, like, general health practices.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. People are very tolerant on many things upon their body. It's not specifically healthy for the intestine. But it's possible to do and some people find it intriguing, or they find they can sort of control their life or something. So it's okay. But our intestine needs food. It is healthy for the intestine to have something in every day.


Guy Windsor: Okay. There is a bunch of evidence that fasting, not excessively, but occasional like two day fasts, three day fast, maybe even a five day fast once a year, something like that, does all sorts of good things to your triglycerides in your blood and blood pressure and various other things. But you think that it's probably better to do a sort of fast where you do actually eat something every day, that would be better.


Katriina Malkki: Okay, that would be better. But, as I said, humankind can handle a lot of different kinds of stuff with their nutrition.


Guy Windsor: Let's see if this has the same effect. What about the ketogenic diet? Oh, okay. That was more of a kind of a nose wrinkle. It wasn't like both hands over the face. It was just a nose wrinkle. Okay.


Katriina Malkki: Okay. There are people who actually benefit from it.


Guy Windsor: Epileptics, for example, sometimes.


Katriina Malkki: Yes. There are some small patient groups that have a benefit from it, but it has to be done really carefully, specifically, and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Yeah, I've tried it a few times and for a short period it does wonders. Like, for example, I did this very long walk for charity and it was like 50 kilometres in a day, 50 kilometres in about 12 hours. And I thought, you know what, best thing to do? Go into ketosis for this, because ketosis is perfect for endurance stuff. And sure enough I hardly ate anything the whole day. I used a ketogenic diet to get into ketosis a day or two before. So I was metabolically well into to ketosis by the Saturday morning when I was going on this walk. And it was great. I had a little ketogenic snack at about midday or something, but at the end of the day my muscles were tired and my back injury was playing up, which is why I didn't do the second day. But energetically speaking, I was completely fine. So yeah, I would use it for that sort of thing. Like if you're going to do an endurance run, I would want to do it in ketosis because you use about 30% less oxygen to get the same amount of energy. So it just makes your life easier.


Katriina Malkki: If you want to try. Okay. I've tried some stuff during my studies. I know how it feels.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. So I have a friend also, because ketosis is like fashionable, he thought he'd give it a go. And about three days in, he started to get these really black thoughts. Really kind of nasty like bordering on psychotic thoughts. He was like, this isn't good. So he ate a bunch of carbs and felt a lot better.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, that's what I said, people are different on cell level.


Guy Windsor: Exactly. So it's something okay to try, but be careful and watch how that makes you feel. And if it’s not suiting you, don't do it. I mean, it suits me quite well. On ketosis, if I can be bothered to get into it, I am much more energetic and productive. So if I all I really cared about was writing the most number of books and getting the most amount of exercise, I would probably stay in ketosis all the time. But it's not a lifestyle I'm interested in.


Katriina Malkki: It takes a lot of sort of mental energy to handle it.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, because you have to be super careful to avoid all sorts of things that you would normally eat. Carrots. Too many carrots.


Katriina Malkki: It’s very antisocial.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. And too much protein. Nice big steak, straight out of ketosis. Loads of carrots, straight out of ketosis. It doesn't take a chocolate bar to knock you out of ketosis. Now, I know that you are very interested in the ADHD thing, and for anyone who's listening for the first time. I don't ask my guests surprise questions, generally. I mean, stuff may come up in conversation that we hadn't planned, but put it this way I wouldn't normally ask someone if I had not prearranged this question. Okay, so this is something that we have discussed in advance.


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: So when were you diagnosed with ADHD and how does having it affect your studies and training?


Katriina Malkki: All right. So I have a very traditional path to diagnosis, one of my children was diagnosed in 2017 and I realised that my symptoms are quite similar.


Guy Windsor: Such as?


Katriina Malkki: Such as lack of executive functioning, hyperactivity - internal, external, lack of attention span.


Guy Windsor: Okay, so, lack of executive function. People throw the phrase ‘executive function’ about all the time, but it has very specific meaning. So let's just be really precise about what we're talking about.


Katriina Malkki: I found a decade old scientific article about executive functioning by Adele Diamond, which nicely explains the topic. So basically it includes behavioural inhibition, that is self-control. You don't act on everything that sounds tempting for a few seconds, but it could be harmful if you think of it again, such as cheating your partner or using drugs. Then interference control, which means selective attention. Instead of seeing, hearing, sensing everything that's around you, what you think and all that sort of stuff. It also contains working memory. So you don't forget what you were doing in the middle of cooking, for instance. Or if you have promised a friend something and you just forget it in a minute. And cognitive flexibility, which means it's easier to shift from one task to another without being really angry.


Guy Windsor: Okay, now that last one, I do not have. No. If somebody interrupts me when I'm working on something, this bubble of function just pops and I get really cross. This is why my phone is always on silent and usually on airplane mode. Because, yeah, the notion that someone should just ring me up because they happen to want to talk to me right now is just, no.


Katriina Malkki: It's really irritating.


Guy Windsor: So Adele Diamond's definition encapsulates what executive functioning actually is. We’ll stick a link in the show notes so people can read it for themselves. But basically we're talking about behaviour inhibition being basically not just acting on impulse. And then interference control means not being overwhelmed by multiple streams of input. So you can see something and forget about what you're hearing. Whereas if this is compromised and then you'll be seeing and hearing everything all at once and you can't separate it out. So executive function, working memory is involved because you have to be able to kind of operate on things that have recently been absorbed, rather than just forgetting. But I mean, everyone has the experience of, like, going into the kitchen to look for a pair of scissors, and they when they get into the kitchen, they've forgotten what they were looking for. But this is like a more extreme version of that.


Katriina Malkki: I can tell an extreme version. I start washing my teeth and then I just go with the toothbrush to sort some clothes at the washing machine. Answer an Instagram message while doing the something else. Get back to sorting clothes. Remember that I forgot something and walked to the toilet. Just realised I was washing my teeth. I lost my toothbrush somewhere. Then I have my youngest to ask for help and rush for him. Except on the way, I paused because one of the kids is saying something to me, like, is the bus card still valid? Then I find my toothbrush from somewhere and noticed that my youngest is playing with the lizard. And I wonder if the lizard is somewhere in trouble because, well, they are usually.


Guy Windsor: So this is your pet lizard. Just to be clear, this is not just a random lizard wandering around the house. This is a pet lizard.


Katriina Malkki: We have a pet lizard. Sometimes it randomly runs around the house, but it's ours. Then I might start making coffee, then just forget what I was doing and wonder where my clothes are. My husband is looking me like have you taken your meds today?


Guy Windsor: Obviously I haven't, because the toothbrushes in the laundry and the coffee is in the lizard.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: And the cognitive flexibility thing is quite straightforward. It's like the ability to shift tasks without being disrupted. When you say lack of executive function, how does that manifest?


Katriina Malkki: Uh, well, it's the sort of meta work you do. Like, for instance, cleaning is not really my thing. If we talk in computer terms, it's like there is the software how to clean and there is the hard drive, my brain. But I don't have the drivers. You know, like in the old computers, you needed to find the drivers for the software to be compatible with the hardware.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, I remember downloading drivers for a new printer off the Internet.


Katriina Malkki: And it's like, I don't have the drivers. Like I have a brain, I know the software how to do it, but compiling all the little bits and pieces of tidying up the house. It's like, what? Like last weekend there were guests coming because it was my husband's birthday, and I just piled everything into our sauna, which is not heated, obviously, but it's an empty room. So I took everything from the kitchen and living room and stuffed it over there. Now my husband has to pick it up and find places to put all this stuff back.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. So you tied it up by basically shoving everything into a cupboard?


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: Okay. And that is because putting things back where they are supposed to go just didn't compute.


Katriina Malkki: No. I have an object in my hands. I was like, what the heck is this? Okay, I recognize it, but I don't know where to put it.


Guy Windsor: Okay, I think everybody has had the experience of tidying up quickly to shove everything into a cupboard and forget about it. I think almost everybody has done that at some point. That by itself wouldn't be considered, as a one off, as a lack of executive function. That would be I'm in a hurry or I can't be bothered or I just don’t care. So how do you distinguish between I can't be bothered, I just don't care with this is a lack of executive function caused by ADHD?


Katriina Malkki: Because it's all the time there. I put something away from my hand and I don't know what to put it actually where it's supposed to go. And our house is a mess until my husband cleans it or tells me what to do with it. And, well, a lot of other stuff like, well, let's say this. At primary school, kids are told what to do and when and where to go and all that stuff, like in university and work life, you had to figure all that out yourself.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, that's super hard.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. Which classes to take? Sorry. This is one of the problems in ADHD. I might forget in the middle of a sentence what I was saying.


Guy Windsor: So when you get to university and you don't have that exterior structure keeping you straight then you struggle to kind of figure out what you're supposed to be doing and where we're supposed to go and that kind of thing.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: And but you still managed to get an MSc, which is not easy.


Katriina Malkki: It sure wasn’t. And then I was mad enough to go to do PhD studies.


Guy Windsor: What are you studying for your PhD?


Katriina Malkki: The eating behaviour of ageing men with elevated risk for type two diabetes.


Guy Windsor: Interesting. Okay. And so you're basically taking your nutritional expertise and applying it into a particular narrow area, as PhDs tend to do.


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: Okay. This might be a better way to put it. Since being diagnosed, and I assume treated in some way, what’s changed?


Katriina Malkki: Everything.


Guy Windsor: Like what?


Katriina Malkki: Oh, my goodness. Let's just say that, for instance, we have this final exam in the Master’s student phase, and I might not have been able to, for instance, sit still for 4 hours, which the exam took and then concentrate for that long and manage my head to sort of not to do everything else because it it's all over the place unless I had the medication.


Guy Windsor: Okay, so what medication are you on? Some kind of amphetamine, I assume.


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: A neurotypical person taking amphetamines gets all revved up and hyperactive.


Katriina Malkki: I've heard. Yes.


Guy Windsor: That is kind of what they were developed for, if I remember rightly. So what is the effect on your brain? What does it do?


Katriina Malkki: It makes my different parts of my brain to synchronise. That's how I describe it. I'm hyperactive even though I'm an adult and both my mind is all over the place and I can't sit still for a very long time. I like to move.


Guy Windsor: I have a standing desk, so I'm literally moving around all the time while we're talking. I'm not a fan of sitting still either.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, it's sort of like there's a concert going on in my head, but it's not chaos anymore. It's like the different parts of my brain don't play their own instruments. Like, I want to play drums now, and I don't listen to all the other parts. And but now they are like, it's like symphony. And it's so beautiful. Actually I always thought that there is some part of me I can't find. It was underneath all these difficulties, like a layer. And when I got the medication I thought, wow, that's me. Now I can find myself and learn to behave in a society.


Guy Windsor: That’s a powerful endorsement for the medication, for sure. Okay, so what is most useful to sort of everyday life to cope with ADHD, other than the medication?


Katriina Malkki: You know, for me at least, it's the physical exercise because it makes my brain focus easier. If I just sit by the computer the whole day, at some point my thoughts just start going all over the place. And it's really difficult to focus. So either in the morning or during the day at some point it's really good to have some exercise or have a walk.


Guy Windsor: Or come to my trainalong sessions.


Katriina Malkki: Yes, absolutely.


Guy Windsor: Which actually are quite a good time of day for you, because they are at 1030 in the morning so you can get a couple of hours work in, because Finns tend to start early, right?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, usually.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. Like, I mean, here we say 9 to 5 for the normal workday, and in Finland it is 8 to 4. Yeah, that's true. So you have 8 to 4 work and then you have 4 to 8 drinking.


Katriina Malkki: That's why we start early. Right.


Guy Windsor: So after a couple of hours, you get an hour exercise and then that helps with the rest of the day, does it?


Katriina Malkki: It is such a big impact that when I exercise, I can actually do stuff all the way to 8:00, 9:00 in the evening, and then it's okay to sort of stop at eight or nine in the evening.


Guy Windsor: Wow. Okay. So it really makes a huge difference to how much you can get done in the day. Wow. Good for you. So lots of exercise then. It's often the case that, I don't like the term neurotypical, but it seems to be the one we're stuck with, but departures from a neurotypical base, like, for instance, ADHD or some forms of autism or whatever. At certain levels of that departure, obviously, if you go really far, then it becomes impossible for you to function properly. But at some point along that way, there are advantages. Like, for instance, the classic would be an autistic kid who is a brilliant computer programmer because that particular way of being in the brain is, is not very good at some things, but is extremely good at this narrow band of things. Can you think of any compensating benefits for ADHD?


Katriina Malkki: Well I get into flow much easier than what it seems to other people.


Guy Windsor: Does that go away when you're on the medication?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. I mean, it doesn't go away. I can still get into the flow when I'm medicated.


Guy Windsor: But it’s more difficult to get there?


Katriina Malkki: Slightly. But then I don't get stuck up at sitting in the living room for 8 hours. I actually remember to eat and go to toilet, but I can hop in to this what I'm fascinated about. For instance, when you're speaking about swords, I may train some little bit of like how the dagger goes and how the wrist is and all that sort of stuff. I can do it for ages if I'm really fascinated on that little thing.


Guy Windsor: How does that square with the attention deficit side of things? Well, okay, let me put it another way. How come that doesn't work with tidying up?


Katriina Malkki: I don't know.


Guy Windsor: So you don't really have a conscious choice over what you're able to get into flow about? I have to show you something, right? I made this cabinet for my study a while ago. I'll put a picture in the show notes, but basically, I've got this foam inset in the bottom of the drawer, and these are sort of general house tools, and each one had their own little cut-out spot. So there’s a spot for a screwdriver, there's a spot for a spanner. Because that way I actually know where they all are. Because otherwise they end up just in all sorts of funny places. I once lost my glasses for about a day and a half and I found them inside a toolbox. Because they are my distance glasses. And I’d been doing something close up that needed a tool. And obviously using a tool you are often working very close. So I took my distance glasses off. I put them down in the convenient spot which is in the toolbox. So put the tool back, forgot about the glasses, didn't see the glasses. And then it was a couple of days and the kids were like looking all over the house and finally I found them. What was I doing? Oh, maybe I got a tool out the tool box. And we looked everywhere. I took the car almost to pieces. Under the seats. So, yeah, having one spot where things always go - super useful.


Katriina Malkki: That would be. Yes.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. My solution is to build cabinets for that sort of thing. My Swiss army knife. There's one spot where it lives that it's in this drawer under my monitor.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, well, I would need everything intact with my body.


Guy Windsor: People have these amazing clothes which have these billions of pockets on them. And, you know, I tried to get a flying suit for doing flying, because one of the hardest things of flying a plane is navigating, because you've got a map and you've got a protractor and a ruler for the distances and it is bloody complicated, you’ve got bits and pieces all over the place. And you have to be juggling all this while flying the plane. So a flying suit, some of them have these white board inserts on the front of the thigh so you can write on your leg. Fantastic. The problem is that I am such a weird shape that either I could get into the flying suit and it kind of fit from shoulder to thigh. But then the legs were literally 20 centimetres too long. Or they could fit more or less in the leg and I couldn't actually get it on because, basically I have a very long back and very short legs. And so I have no flying suit. I need to get one tailor made and I don't have the money and it's totally unnecessary. Yeah, the pockets. If you want pockets, get a flying suit, amazing pockets.


Katriina Malkki: But then you sometimes have to take it off and then I would forget to put it on.


Guy Windsor: But not if you were on your drugs. Then you’d remember. But then you wouldn't need it. So does this go away when you're on the amphetamines?


Katriina Malkki: Um, it doesn't completely go away because if I'm stressed, then I forget a lot of stuff. Lack of sleep affects stronger. And if I'm agitated, it's also something that affects a lot stronger. And basically everything, is heightened. Even though I have the medication, it does calm me down because of the synchronisation of the brain and all that sort of stuff. But the medication doesn't take the ADHD away, it just helps with the practical stuff.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Does it interfere with your sleep at all?


Katriina Malkki: It improves my sleep. The medication.


Guy Windsor: The notion of amphetamines improving sleep. If ever we needed to prove that you cannot necessarily predict the effect of a drug on a system, there it is. Amphetamines should not improve your sleep, they should keep you awake. That's what they are for.


Katriina Malkki: Oh, I didn't know.


Guy Windsor: If I remember rightly, amphetamines were developed to keep soldiers awake when they couldn't otherwise stay awake. I think that's what they were originally for, sometime in the fifties and sixties. I may be wrong. I may be getting this from some sort of thriller novel, but somewhere in the back of my head, that's the story I have in my head about where amphetamines come from.


Katriina Malkki: So. Yeah. All right, I take mine in the morning.


Guy Windsor: That's fantastic. Okay, so as a student going to historical martial arts classes, what advice would you have for instructors who have students who have ADHD? How can they do a better job of teaching?


Katriina Malkki: Have patience and don't get pissed because some people don't focus that well at the first go. It's not a personal insult. Don't chat too long. Like I really like your way to demonstrate. Maybe say a word or two and then you just say, bish bash bosh.


Guy Windsor: Yeah.


Katriina Malkki: And then I get to have a go and then I find out I didn't realise some bit of this thing then I try to look for another way to do it. Then you show it again or something like that. But there is example. This is not fencing, but there's an example. Just a couple of weeks back, I had a gun. First time in my life in my hand and like it was in an indoor shooting range and it was a simulator. Not a real gun.


Guy Windsor: Still feels like one.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. Because there was so many little details to listen to before on how to grip it and how to do everything. So in the end of this really long line of instructions, I couldn't remember what they said last. So I started shooting, as the other women did, and I shot on the grey area of head. And we should have shot on the belly. And the instructors us asked after the five rounds, like, why are you doing that? I was looking at the other women shooting. It was completely wrong but this grey area was easier to focus on it was smaller than the belly area. There were too many instructions.


Guy Windsor: That is the problem. I was shooting in the Helsinki shooting club a couple of weeks ago when I was in Helsinki and because I hadn't shot there for a long time, I had to go through their safety briefing again and it was all perfectly competent and everything. And I'm deeply familiar with the requirements anyway, so it was relatively easy to follow. But there was absolutely no way someone who was experiencing it for the first time would remember after 10 minutes what was said in the beginning. But I guess, you know, they have to be able to demonstrate to the insurance company, or to the cops, that they had gone through all of the safety procedures before the accident happened. So basically, what you're describing, it does sound to me like any historical martial arts, taught competently should be fine, because competence requires that you give the student one thing to do. One clear instruction. They know exactly what they're doing, this one thing. And then they go ahead and do that.


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: It's just plain wrong to say focus on your footwork and your grip and your targeting and your timing and your measure. You know? No, that's just wrong. That's just bad instruction.


Katriina Malkki: That's too much. And I need repetition as an ADHD person so I don't learn everything in one go. Well, people usually don't, but ADHD people need usually more unless they sort of super focus on something. But it's good to keep in mind that there are different types of learners anyway.


Guy Windsor: So let's say you're an instructor with ADHD. What would be helpful for them? I would hope that anyone with ADHD is getting proper support and proper diagnosis and the like. But I mean, you got your diagnosis in your forties, correct?


Katriina Malkki: I was 42.


Guy Windsor: 42. Right. So, you might have been teaching martial arts for 20 years by the time you got a diagnosis. So if you are an instructor with ADHD,  what do you think might be helpful for them to know?


Katriina Malkki: Patience. Again, you need to calm yourself down before the class. And if you have a diagnosis, then think what you need help with. If you have a co instructor, then have a chat with that person. What you are good at and what needs to be improved? But it also depends on a lot of the person. As I said before, there are sort of three aspects. So if there's a lack of executive functioning, you might want to think if, if the planning itself is an issue for you. If you are internally or externally hyperactive, it's good to stick to the plan what you have, because if you're internally sort of hyperactive, it's like having dozens and dozens of things in your head at the same time. So have a plan and stick to it.


Guy Windsor: Every time I talk to somebody with ADHD, I think I should probably get myself checked for ADHD because I have a class structure that is almost always the same so that I can follow my instinct regarding what the class needs next without ending up in the weeds. But by having that external structure, which is usually like for a Fiore class, will be like warmup, footwork type stuff, dagger type stuff, longsword handling, longsword pair drills of various complexities and then finish, something like that. So within that framework, I can bounce around quite a bit without it being bad for the students. I can follow a thread all the way through. I don't find that a really rigid class plan, at this time we're going to do this drill and then we're going to move on to that drill, and then they're going to move on to that drill. I don't find that helpful because very often doing that first drill means that when I'm watching the students do it, I realise, hang on, the best next step is not this thing that is on the plan. Looking at what they actually need, we should do this thing instead. But having that overall structure to fit things into lets me be creative on the way without getting lost.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, well, the getting lost is the thing that might happen to an instructor with ADHD. So for you, I would say you seem to have some sort of features. But if I was diagnosing, I wouldn't diagnose you as an ADHD person.


Guy Windsor: Oh, good.


Katriina Malkki: And for instance, my husband, he's an entrepreneur and has his own business to run. And  sometimes it seems to me he's all over the place, like he's handling a lot of stuff, and yet he's very neurotypical. He really doesn’t get some of the thoughts that I have. He has learned, obviously, to cope with me and for some really odd reason, he's like in love with me and everything. But the plan is something that's it's good to be there, or a structure. But for an instructor with ADHD, it's like not going to every place all the time. And if you can sort of have this person as a mirror, then use it to see what's working and what is not.


Guy Windsor: You also write stories. And I know from previous interactions with you that writing stories is for you quite a lot like teaching historical martial arts. Would you like to expand on that a bit and tell us what kind of stories you write and how it relates to teaching historical martial arts.


Katriina Malkki: Well, writing instructors often say show don't tell, and that's something what I like. Also, when someone is instructing any physical activity, like a specific movement. It's three dimensional. Plus, if you start sort of extracting into words, it might become very difficult to follow through.


Guy Windsor: Just for me, the hard part of writing my books is that for me, my understanding of a particular historical martial art is a three dimensional shape or a four dimensional shape, because it changes in time. And if you imagine it like a crystal, it is not a crystal, imagine it's like a crystal which is like a molecular diagram of a crystal. Because you have to put it in words which are linear. You have to basically unravel the whole thing into a single thread that you can go from one end to the other of. Where really it should all be jumbled up like an enzyme, right, which is just a string of amino acids. But when they're put together, they kind of clump into this very specific three dimensional shape. So for me, the writing is like taking that three dimensional shape and then untwisting it into a straight line, which is weird.


Katriina Malkki: As I'm writing science fiction. So sort of by this person cringed or is running away. It's some it tells a lot more than explaining in a long sentence that this person is failing, that the cyborg is very threatening and, you know, all that stuff.


Guy Windsor: So rather than talking about the feelings of the characters, you show them what they're doing and the reader can sort of extrapolate the feelings from that.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: And I mean, you write in Finnish, correct?


Katriina Malkki: Yes.


Guy Windsor: Okay. But translate into English occasionally.


Katriina Malkki: Well, I have written only one book, and I translated it in English because I have many friends who don't speak Finnish. And they asked me what I was writing about. But it’s like translating a whole book. They kept asking and I was like, okay, I can translate it. And yes, it's now in two languages.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So, top tip. You're on a podcast. People are listening. Some of those people might want to read your book, so you should maybe just drop the title gently in there and just accidentally let them know where they could get the book if they were so interested.


Katriina Malkki: It's called Cyberwar in 2037.


Guy Windsor: Cyberwar in 2037. Yeah.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And, well, I basically wrote a story what I would like to read. There is artificial intelligence, there’s tension, humour, struggle, friendship, all that sort of stuff.


Guy Windsor: Why 2037? Why that year?


Katriina Malkki: It just popped up. But it also is in line with the whole saga.


Guy Windsor: What whole saga?


Katriina Malkki: I'm writing a saga.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So it fits in with the rest of the books not published yet. So Cyberwar in 2037, that sounds like a very interesting book, Katriina. Where can people get it if they want? It's available in all good bookshops.


Katriina Malkki: I wish. It's online bookstores only because I published it by myself and it's Books on Demand in Finland, but Amazon is the widest place to go for it.


Guy Windsor: Okay, excellent. Did you use Draft2Digital for the e-book distribution?


Katriina Malkki: No.


Guy Windsor: Okay. You might want to look into them because they will distribute it to every online retailer for you without you having to find those retailers yourself.


Katriina Malkki: Oh, okay.


Guy Windsor: Really, really useful. If I was publishing a book for the first time today, I would do Draft2Digital for all e-books and I would do Ingram Spark for all print. Just to keep things simple, you can get more complicated and I have separate accounts of various different online stores like KDP for Amazon and Kobo. And at one point I was uploading separately to Apple and also Barnes & Noble. Yes, there are these services that will do all that for you these days. Saves so much time and effort.


Katriina Malkki: I bet. Yes. I actually took the Books on Demand because they do some distribution in Finland. But globally, I wasn't very sort of fascinated on that at the time. But let's see how this goes on.


Guy Windsor: Now, we do have to ask about the sea rescue training because it does sound fascinating. So what is that all about?


Katriina Malkki: Well, it's about being at Lake here in Kuopia, but also helping people who have trouble with their boat or people who are about to sink and drown. So we are trying to make it before people drown.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So you're basically a lifeboat volunteer? If a mayday distress call comes in for some reason, you jump in a boat and off you go.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, that's basically it.


Guy Windsor: How do you train for that?


Katriina Malkki: We have really good step by step learning method. It's like once a week at least we have this training evening and there we have everything from navigation to first aid and all sorts of different parts of how to handle a boat and how you handle the messaging and all that sort of stuff. And, you know, I'm on trainee level and then there's all the way to captain and the chief.


Guy Windsor: So at some point, if you keep doing this, you'll end up as the captain of the lifeboat, do you think?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: That would be super cool. So do you also, like, jump in the water and do scuba sort of stuff?


Katriina Malkki: Well, I jump into the water. In a very cold water too. We have this dry suit. So we are mainly on the surface. So if something is beneath the surface, then someone else has to be called for help.


Guy Windsor: It’s a bit too late, usually.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: So if necessary, you jump out of the lifeboat into the water in the dry suit.


Katriina Malkki: Hope the zipper is tight.


Guy Windsor: And then do a rescue operation. So sort of like being a lifeguard at a swimming pool, actually with boats in open water. So what made you go into that?


Katriina Malkki: Well, my family had a boat when I was a child. And then last year, my sister in law said that she had been training with a dog and had this basic course, weekend course and said that I might be interested. Then I went to a weekend course.


Guy Windsor: Did you say training with a dog?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, some people train with the dog because if there's a search and rescue, we also take the dogs on islands.


Guy Windsor: Oh, I see. So you also do such a rescue on land if there's water involved. So like if someone is lost on the island you go and find them. It hadn't occurred to me that the lifeboats would have dogs on them.


Katriina Malkki: Sometimes I do think they're very handy.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So your sister in law was going to this this dog training lifeboat training and you went along?


Katriina Malkki: She had done it already. And then she said that those new course coming up on last autumn. And then I was there and a few other people. So I got so fascinated on it. So I'm really on it.


Guy Windsor: Actually. So what is the fascination?


Katriina Malkki: Like, if there's an emergency in water, I’m in! I'm trying to explain. So there's we have a really, really nice boat, which goes fast.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Speedboats, I like speedboats.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And it's really nice when you know that you get to help someone when you go there and time and all that sort of stuff. And we are also helping the authorities. Well, that's not the exciting part, but it's part of this stuff. But I think being on a boat and, you know, hopping into water and all that sort of stuff, it's just something that spikes up the adrenaline.


Guy Windsor: So you get to be on your own thriller novel.


Katriina Malkki: Precisely.


Guy Windsor: Fantastic. And you started that quite recently?


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, It's just in August last year, and now it's spring time and the summer coming.


Guy Windsor: And if you don't mind me bringing it up, it's worth pointing out you're in your mid-forties.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. It's fine.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. Because, it’s very common for people think that, okay, I am over 25. I can't do anything like jumping into the sea out of a lifeboat to save something like this. And one of the things that we've had quite a few interviews on so far is people who have taken up, for example, historical martial arts in their forties or in their fifties or whatever. And it's just, I think, maybe a good idea to just highlight the fact that you didn't have to start this when you were a kid.


Katriina Malkki: No, by no means.


Guy Windsor: Right. Okay. So, people listening, if you are if you're interested in doing something similar, the fact that you may be an actual grown up and not some 30 year old child should be no impediment.


Katriina Malkki: And now my youngest is six years old and I have the time to do that kind of stuff. So now I can leave him to his grandparents or to his dad because my husband is a competent father, parent.


Guy Windsor: Well I would hope so. I mean, it shouldn't even need saying, but actually, sadly, in many cases it does.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, I've seen that. It's not so obvious.


Guy Windsor: It's a heartbreaking stage they go through when they decide they don't need you anymore. But actually it has its compensations.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And I've done my children. Four is quite enough.


Guy Windsor: Four is plenty. Yeah. I've got two and that's plenty. Okay. So you’ve written a novel and you do sea rescue volunteering and you run historical martial arts classes and you have kids and you're doing a Ph.D. So I'm not sure I even should bother asking this question, but what is the best idea you haven't acted on yet?


Katriina Malkki: Becoming a worldwide bestseller.


Guy Windsor: Well, okay, top tip. When somebody mentions writing in an interview or a podcast, plug the shit out of your book.


Katriina Malkki: That's the bit I'm not very good at. It's like I'm a Finn. Marketing what I can do is it's like walking into hell.


Guy Windsor: Okay, I have a suggestion. Joanna Penn wrote a book called How to Market a Book. And the reason half my income comes from my books these days is thanks to reading that book and acting on what it says. She also has a podcast called The Creative Penn, which is one of the very few podcasts I never miss. And I've even been on it twice. So there is some swordy stuff on there. Two out of about 700 episodes. But yeah, the thing that really sorted my head out around marketing is it’s the difference between interrupting people to shout at them about what you want to sell them, and letting people who would be glad to know know about what you're trying to sell. The way I always think about it is if your favourite band was coming to town and you didn't know about it and the lead singer sent you an email and said, Oh, Katriina, we're playing in your town next Saturday. And here’s 10% off the tickets if you, if you want to come because it'd be nice to see you there. You would be like, well, fuck you for advertising it to me you shallow bastard. You'd be like oh, thank you so much, I didn't want to miss it. Okay, so basically marketing done right, people say thank you when you advertise stuff to them. That to me is like the gold standard. So if you think of it like that, the people who would enjoy reading your book, if you let them know about your book, you are doing them a favour. That's how I think of it, that's how I get my head around it.


Katriina Malkki: That's a very good way to think of it.


Guy Windsor: And it is actually true, like when I send out sales emails for like the next course or whatever, if I do it right, people do email me to say thank you for letting them know. And if you have an email list, every time you send out an email, some people will unsubscribe just because of the nature of how these things work. But if people are interested, they will be glad to find out about it. So your idea you haven’t acted on is to market the shit out of your book.


Katriina Malkki: That would be the best way to put it.


Guy Windsor: Okay. All right. Well, Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book is probably the best first step.


Katriina Malkki: I will put it on the reading list.


Guy Windsor: The last question. Somebody gives you €1,000,000, as we’re in Finland now, to spend on historical martial arts. How would you spend it?


Katriina Malkki: This was very difficult to come up with and I don't think I have a brilliant idea, as some people have. But the idea is to instruct teachers by making a video material to give the teachers and daycare people on why kids should be encouraged to play outdoors and should not be told to leave the sticks alone. And the video would also advise how the personnel would safely sort of guide children and show how girls and boys wrestle. Since most humans do have like four limbs, it's not like boys only have them. It's like get people moving instead of saying no.


Guy Windsor: So you would go to a pre-school age and teach the teachers how to get the kids play fighting with each other more effectively? That would then presumably lead to the kids being better able to do historical martial arts later on.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. And not be afraid of it.


Guy Windsor: And not be afraid. That's a really good idea.


Katriina Malkki: Some of the money I would use on marketing and distribution and telling the headmasters of these schools, of teachers and different countries that this material exists because again, marketing is something that tells that there is this material which can be used. And so education would go on and yeah, this is my idea. That's because I have gotten from fencing that I'm not afraid of stuff anymore. I would love to give that idea to children. Well, I have given to mine, but to other children too, that if there is a stick coming towards you, you don't necessarily have to be afraid of it.


Guy Windsor: You can just deal with it.


Katriina Malkki: You just go for it. And it’s just a lever.


Guy Windsor: Okay. With €1,000,000, you could make a pretty spiffy video. I guess one of the tricks would be getting it in enough languages so that it would work in lots of different countries. And then basically getting it incorporated into the teacher training for the teachers who are teaching young children.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Okay. That's a really good idea. So I think one of the concerns that teachers have is if they allow children to wrestle and whack each other with sticks and what not, then they will grow up to be violent.


Katriina Malkki: I think this is the opposite.


Guy Windsor: I agree. I mean, I teach martial arts for a living. Have done for a long time. I agree. But I think the biggest obstacle you have in that regard is that our culture generally has got its head stuck in the idea that children should not be allowed to be violent in any way, shape or form.


Katriina Malkki: But they are.


Guy Windsor: They're natural little savages is what they are.


Katriina Malkki: They hit and bite and everything. I've been bitten so many times.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. I mean, I remember when my youngest was particularly little, like, four. If she was upset about something she would haul her arm all the way back and whack me as hard as she could in the leg. It's like, yeah, okay, you're not allowed to do that. So, you know, whatever.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah. But if you're with the same size child, they would learn as small children that this hurts if you do that. And, you know, they get bruises anyway. If they get bruises, like, if someone's smacking you, obviously you have to cover some places like the eyes and stuff. But anyway, I think the modern society is too careful in some aspects.


Guy Windsor: I mean, judo has an excellent kids programme generally speaking. Certainly in the UK. It is a really good starting point for kids to learn martial arts. But if that sort of thing was a super, super common part of the curriculum in kindergartens where you've got playtime and nap time and snack time, there could also be wrestle time. And if they were taught, okay, this is how we wrestle nicely with our friends, then they could do all of that without hurting each other physically. No more risk than falling off a swing. Yeah, that's a great idea. And then, of course, then they would come to my classes sometime later with some really good foundational skills, like how to control a stick and how to wrestle.


Katriina Malkki: How to fall.


Guy Windsor: And how to fall. It would make my life so much easier.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, and it would save so much money. For instance, if in Finland and all the countries where you have this icy time.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. When I was teaching beginners classes in Helsinki, I would always start in the first lesson by teaching people to fall. And I'd tell them, I want you to have something that's actually useful to you in your everyday life. And you live in Finland. There’s ice on the streets, you will fall at some point or another. You might as well learn to do it well. And so we were falling on concrete, no problem. If you do it right, it's fine.


Katriina Malkki: I know.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. I mean, you've done it in my classes. I know.


Katriina Malkki: It's a big thing.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. I think it would make every martial art’s teacher’s life a lot easier if everyone had a foundation in swinging sticks and wrestling.


Katriina Malkki: Yeah, Like I started at Aikido, and they already talk about how to get my first belt, like on the second time.


Guy Windsor: Well, yeah, because you have some foundations. It makes life a lot easier. Well, if I had the money I would give it to you.


Katriina Malkki: Thank you.


Guy Windsor: Here is an imaginary chest of imaginary euros, there you go. Well thanks so much for joining me today, Katriina, it's been lovely talking to you.


Katriina Malkki: It's been wonderful to be here.


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