The Argument Ninja Curriculum

The Argument Ninja Academy program is intended to teach students the art, science and ethics of “rational persuasion” — how to think independently and critically, how to reason well, and how to communicate effectively and persuasively.

The organization of the program, and the teaching and learning principles on which it’s founded, are inspired by martial arts training principles.

A common feature of martial arts programs is a level-based progression system. The levels are coded as colored belt ranks. Beginners are white belts. They learn the white belt skills, demonstrate those skills in a belt test, and move on to yellow belt. And so on. This system is part of an overarching strategy for teaching complex skills in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

The Argument Ninja Academy program is organized around the same philosophy of learning and skill development. But in this case the skills involve reasoning, communication, persuasion, and critical thinking more broadly.

Below is a current draft of the Argument Ninja curriculum. It gives the titles of the learning modules that make up a given belt level.

This document gives a sense of the themes that will be covered but obviously doesn’t say much about the teaching methods we’ll be deploying in the online learning environment that we’re developing.

I’ll be discussing the elements of this curriculum in the podcast and in articles on this site, and in the lower section of this page.

[Note: This is a working document. Expect it to change.]


Interested? You can reserve a seat in this program by becoming a Patron:

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2 thoughts on “Curriculum

  1. Good Day Kevin. I just became a patron, I believe in what your trying to accomplish and I can’t wait for the course.

    I wanted to know if your curriculum could address how to defend against being manipulated or is that already part of the course. I say that because I think it’s very important for someone to defend against this dark art. Manipulation is prevalent in school, work, public and private spheres and I can’t seem to flush out the truth from the lies. In the past I’ve seen friends and family manipulated into financial schemes which cost them a lot of money and in the worst case their life (suicide).

    I’ve read the book ” I feel guilty when I say No” by Manual Smith, it offers some good defences against manipulation but I feel it is not based on current thinking, so I was hoping you could mention it in your curriculum.


    1. Hi Dee. I appreciate your support very much, thank you!

      One of my goals with this curriculum is to develop skills in being able to detect and resist unwanted manipulation. It’s part of the “critical thinking for self-defense” perspective ( Those skills are quite complex, in my view. They emerge out of developing a variety of other skills and background knowledge. Short answer is yes, this is an important goal of this program.

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