Warrior's Way Falling and Commitment Camp


Lead climbing at the limit.

Lead climbing at the limit.
Warrior's Way

The warrior is an archetype for courage that we all act through when facing challenging, stressful, and risky situations. Sometimes we act powerfully as a warrior would and sometimes we feel overcome by stress and therefore ineffective.  We all desire to be courageous when challenged. By learning how to embody the warrior's way we rally our attention and therefore our courage.

One area where we all feel challenged is in rock climbing. Every climber knows that there is an element of fear to the sport. In some cases, the fear is justified. But in others it's not. Part of the warrior mentality is an ability to categorize fear, to identify true risk vs. perceived risk and to isolate these elements within one's mind appropriately.

This course was developed by Arno Ilgner, a renowned climber from the Southeast. Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and 80s, when the top climbs were bold and dangerous first ascents. These personal exploits became the foundation for Ilgner's unique physical and mental training program; The Warrior's Way. In 1995, after a thorough search of the literature and practice of mental training and the great warrior traditions, Ilgner formalized his methods and began teaching his program full-time. Since then, he has helped hundreds of students sharpen their awareness, focus attention, and understand their athletic (and life) challenges within a coherent, learning-based philosophy of intelligent risk-taking. Ilgner considers the joy and satisfaction in the effort the "journey" intimately linked to successful attainment of goals, the "destination". Alumni of his courses now include some of the nation's most prominent climbers.

Warrior's Way Falling and Commitment Camp

Course Content and Curriculum

Course Content

  • Are you afraid of falling?
  • Are you making appropriate risk decisions?
  • Do you find it challenging to stay committed?


This 2-day camp addresses the fear of falling and helps you to improve commitment. We'll practice falling, movement, and resting exercises and apply all learned skills to a challenging route. We'll do this in small increments creating appropriate progressions for each individual student. You'll leave with a structured method for taking appropriate risks with diminished fear.

A climber leads with ease and confidence on Longs Peak in Colorado.

A climber leads with ease and confidence on Longs Peak in Colorado. Dylan Taylor

You'll learn:

  • To fall safely
  • To give a cushioned belay
  • To distinguish between no- and yes-fall zones
  • How to engage no- and yes-fall zones
  • To break a climb into smaller risk events
  • Better risk assessment
  • How to rest effectively
  • To improve breathing
  • To trust the body
  • To create flow and momentum
  • To commit more deliberately
  • To reduce fear


Warrior's Way Falling and Commitment Camp

Other Info

Prerequisites and Objectives

This course is for climbers who have been climbing at least six months consistently, know their knots, basic belaying, and movement skills. Students should be able to climb about 5.7 to 5.11. Lead climbing is not required. Most exercises are on toprope. The instructor will determine which students can lead based on our risk matrix. The aim of the course is to improve commitment or overcome fear of falling.

Suggested Preparation

Read Espresso Lessons with emphasis on Preparation and Action Chapters, and the exercises in the Appendix for these chapters.

Equipment Notes

At minimum you will need a harness, shoes, belay device, and a helmet and rope (if you have one). Please see the gear list for additional gear information.

If you have any questions on gear, please call the AAI Equipment Shop, (360) 671-1570, Monday - Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time. For additional information on the clothing and gear that we sell, please visit our the Equipment Shop website.

Warrior's Way Falling and Commitment Camp

Dates and Details


Red Rock 2017

Dates scheuled upon request. Please call for availability. 

Cost:   $450 each for 2 or more climbers; $790 1:1 as a private course. Two consecutive days of instruction. 

Max Ratio:  4:1 (Climbers:Guide)

Capacity:  4




Warrior's Way Falling and Commitment Camp

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