I feel bad. I postponed a CQB class - the first time I have ever done so. Our host in Michigan (it is about 3 hours north of Detroit, not sure if that qualifies as "Yooper" territory or not) has been trying to get a class together for quite a while. He ended up with four slots, and as you all know I never accept a class with fewer than 8 paid slots. My costs are simply too high. I broke my own rule. I made an exception not only because the guy is a real Patriot, but he really wants to train and he helped me last weekend by bumping a week so we could stay in Idaho an extra week and get more work done after the PatCom. In addition, Holly and I were able to schedule the class on our way back toward the east coast from Idaho. Round trip it added about 12 hours drive time and just 2 days more on the road. As it is we spend more than $100 per day traveling, between food, motel, fuel, et cetera. (Obviously, teaching CQB is not a profit-driven endeavor!) we left Idaho early this week and have been hoofing it east for class.
Our Michigan Patriot apparently fronted the money for himself and a few of his buddies out of his own pocket for 2 days of classtime. Class tomorrow ended up falling on Opening Day for bear - so our Patriot emailed and said we were down to basically him and me, and maybe one or two other people. Additionally, yesterday he took a thorn deep in the meat of his palm below the thumb - he said he was having a hard time even opening a water bottle. He planned to train through the pain - that's what men do.
But - as all of my students know we put pressure on that part of the hand all day long, many techniques depend upon it. Then we add more pressure with our thumb on the back of the hand, then torque. Even a tough Patriot runs the risk of serious long-term muscle damage if I were to train him hard on that hand if it starts the day damaged. I have a strict policy of looking out for my fellow Patriots when they trust me to train with them. Combined with many of his buddies bailing on him (they had no skin in the game), this morning I decided it was best to postpone the class. As my students know, training with one or two students isn't how the class is set up to operate. It just won't work (except in GroundFighting)
I feel bad. The guy was spending time preparing a small cabin on his property for me and Holly and the dogs to stay. (This would be the first time we EVER accepted such hospitality from our hosts - usually our hosts have dogs and it wouldn't turn out well.) He was excited and eager. Holly was truly disappointed - she really wanted to meet our host and see his part of the world. But given all the various factors, I pulled the plug.
Of course he is disappointed, and I don't blame him. I told him we could swing up on our way back west after Brock's PatCom (Holly and I have decided to winter in Idaho), or refund his money. Holly is going to cut him a check tomorrow. Jim (Our Michigan Patriot - NOT Jim Klein) if you make it to Brock's, I'll make sure to get you into the class, free.
Our Michigan Patriot in one of his emails mentioned he was essentially alone where he lived - no real, true allies he could count on in a SHTF scenario. Like so many of us, if he looks left and right on "Go Day" he will probably be alone where he lives right now. That is the sad and ugly truth of the III Movement. We III are very, very few indeed. That is why Holly and I have made a new home in a place where we will not be alone.