Earlier this year an IMPACT Chicago Instructor Team worked with a magnificent group of women at the University of Michigan. University of Michigan staff Katy Mattingly, author of Self-Defense: Steps to Survival, and Kellie Carbone were fantastic hosts for Margaret Vimont, Bruce Brio, and myself. The trip got me to thinking about travel and IMPACT.
While IMPACT Chicago would love a permanent, convenient, and easy-to-get-to location (with plenty of free parking!), we teach the class in a variety of locations around the city to make ourselves accessible to as many women as possible. We’ve heard over the years that location (in addition to the time commitment and money) is one of the reasons why women do not enroll. Folks don’t want to travel too far out of their way in order to take the class.
But after our recent foray to Ann Arbor, Michigan, I see this in a different light. I would never make light or dismiss anyone’s position on why they can’t make it to a certain class because I certainly acknowledge there are real-world limitations to getting around Chicago. But seeing how hard our hosts worked to bring us to Michigan, struggling for five years with bureaucratic red tape, apathetic administrators, fundraising to cover our costs – it did give me some perspective.
I mean, if this group can jump through this many hoops, wait this long in order to bring us to them, what are your hurdles to take the class? Again, not to say they aren’t real or do not need to be figured out – but seeing how long it took for this group to prevail, I feel confident saying that for most folks, we can probably work together to find a solution to your obstacles—whether it means you coming to one of our locations or you making it possible of us to come to you.
We’d love to have you in one of our classes soon – and will happily give you directions. :)
Rob Babcock, IMPACT Chicago Suited Instructor