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Self-Defense
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Rape Aggression Defense (RAD)

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Self-Defense Classes for Women.

Even if you think you have no reason to, taking a self-defense class is just a smart thing to do. You may never use the techniques you learn, but you’ll have them if you need them. The UConn Police Department offers (RAD), a national program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women.

The National RAD Program is an empowerment-based course, designed to counter the stereotype that women are defenseless against an attacker. RAD teaches women awareness of their physical strengths and abilities and how to use their bodies as personal weapons. RAD practical risk-reduction and basic self-defense, recognizing that every situation is different and that no one choice is right for all women. Participants learn a variety of options in self-defense, including verbal assertiveness, strikes, kicks, releases out of choke holds, and defending oneself from the ground. Much of the class is spent practicing these moves full strength on kick bags and pads, with the goal of making self-defense instinctual.

Why take RAD?

  • Learn real life skills to protect yourself.
  • Release any fear or discomfort you have about fighting back or standing up for yourself.
  • Build confidence, independence and improve your body image.

View upcoming classes.

What to look for in a self-defense class?

  • At least one female instructor. A course instructed by males only can send a message to some women that only men are truly capable of defending against male violence.
  • A coed instructor pair. A male-female pair of instructors can be wonderful models of how men and women can relate to one another. Be aware of how they relate to each other. The instruction should be empowered and collaborative.
  • An instructor that treats the students with respect and models appropriate behavior.
  • A balanced student-teacher ratio. Too many students can be a safety hazard as well as students not getting adequate instruction.
  • An instructor trained in sexual assault crisis intervention. All self-defense classes have victims in them. If the instructor is unaware of the local sexual assault center, or has no relationship with it, question the instructor’s motives in teaching women self-defense.
  • A course philosophy to empower women and teach techniques that can be used by any woman, regardless of physical ability or size.
  • Room to ask questions. You should be able to ask questions and discuss your concerns in a safe environment.
  • Have fun! There should be a sense of fun and the possibility of making new friends. There’s no need for advanced martial arts techniques.
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