For years, my father has been encouraging me to take a self-defense class, thus when Her Campus gave their members the opportunity, I was excited to go! The Rape Aggression Defense systems program (R.A.D) offers classes to women, men, children, and seniors that provide “realistic options” of self-defense.
R.A.D classes are offered all over the United States, and once you’ve completed the course you can return at any time and to any class anywhere to refresh your skills or learn more! Every class is taught by a certified R.A.D instructor; our class was offered and conducted by the Boston University Police and was held specifically for our group. However, B.U. offers the classes to anyone willing to learn at different times of the week or semester.
Photo Credit: Police Fullerton
For the Her Campus R.A.D class, the B.U. Police officers taught us some basic moves of self-defense. For example, we learned how to throw a punch that wouldn’t hurt us but would do the most damage to our attacker and how to stand in a way that would make it more difficult for us to be pushed over. The police officers referred to this class as their Basic R.A.D class but encouraged us to take part in their four-week class to learn even more.
I signed up, and my next four Tuesday nights were spent throwing jabs, blocks, and kicks at various punching bags. Each day’s class was different and focused on one area of the body or one type of defense.
Photo Credit: ASU Events
The first day we learned how to get in our “defensive stance,” and how to use our voices as a form of self-defense. One thing that the officers stressed the most was the importance of using your voice when fighting or being attacked. Whenever we threw any punch, made any kick, or even prepared to fight, out motions were followed by a yell of “NO!”
The second day, we started hitting things. We learned four different types of punches and what part of the body is the most effective place to hit. What’s great about these classes is that the instructors will show you the moves, but when you’re practicing yourself or in real life, you can choose whichever ones you’re most comfortable using. This was also the day when we got to actually hit things; pads specifically. We also learned effective ways to kick our assailants.
Photo Credit: Police Fullerton
The third day was all about ground-defense, a.k.a. how to fight someone when they’re on top of you. This was a pretty awkward class, but one of the most important because it’s highly likely that a fight or assault will end up on the ground.
The fourth day was our simulation. When we got there we were given helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves that protected our knuckles. Today we were going to fight for real. Three B.U. policemen were dressed in head-to-toe padded suits to protect themselves from our punches and it was our job to fight them off. Yes, we had to fight off grown, adult, muscled men who were doing their best to challenge us. It was intense, to say the least, but everyone in our class passed with flying colors.
Photo Credit: University of New Hampshire
Overall, this class was one I have no regrets taking. It taught me and my fellow classmates valuable tools that we can use for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t take long for a situation to become dangerous, and as young women, we need to know how to defend ourselves in a dangerous situation. I would highly recommend this class to every woman, regardless of her size or lifestyle. R.A.D classes are offered in every state in the U.S. and are easy to find by checking out their website, R.A.D, or checking your school police force to see if they offer the class!