Is R.A.D. Really Rad?

 Sexual assault is a huge problem happening all over. In the United States, 1 in 5 women has been a victim of completed or attempted rape. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. These extreme statistics bring up the question of what we can do to stop sexual assault? Society has tried to find ways to deter people from committing sexual assault, but nothing has really worked. So what are you supposed to do? One of the best things you can do is to know how to protect yourself. It is not a pleasant to realize that in the face of attac,  you are the only one who really can do anything. But in 2019, we're encouraging strong, independent women--and you need to be one of them. 

 One of the best self-defense programs on the market is a Rape, Aggression Defense class (R.A.D.). R.A.D.was founded in 1989 and has since grown to be an international organization with more than 11,000 instructors. R.A.D. is also the only self-defense program ever endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), National Academy of Defense Education, the National Self- Defense Institute (NSDI) and Redman Training Gear. With the program having surging popularity, you might be wondering what are the actual benefits of this course, and is it worth it?

The pros of taking a RAD class:

It is a good workout- It is not designed to be a workout class, but depending on how in shape you are and how serious you take the class you can get a pretty good workout in.

Meet new people- Even though it is only four classes, you get pretty close with those you do meet. You are all there to learn how to protect yourself--which in and of itself is a bonding moment. 

Learn valuable skills- You do learn a ton of useful skills throughout the course. You learn how to be aware of your surroundings to avoid being targeted, what to do if a situation does occur, and what to do after.  

Build confidence- One of the greatest things you get out of the class is boosted confidence. You feel empowered knowing you can protect yourself and for some reason yelling "no" for three hours makes you feel pretty good. 

The cons of taking a RAD class:

You might leave with a few bruises- Depending on your instructor and your practice partner, be prepared for a few scuffs and scrapes. 

It is time-consuming- It is a 12-hour course, usually split up once a week for four weeks for three hours which is a big chunk of time especially for students.

Outdated- The major concern found with the program is that it is a bit outdated. It was founded in 1989, but it has been updated a few times since then. A majority of the moves are designed for when someone you don't know attacks you, which is fairly unlikely to happen, but they do teach moves to use in other situations.


Why I think it is worth it...

I took my first RAD class during my sophomore year of high school and have recently taken a second course. For me, the confidence I get out of the course and the feeling of being able to protect myself is worth all the negatives that I have found. After taking the course, I rarely find myself worried about going to the store late at night or walking home, because I know how to be safe and how to handle myself in those situations. The class might not be for everyone, but I suggest you find something that makes you feel safe and empowered.


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