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Self-defense program empowers women

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
What is the toughest part of your body and the best to use as a weapon? How do you avoid confrontation? What do you do when attacked in a parking lot?
The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System provides participants answers to these questions and supplies basic self-defense techniques to use in real situations. In addition to hands-on training, this interactive course teaches awareness and crime prevention training.
“It’s important for people to know how to protect themselves and realize they have the power to protect themselves,” said Public Safety Lt. Oneida Banks. “We’re giving people the tools to fight and resist an attack, if they want to use them.”
The RAD course is broken into three, three-hour sessions. A fourth simulation session that involves mock attackers in protective suits and surprise scenarios is optional. In the initial session, RAD students receive reference manuals that include various strategies and the basic principals of defense. The following two lessons incorporate offensive and defensive postures, locating vulnerable areas of an attacker, and turning personal items into weapons. Participants of the optional simulation seminar can put together everything they’ve learned to get themselves out of whatever mock situation they’re presented.
According to the RAD program, “90 percent of self-defense is mental preparedness; and the other 10 percent is physical.” RAD provides the knowledge, which builds self confidence, said Banks. “We have such a great population of women on this campus…I hope people take advantage of the program.”
RAD sessions through MUSC’s Department of Public Safety are free. The next course begins Sept. 2 and continues Sept. 10, 12, and 15, from 6-9 p.m., in the Harper Student Wellness Center auditorium. For those unable to join the September course, RAD also is offered Oct. 8, 10, 17, and 20.
If a three-session course is too much of a commitment, there is another option called Self-Defense Awareness Familiarization Exchange (SAFE). SAFE is a method of distributing crime prevention information for home study and reference. The program educates teenaged and adult women on how to reduce their risk of victimization and introduces them to some physical preparedness. SAFE is held 6-8 p.m. Aug. 21, 22, 25, 28, and 29, in the Harper Student Wellness Center auditorium. This course also is free of charge.
Repetition is the key to making a newly-learned technique into an instinct, and the RAD program assists in this development. An extra feature of RAD is its lifetime free return and practice policy, which allows women to continue their self-defense education at any participating university campus throughout the country.
For information on RAD and SAFE, or to register for either program, contact Banks at or 792-2261. 

Friday, Aug. 22, 2008
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