UIPD self-defense class for women opens for spring registration

By The Daily Illini staff report

A women-only self-defense course conducted by the University Police Department has opened for registration and will start classes in the spring.

The Rape Aggression Defense System is a “comprehensive course being taught at colleges around the country,” said Robert Murphy, R.A.D. program instructor and detective, in an email.

“We talk about issues that affect women primarily, and we feel they would be more comfortable talking about it in a group of women,” he said. “Also, in teaching the same self-defense to a mixed group would be counterproductive.”

The program teaches women realistic self-defense techniques and tactics in a 12-hour course, which is instructed over four weeks by certified R.A.D. instructors, according to the R.A.D. website.

“The course was developed and based on natural movements and abilities of women to maximize their ability to defend herself,” Murphy said.

The course has been available at the University for over 20 years, Murphy said. 

“It begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance before progressing on to basic hands-on defense training,” Murphy said.

At the end of the four-week course, students of the program will have the chance to participate in a simulation. This simulation will allow participants to practice their self-defense techniques in a controlled learning environment, the website said.

“It’s a dynamic simulation which gives them the opportunity to practice their avoidance and physical techniques in a controlled learning environment. We have several scenarios they will participate in and use their new skills to navigate them,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the end goal of this course is “empowerment, and to give a woman options of what to do in situations she may be faced with.”

“It’s a fun course where you will learn how to stay safe,” he said.

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