Equipping Women Through Self-Defense

RAD program serves to educate women on self-defense.

The final session includes a simulation for R.A.D. students to practice their techniques on. The male instructors dress in protective gear as the female students fight off their aggressors.

Mya Taylor, Contributing Writer

R.A.D., or Rape, Aggression, Defense, is a women’s self-defense program contracted by Cal State LA to offer a 12-hour-long seminar once a semester. The seminar is divided into two consecutive days on learning risk recognition and reduction. The R.A.D. system teaches the development and enhancement of self-defense skills.

Specifically, the R.A.D system works hard to maintain a safe environment for its participants both in seminar and in real-world events. With the best interest of women in mind, no men are allowed to attend the event. R.A.D ensures the confidentiality and safety of its participants by allowing them to remain anonymous.

The program is focused on the ways that women are attacked differently than men. R.A.D’s lead instructor and quality improvement manager, Lizette Juarez, has been with the program for over 27 years. Juarez emphasized the need for women to have self-defense classes.

“It’s an extremely important program for all women. Taking the course will help them prepare for risky situations like random attacks. We teach women how to stay alert so that they’re able to be in any environment while thinking about safety,” said Juarez.

The seminar was divided into two days since the skills are taught in a strategic-chronological order. Knowledge presented on day one of the seminar is critical to understanding not only what defense is, but the responsibility associated with it. Building upon those ideologies, real-world defensive stances and strikes are taught at full force to be later utilized in a simulation on the last day of the course.

Multiple safety measures are taken to preserve a secure, communal atmosphere for the women participating. Wellness checks are done periodically throughout the physical training, Before any physical training is done, a strong emphasis is placed on the need to act responsibly with the tools that are to be taught. It is advised that the tools only be used in life-or-death situations.

Juarez also gave an example of a safety precaution that all students can utilize: rather than walking with two headphones in, she recommends students only wear one so that they can hear their environment. She believes that if students exercise this practice, they will be able to quickly detect potential danger.

Juarez told the University Times that R.A.D.’s goal is to build muscle memory, which will help dismantle an automatic freeze response that an individual may have when confronted with danger.

The R.A.D program will be returning to Cal State LA soon. Students are encouraged to sign up for the course at the University-Student Union (U-SU) Administration Office, Room 306. For more information on R.A.D. Programs near you, visit rad-systems.com or contact your local police department.