The R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) course is a comprehensive self-defense program for folks who self-identify as trans or cis women and/or nonbinary.  It begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance while progressing to the basics of hands-on defense training. The R.A.D. system is dedicated to teaching defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault by utilizing easy, effective, and proven self-defense tactics. One of the primary goals of the program is to provide each student with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance. Because of the effectiveness of the techniques and the supportive and fun environment, it is taught in, R.A.D.'s international program has proven itself to be a highly rewarding and empowering experience for many at Amherst College. At Amherst College, we offer courses in Basic, Advanced, and Keychain.  We also host periodic RADical Review sessions throughout the year for R.A.D. grads as a refresher.

Basic R.A.D. (16 Hours)

Basic R.A.D. begins with a lecture/discussion component which outlines a number of issues regarding awareness and avoidance of potentially dangerous situations. The largest portion of the program is spent learning and practicing basic physical self-defense techniques. The final element of the program is called the simulation. This allows students the opportunity to use their techniques in a simulated attack environment. While this can be challenging for many students, it has also proven to be highly empowering. The simulation is conducted in a safe and controlled manner and is an optional part of the program.

Advanced R.A.D. (20 hours)

Advanced R.A.D. picks up where the Basic program leaves off. In Advanced we use the same format for learning and practicing techniques, however, we spend more time on ground fighting, and we learn more elaborate skills. Two of the main issues that make Advanced R.A.D. different from Basic are that we learn techniques for multiple attacker scenarios and we provide options for attacks where weapons may be present. Advanced R.A.D. also contains an optional simulation to allow students the opportunity to try their techniques in a mentally and physically challenging environment. Students must have completed Basic R.A.D. prior to taking Advanced.

R.A.D. Keychain

The R.A.D. Keychain Defense Options course is one of the only realistic and court-defensible impact weapons programs available for the general public. Combining proven R.A.D. Physical Defense strategies with revolutionary impact weapons defense techniques make this program a worthy addition to the R.A.D. System.
Realistic employment, combat effectiveness, ‘light impact”, fluid transitions, and even simulation training exercises are all part of this program. This program revolves around use of the Kubaton in conjunction with weapon-enhanced physical skills. “No Flash and Trash” techniques here, only the best of the best!

RADical Review (short sessions)

RADical Review sessions will be advertised and conducted periodically throughout the year. These sessions will provide students with the opportunity to come and practice their techniques in a casual and fun environment. Any student who has taken Basic or Advanced R.A.D. will be welcome at any or all RADical Review sessions.

How Do I Sign Up?

Classes will be advertised through the AAS email list, on posters in the Campus Center and on table tents at Valentine. Review sessions will be posted in the Campus Center and on the AAS email list. All R.A.D. programs are free to Amherst College students and staff.