R.A.D. Self Defense Programs

Rape Aggression Defense Training (R.A.D.)

The Rape Aggression Defense System is a program of realistic defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. The R.A.D. course offered by the Department of Campus Police is taught by certified R.A.D. instructors. R.A.D. training is growing in popularity and is presently taught at many colleges and university. The wide spread acceptance of R.A.D. training is due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of the tactics, solid research, legal defensibility and unique teaching methodology.

R.A.D. courses are scheduled at the convenience of our students. Any women or group of women, wishing to participate in the R.A.D. Basic Self Defense Course or schedule their own class should contact one of our instructors.

By being well researched, structured, responsible, defensible and dynamic, R.A.D. Systems has remained the only self defense program ever endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). Founded in 1989, the R.A.D. Systems of self defense for women and children are currently taught at nearly 400 colleges, universities, rape crisis centers, municipal, state and county law enforcement agencies.

The R.A.D. Basic Physical Defense System begins with a strong foundation of awareness, risk reduction and avoidance strategies, which R.A.D. believes is 90 percent of self defense training. The program then discusses the date rape mentality and an associated pattern of encounter, all just prior to discussing the decision to resist and the legalities associated with justifiable resistance. The course moves on to a thorough discussion of confrontational dynamics, basic physical defense principles, the postures of conflict, personal weapons of the body and selected target areas designed to stun an aggressor and allow the student to escape. After all of this is covered and presented for discussion, the physical training begins.

Starting slowly, the R.A.D. program systematically covers the basics of stances, yelling, movement, blocking, striking, and kicking. Tactics that are instructed methodically at first, becoming progressively more intense as the skill is acquired. The physical options continue with defenses against wrist grabs, bear hugs, and chokes, focusing on the student's personal weapons, the aggressors body targets and ultimately escaping. Then the system takes it to the ground by teaching participants the basic defense against prone assaults. Once all of the skills are taught and assimilated by the participants. R.A.D. begins the revolutionary simulation training process that separates reality from preconceived notions of what confrontation is like. Using the simulation training suit for self-defense the R.A.D. instructor creates the chaotic elements of real confrontation. This process actually allows students to test their skills and refine the critical plans of action that were selected and nurtured throughout the program.

At Mount Holyoke, R.A.D. is part of the Department of Physical Education two credit PE course, which is designed to teach women basic self-defense. The course meets for two hours once a week for 13 weeks. At Smith, the Department teaches R.A.D. classes as a co-curricular opportunity.

About Our Instructors

Lead Instructor, Barbara A. Arrighi is the retired Deputy Chief of the Campus Police Department at Mount Holyoke and is a Master level Karate Instructor. She is certified through R.A.D., Rape Aggression Defense Systems as a Basic, Advanced, and Kids R.A.D. Instructor and is a Staff Instructor in Keychain self-defense. In July 2000, Ms. Arrighi was elevated to Keychain Defense Staff Instructor for R.A.D. systems. Ms. Arrighi was awarded the 2004 Susan B. Anthony Award by R.A.D. Systems for her long-time commitment to R.A.D. and personal safety instruction.

Ms. Arrighi has been training in Karate since 1972 and taught for the Department of Physical Education at Mount Holyoke College since 1975. As a master level teacher (Shihan) Ms. Arrighi has been teaching women self-defense in a straight forward, easy to learn method, which both the R.A.D. Basic and Advanced Keychain self-defense physical defense courses offer. However, for students that are interested in a long-term traditional karate course, Ms. Arrighi also a heads the Bushido-Kai Karate Club at MHC. See also USA Shito-Ryu Karate Do-Kai.

Barbara Arrighi was inducted into the R.A.D. Hall of Fame at the July, 2010 Annual Conference.
Other department instructors include Sergeant Frank Rogala, Sergeant Kellie Cournoyer, Officer Jen Galvin, Assistant Instructor Maggie Brown and Dispatcher Simone Ascher.

Requesting a Class or For More Information

If you would like to request a R.A.D. class or would like more information, please email the RAD Team members: Maggie Brown and Kellie Cournoyer.
A R.A.D. student participates in simulations at the end of a course.