For any women feeling unprepared or scared about the threat of sexual violence or assault, there is a program offered at the University of Saskatchewan to turn to, in order to aid in the prevention of these situations.
The course is called the Rape Aggression Defence System which, while facilitated by the U of S, is instructed by a nationally certified R.A.D. instructor. R.A.D. is an internationally recognized set of programs aimed at all types of people, although the course offered at the U of S is strictly for women.
While the sessions for the winter term have already begun, there is the option of booking a private course by contacting Campus Rec directly.
The courses range from eight to 12 members and cost $20 to attend. They are held in the Physical Activity Complex from 7 p.m. till 10 p.m. on designated days. With four time slots in total, the course is covered over a time span of 12 hours.
Since the course is designed with all people in mind, no prior experience in self-defence or any physical skill is required.
Any female can sign up for the R.A.D. course at the U of S, regardless as to whether or not they are a student. This is a great opportunity for students though, due to the limited time requirement and moderate cost, as well as its location on campus.
To compare to another class of the same concept offered at the Saskatoon Defensive Tactics Academy, which covers the same concepts but with the addition of dealing with armed attackers, for four hours of training in their women’s self-defence seminar the cost is $40. This seminar is located at their academy on 262 Avenue B South.
Throughout the 12 hours in the R.A.D. course, participants will be instructed in realistic self-defence tactics and techniques to maximize their own personal safety. Beginning with preventative measures such as awareness, prevention of confrontation, risk reduction and risk avoidance, the course then moves on to basics in defence training.
These principles and techniques, despite being taught over only 12 hours, are meant to be the beginning of a lifetime development. With this philosophy in mind, each participant in the program is provided with a manual that outlines the entire program along with additional information for later reference and continuous personal training.
While R.A.D. does teach hands-on defence, it is not to be regarded as a martial arts program. However, due to the physical nature of this training, R.A.D. courses are taught with the use of a suit which allows for the safety of participants while performing simulations.
One reason for choosing this program, besides its convenient location on campus, is that it has been around since 1989 and has been used to train over 900,000 women internationally. Additionally, it is the only self-defence program endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, among other institutions.
With the increased anxiety that comes with PAWS notifications of sexual assault that occur every so often, it can become easy for anyone to feel nervous walking on campus alone. While no one can be invincible or completely capable of fending off any conceivable attack, it is possible to be prepared for more than you were before, which is the idea at the heart of self-defence.
A positive to taking any self-defence class is the feeling of confidence that comes with the furthered capability to protect yourself. Be it on campus at night, walking downtown after a night out or any other scenario that could be potentially dangerous, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Jack Thompson / Staff Writer
Photo: presidioofmonterey / Flickr