Free Self-Defense Classes for Women and Teenagers at UT Austin

Sadly, Austin police are currently investigating several recent attacks on women who were running on or near popular Austin hike-and-bike trails close to downtown. Unfortunately, those types of attacks can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

The University of Texas at Austin Police Department is offering a free 12-hour basic physical defense class to provide women with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance. 

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. 

The RAD System is the country’s largest and fastest growing self-defense program for women and children and and the only self-defense program ever to be endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). It is taught at over 400 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.


The course includes:

Session 1

Utilizing the RAD student manual, students will be involved in a discussion of risk reduction strategies, date rape, continuum of survival, defensive strategies and the basic principals of defense.

Participating students will begin the process of hands on training. We also discuss the pros and cons of defensive weaponry, how to develop a defensive mindset, understanding offensive and defensive postures, recognizing vulnerable locations and utilizing personal weapons.

Session 2

Participating students will continue the process of hands on training. The techniques utilized by RAD Systems are based on simple gross motor skills and are developed to the point that they become instinctual through repetition.

Session 3

Students will have the opportunity to use these techniques in dynamic impact training by striking padded equipment held by the instructors. All techniques target a single attacker.

While UTPD's website says "RAD classes are offered at no charge to university students, faculty and staff.", we've confirmed that the classes are available to anyone, women and teenagers 16 years of age with consent from their guardian (forms are provided the first night of the class).

The next 3 Day Basic Women's RAD Self Defense Class takes place October 23-25, 5-9pm at the UT Police Department Training Room 2201 Robert Dedman Dr. Register here.  

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About Birgit Sund
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