• 55°

Women’s defense class returning

VALLEY — A women’s self-defense course known as RAD has gotten very good participation from the local community, and organizers are planning on having another session in the near future.

RAD stands for Rape Aggression Defense. It was founded by Lawrence Nadeau in 1989 as a program for realistic tactics and techniques for women. The RAD system is a comprehensive women’s-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing onto the basics of hands-on defense training.

RAD classes have been taught in Chambers County for the past couple of years. One of the county’s four certified instructors, Macy Whorton, was Wednesday’s noon hour guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Valley, and talked about why women need to take this course.

“It teaches women to use their natural ability to protect themselves,” she said. “You learn to be alert in given situations, like being on an elevator or in a parking lot.”

RAD is taught in four-day cycles with the final session being a simulation class.

“It lets you put into use what you have learned in the first three days.” Whorton said. “The Sabal Trail pipeline people gave us a grant to get the program started. We will need to have fundraisers as we go to replace equipment. We want to thank the Lanett Hampton Inn & Suites for allowing us to teach the classes in their River Room.”

It costs $25 to take the course. That covers the cost of a t-shirt, some mace, a defense book and some snacks.

“Sometimes we will have 30 women in a class,” Whorton said. “Participants are put in real-life situations. No videos are made, and no one is allowed to watch. We don’t want to give away defense techniques.”

RAD offers basic self-defense for women of all ages, including young girls and elderly women.

“We’re had a 92-year-old go through the class,” Whorton said. “A woman in a neck brace and cane learned how to use that cane as a weapon to defend herself if she had to.”

She added, “All of us who are teaching the course believe that it is an absolutely wonderful program that’s very beneficial to any woman who takes it. The first two sessions are in a classroom setting and the final two are physical.”

Whorton said that women who take the course get a sense of empowerment from it. “They feel like they can are prepared to deal with the unexpected. Women who learn what they need to do if confronted by an attacker surprise themselves and are proud of what they can do,” she said.

Whorton recommends that women take refresher courses.

“You don’t need to put your book on the shelf and forget about it,” she said. “It’s a fun course. For more information you can call the Sheriff’s Office or check out our Facebook page. When we decide on a date for the next session we will announce it.”

RAD’s mission is to establish an accessible, constantly improving and internationally respected alliance of dedicated instructors. This, in turn, will provide educational opportunities for women, children and seniors to create a safer future for themselves. In doing so, society is challenged to evolve into an existence where violence is not an acceptable part of daily life.