My Journey From R.A.D. Student to R.A.D. Instructor
Little did I know what impact a lecture at our local university on women and the law would have on my life. While waiting for the lecture to begin, I browsed through brochures on the front table. I saw a dark green flyer and the word "Rape". Being a survivor of a kidnapping, the word struck a chord in my heart and brought on a sense of nervousness. I had taken a self-defense class in college. But we only practiced "hitting the air". And I knew I was too afraid to use the tactics because I had never been able to adequately practice them. A second later I saw the word "SIMULATION". I couldn't believe it! I picked up the flyer non-chalantely so as not to draw attention to myself. While I waited for the lecture to begin, I kept glancing down at the flyer. I couldn't wait to ask someone about this "Rape Aggression Defense" class. Would I actually get to test my skills with a "bad guy"?
After phoning the R.A.D. Instructor I felt that this was the class I had been looking for. Was I nervous about taking it? Yes. Was I glad that I would be taking it? YES!
I took R.A.D. for the first time in 2004. The more we got into the class, the more confident and safe I felt. After the first night I knew this was a different class. This was a place where a self-described wimp would not be looked down upon for being assertive and that being assertive was actually a good thing! What surprised me the most was how scared I was to yell "NO!". I found that harder than the physical tactics. It was apparent we were going to learn and practice viable options. I couldn't wait to see what I would learn the following week.
I felt rather confident as a student in the class until the day or two before the simulation. That's when I thought, "What have you gotten yourself into?" I was so nervous that I emailed the Instructor and asked her not to call on me first. But after I saw a couple of students do the simulation, I felt that I could do it also. The simulation gave me the opportunity to practice what I had learned instead of "freezing".
I felt very empowered upon completion of the first class. I felt I was not helpless but had options; that I actually had the physical and emotional power within me to stand up for myself. It had been an untapped resource I did not know was there.
When the Instructor said that R.A.D. came with a lifetime return policy, I knew I would sign up for the next class. I wanted to improve on the skills I had learned. I never imagined I would ever have the emotional fortitude to become a R.A.D. Instructor. But I took R.A.D. six times and each time my confidence grew…
It became my deep desire to help other survivors and do what I could to prevent future victimization of others. It was now time for the next step in the journey; I wanted to become a R.A.D. Instructor!
I took the Instructor's class in October 2006 in Florence, SC with 12 other participants and our Instructor Kathy Wright. It was a serious and very intense three days. After the last day of the class, I was simply elated. I had achieved a major accomplishment in my own healing. Just as significantly, if I taught this course the rest of my life and was able to help just ONE person it would be worth teaching R.A.D.. Just one person….
I don't know if all Instructors realize their opportunities to empower women. Never underestimate what impacts you might have.
What is R.A.D.?
The Rape Aggression Defense Systems
is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The R.A.D. System 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. R.A.D. is not a martial arts program. Our courses are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors and provide you with a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth. The R.A.D. System of Physical Defense is currently being taught at many venues. The growing, wide-spread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of our tactics, solid research, legal defensibility and unique teaching methodology.
The Rape Aggression Defense System is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault, by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense/martial arts tactics. Our system of realistic defense will provide a woman with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.
Pandora's Aquarium - www.pandys.org: An online support group, message board, and chat room for rape and sexual abuse survivors.