Instructors from the Oklahoma State University Police Department plan to lead a four-day self-defense course starting Monday.
Police officers will teach the course according to the Rape Aggression Defense Systems, a program that, according to the pamphlet, teaches “realistic self-defense tactics and techniques.” Four members of the OSUPD are certified instructors of R.A.D., including Sgt. Leah Storm, the program coordinator at OSU.
The course will be offered on the first floor of Bennett Hall and is open to women only. No affiliation with OSU is required. Minors cannot participate without a guardian’s permission. The course is 12 hours, beginning Monday and Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. and continuing next Monday and Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. In order to complete the course, students must attend the first three nights. The cost is $30 for the entire course, due the first night.
Storm said the first three nights are training nights and the last night will allow participants to practice what they have learned.
“The last three hours of the course we go through a simulation,” Storm said. “So, our instructors get into a suit that’s highly padded. We give our students a modified, like, elbow pads, knee pads, helmet. And then they get to use and go through scenarios where they use the techniques they have learned within the course on a physical person in a controlled environment.”
Violent crime is relatively rare on the OSU campus. In 2017, there were seven violent crimes reported to the OSU police department, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. That’s one for every 3,281 students. That number includes rapes and aggravated assault. The R.A.D. Systems course is aimed at bringing that number down.
“We teach them, be aware of where your exits are,” Storm said. “It doesn’t have to be someone coming in here to sexually assault you. It could be an active shooter, or a fire happens. Do you know where another exit is? Can you be aware of your surroundings and identify someone who has maybe tried to steal your purse, or broken into somebody’s car?”
Storm said one of the most valuable parts of the course is the self-confidence it brings out in participants.
“For a lot of people, it brings out a self-awareness, it brings out things that they didn’t know they were fully capable of doing,” Storm said. “Most females are not brought up in an age where they’re encouraged to do those types of activities. It’s very self-empowering. We like to see people come out of their shells and realize that they are fully capable of defending themselves, or even being vocal, because your voice is actually a self-defense technique.”
In order to host the class, Storm said they need at least ten participants, a number that, as of Friday, they had not reached. To register for the class email Storm at firstname.lastname@example.org.