Police Department

RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Self-Defense Courses

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is an internationally recognized program that advocates realistic, employable self-defense tactics for men and women.

RAD teaches resistance to violent encounters in the form of quick, deliberate, and precise defensive movements. The instructors will also teach how to increase your personal safety by increasing risk awareness, risk recognition, risk reduction, and risk avoidance.

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The Emerson College RAD program is offered in conjunction with Berklee College of Music and is taught by certified instructors who are also members of their Public Safety Departments. Each program is four sessions long, approximately four hours in duration over a 3-night period. The RAD program is offered each semester and is open to all Emerson College students, staff, and faculty.

RAD self defense courses poster

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is an internationally recognized program that advocates realistic, employable self-defense tactics for men and women.

Resisting Agression

Resisting Aggression is a choice. You are responsible for how you respond to any event in your life. Your decisions contribute to your past, present and future. Only you can make the choice to transform your life by committing to resist aggression.

By investing your time and effort into this program, you will be presented with educational options to resist aggression. You will be asked to raise your awareness of aggressive behavior, to recognize how aggressive behavior impacts your life, to take steps to avoid aggressive behavior, and to look at how you can be part of reducing aggression and violence. Unfortunately, in a small number of incidents, physical confrontations may be unavoidable.

Who can participate in Rad?

The goal of R.A.D. is to provide realistic self-defense options to men and women, regardless of their level of physical conditioning. Students at all levels of ability, age, experience, and strength will be provided with techniques and information that can be effectively used from the first day of class. R.A.D. is not a martial arts program, nor does it require students to be athletes in training to succeed.

The R.A.D. system will provide students with the knowledge to make an educated decision about personal defense. We provide information on physical and non-physical options, as well as insight into the attacker mind-set.

Every student receives a manual for reference and practice. Once a student has completed a R.A.D. program, their signed manual becomes a ticket for free lifetime return and practice with any R.A.D. instructor in the US and Canada.

The widespread acceptance of the R.A.D. system is due to the ease, simplicity, and effectiveness of our tactics, solid research, legal defensibility, and unique teaching methodology. R.A.D. is the only self-defense program endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).


Class space is limited but is open to students, staff, and faculty at no cost.

R.A.D. Course Description

Session 1

Utilizing the R.A.D. student manual, students will be involved in a discussion or risk reduction strategies, date rape, continuum of survival, defense strategies and the basic principles of defense.  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 begin the process of hands on training. The techniques utilized by R.A.D. Systems are based on simple gross motor skills and are developed to the point that they become instinctual through repetition. 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.

Session 3

Students will be introduced to ground defense techniques and will continue to refine the skills previously learned with “practice, practice and practice”.

Session 4

Students will then participate in stimulated assault” scenarios at full contact with the RAD Instructors, who wear state of the art protective gear specifically designed for this training. Women have the opportunity to utilize their skills in a safe training environment monitored by instructors.