Self-defence courses to help women be more aware

If you’ve ever wanted to kick an armoured man in the groin, this is your opportunity.

Female STU and UNB students can help themselves be more comfortable walking alone at night by participating in an Rape Aggression Defence course.

R.A.D. is a self-defence course and Desmond Dupuis is the man in the armoured suit, which R.A.D calls the “aggressor suit.” He’s the Crime Prevention officer with UNB security and has been an instructor of R.A.D. for 10 years.

“It’s a great feeling when we go from the beginning. With a lot of the women being a little bit timid and afraid to strike, to being like, ‘Yeah. Bang! No problem,’” he said, recoiling in his seat, pretending to take a punch to the chest. “You can feel the difference in their power.”

The course will be taught for free in three sessions this Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night. All sessions are from 5 pm to 9 pm at the SUB ballroom. You must attend all three sessions to complete the course.

This is not a typical self-defence program. Students don’t need to be physically fit or train in a martial art. The point is to teach realistic self-defence options to women, both physical and non-physical.

“The entire premise of the course is defence against abduction. The best encounter we can have is the one that we don’t have,” said Dupuis.

Dupuis says awareness is key to avoiding a confrontation. One of that the biggest steps people can take is to put their phones away while walking at night.

“The number one thing we want to get through to folks is that if something feels wrong, usually there’s a reason why you’re getting that feeling, and we’d like people to actually think about it and acting on it,” said Dupuis. “If something’s giving you a vibe, just take that extra second to look around.”

Students will be taught skills and information that can be used from the first day of class.

The hope is for students to learn a few of the many self-defence techniques, and carry them for life. Add these skills to an effort to be more aware of her surroundings, and a student will be much better equipped to avoid abduction.

R.A.D. Systems has been around since 1989 and has developed into the largest network of self-defence instructors and classes. R.A.D. has more than 11,000 instructors training more than 900,000 women.

Women who participate are free to retake the program in any place it is offered at any time by bringing their signed course booklet.

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