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RAD Self Defense Courses


The Swarthmore College Department of Public Safety offers Rape Aggression Defense (RAD for Women) and Resisting Aggression Defense (RAD for Men).  The RAD system of physical defense is taught at many colleges and universities across the nation. The growing, wide-spread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity, and effectiveness of the tactics, solid research, legal defensibility, and unique teaching methodology. The RAD system of realistic defense will provide women and men with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.

The RAD system operates on the premise that a spontaneous violent attack will stimulate a natural desire to resist, on the part of the victim. We educate women and men about “The Flight or Fight Syndrome,” while demonstrating that enhancing their options of physical defense is not only prudent, but necessary, if natural resistance is to be effective. We provide these effective options by teaching women and men to take an active role in their own self-defense and psychological well-being.

The RAD for Women course is open to students, faculty and staff members who identify as women.  This is a comprehensive course for women which begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance and progresses to the basics of a hands-on defense training program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques.

RAD for Men was developed by RAD Systems in 2001. This course also has its foundations in education and awareness. The course includes lecture, discussion and self-defense techniques and is open to students, faculty and staff members who identify as men. It is suitable for men of all ages and abilities.

The RAD System is not a martial arts program. The courses are taught by certified RAD instructors and students are provided with a workbook and reference manual which outlines the physical defense program of education, awareness, and continuous personal growth.

Students may earn PE credit for completing either course.  Please write to for more information. 

In our continuing effort to educate our community about issues involving sexual violence, which includes sexual assault and stalking, we partner with the Clery Center for Security on Campus. These educational videos are available through this partnership. Click the link below to view the videos. 

Clery Center Videos