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Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program

The Rape Aggression Defense program, known as RAD, is a self-defense course currently only for women.

The program was founded in 1989 by a former campus police officer. Today the course is taught at more than four hundred colleges and universities and has trained more than three thousand instructors and more than one hundred thousand women. The program's instructional objective is "to develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they become viable options to the woman who is attacked." 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.

This system of realistic defense will provide women with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance. We operate on the premise that a spontaneous violent attack will stimulate a natural desire to resist, on the part of the victim (supported by research). We educate women about the "Fight or Flight Syndrome," while showing them that enhancing their option of physical defense is not only prudent, but a necessity if natural resistance is to be effective. The course differs from other self-defense programs in that it provides a foundation of risk reduction through avoidance strategies in addition to active defensive tactics. The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive course for women, that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance while progressing to the basics of hands-on self-defense training. R.A.D. is not a Martial Arts program. Because the class emphasizes awareness as well as self-defense, it addresses the threat from both a stranger and an acquaintance perspective.

Each semester the course is being taught as a regular university class. RAD is taken through the Kinesiology program and is known as 0101 “Women’s Self Defense.” Chief Swift will provide participants with the basic self-defense skills, as well as advanced tactics in approximately 30 hours of classroom time. This semester the participant manual will be provided free of charge. The manual outlines the basic Physical Defense Program for reference so students may go back and review prior to testing of techniques. The first half of the semester, along with basic self-defense stills (blocks, punches and kicks) students will have classroom discussion with a lecture component. It will include discussion about confrontation, options in various types of situations, and how and why to make a decision to resist or not.

Subsequent sessions continue with advanced confrontational dynamics and principles of self-defense. Students will systematically build on the basic stills and be able expand their options in situations in which someone grabs an arm or leg, or a basic tactic fails to work properly. Weapons options are now being offered as well. If you are interested in RAD training at Missouri Southern State University, contact your counselor and get enrolled in the class. If you need additional details about the program please contact the MSSU Police Department at 417-625-9741 and ask for James Swift. Chief Swift can also be reached through email at:

Rape Statistics

  • 1 out of every 4 college women polled was sexually assaulted at college. (Ms. Magazine Study of Sexual Assault and Rape)
  • Somewhere in America, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

What is the R.A.D System

The Rape Aggression Defense System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive course for women, which begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training.

Our courses are taught by a certified R.A.D. instructor and provide you with a workbook/reference manual. The R.A.D. System of Physical Defense Program is currently taught at many Colleges and Universities. 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.

Safety and survival in today's world requires a definite course of action. We provide effective options by teaching women to take an active role in their own self-defense and psychological well being.

Finally, a Physical Defense Program for women that:

  • Maintains standards of acceptability for female self-defense programs
  • Offers no-nonsense, practical techniques of defense
  • Researches the effects of "The Fight or Flight Syndrome"
  • Offers advanced self-defense courses that build upon the physical defense system
  • Provides static, fluid and dynamic hands-on training
  • Provides students with a comprehensive Reference Manual
  • Certified Instructors
  • Boasts a litigation defense policy
  • Offers state of the art programs at no cost
  • Upholds a lifetime membership policy

Contact the Department

James Swift

MSSU Police Director 
R.A.D. Program Coordinator/Instructor

Phone: 417-625-9741
Fax: 417-625-3503