'I felt empowered': Ohio State's R.A.D. program teaches women self-defense

Photo of RAD program in progress at Ohio State University

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) - Nowadays, it's more important than ever to know how to protect yourself.

On Tuesday night, the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) program was underway at the Ohio State University. The program teaches women realistic self-defense tactics and techniques.

"We don't need anyone's permission to defend ourselves," said Det. Cassandra Shaffer, R.A.D. instructor. "This class helps women flip that switch when necessary to defend themselves in various situations in life."

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For five weeks, the women learned the basics of what they need to know - everything from making a fist, fighting on the ground, and battling different scenarios.

Lisa Czajkowski signed up for the class with her two daughters.

"If they are walking around campus at night, I want them to feel strong and empowered and be alert," Czajkowski said.

Her daughter Bella Czajkowski added, "Coming into college, I had some reservations about safety. I wanted to be better equipped to handle situations if one arose."

Many of the women said they never thought they could do this. However, learning self-defense in a safe space, with the support of instructors and classmates, helped them.

"I felt empowered after the first class like my mom did. I learned a lot more about mentality, in addition to just physical strength - feeling strong, feeling confident, feeling like you can take on a situation," Czajkowski said.

R.A.D. courses are open to women ages 14 and older. All students in the course are provided a workbook. Graduates receive a lifetime return policy to any R.A.D. class nationwide.

"Hopefully, you never need [these techniques], but if you do, you've got them in your back pocket," Shaffer said.

The next series of classes runs March 17, 24, 31, April 7 and 14. The classes run from 6-9 p.m. at 328 W. Lane Avenue Columbus, OH 43201.

If you would like to sign up, please send the following information to rad@osu.edu:

  • Name(s)
  • Age (if under 18)
  • Contact e-mail address
  • Please indicate if you are a student, faculty or staff member, or other.
  • If other, are you the guest of a student, faculty or staff member?

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joanna Shaul at 614-292-2121 or rad@osu.edu.

To schedule a class outside of Ohio State, please visit the national R.A.D. Systems website.