Empowerment through self defense

“Self defense is about knowledge and confidence—not physical strength—and everyone deserves to feel empowered in their own safety,” says Karen Grotton, the Maine state director for R.A.D. Systems, an international self-defense program that has taught over 900,000 women since it was first introduced in 1989.

“Many women were brought up being told that someone or something else would keep them safe—their father, brother, boyfriend or husband, a dog, a whistle, pepper spray, etc.,” she says. “But knowing that, if push comes to shove, you have within yourself the physical skills to keep you safe, that’s effective self defense training.”

The R.A.D. Systems of Self Defense offers different programs for women, children, teens, men and seniors. The men’s and women’s programs are gender-specific, based on the types of assaults and the motivations and tactics often used. (Men tend to face multiple aggressors, often with the use of some type of weapon, says Grotton, whereas women more often face single unarmed aggressors.)

Techniques taught in the women’s program are designed to enhance the physical capacities of a woman against the vulnerable locations of an aggressor during an encounter women are most likely to face.

“Women of all ages and ability levels are welcome and encouraged to attend,” says Grotton.

The courses are taught in a relaxed and comfortable environment, Grotton adds. And participants have the opportunity to practice a number of physical techniques to help them develop personal plans of action, should they ever need them.

Women’s courses include: RAD Basic Women’s Self Defense, Advanced Self Defense, Aerosol Defense Options, Keychain Defense Options and Weapons Defense. The basic program is a 12-hour course beginning with awareness and risk reduction strategies and progressing on to hands-on physical defensive options.

For more information or to find a course in Maine: www.rad-systems.com or email
Karen Grotton at kgrotton@gmail.com.

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