LRPD to introduce women’s self-defense awareness class

Kevin Sheridan and Kevin Sheridan

American River College will be hosting a rape aggression defense class in the Student Center on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. The event will be presented by the Los Rios police department, ARC counseling, and the Kinesiology and Athletics departments.

The program will highlight a series of self-defense tactics and techniques for women to use when faced with an aggressor.

The course will cover awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance before moving on to hands-on-defense training basics, according to a flyer distributed by the Los Rios Police department and ARC student services.

The course also teaches defense against against the most common strikes, methods to disable your attacker by utilizing your strength, lifestyle awareness and empowerment to prevent attacks, according to the flyer.

The course will also highlight how to attack vulnerable areas of the human body such as the ears, eyes, and throat. According to the class, one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

The classes are open to women 14 and older, and is $20 for registered Los Rios students, faculty and staff. Students who attend the event are advised not to wear boots, open toed shoes or heels.

Rape Aggression Defense, or RAD, started in 1989, has 11,000 instructors, and has trained more than 900,000 women on self defense tactics. It is also the only self defense course endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, or the IACLEA.

ARC Disabled Students Programs and Services Counselor Joe Sjolund is one of these certified instructors and knows how important it is for women to know basic self defense tactics.

“(Self-defense) is very important. All women come from a long list of survivors,” Sjolund said. “90 percent of it is awareness and avoidance. But it’s usually the last 10 percent that causes you to freeze.”

Sjolund says that these classes started at ARC, and says RAD is trying to have these events at other Los Rios colleges.

Sjolund, who is a black belt in jiu-jitsu, took over the courses after the retirement of previous instructor Tami Yasuda as a way to bond with his stepdaughter.

“I started because my stepdaughter said it was a good way to bond. It was just a way to bond with her, then people wanted to know if I would do (self-defense) courses,” said Sjolund.

RAD is also trying to train 10 more instructors in December in order to be able to offer more classes on self defense.