Self-Defense Course Offers Students Fighting Chance


By Mike Sloan

Women should be able to defend themselves against attackers. A recent Rape Aggression Defense course offered on College of Southern Nevada’s campus taught women techniques to save their lives.

RAD is a free self-defense course taught by three CSN police officers. Students learn how to inflict as much damage as possible to get away safely from aggressors.

“It seems as though everywhere you turn there is a news story about some new type of violence erupting either at home or abroad,” wrote Dan Dean in his book “Self Defense: the Ultimate Guide to Beginner Martial Arts Training Techniques”. “With so many people on edge, the number of physical altercations that occur on a daily basis is ever on the rise.” There is a need for people to learn how to protect themselves in this violent world.

According to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics report dated October 2017, CSN had seven criminal offenses in 2016 that involved forcible sexual or aggravated assault on its three major campuses. Although those numbers are relatively small compared to other college campuses, they still are concerning. Learning self-defense could help protect many from being one of those statistics.

Not paying attention is one of the key elements the RAD classes teach because attackers are like lions hiding in the brush, waiting for the weakest possible prey to walk by before they ambush.

“Don’t walk alone if it’s dark outside,” said Daniel Nordstrom, a CSN police officer who instructed the RAD classes for past five years. “Walk with a friend or call and have security pick you up. Do whatever you can do to keep yourself from getting into that situation. Always have your keys in your hand and when you get to your car, always check and see if someone’s in your car or underneath your car.”

Aside from just being aware of one’s surroundings, RAD gives women the ability to properly defend themselves in as many possible scenarios as can be squeezed into the four-class course. Women learn how to execute proper punches, kicks, knees and elbow strikes on top of learning how break free from bear hugs and gouge the vision out of an attacker’s eyes. While a RAD student won’t turn into a UFC champion overnight, Nordstrom said he and his team teach the fundamentals of escape, which is the most crucial element during an assault.

“If you can get one punch in to get that [assaulter] to go unconscious or in enough pain for him to let go, that’s what we’re looking for,” Nordstrom said. “We teach all that stuff to do enough damage to get away. You want to make as much noise and damage to that person as you can.”

Current CSN student Anneth Ortega didn’t have the proper training offered by RAD and had a scary incident in which she almost became a statistic.

“I used to work at Excalibur Hotel and Casino and I used to work until about midnight,” Ortega said. “I was only 19 at the time and I remember I parked really far all the way in the back where there wasn’t a lot of people around. A guy followed me to my car and he started tapping on my window. I was terrified.”

“I did not notice him following me,” Ortega admitted. “I was texting on my phone and I wasn’t being very vigilant. I wasn’t aware of my surroundings and I could have done a better job at having stopped this before it progressed so far had I been more vigilant.”

“I thought that had I not been in my car, what would have happened?” Ortega added. “Luckily, I was able to drive away, but it was definitely one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever had [to go through].”

“I definitely would be interested [in a RAD course],” Ortega added. “It’s very important for women to be able to defend themselves because you never know when you’re going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with someone’s bad intentions coming straight at you.”

Lucia Sloan, a former CSN student, took self-defense classes on and off for years just in case.

“I would scream, ‘Fire!’ as loud as I could,” said Sloan, who has trained in a myriad of martial arts. “I would move as much as possible to keep away from the person and I would use any self-defense tactics that I’ve learned: boxing, judo and jiu jitsu.”

Sloan said she loves the idea behind RAD and implores all women to learn how to survive in a possible life-or-death situation.

“Take a self-defense class,” Sloan advised. “Be powerful, be confident when you walk. Keep your head held high. You could set off your car alarm if you’re in a parking lot. Don’t look at your phone when you’re walking and make sure everybody knows you’re paying attention.”


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