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RAD FAQ

Is there a minimum age limit to attend a RAD class at Vanderbilt?

Yes, 16. RAD Systems does not set a specific age limit for its Basic program and leaves it up to its individual instructors. Vanderbilt Police has taught RAD continually for twenty plus years covering more than 175 classes. During this time we have had the opportunity to instruct many minors. While each student is unique, our experience has led us to set our age limit at sixteen for two reasons: The mature nature of the subject matter, the age spread of most classes, and possible physical limitations of younger students. Our goal is to make sure that a younger student does not leave a class with unrealistic expectations or even worse a feeling of incompetence.

Is there a class for younger students?

RAD Systems did offer a RAD for Kids option for many years. In 2013 a decision was made by RAD Systems to drop that section and instructors are no longer certified in that system.

Can my minor daughter attend by herself?

No. Any minor must have her mother, legal guardian, or another responsible adult attend the class with her. Having an adult family member take the class along with the minor allows for continuation of questions and topics of a more sensitive nature to be continued as needed in a more open and safer home environment. (See Is there a minimum age limit?)

Do I have to attend all three nights?

Yes. The RAD system of self-defense is built up in layers each building on the previous lessons learned. The national office requires a minimum of 9 hours for the Basic Self-defense course without simulation, and 12 hours with. Please make sure you are committed to attend all three classes before you register as we have limited spaces available and we typically have students waiting to attend!

What are simulation exercises?

Each student is given the opportunity to go through a real life situation in a protected, safe, classroom environment. The student is approached by an “aggressor” in a situation where she will be called upon to use the skills she has learned to escape from the situation. This is a full contact simulation, giving the student the reassurance that she has the tools and abilities to protect and make decisions for herself in stressful situations.

Do I have to go through simulation?

No. We understand that there are some students that for various personal reasons may not feel comfortable going through simulation exercises. Simulation is not required but strongly recommended. Even if you do not participate, we encourage you to support your other classmates in their simulations.

What if I start a class but cannot finish?

We know emergencies happen. Send us an email as soon as possible notifying us of your pending absence. We will work with you to get you into another scheduled class. You can start where you left off or all over from the beginning.

All the classes listed on line are full. Is there a waiting list?

No. We teach at least one class each month except for December and May. At this time we are unable to maintain a waiting list for the number of classes that we teach. We do go back and open classes back up as students cancel out so check back often.

How do I cancel out of a class I signed up for?

Send us an email ASAP! We always have students wanting into classes that are filled. The sooner we know that you will not be able to start a class the sooner we can open that class back up allowing someone else to register.

Do I need prior experience or have to be in great physical condition?

No. We start with the basics, how to stand, how to hold your hands, etc. I had a conversation with Larry Nadeau, the founder of RAD System, several years ago. One of his concepts as he developed RAD was the “GM Method”: if his GrandMother could not do it, he did not include it.

What should I wear for the class?

This is an interactive class. Street clothes, workout clothing, or anything that is loose fitting, you feel comfortable and can move easily in. Athletic type shoes are recommended, do not wear open-toed shoes or high heels. Jewelry of any kind must be removed before techniques are learned and practiced. It is recommended that it not be brought to class if possible. Fashion length fingernails are not recommended.

Who will be teaching the classes?

All classes are taught by members of the Vanderbilt University Police and are certified instructors through RAD Systems. Where are the classes held? Classes are normally held at our training facility on campus located at 115 28th Ave. South. We also hold classes at Vanderbilt Health 100 Oaks, located at 719 Thompson Lane, a few times each year. Once you have registered for a class, you will receive a conformation email which will verify the location and include specific directions.

I have a group that wants to take a class together.

We will be happy to work with you to set up a class for a specific group of 10 or more. Additional classes are based on availability of the training facility, instructors, and other factors specific to your needs. Contact leshuan.d.oliver@Vanderbilt.Edu or j.j.oakley@vanderbilt.edu to set up a class.

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