University offers self-defense classes

Violent crime at Northern Kentucky University has been steadily dropping since 2000, according to statistics reported on the university’s Web site.

NKU has reported three violent crimes on campus since 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“I do not feel unsafe at NKU. The Department of Public Safety is very prevalent, and if I needed anything I think they would be there,” said Jessica Schalk, a senior public relations major.

Although NKU reports a small number of offenses compared to other universities in the region, according to Angela Walter, police officer for the DPS. However, “prevention is the key” to avoid becoming a victim of violent crime, she said.

Walter, along with fellow officer Mark Wilke, will direct The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program starting Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room in the Albright Health Center. The course consists of four three-hour classes to be conducted Nov. 2, 9 and 16, in addition to the first class Oct. 26.

According to Walter, RAD is tailored to women of all skill levels and registration is free.

“I think the RAD program is a good idea because you can use the techniques you learn in any situation,” said Amanda Moermond, an undeclared sophomore. “Bad things can also occur off-campus.”

According to Walter, the RAD program is taught at more than 400 universities across the United States and is the only self-defense program endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Both Walter and Wilke are nationally certified RAD instructors whose goal is to provide women with self-defense techniques in the event they are targeted for a violent crime.

Everyone participating in the RAD program will receive a manual outlining the course and self-defense methods. The first class begins with “bookwork related to crime statistics and a history of the course,” Walter said. Participants will learn about crime prevention and awareness skills, such as safe-guarding the home and monitoring surroundings. They will also have the opportunity to share their own stories, Walter said.

Hands-on training begins during the second class as students are introduced to stances and strikes that will help them evade an attacker, according to Walter.

“This can be difficult for some individuals; if a woman has been attacked before, this can bring back a lot of emotions,” Walter said.

The third class becomes more physical as women practice blocking and hitting with instructors and each other to prepare for their final class, called Red Man. Walter describes the Red Man class as “an opportunity for students to use all the tools in their toolbox.”

Participants in protective gear will use the techniques they have learned throughout the course to escape from an attack simulated by an instructor in a padded red suit, Walter said. “We bring in outside instructors to be the red men because the students will have built up a relationship with (Wilke),” she said. “We do not want to create any psychological confusion by having their instructor also play the role of assailant.”

Walter emphasizes the importance of attending all four three-hour classes. “A participant cannot contribute in the red man portion of the course if they have not attended all the previous classes. There are no exceptions to this rule because it could compromise the safety of the individual,” she said.

According to Walter, after completion of the 12-hour RAD program, students will receive a lifetime return and practice invitation anywhere a RAD course is offered. “After a student is certified, they can attend any class whenever they wish to brush up on their skills. They can even participate in a red man class,” she said.

Visit to find a listing of programs for the tri-state area. Most RAD programs are considered a community service but some programs charge a $25 fee to cover the cost of printing student manuals.

Upon completion of the RAD program, students should feel better prepared to protect their bodies, Walter said. “What we teach physically will help participants become mentally secure. Defense is really 90 percent mental and emotional preparedness, and the rest is in the physical tools,” he said. “RAD builds women’s confidence and empowers them to take control in any situation.”

To register for the RAD program, contact Dave Tobergte at (859)572-1917.