BATON ROUGE - There is a class being taught on the university's campus, but it's not your typical biology or geography course. It's teaching women valuable self-defense, and more importantly – confidence.

Sophomore Mass Communication major Jasmine Edmonson wasn't too sure what she was getting into when she walked into the Harry B. Nelson Memorial Building.

“I've always wanted to take a self-defense class just because I think it's pretty cool,” Edmonson said.

Her weekend would consist of three days of classes, a total of 12 hours, dedicated to working on personal safety.

“It's not based on just power and strength. it's based a lot on risk awareness and risk reduction,” Kathryn T. Saichuk, Assistant Director of Wellness and Health Promotion at the Student Health Center, said. “R.A.D. is an international organization. This is a class that is based on true self-defense, and not necessarily on martial arts.”

The first two days of class are dedicated to learning and developing basic self-defense skills. But on the final day, it's putting on gloves and pushing aside some self-doubt, to put their skills to the test

“Getting out of your comfort zone, pushing beyond your boundaries that you think you’re only confined to. I mean, look at me, I’m not a person that looks like I’m ready to fight,” Edmonson said.

But it's a lot more than learning some punches and kicks for Edmonson.

“You get to learn something new about yourself, and you get to build your confidence which I think is important in any situation,” Edmonson said.

For Saichuk, who runs the program at LSU, she says the biggest takeaway from the class is confidence.

“Seeing these young ladies go from where they were on Friday night to where they are during simulation, in just a short period of time. It’s pretty amazing to see that growth and that change in just their whole persona and their attitude about what they can and can’t do.

To get more information on the next available R.A.D. classes, visit the Student Health Center's website.

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