Twenty women from the Hinesville community met Tuesday at the YMCA of Coastal Georgia to learn about self defense through the Rape Aggression Defense training program hosted by the Hinesville Police Department. All over the building, shouts of “No!” could be heard, drawing the attention of passersby as the women learned to use personal weapons and their voices to defend themselves and escape attackers.
Instructors from the Armstrong Atlantic State University Police Department condensed their three-day program into three hours and taught blocking, striking and kicking techniques.
After the class, participants said they felt more confident about defending themselves.
Mother-daughter duo Leah and Mary Winkles took the course together because Mary Winkles said she wants her daughter, a soon-to-be college freshman, to be able to defend herself when she leaves for school this fall.
“My daughter is going to college and I thought it would be good for her to learn, and I wanted us to do it together,” Winkles said.
RAD was founded in 1989 and is the largest self-defense training network in the United States and Canada. The training was organized by Staff Sgt. Gerald Morris of the Hinesville Police Department. Certified RAD instructors from the AASU police department agreed to return soon for a full training course, which they plan to open to more participants.
“I hope we are able to bring this class back for other women in our community,” class participant Genese Baker Lane said.