Defend Yourself. We can help.

Self-Defense Classes


The UConn Police Department in partnership Off-Campus Student Services, Residential Life, The Department of Allied Health Services and the Hawley Armory have teamed up to offer self-defense programming for both women and men on campus. Our programs are offered throughout the academic year for students and during the summer and winter intercessions for staff and faculty. These programs are offered for free on campus. Seats are offered on a first-come/first-serve basis and classes fill up quickly! Specialized and private classes are also available for a fee. Email PDStartTeam@uconn.edu for inquiries.

The Resisting Aggression with Defense (R.A.D.) Basic Personal Defense System is a national program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques network dedicated self-defense instructors that has been established by nationally certified R.A.D. Instructors since 1989.

These programs train both men and women in basic self-defense techniques and offers viable options when confronted with various threats of violence and aggression.

The R.A.D. system is not a martial arts class. All courses are taught by nationally certified R.A.D. instructors from the UConn Police and Fire Departments.


Women’s Self Defense Classes: Surviving Violent Encounters

The 12 hour course usually broken down into 3 and 4 hour blocks, educates women about defensive strategies using simple and effective tactics and a unique teaching methodology. This comprehensive course progresses from awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance to basic self-defense participation. The course includes an illustrated and easily read student manual that outlines the entire physical self-defense program. The student class features guest speakers from our on-campus and local partners.

This course is offered throughout the year and general sessions are announced on our website and through the UConn Daily Digest. We also can work to schedule a special program for your group. Please note that any self-defense class requires practice time and physical exertion. The Police Department cannot offer self-defense classes of fewer hours than listed. If you would like general safety programming, please visit our Education and Crime Prevention Page for more information.

“This is a great service to provide! It was a lot fun, the instructors where great-not only educated you correctly but had fun while doing it!!! Great job!!!”

“I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in this class free of charge and feel more comfortable with UConn PD. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone but I’m glad I did it.”

“I am glad this class was offered. I enjoyed getting to meet UConn police officers.”

“This was an amazing experience. I feel so empowered as a woman and greatly appreciate the skills that I have gained here.”

“I feel much more confident that I could defend myself if attacked. I think all women should take this training.”

“It was a great class for the UConn Community!”

“Excellent course. Can’t wait to practice more!”

Women’s Self-Defense Class

This class is open to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Connecticut.

Free Women’s Self-Defense Class (Fall 2019):

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday, September 26, 2019, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday, October 3, 2019, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday, October 10, 2019, 5:30pm – 8:30pm

This class is currently full. Please fill out the form below to be placed on the wait list for this class. You will be notified if space becomes available.

Sorry. Enrollment for this class is full. Please check back regularly.

The class will be taught in the Family Studies Building Room 103 on the Storrs campus. Participants must be able to attend all 4 classes to be eligible for the program.

The goal of this 12 hour course (4 classes) is to provide realistic self-defense options to men regardless of their physical conditioning. Students at all levels of ability, age, experience, and strength will be provided with techniques and information that can be effectively used from the first day of class. R.A.D. for men stands for Resisting Aggression with Defense and is designed to empower men to make different decisions when confronted with aggressive behavior.

This class is open to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Connecticut. The class is taught in Shippee Hall’s Pequot Room on the Storrs Campus.

There are no upcoming men’s self-defense classes. Please email PDStartTeam@uconn.edu for more information.

If you have questions or inquiries about our self-defense program, or to schedule a demonstration of the Women’s Self-Defense program, email PDStartTeam@uconn.edu