The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques.

The RAD System is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. RAD is not a martial arts program.

Our courses are taught by certified RAD instructors; Officers Jesse Wernholm, Gregg Carrier and Adjunct Hattie Olhert and provide you with a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth. The RAD system of physical defense is currently being taught at many colleges and universities. The growing, widespread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of its tactics, solid research, legal defensibility and unique teaching methodology. The RAD system is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault, by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense tactics. This system of realistic defense will provide a woman with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.

We operate on the premise that a spontaneous violent attack will stimulate a natural desire to resist on the part of the victim (supported by research). We educate women about "The Flight or Fight Syndrome" while showing them that enhancing their option of physical defense is not only prudent, but a necessity if natural resistance is to be effective.

Safety and survival in today's world requires a definite course of action. We provide effective options by teaching women to take an active role in their own self-defense and psychological well being.

Be Aware

  • One out of every four college women polled was sexually assaulted during four years at college. Ms. Magazine:  "Study on Sexual Assault and Rape."
  • Between 1973 and 1987, more than 2.3 million women reported sexual assaults in the United States. Of these victims, 71 percent avoided being raped by taking self-protective measures. (United States Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Develop Your Options

  • In 1988, rape victims took self-protective measures in 86.7 percent of the cases. "Rape victims were more likely to defend themselves than assault or robbery victims." (Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1988)

Don't Be Victimized By Fear

  • "In fact, the most often used strategy for avoiders (of rape) appears to have been a combination of screaming and use of physical resistance." [Bart, P.& O'Brien, P. (1985). Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies. Pergamon Press, New York.]

10 Reasons Why RAD System Is On The Cutting Edge Of Self-defense Training

Finally, a physical defense program for women that:

  • has established the standard for female self-defense programs.
  • offers no-nonsense, practical techniques of defense.
  • researched the effects of "The Fight or Flight Syndrome."
  • offers advanced self-defense courses that build upon the physical defense system.
  • provides realistic and dynamic hands-on training.
  • provides students with a comprehensive reference manual.
  • certifies instructors from the community.
  • has a litigation defense policy.
  • offers state-of-the-art programs at reasonable rates.
  • every student receives a lifetime membership policy.

For more information and scheduling Rape Aggression Defense courses, contact Jesse Wernholm at 906-227-2151 or by email at 

Special thanks to the NMU Foundation for providing funds to obtain the necessary equipment to make this program possible.