More information will be posted here when it becomes available.

Self-Defense Courses

The Department of Special Services within the Division of Public Safety offers free-of-charge self-defense classes to ALL Penn affiliates. These self-defense trainings empower individuals through communication and physical defense. Special Services provides separate courses for women and men, private classes, and classes for nonbinary affiliates. They also offer a special DPS Kids Safety Day to teach children important information about how to deal with strangers, how to call for help and how to stay out of dangerous situations, to name a few.

Special Virtual Sessions are now available. These sessions will cover many of the same topics and moves of our in-person classes only without the physical contact. All sessions will be held via Zoom. Please see below to register.

UPDATE! All April classes are now full! Please check back for additional dates soon.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Special Services at 215-898-4481 (215-898-6600 off-hours) or email Tracey Cardella at .


Self Defense Courses

Special Services within the Division of Public Safety offers a variety of Self-Defense courses all free of charge to Penn affiliates. Each semester we offer a set schedule of courses and are always willing to schedule a private course for 8+ people.

See below for course descriptions and registration:

BASIC SELF-DEFENSE: A 6 hour customizable course created specifically for Penn affiliates to empower individuals through communication and physical defense. Course can be gender specific or gender inclusive.

RAPE AGGRESSION DEFENSE (RAD): A 9-12 hour course, the RAD system is a comprehensive course for women identified affiliates that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training.  See more about RAD at:

RESISTING AGGRESSION WITH DEFENSE (RAD for Men): A 9-12 hour course, RAD for Men aims to raise individual’s awareness of aggressive behavior, recognize how aggressive behavior impacts their lives, learn steps to avoid aggressive behavior, consider how they can be part of reducing aggression and violence, and practice hands-on self-defense skills to resist and escape aggressive behavior directed toward them. See more about RAD for Men at


Interested in take a course? Register using the form above. For further information or to schedule a private course, call or email Tracey Cardella, at 215.898.4481/.


Twice a year, Special Services hosts Kids Safety Day training sessions. This free course for children or grandchildren of Penn Affiliates teaches kids important safety practices such as how to stay safe when confronted with strangers, what to do if they are lost, and how to call 911 for help to name a few.

Other topics include:

  • Safety: What it means & how to stay safe inside and outside
  • Strangers: Good vs Bad Strangers
  • 911: What it is, how to use it and why to never use 911 for play.
  • Code Words: Words parents give to other people for child pick up. Words for emergencies.
  • Physical Defense
  • Touching: Good touching vs Bad Touching
  • Abuse: What it is & who to tell
  • Emergencies


  • General Information


  • Campus Phones


4040 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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