Before my conscience is even clear discussing a topic like this let me first ask a blunt question. How in the world did you end up in a situation involving multiple opponents? I understand there are circumstances outside of our control, such as wrong place wrong time. However, it is safe to say that 99% of proper self-defense revolves around prevention. Meaning, we don’t go places we are likely to be jumped if it is within our control. I know that doesn’t sound cool nor does it sound tough. But, what is right isn’t always what is cool.
Now, that being said what do we do when we have to react and our prevention moments have passed? The one principle I want to elaborate on here is “don’t go through the middle.” This isn’t the only thing you need to know, nor is it necessarily the most important. But, one thing at a time. Simply put, “going through the middle” is what we call the act of traveling BETWEEN your opponents. It doesn’t really matter how many. As long as the situation is two or more opponents this applies.
Don’t Get Between Your Attackers
Let us start by explaining what happens if you do make the mistake of going between them. You end up having attacks coming at you simultaneously from multiple angles. This makes defending yourself next to impossible. According to Hollywood, this isn’t difficult at all. But in reality, when you have attackers who are committed to their attack you are going to have a major league problem. You might be thinking to yourself, “This is obvious, and I would never do that.” But don’t be too quick to assume. It is a strangely easy mistake to make especially if you get tunnel vision. You can lose focus where you are, and where the other people in the picture are. Environmental factors, such as the furniture in a room, force you in certain directions so you must be very careful about the direction you move.
A Tip From My Dad: Only You Can Control You
My dad always told me that you can control one person, YOU. I may not be able to control or predict their movements but unless I let them grab me or go to the ground I can control my movements. There are a lot of differences between a “survivors” mentality and a “fighters” mentality. Not the least of which is the idea of going in for a strike to finish them instead of escaping. The tactic I suggest is throwing your counters in burst or clusters and moving. Keep them to numbers like 3-5 strikes and move. If you spend too much time on a combination it keeps you stuck and runs the risk of tunnel vision. With multiple opponents, you want to get out of the situation as soon as possible. Do not spend time wondering if your strikes “did their job” or not. Rather, throw 3-5 strikes to vulnerable targets and move. Give less concern about their effect and more concern about the distance they give you.
Stay to the Perimeter when using Self Defense Against Multiple Attackers
Stay to the perimeter of the group. Control YOUR movements. Do not cut through the middle. When you do this right often times it “stacks” them single file. The reason this is good is because it allows you to defend against one person at a time. One misconception I see a lot is the idea that a defense isn’t allowed to travel locations. Real fights that are not contained by a ring or octagon cover a lot of ground. So, unless you are trapped in an elevator do not be afraid to cover ground to create the distance you need. If you are truly defending yourself and not fighting then they have to come to you. If they don’t pursue you then great, just leave. If they pursue and cross your range threshold, STRIKE, then move. Have I said “move” enough? That is the secret sauce. Don’t get stuck. Don’t go through the middle.