No longer a Kaju-Critic
rational multiple attack discussion
after watching a few of the latest throwdown vids, as well as just my own mind wandering, I've come to wonder: What are rational methods of dealing with multiple attackers? I'm not talking specific techniques of course, but mostly concepts. Its not a discussion about "this will always work no matter what" because there are no such thing as absolutes. I have had a few people talk about several scenarios and in my mind these have been the most rational (composite ideas)
Now for this discussion the idea is to bring our defender safely away from the situation. The best bet, against multiples, would be to run - so the idea is to put the defender in a situation where he can escape.
For this discussion we'll use two differant scenarios. We can all argue about how many differant ways people can attack us until the cows come home but that really doesn't get anywhere. Again, lets keep it rational. The two situations are with multiple assailants in front of you, and then multiples surrounding you.
BLUE = Defender
RED = assailants
First I want to present this diagram. This is what should be created. A line of assailants. The worst thing to do with tie down with one person, and allow the rest to attack. How is this accomplished? foot work. Your goal is to move from one person to the next. You do this by constantly keeping one person in front of the others.
Despite how RBSD it sounds, mostly stunning techniques are going to work in a situation like this (in my mind). You either one hit ko, or you are tied down trading fist. Personally, if my goal was to escape, I would not want to tie down, and would not DEPEND on the chance of a KO. Throat strikes and groin strikes (lol) or strikes to the nose, even the ears, are the only real strikes I could imagine - only because they can create a stun. An even BETTER thing to do though would to be putting that person to the ground.
Ground fighting 1v1 is all fine, but I happen to be of the party that ground is not the place you want to be when you have visable multiple assailants. LUCKILY putting others to the ground is in any grapplers arsenal. You can easily give yourself precious time to move if you put the other guy on the ground. Toss, take down, anything - as long as you aren't going down with them.
So lets examine the two situations and I'll give my 2 cents on how to work with it.
DIAGRAM A: this is the first step to creating the line in your opponents. I've tried sparring multiples and the most common mistake in myself and others is to try to bull rush through the middle. Its too easy for others to catch you in the middle.
Be it left or right, bridge the gap between yourself and the person closest on either side. This creates your first part of the line.
DIAGRAM B: now take care of this person quickly. I think a good takedown is the best idea. The person closest to the one you're attacking is likely to be right on his heels so putting the person you're working on in his path is a plus.
DIAGRAM C: Now you have to work your way through the line. Now your goal is to keep them lined up so no one can just loop around and attack. Whoever you are engaging stay on the side away from the person behind him. Again, disable quickly. Put the person you have engaged infront of your next person if possible, it makes them have to go around and gives you the time to react to his attack.
DIAGRAM D: Take a hike
Another note on any of these is to avoid the hands of the people on the ground. If they fall they are going to probably do two things. I know I would. 1) get up or 2) grab you. if they get up thats fine. by the time the first person gets up you should be on the 3rd person. They have to work around. If they grab stomp em fast. If possible move away quickly or stay out of grabbing range.
now this is speaking from personal experiance: never stop pushing foreward. The second you start moving back towards those you have already passed or engages or when you stand still is the moment you are up against more than one person at once.
now this is the exact same idea as the first scenario, only theres an extra step in the beginning. We have started some stand up this way and usually it doesn't end pretty. this is following again what I've been told and shown, but also here what I've noticed myself.
the first mistake made is to attempt to hunker down and brawl from all sides. its easy to want to try to take everyone one but chances are you wont. you will get grabbed, and while you are trying to get that person another will be getting you, then soon you're at the bottom of the dog pile.
DIAGRAM A: your first goal is to get out of the circle. go to the person in front of you, its usually the easiest. No spinning unneededly. Just go straight and dont waste time. Another mistake I've noticed is a person engages and tries to fight the person while having their back to everyone else. BAM, you're right back in the middle with everyone alot closer now. Instead try to move OUTSIDE the circle, and as I stated in the first scenario take out this person fast. toss him down, whatever it takes to take him out of the picture for at least a couple of seconds.
DIAGRAM B: the second you move everyones going to be on you, if they are all intent on hurting you. Expect them to be coming at you. you will notice that this puts you right in the same place as the first scenario! you can either move left or right, depending on whats closest, or easiest. the great thing about going outside the circle instead of staying inside to deal with the first guy is that now he is between you and everyone else.
DIAGRAM C: now you must do the same thing you did before. Make your way through the line. You are constantly moving, trying to keep the person in front of you between everyone else. Chances are the first person is going to rejoin this attack so be weary.
DIAGRAM D: run fu
In summery your best bet is to use your footwork to escape. Your goal is to not knock out but stun/disable and escape. Multiple attackers are not like the movies... they will not wait while you take one out at a time. In order for that to happen you have to MAKE IT happen. constantly maneuvering yourself in front of one person, and that person between you and another person, is our best bet to creating your line. Always push foreward however no matter what. Do not retreat or stand still. You can't stop moving. All these techniques are fired off like a gun, one right after the other.
of course, this is not a "would all be all end all" defense against multiples and of course I understand that there is no such animal. this is merely a concept idea of how to maneuver through a number of people to get away as I see it. PLEASE PLEASE dispute, add, subtract, or otherwise add your own ideas to this concept, or mention your own. Its an open discussion.
If you can't beat 1 person quickly, don't bother with even training for multiples.
No longer a Kaju-Critic
Is that really an option? I mean... it would take considerable time to totally "defeat" one person before you can move on to the next. wouldn't it make more sense to disable and move away from the situation than to attempt to "defeat" anyone? If I'm in the wrong frame of mind then whoops on me
This has a lot of merit.
Most peoples ideas son fighting multiples come form films where the bad guys form a circle round the hero then politly wait to attack and be defeated one by one. anyone being so crude as to come from behind is dispensed by a blow without looking as there force awareness warns teh hero of the impending attack.
While if you are fighting multiples your probaly screwed, this is no reaseon to accept your fate & get betten i'd rather have some ideas to try!
one point to make is that disposign of people rapidly and for a reasonale period is trick, disorentting them & posably having 2 vace them agian before leaving is an option though, the guy may get up while your fighting the others but u can always Knock him down agian (in therory).
I don't think any of the diagrams can accommodate working towards an exit. At the moment they seem intent on dropping them all.
That said working the angles seems a good logical response.
My theory is that it depends rather on the psychology of the situation.
If you've got more than two guys all motivated and keen on beating your ass, and they're trying to grab you and hold you down, I don't see any way that you're not fubared. If they're taking wild swings at you maybe you've a slim chance, but I seriously don't see you decking them all easily unless you're huge and they're tiny.
Other "multiple" situations might be more pliable. If you've got a ringleader and a group of pals who're hanging on his every word, taking him out aggressively and viciously might - might - be enough to scare the pals off or split them on the advisability of attacking. It's worth remembering that a handful of men with box-cutters managed to hold an entire aeroplane's worth of people scared and at bay three out of four times on September 11th. If most of the people on the side with the numbers don't want to face the risk of injury, the dynamics of the situation are going to be very different.
The problem is that there's no sensible way to generalise. Breaking the standoff by going for the nearest guy and fucking him up bad may lead to some groups of would-be attackers routing. Other groups may simply get pissed that you hurt their mate and pile in.
Also, as with most military battles, terrain matters; historically the smaller forces that have destroyed larger ones generally have had a positional advantage. If they can't get to you all at once, the situation's very different than it would be on open ground.
Seems to me there has been a huge focus in the last few years of martial arts on beating the most skilled opponent possible. This leads to people practicing counters to counters to techniques that noone really even knows!(sarcasm). As a result, a lot of valid SIMPLE self defense techs have been thrown out like babies in the bathwater.
Ok, Ronin makes a good point. You need to be able to disable one before you disable multiple. However, I'd suggest that thinking in terms of KO'ing isn't the best thing here. And overall I don't like you're strategies because you're attempting to take out/KO every member of the group before esacaping.
Remember that in any true self defense situation the key thing is to make it home in one peice. That's it. It has nothing to do with "beating" your opponents. Therefore, attempting to take out every attacker before leaving the scene is just dumb. Period. The longer you stay, the more your percentage chance of getting out drops.
So rather than thinking in KO terms, you need to be working with a "stun and run" mindset. Then after that you want to think in terms of obsticals. How can you stun one attacker in such a way that he prevents the forward motion of the others while you high tail it out of there.
For example, in you're first (un labeled) diagram, why not break hard on the first angle, punch the first attacker into the path of the other two and then keep running? Create space. Find an environmental weapon.
But in no circumstance should you be trying to go through everyone just to get out.
No longer a Kaju-Critic
I agree with you 100%, which is the idea I put fourth on my OP repeatedly. MY suggestion was takedowns (the kind where you stay standing) mixed withg disabling stuns as opposed to attempting some a 1 hit KO or any kind of ko. on this note dont go by the diagram alone!
Originally Posted by Matt Bernius
Last edited by JKing; 8/10/2005 10:36am at .
The idea of being able to somehow 'defeat' multiple opponents is kind of ridiculous unless of course you get some kind of overwhelming advantage. By overwhelming advantage I mean 2 skinny ass weak homeless drunks tripping over themselves while you wail away with a baseball bat. Or maybe you nail one guy dead in the face, leaving you with 2 stunned and hesitant, timid opponents as they stare at thier buddy lying there bleeding. But neither of those things has ever happened. I have always just been swarmed.
I have a couple of good 'real life' experiences with multiple opponents and none of them turned out very well.
The first time I got into a HUGE brawl was in high school at one of those 'freak v jock' fights at a park. Supposed to be 1 on 1, but as sides grew it eventually snowballed. I would liken it to a battlefield movie. Funny because with more than 20 people fighting nobody got really hurt. You simply couldn't focus on one person long enough to do much damage. The fight lasted like 5 minutes before people heard sirens and bailed.
Strategy? None. Just throw punches and try to get back up off the ground when tackled.
The other times have always been suprise attacks where things just 'happened'. There was no time to plan. I was getting hit and pushed around. I always come up swinging and with the tunnel vision that seems to occur during fights I could barely tell who I was fighting and how many there were. Certainly no time to line them up in some kind of scientific diagram to maximize my chances of success. Just brawl or run. Or run and brawl.
Which brings me to MY theory on multiple opponents: RUN like a mofo. Keep running. If they give chase and you can't find some kind of safety than just keep running. They will eventually line up in order of most conditioned. I am in awesome shape and run regularly. You are going to have to be an athlete to keep up with me. It isn't likely someone is going to be able to keep up for a 1/4 mile. At a certain point the chainsmoking drunk is going to be left in the dust. A couple of his friends are going to be stopping shortly after him. If I eventually get pinned in it will be with a guy whose friends are incapacitated from exhaustion.
This is why I will always believe in physical conditioning. Instead of trying to rationalize, or wax on intellectually about the 'what if's', and the science of streetfighting I will rely on raw athleticism to overcome most of my obstacles. That is not to say I am some hulking steroid brute. No. I am just have good conditioning. I think it is my first line of defense. Its been my experience that you simply don't have the time to think things out and create some kind of action plan. When its on, its on. Its usually sudden, and when the first fist hits your face all that planning goes out the window.
Now in other classes I have sparred multiple opponents at once. Footwork, headmovement and the commitment NOT to actually engage worked very well. Unfortunately the sparring drills had absolutely NO resemblence to the multiple opponent fights I have been in. All it takes is someone to hook a pinky into your Tshirt and you are going to have your movement eliminated momentarily, and then you are swarmed.
IMHO, you do more good conditioning and training than planning for eventualities that will likely never happen the way you plan. And when you get hit the first time, all that **** goes out the window. Just prepare to take a beating if you have to fight a few people. Be in good enough shape to outrun them when possible, and have enough skills to engage in all ranges of combat if you cannot run. Just recognize that you aren't going to 'win', you are just going to take some level of beating from minor to major.
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