Fights can break out at any time, and you need to be prepared to deal with the realities of being attacked, especially from multiple attackers. Whether you get attacked on the street, at a party, or if thugs, bullies, or drunken idiots decide to gang up on you and attack you, you’ve got to know the no bullshit tips and foundations that will keep you alive and safe, and if the situation calls for it, to fight back.
Situations like this pop up all the time. You need to know how to PROPERLY defend yourself against multiple attackers, should you ever run into an unfortunate situation of being attacked. We wrote this guide to breakdown exactly how:
REACTION #1 – RUN AWAY
Run away. Run your ass off.
You live to fight another day, and there’s no shame in this. Being in a one on one fight is dangerous enough if you’re untrained, but having multiple attackers basically gives you a very slim chance of winning, and even if you hypothetically do win, you won’t leave unscathed. You will probably visit the hospital with hefty injuries. And this isn’t the movies. Your opponents aren’t going to magically attack you one by one, one at a time, allowing you to launch your techniques at them with perfect timing.
This is going to get ugly in a matter of a split second, so before you take the kind of damage you won’t be able to recover from; run. Take our advice, and run your ass off like you’re an Olympic sprinter. You’ll be glad you did and thank yourself later.
REACTION #2 – WHAT IF I RAN OUT OF SPACE / I AM BLOCKED BY OBSTACLES OR WALLS?
If you’re stuck in a dead end, make a football dash in the opposite direction and burst through the attackers that are trying to intercept you. If you’re quick enough you will not get surrounded.
If you hesitate until you’ve completely ran out of space and your attackers have backed you up against a wall, you’re already too late and your chances of getting out are now next to zero. Remember: the longer you wait – the worse off you’ll be.
REACTION #3 – WHAT IF I AM SURROUNDED / I GOT INTERCEPTED AND A BRAWL HAS STARTED?
Okay, you tried running for your life but you still got surrounded. Now you have to react or else you’re going to get overwhelmed very quickly and get kicked down. Read carefully and go to STEP #1.
STEP #1 – FORM A BOTTLENECK SO THE FIGHT BECOMES A 1 ON 1 FIGHT AT ANY MOMENT
If you can, get yourself aligned on a flight of stairs, a narrow corridor, or a walkway with barricades. This prevents you from being completely surrounded with multiple targets, and aligns yourself with only one person at a time at any moment.
If you can narrow it down to just having to deal with one attacker at any time, then the chances of you surviving skyrocket immensely.
DEFENDING YOURSELF IN A BOTTLENECK:
If you have no choice left but to defend yourself, read carefully.
If you’re a striker you can start opening up with jabs (only jabs) while backpedaling, or use calculated kicks to the groin while backpedaling. Fast, flicking hand strikes and fist strikes to keep your attacker at a distance are the best kinds of strikes to use. Do not over commit on your strikes (such as loading up for power strikes) or you will be left open or may slip out of position / off balance – which means getting overwhelmed and surrounded.
You may be able to grab onto the ledges next to you to use as leverage and throw strong soccer kicks aimed at their groin or chest. Keep your kicks low and strong, and don’t get predictable with your timing. Mix them up with jabs but always keep your distance BACK. Be careful with kicking as you may miss, slip, and end up falling in which you will be beat down.
If you’re a grappler, unfortunately multiple attackers means you won’t be able to get off any good attacks and you’re better off just throwing the attacker in front of you or pushing his head / face and smash him into any objects, walls, trees, etc. Keep your hands stretched out, forming a frame, and use it to brace your attacker / shove him out of the way when he comes forward. In any case, grappling with your attacker is risky and not recommended because in doing so, you close your own distance with your attackers and if you’re not careful, you will get overwhelmed.
The advantage should be yours should this continue in a tight close-quarters space such as a staircase where only one attacker can get to you at a time, bottleneck and blocked by the guy in front of them. Kick him down. Push off and throw straight punches aimed at his throat. It’s best not to get into a clinch situation or start grappling. Attack and get off first.
Of course don’t forget the eye gouging, foot stomping, and groin kicking when the opening presents itself. Karate style / point fighting style techniques work surprisingly well in this situation because it’s essentially all about backpedaling, attacking when the opening comes, and escaping right after. If you’re a high level boxer or point fighter, you can shuffle backwards and land well-timed jabs and crosses on your attacker as he chases you.
STEP #2 – GET TO A LARGE, OPEN AREA
If you’re able to get yourself to a large, open area (and we mean open area as in out on the streets or at a park, NOT inside a small room or hall), you’re in a much better situation to deal with your attackers as this opens up your options. You are free to backpedal, circle, and continue circling around. As long as you continue circling, you can pick them off one by one or eventually be able to, if you choose, to make a run for it.
DEFENDING YOURSELF IN AN OPEN FIELD:
You will need to continually run backwards while jabbing the closest person who is in front of you. Be careful not to trip while doing this. Be sure not to get cut off and surrounded. You do the cutting off, and you do the circling. Circle away continuously creating space behind you while jabbing the death out of the guy in front of you. Using measured check hooks as they walk into your striking zone also works well in deflecting their energy / line of attack as you circle away.
I hope you practiced your boxing because if you’re a jiu jitsu guy or a wrestler and you can’t strike, you’ve got nothing for your attackers here and you’re better off just running away. The time it takes for you to successfully clinch and land a throw or a submission, you’ll likely be knocked out already as your other attackers will be stomping your face and soccer kicking you in the head.
Here are two great video examples of the techniques described above and how it looks when implemented successfully:
He wasn’t completely successful, but he applied the right principles in trying his best not to be surrounded, and punched and shoved his attackers when the opportunity presented itself.
This man uses effective footwork, jabs, and check hooks to send his attackers back and tumbling off to the side.
Eventually you should be able to create an opening large enough to escape.
REACTION #4 – I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT! WHAT DO I DO?
For men, if you cannot defend yourself at all, then negotiate with your attackers. Hand them some cash and live to fight another day. You might still take a beating, but hopefully you can learn from your mistake of never learning a martial art to defend yourself with.
For women, if you’ve never trained either, try not to anger or further annoy your attackers into making them do something worse, such as slapping them or humiliating them into making them want to physically hurt you or escalate it into sexual assault. If you make your attackers lose face, they’ll more likely want to attack you as payback. If they look like they’re just mouthing off or pushing you and they’re about to leave – then let it go.
If they’re definitely trying to harm you, then try to lock yourself inside a car or a room or somewhere where your attackers can’t reach you. If they cannot pursue you any further then they’ll leave. Remember to call for help. If you must engage them then try to stab them in the eyeballs with your keys or with your nails, use pepper spray, or grab a blunt object to use to hit them with. Your purse is usually a poor choice to use as a weapon as it’s not hard enough to inflict any real pain and they can actually grab your purse and pull it away from you as well – but if you’ve got nothing else then it’s better than nothing. Swing your purse at them, hit them in the face with it, while you kick and scream at them and make them back off out of fear.
In general, it’s hard to provide any tips for survival at this point because you’re really at the mercy of your attackers. All we can say is – be smart, be aware, and don’t put yourself in this kind of situation in the first place. Always partner / buddy up if you’re going somewhere or traveling, or just stay home at night.
8 Keys To Keep In Mind:
1. Aggressively attack and get off first. You will never be able to dodge multiple people at the same time so your best bet is to actually attack first when an opening presents itself and take out the front runner. Be careful not to over commit and get caught / dragged to the ground.
2. Attack the leader. He is usually the one issuing orders or the one leading the attack. Kill this guy off first and the rest won’t dare to follow up.
3. Maintain superior vision, awareness, and footwork. If you can keep all your attackers in your line of vision, are aware of your surroundings to avoid being flanked, and use great footwork to create angles and sufficient attacking space, you greatly increase your chances of fighting them off.
4. Avoid the ground at all costs. Do not turtle. Do not pull guard. Protect your head from being soccer kicked by maintaining a high guard and get back up to your feet at all costs.
5. Make a lot of noise and cause a scene! The louder and more aggressive you are, the better your morale is, the more intimidated your attackers are, the more attention you will be attracting, and the lesser chances of your attackers wanting to stick around if bystanders are aware of the situation. This also maintains your innocence in the public eye – make a lot of noise and get people to know you’re the victim of the attack and not the guy who instigated the fight.
6. Use cheap shots to gain an advantage. Eye gouging, throat shots, groin shots, ear pulling, finger breaking, and biting are all game here. If you act like a hero and try to “trade punches” with your foes, then you can expect to get knocked out, beat down, and humiliated. Remember; you’re outnumbered and they’re out to hurt you – why fight fair?
7. Use a weapon. Pick up an object and swing / throw it at them. If you can grab a hold of a makeshift weapon or if your belt buckle is heavy enough to be used as a whipping weapon, use it. Use anything you can to even the odds, and use it some more to make sure they’re down and out for good, and the threat of attack is completely removed.
8. Use obstacles / environment to keep yourself from being surrounded and create space, such as kicking a chair in front of them to slow their advancement. If your attackers have to jump over objects, barricades, and the general environment to get to you, they expose themselves to being open to your counter attack, or slow down enough to give you time to recover or flee the scene.
Train hard and fight smart. Don’t leave home without this knowledge, and share this post with your friends and loved ones – it could mean the difference between life and death.