Sunday, June 18, 2006

Multiple Attackers - a pictorial & video essay

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

As I've mentioned before (see "Multiple Attacker Nightmare" and "Multiple Assailant Training" posts), I look upon multiple assailant attacks as deadly force (on the part of the attacker), and it warrants a response appropriate to the attack. Remember that in general, multiple attackers are emboldened and more vicious than individuals, and certainly more deadly. There is a peer pressure and group mentality that leads to maiming or death to victims. A few years ago, a huge (6'8"+) man was killed by a mob of kids as young as ten years old who basically beat him to death after he grabbed one of them for throwing something. Your old options are being more vicious than your attackers and getting them to flee, or getting to safety by fleeing. Are you sure you're faster than the fastest in the group? Do they have something to throw at you? What if you trip and go down?

Problems not mentioned before are that you don't know when a weapon will "appear," when you will lose your footing, and you don't have eyes on the back of your head. The solution to all of these is footwork (read this post, "When in Doubt, Move!"):

  • Keep your feet moving (with balance)

  • Maintain proper orientation to threats (don't get turned around)

  • STAY ON YOUR FEET! This is a situation where that newfangled groundfighting or grappling can get you killed!

Let's take a look at some examples from our training last week:

  1. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting You've probably heard that you should always place someone between you and the other attackers, in other words, "line 'em up." Here, I went after Mike and, while stepping to my right, shove Mike into Sam's path so that he doesn't have a shot. I started punching Mike, then locked him up in a Thai clinch as Sam tried to move around me to my left.

  2. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This tactic became a problem when Mike went down from a knee and Sam had moved to my flank. Mike was out of action, so I charged Sam and avoided locking him up or grappling at all. LATERAL MOVEMENT!

  3. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting In another round, after he recovered, they got smart and Mike attempted a tackle to tie me up. In this case I used a wedge (with my arms) to direct Mike to my left, and pushed his head down to move him back into Sam's way. A table, car, desk, or other obstruction will work just as well, but you have to improvise sometimes. NEVER let your feet get crossed up, or get knocked back on your heels or you'll be vulnerable to this tackle or another takedown and that's bad as we'll see in the next example.

  4. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Here, Mike and I jumped Sam. We got on two sides of him, and Mike wrapped him up and brought him down. I provided the sniping (kicks, stomps, and strikes), while Mike suppressed his defenses by keeping him occupied and immobile on the ground. Not good if you're on defense. Don't let this happen to you.

  5. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Here I'm showing the two ways of moving someone with your upper body, while neutralizing their attacks. Remember, the strategy here is to go on offense and move the first attacker you engage into the path of the second. If you try this by pushing in the center of the mass (chest/torso), you'll just meet resistance and be immobilized while you struggle with your opponent. I recommend a) push on the head in the direction you want your opponent to go while checking his nearest weapon (in this case his left arm), and/or b) use the shoulder or arm (above the elbow) to turn and move your attacker. He'll go. Try it. The head is the best, but least precise. I like to do both as I show here. I also like to sweep, knee, and bump with my hips and knees to move them.

I hope this helps. A better defense is to have a weapon or lots of help, better yet, not be there. I can't emphasize enough that you need to keep your balance, and keep moving. Be careful.

Ads by


I just saw a nice recent post on this same subject from the Crime: Information and Prevention site. Read it.

No comments: