Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Multiple Opponents videos

Take a look at this multiple opponent defense drill. What do you think?

Not bad at all, eh?

Some observations:

  • The gear is cool, allowing for close to full power strikes to most of the attackers' bodies, and freeing the defender to concentrate on technique and footwork without worry about hurting his partners.
  • The defenders are, in many cases, obviously new to this, and because the intensity is not too high for them, are able to experiment with a lot of techniques
  • One of the primary problems for groups is getting in each other's way when more than two are attacking. That's not a problem if the defender holds still, but if he moves, you aren't nearly as effective. The lesson is that constant movement can help you survive a mass attack. See the video in our post Is Boxing Viable for Self-Defense? for a good example of this - about 5-10 members of a group are being pummeled by a single man using boxing technique!
  • The attackers are going about half-speed, in some cases attacking one at a time, perhaps unrealistic, but again, gets the defenders into this at a gradient of intensity and difficulty.
  • Notice the male defender with the black " shirt goes right at the pack and into the middle - suicide as he would be quickly taken down and stomped in a real attack. Better to attack the periphery. The half-hearted tackles don't really help him realize the mistake of this strategy.
  • There is a vast array of strikes, and mostly open-hand (me likes!) to the head, like palms, knifehands, claws (to the eyes), forearms, and hammers. Plus lots of elbows. This is good!
  • Kicks are low and infrequent - also a good idea!
  • One aspect I didn't like is that the attackers "stayed down." Once the defender hit them he didn't have to worry about them anymore. Not realistic. You'd better count on someone getting back up or you may be unpleasantly surprised.
  • Noticed that some of the defenders are more Wing Chun than others, but didn't notice as much grabbing from the defenders as I'd teach. Perhaps it's not emphasized, or just not in this drill.
  • One of the female defenders used the walls well. Know where escape routes are, but also know where walls are to prevent multiple attackers from getting behind you. In general if one gets behind you, you're going to be taken down.
  • Some of the defenders take a post after completing a successful defense. I'd advise against it. Keep moving!
  • Notice the comments on the YouTube page. Many of them have points, but they are taking this out of context. If this were representative of the totality of this school's training, then it would be valid criticism, but I doubt that it is. A good school may start with something like this, but won't finish with it.
  • Last point is that most of the defenders assume a fighting stance prior to defending. Think about not doing that!

For more information:

TDA Practical Hand Techniques
TDA Against the Fighting Stance
TDA Cung Le video - Great Transition Between Ranges
TDA How One Barroom Encounter Changed One Cop's Views On Fighting
TDA Practicality in Training
TDA If it's against the rules, then it must work!
TDA Is Boxing Viable for Self-Defense?


BlackBeltat50 said...

I would love that drill. I liked your commentary. It's hard to view any drill on YouTube and have any sense of it's context and how it fits into an overall training program. Your comments were dead-on there. You did overlook one point that really made this drill: Great Tunes!

Nathan Teodoro said...

Thanks John,

I do appreciate folks putting their information out there, and dislike the gratuitious slams in comments that don't take that context into account - something they themselves would probably expect.

Dang, though, on the tunes. I knew I missed something!!

Thanks for the comments - Nathan

Dojo Rat said...

Ah, the importance of LINING UP THE OPPONENTS!
Some of the girls did better than the guys!
Good drill, I have a few concerns about the wide open arms and unusual stances as they prepare to be attacked.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Great points. The surprise aspect can't be overestimated, especially for the smaller men and women who could pull it off.
Thanks for the comments.

Dojo Rat said...

The critics of this drill on the Youtube page simply haven't tried to spar three people at once. It was standard in our promotion tests in the past.
The only way for people to learn is to take small to medium steps like this, especially women who have perhaps never been attacked for real in their life.
There is so much blather on those youTube pages from armchair UFC critics writing from their mother's basement in between video games.
Every really good woman's self defense course I have seen has a bad guy suit up and attack like this. It gives people a great deal of confidence just to know they can survive an encounter of this type.

Anonymous said...

Fun video... but I think unrealistic other than exposing someone to the feel of fighting lots of guys. I fought what started out to be eight guys at the bar I worked at when I was 21. I was a brown belt and had lots of point fighting experience.

The guys came into the bar and pushed past me (I weighed 165 at the time) with a couple of under aged kids. I tried to card them and they laughed at me. I was the only male at the bar at the time so I called them outside.

I was young and naive and thought when the six guys that followed (all over 6 foot - 200 pounds) that they could not come back in, they would leave... buy no... They jumped me and I had to half flip out of their grip and lost my shirt.

I quickly (since I was small compared to them) said - Ok - one at a time - fight like a Man! (And that worked for some reason!) And the first three of the biggest guys came at me, one at a time and attacked...

Well I had seen plenty of this sparring and simply stepped back and let them miss and then counter punched to their face and knock them out (one at a time).

After that I was truly in a mass attack with about 3 to 4 at any one time... I kept moving and running in half circles in middle of the street and to keep them basically in a line.

Whenever I had one coming at me I would either use initial movement and smack them or play the defensive game and counter (after letting them miss with my half step back)....

I would not let them surround me because unlike this video - you cannot recover from that easily (most likely you will lose). I would attack whenever I got one of them alone in front of me but it was very frustrating because I could not stomp them after I struck (the other had time to respond if I stopped for too long).

The cops finally got their (after 10 minutes) and I had was fighting the last three... but they were not attacking too much because I kept making them pay when they got too close.

This could have easily gone wrong for me if any of them had a concealed weapon but I lucked out.

By the way the two cops signed up for karate lessons after they witnessed I was able to hold my own with those construction workers.

My instructor always told to mess up the first guy so much that the other guys would not want to continue but I could not really do that when the real thing happened but I am confident that I could have taken out the last three if the fight had lasted.

I agree that it does not do much good to critique this video as I'm sure that are not saying it is real... just one more tool to train their students.


John W. Zimmer

Rick Fryer said...

It's very nice to see Traditional martial artists training a drill like this. It shows that you can still be traditional and use modern training methods.

I like Nathan's observations. The most important thing about trying to critique this sort of drill is to look for the positives.

As the YouTube comments show, anyone can be a critic, but a true martial artist can also identify the good aspects of this training.

IMO the best part of this clip was the training area... lots of mats -even covering the walls. Safety is very important when dealing with multiple attacker drills.

A suggestion to help improve their training would be for the 'attackers' to behave as though they were actually hit even though they are wearing body armor.

When you wear protection, you don't feel any pain when someone punches or kicks you. This can cause you to react unnaturally to a technique. Instead, I believe that the attackers should 'pretend' that the defender's strikes actually landed and move accordingly.

For example, when a defender applies an eye gauge to the face-shield, the attacker could raise his hands to his face as though he'd actually been clawed in the eyes. (Kind of like when we were kids playfighting in our backyards.)

This will allow the defenders to gain a sense for possible follow-up techniques.

All in all, a good demonstration of self defense training.