Patrick Parker’s thought-provoking post, The myth of multiple attackers lays it out!
A conflict with any one aggressor is at best a 50-50 proposition - that is, it's an even chance of you winning or losing. Much of the time the odds are much worse than that because aggressors can be assumed to work the odds in their favor by using surprise, weapons, and whatever other advantage they can come up with. Martial arts (any martial art) might tip the odds in your favor somewhat, but they are not magic talismans. When two or three or four guys accost you, the smart option is to comply and give them what they want and hope they go away (that's a pretty good option when one guy accosts you too).
Parker is no newbie, he is 6th-Dan Aikido, and 5th-Dan Judo, and is the consummate martial arts student – he rarely says, “I know ,” but seems to say, “let’s see,” and “let’s try to find out.” He details that his training and competitive levels were very high in Karate in the 80s and 90s, but that “I was also a large, athletic guy in the best shape of my life, but I never approached the ability to beat up two attackers at once.”
How about you? How confident are you? Patrick’s point has to be taken in the manner intended: self defense. If you are attacked, without warning, without being able to choose the time, place, weapons, or numbers, you’ll probably lose. So will I, and your instructor probably will, too.
I remember enjoying having a great class with about 20 kids, and then said, “You guys take me out! Go ahead, attack!” And they did. I utilized all the skills that I’ve taught – shielding, checking, grabbing, and moving, and sweeping, striking, and constant movement to frustrate a gang attack. It was fun. Afterward, they were in awe: “How did you do that Mr. Nathan?” “Wow, I bet no one can kick your ass!” and so on. Then one of them piped up, “We’re just kids.” He got it. And there was nothing of the impact, ferocity, and intensity of even a normal adult in one of them. Ok, almost.
Bad guys take you out. From surprise. First hit. With a size and strength advantage or, if they can't manage that and really, really need what you've got, with weapons and numbers. They deliberately choose people who won't or can't fight. There's no value to complicated strategy or feinting.
Is what you’re learning bunk? Junk? Probably not. But keep in mind that you really need to stay out of these situations, and keep learning, but, always have a way to stay out of, or get out of things like this.
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