Defending Against Multiple Attackers

 Defending Against Multiple Attackers

Gone are the days when men would fight one against the other. Many street attacks now involve multiple attackers with one side being outnumbered.

Even when learning most martial arts you only learn scenarios in which it is one on one which just isn’t realistic in modern society.

The goal in any street attack, is to only do what you need to do to escape as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if it is one on one or four on one, the Goal is always the same.

Defending Against Multiple Attackers

Don’t Freeze

If you stand still you make it easy for any attacker. You need to move, keep moving, and do so unpredictably. Don’t keep going the same way, change it up. A moving target is much harder to hit than a still one.

You must understand that it will be incredibly hard in any attack where you are outnumbered with a swarm around you, to dodge every single hit.

You may dodge one but move into the path of another. However, if you keep moving you will make it a lot harder for the attackers to land a solid shot.

If you catch one of them off guard, take the shot, follow it through and make it count.

Shield Yourself

In most cases you are only going to have seconds to react when jumped by multiple attackers. You must use these precious seconds wisely and grab anything you can to act as a shield.

As soon as you grab something it is human nature to stop for a second and they will do so until their mind has decided whether it is a threat or not. This could be all the time you need to make your escape but if not, you have some form of protection.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a bag, a table, a chair or anything else that can create a little bit of distance between you and your attackers and act as a shield. Don’t see this as being weak, this is your life.

Having this “shield” also gives you a better chance of fighting your attackers one at a time. Use this together with your movements from the last step to try and position yourself so that you have one of the attackers between you and the rest. This way, there will be less chance of being attacked from behind.

Get Angry

Last year a friend of mine was attacked by four men in our local town center. He had no way out but grabbed what he could (somebody’s walking stick), started jumping around, yelling and acting crazy. All of those guys backed down. My friend did get sentenced to jail because he took it a little far and instead of using that as his chance to escape, he then attacked the guys. He didn’t control that rage, but you must!

It doesn’t matter how many there are, if you show no fear, they think twice!

If you get cornered and see no way out, get angry (but control it) and break out of the attack. Run directly at them if you need to in order to break their circle. Don’t do this unless you are completely sure that you have the power to break through but more often than not, if you make yourself scary enough, they will move before they have even realized what they have done.


A street fight is nothing like you see in a movie. Your attackers do not choreograph their attacks and they will all use their own individual styles with their own individual speeds. This actually works in your favor.

You can deflect and redirect your attackers either away from you or into other attackers. Again, as soon as there is a space, get the hell out of there.

Be Strategic

If there is four people trying to attack you, they have four times more energy than you. If you know you won’t win, don’t waste energy trying to fight back.

You need to be strategic in your escape. You don’t want to turn your back on them running because they can just attack from behind. Instead, you want them in eyesight as much as possible and only make a break for it when you know without a doubt that you can get away.


When it comes to prioritizing your targets, it is down to your judgement call. There are pros and cons of both sides.

If you try to take out the strongest one first, in theory, each subsequent fight should be easier but it depends on how drained you get. Or if you try to take out the smallest first, you will always be having to watch out for the biggest.

If you need to strike, strike where it’s going to hurt and put everything you have into it. Go for the nose, the neck, the nuts, and the knees.

It’s never going to be easy fighting multiple attackers and no matter how hard you try, sometimes you will still end up on the floor. Hopefully, by learning to use the tips above, you’ll at least reduce the chance of such an eventuality from happening.

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