Remember the old adage that you win every fight you avoid! Practicing Active Self Protection starts long before the physical fight starts, especially when facing multiple attackers.
Original video of the multiple attackers with more information: https://get-asp.com/omp3 Note that one of these men got three years.
How do I protect myself from multiple attackers?
- A life of self-protection must be dedicated to avoidance, de-escalation, and escape whenever possible. You win 100% of the fights that you don’t get in, so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. This is doubly so with multiple attackers! Having good situational awareness will give you more time and opportunity to see problems coming and formulate a plan to stay away and protect yourself without danger to yourself or others. This is always our first choice as self-defenders.
- If you know there might be danger around, you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off of your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death if you can prepare whether against a single attacker or multiple attackers.
- Against multiple attackers every self-defender must know and train and practice that it’s death to focus on one too much. When every attacker is an equal threat, we practice the “Boarding House Rules” that everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. If possible, stack the attackers one behind the other rather than getting between them, because if you get between them then one will have your back. It’s better if possible to work to the outside of the group and keep one between you and the others. In this case they weren’t an equal threat because one had multiple force multipliers, but focusing on one too much is still a recipe for disaster.
- As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet quickly (especially against multiple attackers) and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.