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Taking on multiple attackers.

Hey… it’s Jimbo.

Today’s Man-Skills is about taking on multiple attackers.

Personally, I’ve never had to fight more than one opponent at a time — with the exception of an incident at the in-laws during a holiday Monolopy game (where my brother-in-law insisted he could take a second-mortgage on Baltic Avenue because he “did it once in real-life just before losing my home”).

But no matter what Jason Bourne may have convinced people, fighting against multiple attackers is not easy, (I mean fighting and winning that is. Losing is actually quite easy).

So I brought in an expert to help. A guy who’s “been there, done that” in the real world (not just in the dojo where the attackers “cooperate”).

Here’s what we’ll cover.

  • Brutal Reality. A true-crime story.
  • Steps To Winning. More war stories too.
  • Finishing: More cool story. More cool tips.

The Brutal Reality:

Taking on 3 guys… and losing.

TRS Fight Instructor Derek Smith rose through the G-Men ranks to eventually become a feared and respected U.S. Special Agent.

But what a lot of folks don’t know is that he grew up on the mean street of Chicago where fist-fighting was a part of his daily routine (right after flossing).

He admits that taking-on multiple opponents was not an extremely common occurrence for him — but it did happen.

As Derek says: “The first time I was going to a local corner store on the south side of Chicago where I lived. Three guys approached me. I knew it was going to be trouble because me and my thug friends — we called ourselves the Warriors — had an ongoing battle with these guys”.

[Okay… you know he’s a bad-ass when he refers to this particular brawl as “the first time”].

“When they got to me I was confident because my buddy Pookie had trained me in Shotokan Karate for quite some time”. [Pookie’s real name is George].

“Even though I was scared as hell, I put a wall behind me and prepared myself to take out my three opponents with lighting fast karate kicks and punches.

“One of the guys reached for a discarded wine bottle [another indicator that Derek wasn’t in the Hamptons] and I knew that was going to be bad so I punched him first.

“This is when the shit hit the fan.

“The other 2 guys started throwing punches. Each time I tried to turn to face an attacker with my karate the other two would punch me upside my head. I would turn to face another one and then wham-wham.

“It was winter in Chicago and I was wearing a very bulky parka, so I finally just covered my head and face, stood there, and let them wail on me. The coat prevented them from doing much damage, and lucky for me they were not trained fighters.

“Thankfully my younger brother and three other ‘Warriors’ came around the corner just in time and chased them off”.

Derek’s BIG takeaway from this incidence (besides that the quality of wine available in his neighborhood was terrible) was this:

“In this fight, I was not able to use one karate technique and I was afraid to throw a kick because first, my opponents were too close to me, and second, I was afraid to raise a leg and lose my base and end up on the ground”.

It was a lesson he would not soon forget. (Like the time Billy “badass” Kreezle and his pals gave me an atomic wedgie on the playground. Not soon forgotten).

Derek’s first experience was as an eye-opener. Here was an experienced street-fighter trained in karate who was quickly beat down by three punks.

But after more fighting, and more training, and more experience with multiple attackers, Derek eventually became an undercover agent working the Upper Peninsula Of Michigan, (which sounds like a beautiful peaceful place, but actually not so much).

In the words of the man himself:

“I was an undercover agent in a perp’s house when the guy I was supposed to be buying crystal meth from got pissed about something and decided he and his two buddies were going to kick my ass.

“By now I had years of real training and black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido, as well as training in multiple other arts including Jui Jitsu. I also had a government-issued 9mm Beretta at the small of my back and an ASP baton in my right coat pocket.

“The drug dealer and his buddies were on me quick…”

Okay… things are heating up fast. But let’s break it down and examine Derek’s experience as a real-life lesson on how to defeat multiple opponents.

1. Deliver A Preemptive Strike.

This is always a good one because it sends a message (by special delivery) of shock and awe that gets your opponent (or in this case “opponents”) back on their heels and panicking.

I get a lot of folks asking if hitting first is “unfair”. The answer is yes. (or should I say “hell yes”), it’s very unfair. No shame in that. Take every advantage you can to get the upper hand, including sneak attacks and dirty tricks to that can stop an opponent or allow you to escape.

“In my case, I did not REALLY strike preemptively. The drug dealer tried to ‘steal on me’ throwing a quick jab at my eye. I was already waiting for it and I parried him with my left hand and hit him with a short elbow strike to the left side of his head.

“It was not hard but it was enough to distract him. The preemptive strike is very important. To take out an opponent, especially if he’s bigger than you, you need to strike first and hard. There are no cheap shots in a fight. You either hit first or get hit. It’s best to hit first!”

2. Target The Leader First.

Here’s where Hollywood has got is right (kinda). There’s usually one creepy character who acts as the leader.

But unlike Hollywood, you wanna take this guy out first if you can, (and not wait until the end of Act 3 where’s there an epic battle and you think he’s dead, but he suddenly grabs your leg and everyone jumps and screams).

Targeting this guy can sometimes strip away the cohesiveness of the group, (although don’t count on it).

Steps To Winning:

Tips From Another War Story.

“In an attack, oftentimes someone emerges as the leader. He is probably the one doing all the shit-talking. Take him out first and hope that the others stop at that point.

“However, I doubt they will. Unlike in the movies, they will probably try to defend or get payback for their friend and will begin their attack right away, so be ready for it.

“Even if it is not the leader, attack first. It is nearly impossible to defend from multiple angles, so you need to be the first to act. In my case, the leader had thrown a punch at me so of course, he was the guy I hit first with the elbow strike.”

3. Keep Track Of All The Attackers.

This is kinda like “Whack-A-Mole”, (except that these moles can whack back). Maintain continual awareness of all the opponents and understand from where they could pop-up and attack (with those razor-sharp buck teeth).

You’ll want to take them on one at a time, but to do this, you must first know where everyone is.

“In my case when I elbowed the leader, his two buddies sitting on the couch playing a video game quickly started to rise.

“It is very cold in the Upper Peninsula, so I was wearing a heavy coat and could not easily get to my gun. Plus I did not really want to shoot these bone-heads anyway. Too much paperwork.

“I was wearing what we called a ‘panic button’ taped to my left arm to let my handlers [those smelly miserable dudes crammed outside in a van] know I was in trouble so they could rush in.

“As they rose from the couch I pushed the stunned leader into the guy sitting on the left of me, pressed the panic button, and executed a front push kick with my right leg to the other guy on my right, pushing him back onto the couch.

“You should know where all the other opponents are and be ready to deal with them as soon as you need to. Don’t do like most people and just blindly fight without observing your surroundings, or you’ll be cold-cocked in the back of your head and probably knocked out”, [and then dragged down into their fiendish mole cave for some whack-a-mole payback].

4. Keep Your Opponents In Front Of You.

It’s best if you can keep the moles in front of you in a tight group. You don’t want them behind you or fanning out around you.

May sound like a Kung-Fu fantasy movie, but there really ARE techniques to keep multiple opponents in front of you so you can deal with one at a time.

Simply backing away is one technique that will tend to bunch them together. Another is to circle their flank. You can also shove one into another and get multiple opponents tripping over each other, (which is hilarious, especially if you can post that up on YouTube).

“Keeping your attackers in a line in front of you allows you to attack one person without being exposed to attack by others.”

The Spy Cap!

Looks like an ordinary ball cap, doesn't it? Well, that's what it's supposed to look like, but it's definitely not.

This is one sneaky, sneaky cap.

>> More About Your "Spy Cap" Here. <<

Finshing The Job:

More Story. More Tips.

Thankfully there’s always more.

5. Use A Weapon If You Are Skilled With It.

Using a weapon seems like a big “duh, no kidding”, but it’s not as simple as all that.

Most fights happen faster than you’d think. And getting to your knife or a gun or an improvised weapon is often possible only after you’ve bought a few seconds with some nifty hand-to-hand moves.

So learn some simple hand-to-hand techniques, even if you carry a weapon at all times (and sleep with it under your pillow).

“Before my attackers could rise again I whipped out my ASP baton, striking the drug dealer on the ass and then wailing on all three with the baton as they ducked and dodged and squirmed on the couch.

“As law enforcement, we are trained to strike fleshy parts of the body with our batons as to not break joints or kill the person, which would look bad on the news and in court. So I avoided their heads and kept hitting their arms and thighs.

“Just then my backup came bursting through the door and quickly subdued and cuffed them.

“Unfortunately, my cover was blown, but I was safe. I was happy they had arrived because even with the baton, I would probably only be able to control all three for so long before they found a way to get past my baton.

“Drawing a weapon may end the fight before it begins and it’s a great way to equalize things against multiple attackers.

“But I warn you, however, that if you are not skilled with it, the weapon will probably be used against you.”

Okay, this may be the end of Derek’s most awesome multiple-attackers story, (and a single slow clap slowly builds into a roaring standing ovation) but it’s not the end of his advice on multiple attackers.

So here’s even more.

6. Be Strategic With Your Defense.

Don’t hesitate — especially when dealing with multiple attackers. Move quickly to get them in a tight formation in front of you.

“Try to avoid being caught in a triangle between multiple attackers as I did in my first scenario. Even with my back to a wall, punches came from many directions and I could not deal with them.

“This situation almost certainly means you will lose the fight. Plan to go on the offensive aggressively and commit to fighting. Follow through and look for your first chance to escape”.

Yes… always look for the big flashing exit sign. It’s one of your best options when dealing with multiple attackers.

7. Use Objects Around You.

“I was once fighting a guy and I flung a chair at him.

“As he moved to avoid the chair I was right behind it to attack him. With multiple attackers throwing a chair at one opponent, for example, while turning around to fight another opponent, can buy you some much needed time”.

Improvised weapons can prove very effective. Like the spectacular face-plant after I jammed a stick into Billy “badass” Kreezle’s bicycle spokes. So effective.

8. Keep Moving.

One way to prevent multiple attackers from surrounding you is to keep moving. The second they begin to form a half-circle around you, simply side-step to one side or the other and get them roughly in a line in front of you.

Don’t let them get around you. Stay nimble. Keep moving.

“Because if you are planted in a location your attackers can easily surround you. Use your footwork, stay agile, and keep moving around. Hell, run if you can.”

9. Strike Decisively.

Another very effective way of dealing with multiple attackers is to take some of them out of the game.

“You need to put your attackers down as quickly as possible. Target weak spots such as the temples, groin, knees, and solar plexus. Even the nose can be useful because hitting it will blind and disorient your opponents for a moment”.


So there you have it, some useful tips on dealing with multiple attackers. Another tool that could help is a “Neck Whip”. This clever bit of man-gear looks like an attractive necklace, (it’s black braided leather. Very cool. Very manly.), so nobody will suspect that it’s actually a nasty weapon.

It means you’ll have a “little surprise” at the ready to hold back multiple attackers or at least look good doing it.

>> Your Awesome Neck Whip HERE. <<

Stay Manly,

Jimbo, Editor
Man Skills

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