Training to fight multiple attackers

Training to fight multiple opponents is an aspect of martial arts that is covered in many styles with varying degrees of validity. A trade off between safety and ‘reality’ or validity is required to train for multiple attackers. Too little validity/reality and the training has minimal transferable value to a real life situation. If safety is completely compromised for the sake of making the training directly transferable the outcome would result in the loss of training partners to injury.

There clearly is a market for ‘keeping it real’ and judging by the price of the equipment it’s making someone a decent wedge! There will always be arguments over the veracity of using protective equipment such as Tony Blauer’s High Gear. Because although full force, or at least near full force strikes can be absorbed the use of any safety equipment skews the training away from ‘reality’ to some degree. Put simply, there has to be some form of trade off.

In contrast, an overly safe approach to multiple attacker training can have close to zero or even negative transfer to the real world scenario. If multiples training were to simply comprise of three man Ippon Kumite, similar to what you can still see at demonstrations it would have negligible real world use. That’s a bit daft but there you go. In fact, that sort of training could be counterproductive as the practitioner might even decide to fight several attackers instead of running due to overconfidence in his/her ability.

I intend to cover the way in which we train for fighting against multiple attackers. We manage this without specifically running a multiples program as such. This means we cover the skills required to fight multiple attackers through a mixture of drills gleaned from internet articles and clips, taking stuff from training with Steve Morris (who has never specifically covered multiples with me) and others and adapting regular training drills but without bringing in a self defence expert and buying expensive protective equipment. There’s a huge amount of information available on multiples training but to get value requires sorting the wheat from the chaff.

My favourite clip of successful defence against multiple attackers is the one of an altercation in the middle of a busy road in Turkey. It’s been around for a few years now and shows an argument leading to one bloke fighting multiple opponents amongst parked cars and traffic. The bloke on his own has clearly trained, probably boxing, and deals with the three attackers pretty comfortably. He’s a flurry of continual movement, striking and defending on the move. It’s an excellent example of how to defend against several opponents.

So information from this and other sources will do a reasonable job in my mind. A series of posts will follow this that address the issue of training to fight multiple opponents without an actual program to train for multiple attackers as such. Does that make sense? Anyway watch this space.

8 thoughts on “Training to fight multiple attackers

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Training to fight multiple attackers « EPIC martial arts Blog --

  2. Jon, the reason why I’ve never covered multiples with you or those members of your group who train at Primal occasionally, is that first you’ve got to be able to fight one guy before you can even begin to think in terms of fighting more.

    There really is no point in dealing with multiples until you’re a credible fighter against one man.

    Fighting is what separates the wheat from the chaff in all these things. If I were you, I would be wary of taking this on as a teacher. Unless you’ve personally done it for real, you’re in deep water and you’re taking your students with you.


  3. I’m not sure what the defintion of ‘credible fighter’ is, but the Guy in the Turkish clip did very well with some very basic principles – I’m sure you can give some sound advice on basic principles to your students Jon.

    As an aside, I very much doubt there are many, is any, ‘experts’ on multiples out there, and the only area I can imagine any with any ‘expertise’ would be from the football hooligan element who are the only regular participants in this unsavoury pastime….

    Bon courage Jon.

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  5. Thanks for the comments.

    Steve – the posts I make will not cover everything required to train for multiple attackers. It’s really a response to something that was said elsewhere, all will be revealed in the end. There’s two more posts coming on this subject.

    Paul – the bloke in the clip does do very well. I love this footage it really does show what can be done with good movement.

  6. There’s a great clip of a tall Chinese guy holding off multiples. He uses his arm reach to stop eah of them in the the throat and so on. He’s got great balance and alertness and uses his natural attributes very well. I’ll try to find it for you as another example.

  7. Pingback: Padwork And Movement Drills Against Multiple Attackers « EPIC martial arts Blog

  8. Pingback: Defend Yourself From Multiple Attackers Using Tornado |

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