One very safe method for getting a handle on fighting multiple opponents is windsucking. This is a drill they use over at DKK, something that Gavin Mullholland came up with I believe. In simple terms it involves one person striking the kick shields and/or thai pads of 2 to 4 others, while they move and jostle/barge the striker. It’s simple but puts a lot of pressure on the striker particularly when tired and it doesn‘t take very long to get tired!
Within this drill the striker can practise movement tactics to make life difficult for the pad holders while striking. The tactics of Darren Laur and others mentioned in the last post on the training components for fighting mulitple opponents can be applied within a framework of continual movement. That is,
- screening (human shield)
- cracking (splitting)
- clinching (certain aspects)
- feinting (dodging)
Of course the described windsucking drill alone will not address all areas required to train for multiple attackers but it will certainly help with the movement and striking while on the move, if nothing else. The following clip (ignore the first part) gives an illustration of the kind of movement you want to aim for, obviously the clip is slightly different to windsucking but it’s similar and illustrates some of the concepts in action. These padless drills can of course be included with windsucking.
Windsucking as a stand alone drill or in conjunction with purely movements drills has some value. With a little imagination it can be adapted to include further pieces of the multiples puzzle, e.g. the striker can be pulled back, pad holders can strike etc. Of course other elements must be trained to properly prepare for a self defence encounter fighting multiple opponents but this series of posts provides a starting point.
In the Turkish clip the survivor of the multiple attack from the first post was able to strike and cover on the retreat, cut angles and move effectively. Most of these skills would seem to have been transferred from some form of previous training, probably boxing. It’s a moot point as to whether further skills from a kickboxing martial art and/or MMA would trnasfer as successfully.
In my opinion there is more transferable than not, with some obvious exceptions. Head kicks would be risky while sprawling on a shoot/tackle would be close to suicidal the consequences of which are covered in two posts by Wim Demeere on his blog.
Using MMA as an example, not everyone uses head kicks or likes to go to ground, there are many who avoid the ground very successfully, this suggests that some of the skills used in the cage would transfer very well. For instance, in the recent UFC114, John Hathaway lands a lovely knee strike to Diego Sanchez’s head in the first round off a shoot. Excellent skill for fighting multiple opponents if you can pull it off, training to use it would help of course.
In my opinion there are aspects of combat sports that are transferable to fighting multiple opponents and if selected with a critical eye can be implemented into training for mutliple attackers.