Thursday, 5 April 2012

Defense Against Two Attackers

The TV series Fight Quest

I’d love to tell my students that self defense begins and ends with one attacker. But that would be giving them false hopes.

In January of this year, 6 men attacked a woman in Toronto. Last August, in the city of Belleville, Canada, 6 men also attacked a woman. That number 6 keeps rearing its head. One of my students knows of a man who was attacked by 6 men in an arena and left for dead.  Of his many injuries was a blow to the head from an unusual weapon – a sock with a rock inside of it.

When I first started sparring, we often faced 4 people at one time.  If you can catch some footage of the Kajukenbo and Krav Maga episodes of the TV show Fight Quest on YouTube, you’ll see attacks by more than a dozen people.  And each attacker doesn’t wait for his turn as villains do in the movies; they swarm!

The type of physical and mental stress Jimmy and Doug are put through as they try to survive the drills is similar to that of a mob attack.  We try to replicate the same atmosphere in our classes.  Nowadays, my students rarely spar or even grapple one on one.

I’d just like to share a few ideas we use when sparring more than one opponent. They might be of help to you during your own practise – or during an actual attack in the street.

Never get trapped in the middle

1.  Never stay in the middle of two attackers. Always move off to one side. That gives you the luxury of dealing with only one attacker at a time.

2.  Be aware of both attackers. Hit one attacker while looking at the other.

Try to move to one side

3.  Never block, strike or punch while standing still. Always attack while on the move. In fact, never stop moving!

4.  All kicks should be below the waist. Actually, the knee is the preferred target.  Attackers can’t chase you when their knees are broken.

This is the most ideal position!

5.  Always use “everyday weapons” – keys, pens, belts, etc.

6.  As you move, make use on any “terrain weapons” in the immediate area – rocks, sticks, gravel – anything lying around that can be used as a weapon.

Legendary Master Lam Sai Wing
of Hung Gar Kung Fu survived a
group attack in the famous Lok
Sin Theater incident in Canton.
Kung Fu systems like Hung Gar
and BaGua are particularly effective
against multiple attackers.

7.  As you move, be constantly aware of where walls, corners, fences, cars, etc. are…so that you can’t be trapped, for instance, with your back against a wall.

8.   As you move, be aware of possible escape routes.

9.   If you can, talk your way out of the conflict. It may save your life! If it’s your purse or wallet that they’re after, give it to them.  Credit cards can be replaced; you can’t! Include "speech self defense" in your sparring practise.

10.  And the most important rule of all (and the most difficult one to obey) – stay relaxed. A relaxed mind can spot every little change in its surroundings, can react with efficiency, can plan ahead. The more my students are pressured, the more I remind them to relax.

In future posts, I’d like to share some of our multi-partner drills with you. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful.

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