Self Defense: Defending yourself from multiple attackers

Defending yourself from multiple attackers

The world has gone crazy! Turn on the evening news and you will be bombarded with stories of innocent people being attacked, robbed, and killed on a daily basis. Now throw in an emergency situation or natural disaster, and the lunatics of the world will be swarming the streets like roaches looking for innocent victims to target.

One of the biggest dangers that you’ll face in an urban survival situation is an attack from multiple people. Anyone who’s serious about survival needs to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones from all types of violent attacks. While having a firearm can certainly level the playing field, and is something I think everyone should be trained to use, there are certain times and situations where you might be without one.

So what can you do when attacked by multiple people?

Facing an attack from one crazed lunatic can be a serious, even life-threatening situation; throw in a couple more psychopaths, and chaos doesn’t even begin to describe what you’re going to face.

Sadly, in today’s world, this scenario has become an increasingly real possibility. Even an innocent trip to the local grocery store can quickly go bad if not prepared to face the very real threats that are out there. When confronted with this type of attack, there are a couple of things you need to do.

Access the situation:

Do you have an escape route? This isn’t about looking cool, and it’s not the time to be Mr. Tough Guy.
Survival does not mean fighting; if you have an escape route take it now.

Can you talk your way out of the situation? Talking your way out of an attack is more art than science, and takes a considerable amount of street smarts to pull off. But there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.

  • Telling a group that’s ready to attack to F off does nothing to defuse the situation. That may sound like common sense, but during a stressful situation people tend to either panic or let their ego take over and they overreact.
  • Remember you are probably dealing with people who are borderline insane and have nothing to lose. Stay calm & don’t show any fear. These types of people can smell fear, the moment they see it you’ve already lost the battle.
  • Apologize. Sometimes these morons are just trying to look cool in front of the group. Apologizing will allow them to look like the big tough guy, without having to pound in your skull.

If you must fight, then here are some tips that may help.

Fighting off an attacker

If you have no other options, and your life is in jeopardy, then you need to know how to protect yourself. The following actions should only be taken if your life is in immediate danger.

Watch the group’s body language – Watching the group’s body language will give you a clue to when they’re ready to attack. The following actions may be signs that they are getting ready to attack.

  • Watch for the assailant to do something like removing a hat or shirt.
  • Your attacker may start to make erratic movements such as rubbing his nose, pushing his hair back or clenching his teeth.
  • Watch the group’s eyes; they may start to glance at each other for cues on when to attack.
  • Watch the attackers fists; often times they will instinctively tighten them right before they’re ready to attack you.

Weapons – If you’re not carrying one, quickly scan your surroundings. Beer bottles, tree branches, garbage cans, bricks, and even the pen in your pocket can be used as improvised weapons during an emergency situation.

Psychology – Fighting a group does not always mean having to fight the whole group. In fact, your goal is to fight as few of them as possible. Instead of defeating each of their bodies, you must instead defeat their minds.

  • Your first strike must be spectacular, and very visible to the group.
  • The more visible the injury is the greater physiological effect it will have on the rest of the group.
  • The first few seconds of the fight are critical; if you can psychologically defeat the group now, many of them will scatter without ever throwing a punch.

Identify the leader – Who is the strongest link?  This person is your main threat, and must be taken out first. Taking out the leader can destroy the group’s willingness to fight, and is the first step to surviving an attack.  Remember, you want to create a strong visible injury that will make the group rethink its attack.

Where to Attack – In a life or death situation, there are no rules.  Take out their eyes, break their kneecaps, jab them in the throat; do anything you can to win the battle. Your goal is to immobilize the attackers by any means available.

Everyday Carry Pocket Weapons

Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



    • Question ? If in that situation there is always a loud one do you take him (or her out first) or the quiet one ? How do you know which is the head of the group so to speak

    • Sooooo, I need to disagree. Attacking the largest, strongest, most aggressive member of a group first is a last ditch effort. You’re putting up a prayer that it’ll break the psyche of the group. If it doesn’t, you’re in a pitched battle with the strongest one while surrounded by his friends.

      If you have a strategy for fighting multiple opponents that works and that you have practiced until it has become muscle memory, you’re best off targeting whoever is on the far outside (far right or far left) of the group. You cannot allow yourself to be surrounded, and that’s the first step. If choosing between far right and far left, I’ll pick the smaller and weaker of the two. Gives me a better chance of cutting the group number down by one before having to move on to the next person.

      I don’t even know why I’m writing this. Drilling the techniques against resisting opponents is what matters. The advice above is useless without it. Any random person against three people has a TINY chance of victory If you really want to be able to handle multiple opponents, get four guys together that want to learn. Do one on theee drills, experimenting with what works. You designate one guy as “the good guy” and he can use everything that the team has come up with. The other three use all possible speed and strength, but none of the special techniques you will discover. As a tip, the only things that will work (that I have found) are things that allow you to use one opponent as a shield to protect you from the others.

      For all I know, you guys are the deuschbags that are going to use this to harm innocents, so no more. Again, I don’t know why I’m writing anything at all.

      If you are going to use violence to puff up your ego, or take somebody’s money, of get revenge because somebody insulted your girl, please find God first, and a mentor that will help you understand when violence is appropriate. If your heart is in the right place, maybe I’ll meet you somewhere and we can talk more.

      • If they are on the ground sit on their chest knees on their elbows adding pressure to them. use your fist to punch the right of their neck, then the adams apple while they are knocked out stomp the forehead with your boots (I wear military issued kevlar boots all the time). Next hit the nose up, grab a sharp object nearby, a bottle maybe amd jab in the armpit several times on their right side, they will not get up after this… ever.

        • You forgot to mention the freeze spell you out on his buddies while you perform this John Wick Reenactment.

      • Hahahahaha! Take him to the ground, achieve the dominant position, and execute a submission… while surrounded by his friends. Let me know how that goes for you.

  1. I have first hand knowledge of this working, I was attacked by a group of people once luckily I busted the main aggressors nose which caused the other 3 to take off running.

  2. Thank you for pointing out that it is always best to try to get out of the fight, way to many people let their ego’s get the best of them.

    • I tend to use my fathers tricks he taught me during his military combat training, it kills people more than hurts so I like it better than martial arts at times. Martial arts I tried but the tactics are too predictable for anyone to accomidate in the time I use them, brute force is what I suggest.

  3. Robert is correct being a legally armed and properly trained citizen is your best bet in this situation, unless of course you are Chuck Norris.

  4. Awesome Tips, its really hard to fight even 2 bodies (especially if they think like convicts). but aiming to attack their minds highly increase your chance of survival other than focusing on bodies.

    Another great self defense post

  5. This is all accurate, if you happen to run into a textbook scenario. In my line of work Ive dealt with fighting people en masse and there is usually no order, leader, or time for discussion. It usually becomes a flurry of thrown projectiles, fists, and feet. As far as emergency situations go, the worst I was involved in was Katrina. First as a citizen and then returned to work armed security after. Count on the worst. There will be NO order. Best advice: Be invisible. Beyond that? Legal possession/carry of firearms and training.
    Keep in mind that you are outnumbered. They know they outnumber you. A “spectacular and visible first strike” is not going to intimidate any but the most timid group of attackers.

    • I totally agree. In Pine Bluff Arkansas I witnessed 3 guys jump a man with a gun in his hand, after her shot their leader. They beat the brakes off of him. I was on the phone with 911 the whole time. With my hand on my pistol in case they directed their BS towards me.

    • There is no substitute for a qualified person with a firearm. My advice is get a handgun, learn it inside and out and practice, practice, practice. The goblins who run the streets today are not the types who will allow you to “talk your way out” of any situation. They are merciless. You must be also.

    • I wear a pair of laced black boots – bit like DR Martins and make me walk more confidently, so if you don’t have a pair then do get some as it toughens up even a pretty woman.

  6. Very accurate almost text book if I say so myself, but Robert is right to I don’t leave home unless I’m armed with something but if I had a side arm I would have evened the odds with that it’s like this double tap the leader and the rest of the street punks would be very shaken and either die with him or run. But that would only happen if the world turned on it’s ear anyway.

  7. Well, Fawn, I believe a handgun is your best bet. But if youre either unwilling or unable to carry a gun that just depends on what youre most comfortable with. Id recommend a knife or striker that cant be easily taken from your hand. A good example of this would be a “cats-eye” striker. These are usually made of metal and shaped like a cats head. The first two fingers of the hand go through the “eyes” and would be pretty tough to take from somebody’s hand. My personal favorite and one of my everyday carry knives is called the Hideaway knife. Its available from and its a great tool. Its a small knife, around 2″ (so legal) that fits around the first two fingers of the hand. This allows you to use your knife hand for carrying keys, lights, or mace as well as striking. All while having a knife immediately available. They are also extremely concealable with tons of very sneaky concealment options. Check out the website. These are custom made knives so Id recommend checking the section of the site that lists knives that were never paid for(measure your fingers according to websites directions). The knife I bought usually costs $169 but I got it for $69. The knife was only 1/32″ larger than my measurement. Sorry for the long-winded answer, but there you go! Stay safe!

  8. the mindset is the most important and lethal weapon human beings have at their disposal. we are taught from youth to adult to avoid violence at any cost but when the day comes and either your life or the life of someone you hold dear is on the line you had better have done some mental prep work for what lies ahead. even the best weapon in the hands of an ill prepared person is no defense. and when i say ill prepared i mean mentally and physically because if the mind is sharp and you do not possese the knowledge to wield whatever weapon at hand you will be just as dead.

  9. I just wanted to share a personal experience I had in 2009. While on my 3rd tour in Afghanistan my platoon conducted what we called a Humanitarian Aid drop (food, rice& beans some warm clothes)in one of the poorest villages in our sector. While this was going on we got mobbed like we always do kids and the village elders. While I was overseeing the distribution of food some of the older men became very unruly and a fight broke out. My dumb ass jumped in the middle of the mess and broke it up. When it was all said and done what I got from the whole thing was the older man was upset he got less food than he and his family should have and others received more. So in turn he attacked one of my Soldiers who was about 6ft 3in and about 250, armed with a M-4, body armor, helmet ect. This old man was about 5ft 7in and was lucky to weigh 140(I picked him up and restrained him with ease.) the whole point I am getting at is if people are desperate enough they WILL DO ANYTHING TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILY. Even attack a well armed, better trained and much larger person. In retrospect I would do the same if my family was staving to. I hope it never comes to that, bet your ass I am ready for it.


  11. Good short article on the basics, but you forgot to mention the effectiveness of taking a hostage, preferably the leader. If your able to put your finger to the anyones eye and voice the threat, very few people would continue.

  12. 2 on 1 fighting is really all about circles & lining them up, keep yourself mobile and position them so that ur only fighting them one at a time

  13. My uncle was attacked by 4 guys and took them down thanks to you. One in the eye then throat. one kneecap, eyes. another neck, groin, and another neck, kneecap, eyes. Thanks.

    • For the “neck, groin” one, was the groin kick the finishing blow? I’m asking because I didn’t think groin kicks incapacitated in real life. Let me know. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.