How to Fight off Multiple Opponents

Two Methods:Fighting Off Multiple OpponentsPrevention Strategies

Contrary to what you may see in the movies, fighting multiple attackers is almost always a losing proposition, and the harm you face is likely to be more severe than if you only face a single opponent. The odds are very much against you in a many-versus-one scenario, and even skilled fighters are often defeated in these situations. However, should you find yourself in this situation, the steps below can help you minimize your injuries and escape.

Method 1
Fighting Off Multiple Opponents

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    Go after the leader. Many groups of attackers have a known leader. Try to draw this person into a one-on-one fight or attack him first. If he's down, the rest of the group is likely to be immobilized.
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    Be strategic in how you plan your defense. Try to avoid being caught in a triangle between multiple attackers. This situation almost certainly means you will lose, and fast.
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    Always know where all of your opponents are. Even if you're fighting one of them at a time, you should know where the other opponents are and be ready to approach them as soon as you need to. Don't just blindly fight without observing your surroundings, or you'll quickly be outwitted.
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    Keep your opponents in a line in front of you. Keeping your opponents in a line (e.g., by backing away from them) can allow you to attack one person without being exposed to attack by others.
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    Use a weapon if you are skilled with it. Drawing a weapon may end the fight before it begins; it's also a way to equalize things when numbers are not on your side, or if the other side is also armed. If you are not highly skilled, know that your weapon may end up being turned against you, leading to death or serious injury.
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    Plan to go on offense aggressively. Don't threaten or give away your intentions once you have committed to fighting. If you've committed to fighting, you have to follow through or find a safe way to escape.
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    Use the objects around you to ward off your opponents. Throwing a chair at one opponent, for example, while turning around to fight another opponent, can help you get the job done.
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    Keep moving. Once you are planted in a location, it is easier to surround you. Take many small, quick steps with your feet to stay agile and to keep moving around in small increments.
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    Attack first. It is nearly impossible to defend from multiple angles; you need to be the first to act.
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    Strike incisive blows. You need to reduce your opponents' numerical advantage by any means necessary. Target weak spots such as the temples, groin, knees, and solar plexus. Even the nose can be useful because it will blind and disorient your opponents for a short time. And, if you know how to use pressure points, make sure you use them to your full advantage.
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    Use cheap shots. There is no shame in using your teeth, knees and or nails at any time. Pride will cost you your life. Don't be afraid to kick your opponent in the crotch, to pull his hair if it's longer, or to scratch his eyes.
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    Avoid being flanked at all costs. Once one or more opponents have their hands on you, you are in deep trouble and will be unable to defend yourself.
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    Escape as soon as you can. This is less likely going to be a fight you are going to win, and will more likely be a fight you are going to have to escape. If they're are no near by escape routes, then follow these fighting techniques.

Method 2
Prevention Strategies

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    Stop or prevent the fight before it starts. Conflict starts long before a fight develops. Positive and assertive interaction with the group may off-set any violence. Do your best to minimize conflict by being good-natured, not picking arguments with volatile people you don't know very well, or making off-color comments that could deeply offend the people around you.
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    Run if you can. Unless you are a skilled fighter or are in a situation where you cannot escape, your best bet is to run away, fast. Head to somewhere public and call for help. Running is also likely to separate your attackers, making it more likely to be able to confront them individually. Be extra careful when you're running so you avoid getting surrounded or running right in to a trap.


  • Try to listen to what is happening behind you as well as on your sides and around you.
  • If you are on the ground there's dirt nearby, try to throw it in the opponent's eye. It will cause immediate irritation.
  • Never go to the ground. You will be overwhelmed and stomped into submission within seconds if you do. Stay on your feet and continue to fight back at all costs.
  • If you do go to the ground, cover your head and torso and make your way to your feet. Then grab someone's leg and take them down.
  • If you do end up on the floor, it is likely they will try to stomp or kick you repeatedly. This is difficult to stop and very dangerous, so try to protect your head by placing your arms around it in the brace position.
  • Make noise. You are not as likely to be attacked if someone else knows what's happening.
  • If you for some reason do end up on the ground, it makes it easier to hit your attackers in the groin.
  • Learn to protect yourself well.
  • Confuse your opponents. Instead of closed fists, spread your fingers wide with palms facing down. Some of the attackers may not be ready to immediately attack an unfamiliar fighting stance.
  • Travel in a group when you're in a unfamiliar area with unfamiliar faces.


  • All of the above is very dangerous and you should avoid this situation if possible. Stay out of trouble areas especially at night if you are by yourself.

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Categories: Self Defense