Multiple Attackers Self Defense — Defeating the Setup

Unfortunately, if you ever find yourself in a real street fight, you always need to consider the possibility that you’re being targeted by more than one person. This is particularly true in the case of street crime, in that gangs of criminals often work together. Or you could simply accidentally back your car into a truck load of drunken beer buddies at the local convenient store and find yourself facing some big dudes who feel a responsibility to teach you a lesson. As you can well imagine, being in this sort of situation can be potentially life-​​threatening, so of course it’s crucial that you make yourself aware of your surroundings and also if anyone is trying to get in behind you to set you up for an attack.

When someone becomes a victim of multiple attackers in a real street fight, they are often held from behind while the rest of the group does all the punching and kicking. The only hope you have in this type of scenario is to reverse this dangerous setup as quickly as possible. Let’s take a look at one effective self defense technique for doing just that.

In many cases, the assailant who is standing behind you will have a hold of your wrists or your forearms while his accomplices dish out the punishment. This is certainly not the scenario you want to get yourself in. If you do, you’ll be unable to fight back.

Generally speaking, your natural reaction will be to try and escape the grip of the person behind you. Unfortunately, when you do this, you simply end up giving him even more leverage. While it may sound strange, you should ideally try to relax your arms rather than trying to muscle your way out.

Now, the minute you manage to relax your body, you should immediately loosen your midsection and drop down, bending at the knees and waist. At this point you need to step underneath one of his arms in such a way so that you end up behind him, but on the same side. Basically, when you do this, there will be a brief moment when your arm moves up your back as you step under your attacker’s arm. The secret here is to do this move as swiftly as possible so that he has no idea of what you’re trying to do until you’ve already done it.

Providing you’ve done the move correctly, you should be able to grab your attacker’s wrist once you drop down and come up underneath his arm. In so doing, you’ll automatically be in control so that you can utilize an arm bar with your attacker now in front of you. The most obvious advantage of this is that you can use the attacker in order to separate yourself from the remainder of the group.

If any of the others try to advance on you, you can use the guy you have locked up as a weapon. This can be done by snapping his arm in an upwards direction while at the same time propelling him into the others. At the very least, this should buy you enough time to escape.

Multiple attacker setups like this one tend to be relatively rare. However, you still need to accept the fact that multiple attackers can by all accounts lead to a life or death situation. If you ever hope to survive such a dangerous street fight scenario, you need to be willing to act decisively to defend yourself.



  1. jesse i lewis says:

    I just came to say, self defense is in the verbal avoidance even of lying, but also I have thought before that multiple attackers is a NATURAL scenario, keeping someone elses saftey in your hands doesn’t seem to agree, what do you think, comeback.

More from:

Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Master Fitness Trainer, and Master Instructor of Close Quarters Combat self defense. A full time fitness and self defense author, Jeff has trained thousands of men and women in the practical application of advanced military fitness methods as well as close combat tactics for "real life" self defense.

To see more from Jeff Anderson, check out the following websites: