Very interesting topic on Van Canna’s Self Defense Realities that involves gang attacks. We don’t spend a lot of time dealing with gang attacks in the dojo, although our advanced Konshiwa Bunkai is a multiple attack and part of the defense is making sure you move in such a way that you only have to deal with one attacker at a time. Jason posted a couple of clips in which one victim used this strategy quite well.
I’m not sure, but it appears that more and more gang violence is taking place now than any other time I can recall. Obviously avoidance is the best defense, but when you don’t have a choice, do you have a defense???
“Tough Issues” moderator “Panther” responds. . .
Please notice that in each of the “successful” defenses (even tho carried out by trained fighters) the fight was essentially one-on-one. Yes, they had to deal with multiple attackers, but they were never “overwhelmed”. In the third case, which was “unsuccessful” the attackers literally swarmed the victim… leaving little chance for him to do much defending of any use.
I have had both types of encounters… “successful” and “unsuccessful”. When thinking about them, nearly all successful encounters, even if being done by multiple attackers, allowed for and occurred in a basically one-on-one fashion. On the other hand, once “swarmed” and taking it from every way imaginable, that encounter was doomed to be “unsuccessful”. This may seem like trivial points and observations to some. However, IMNSHO, that is the way to train for any multiple attacker situation… to turn it into essentially a one-on-one fight taking on the multiple attackers without being swarmed.
The very first video shows this concept perfectly. Using positioning, the environment and even the bodies of other attackers, the “bad@$$” was able to make a potential swarm situation into something “manageable”.
If the kid in the third video had been trained to do the same thing, there is the possibility that he could have positioned himself so that he wasn’t or couldn’t get swarmed.
Sometimes, even if you’re trained (or think you’re trained) for it, you can screw up and get yourself into a position where you’re swarmed. Once that happens the odds of your success drop dramatically… and even worse, it is extremely difficult to get out of the position of being swarmed once you’re in it. I’ve watched literally hundreds of hours of multiple attacker encounters over the last ~15 years (everything from VHS tapes to DVDs to internet videos) and the only time I’ve seen anyone actually get out of a “swarmed” situation has been in martial arts demos on how to do it. In each of those cases, IMNSHO, had the attackers truly been hell-bent on hurting the “victim”, those defense techniques wouldn’t have worked. (Doesn’t mean I’m against working in that area, just that I think I’m more of a “realist” based on my own experiences.)
Again looking at the third video, the defender started out (I believe this is usually done instinctively, so GO WITH IT) correctly by trying to back up into a position where all of his attackers were in front of him. Unfortunately (and this is what often happens even to trained fighters who get swarmed), his attackers maneuvered faster and surrounded him. At the point where they are coming at him simultaneously from different sides/angles, his defense is pretty well doomed.
Again looking at the first video, the defender is continuously moving to reposition in order to prevent attacks from coming at different sides/angles simultaneously. The result speaks for itself.
Again, IMNSHO, a couple of big mistakes that people make include thinking that any gang of punks is going to respect you in any way (I.E.: the older folks who think they can reason with these animals)… the only thing they respect is strength, not age… and meeting them on their terms (your yard and maybe even your house are still their terms unless you actively change that)… once they have you on their terms, you start out with the worst disadvantage(s)… you have to always put them at a disadvantage (a whole area of understanding and study in and of itself!)…
On a related note, I have ZERO respect for punks who can’t stand up and take on someone one-on-one… and that’s translated into ZERO tolerance when they get their gangs together, start talking trash and then act all tough. Word of warning… they’re setting you up for a swarm! Word of advice… best bet: s-uck it up, act the coward, let them feel all big and walk away; better bet (only if the situation allows it and you can): put ’em down one-on-one hard, fast, brutal and mercilessly! Then dare them to get up… (those are both from experience as well… and both ways within the last year…)
As my Daddy once quoted to me:
Yea tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…
Cause I’m the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the valley!
(Gawd, I miss him sometimes…)