8 Helpful Tips for Defending Yourself Against Multiple Attackers

This article is about what to do if you are unarmed, and you are confronted by multiple attackers. Before anyone writes me “Get a gun! Get a gun!,” let me state very clearly that I am a conceal and carry instructor in my home state, I often carry a firearm on me, and I urge others who feel they are up to the challenge to do the same. That being said, I know that most Americans do not carry a firearm on them (or any other kind of weapon). If you don’t want to carry a weapon, I’m just fine with that.

It could be these days that you will be attacked by a mob … as in a riot. Or you may be in some sort of traffic incident, and several thugs get out of the car to pound you. Or you may have a gang come at you while you are shopping in a store or walking out of a sporting activity. What do you do? What can you do? Here are a few tips.

1. If you can run, do it!

No brainer. There is no shame in this at all. You want to live, so get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Run the other direction. Or if there is a riot, move as fast as you can to the edges of the crowd, looking for an exit. If you are outside, run into a safe place that is well populated like a department store or restaurant. If you are in a mall, get outside as fast as you can.

2. Always be looking for an exit.

Look for a door, a window, a stairwell. Have a plan to get out, even if you can’t get out right away.

3. Find a makeshift weapon.

Look for anything you can use as a makeshift weapon. A stick, a broom, a hammer, a brick can all be used to defend yourself. You can use other objects to either shield you or throw the attackers off course.

For example, you can topple over a trash can behind you or slam a door behind you to obstruct their chase. You can use a trash can lid or a briefcase as a shield to stop a blow. Almost anything can be used as a weapon.

Next Page: Don’t stay still. seriously.

4. Move!

Do not stay in one place. I know that sounds obvious, but I’m saying this in case someone thinks they can “make a stand” and fight. If you have to fight, then fight. But do not stay in one place.

Use lethal strikes to cripple or kill the closest opponent (like a strike to the throat) and then immediately move to the perimeter of the crowd, shoving your injured assailant into his pals. Always keep your crippled attacker between you and the others.

Here is a good video demonstrating how a victim is constantly moving outside the crowd to strike and escape:

Here is another video breaking down the basic technique of striking one attacker and slamming him into the other in order to escape:

And just one more showing one man escaping from three attackers. Warning: very graphic, foul language! (But the techniques are right on.)

Next Page: Don’t get surrounded.

5. Don’t get surrounded!

Image Via Shutterstock, man in kayak surrounded by three sharks.

Image Via Shutterstock, man in kayak surrounded by three sharks.

Do not let your attackers surround you. Do not let them back you up to a wall.

6. Do not grapple with them.

Do not go to the ground and try some grappling moves. They outnumber you. Grappling is a very important component of self defense, but not here. Grappling involves maximum entanglement. If you are locked up on one attacker (standing or on the ground), you are not escaping and his friends will surround you and kill you. The goal is to escape and live.

7. Nothing fancy.

Do not try to use any sort of fancy technique, such as kicks to the head, flying or spinning or jumping kicks or punches. You have only split seconds. You are probably scared to death. Adrenaline is pumping. Use only those strikes that you know will work, such as a palm heel strike to the jaw or nose, or a Y-hand to the throat, or a finger jab to the eyes.

Most importantly, always be prepared.

8. Train.

Image via Shutterstock, three martial artists moving as one.

Image via Shutterstock, three martial artists moving as one.

How can I do that? First, you can practice running. I am 54 and I run every week. Jogging, sprinting, long distance. If you cannot run, then I strongly suggest you carry a weapon on you such as a firearm (provided you have proper training and are legal to carry in your state).

Then, practice the basic strikes I have written about in previous articles.

Train to hit vital areas, like the throat and eyes.

And get a couple of friends and run through some scenarios and see how fast you can get away.  You will fight like you train.

Finally,  if you want the best instruction on this in DVD form, I encourage you to get Sammy Franco’s “Rat Packed– Defeating Multiple Attackers.”  His no-nonsense approach to self defense is simply the best.  You can find all his books and DVDs at: