Fight with multiple opponents: the different types

The difficulty is related to the type of opponents

We continue the discussion about how to face multiple opponents (without repeating what we have already said, read How to fight with more than one opponent at the same time) but before starting a few premises:

Let’s start with 2 obvious assumptions:

  • In a self-defense context, not all the opponents are equal
  • Similarly, even groups of opponents, are not homogeneous

As we mentioned in the previous article, our chances of prevailing / surviving a fight with more than one opponent are directly proportional not so much to the number of combatants involved but to the sum of their combative, physical and mental resources.

A note by Master Kongling – Needless to emphasize the fact that it is almost impossible to make a precise assessment in a personal defense situation (especially if we are facing more than one person, read How to study an opponent) but if we have a reference and if our mind is well trained, it is possible to sketch a generic estimate of risk.

How to face the various types of opponents’ groups

The scenario:

  • We are imagining a situation of personal defense where we are attacked by a small group of people
  • We have no other choices, we must fight, all the other civil solutions have failed
  • We talk about bare hand fighting, neither we nor our opponents are armed with weapons (knives, pistols, sticks, etc.)

Here we can see some preliminary indication on how to deal with the various types of opponent’s groups (in order from the least dangerous to the more lethal one):

  • Weak people, children, elderly (etc.) – In this case (eg. a baby gang), we really need little to prove that we can prevail, let’s do the bare minimum (if we cannot use peaceful solutions usually it is enough to do things like immobilizing one of the opponents); in 90% of the times, we have to avoid to cause real damages (even if we think we are right, the law almost always evaluates the disproportion of defense and punishes the excesses)
  • Ordinary people, men / boys not particularly in physical shape – In this case (eg. a quarrel between groups of friends), we must not underestimate the danger, we could be severely beaten; if we have no choice, let’s simply act as animals (predators) do, let’s identify the weakest of the group and let’s hurt him (preferably without clinical consequences); done this we simply have to notify the others that the same fate awaits anyone who dares to approach (the idea is to be honest, making the aggressors able to understand that we do not know how it will end but that at least one of them will follow us to the hospital)
  • Common people but in good physical shape, gyms goers (etc.) – From here on, the situation becomes very complicated (even for an expert practitioners); a group of opponents with a (however small) athletic training (eg. disco bullies) can give us a lot of serious problems; they are not trained to fight but their speed, resistance, ego and power (even if not sharpened in terms of combat) represent a big obstacle for us; if we have no other options, it’s the same as for ordinary people, the difference is that we must try to knock down to the floor our target (without permanent damage where possible)
  • Occasional practitioners of martial arts or former practitioners out of shape – This type of opponents is very dangerous (eg. street criminals) but is very common; in addition to having to defend against fighters who know (at least loosely) how to hit, we’ll have probably to cause to one of them crippling damages to scare the pack (and it could not work anyway)
  • True martial artists (daily training) – It’s almost impossible to deal with bare hands with a group of opponents of this kind, they are fit, they know how to fight and they are very determined; the only (far) hope is to hit one of them causing the maximum damage possible (even with an improper weapon and mortally if necessary, because they are probably able to do the same)
  • Practitioners expert in combined combat (military, etc.) – This is the worst case (fortunately it’s absolutely rare in a civil context); hopes, in this case, are reduced virtually to zero even for the best possible fighter; who knows how to fight in a combined way exceeds by far the possibilities of human times, speed, limbs, coordination (etc.); if the only alternative is to die, we have simply to try to use all the resources at our disposal and use whatever is available to us

A note by Master Kongling – Probably we were a bit ‘extreme in these notations but the idea, beyond easy solutions, is to offer a vision as clear as possible of what distinguishes the various types of groups of aggressors in terms of danger.

All this must be proportioned to us

Within a range of impossibility of peaceful dialogue, escape, safe surrender (etc.), we’ve exposed a general way to react to the different level of danger, from the more manageable to the most extreme.

In this context we have imagined groups of no more than 3 people, it is obvious that things change radically depending on the quality of our assessment, of our preparation, the number of opponents and our mental / physical state.

In the next article, we will see, what is totally wrong to do in a real situation where we are against a group of aggressors (read Practical advice on how not deal with multiple opponents).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Which type of opponents is easier to deal with from your point of view?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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