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How to Survive a Fight When Outnumbered

You can know how to throw a mean left hook or how to get out of a choke hold. That doesn’t help very much if you get ganged up on by multiple attackers, though. But don’t fret, there’s things you can do to help win a brawl, even when outnumbered. 

Can You Run?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t fight multiple people at once. Even more generally speaking, you shouldn’t go around fighting people. If you can help it, running away is always a safer option. Pride doesn’t account for much when you have three broken ribs.

Fight One At A Time

If you can’t avoid an altercation, then focus on a single individual at a time. Sure, in movies you see someone fight two people simultaneously. This isn’t real or realistic. In truth, you want to try and set it up so that you are only fighting one person at a time. Relocating yourself in the “battlefield” will be the biggest help, we will get into that in a moment. It also means paying attention to others around you beside the current attacker, in case they become the next attacker. Watch everyone, fight one person.

It’s All in the Circle Technique

So HOW do you keep it to one person at a time? It’s all in circling around! By moving along the edge of the group, you keep yourself on the outside, instead of being surrounded. This also groups the attackers together, often leaving the person closest to you to be the target. Fight the person in front, and keep moving to keep them from surrounding you. This is also referred to as Kiting in certain communities.

This is easiest, and most simple, when there are two attackers. Position yourself so that one attacker is in front of the other when facing you. This keeps them from attacking you, since their partner is in the way. As they move to get around them, you move to keep them at that angle. This way, you can focus on the “middle man”  without much risk of the other striking. This is the same principle for larger groups, but might not be as easy to apply effectively.

Rotate to Apply Pressure

Depending on the environment, the circling technique can be a helpful offense tool as well. Is there a river, ledge, or otherwise inconvenient obstacle nearby that you can shove someone into? This can be a quick and easy way to immobilize an enemy, even if only temporarily. An attacker that’s busy for 30 seconds is an enemy that isn’t bothering you for 30 seconds.

Find a Weapon

Find something around you to improvise with. This can be a stick, a rock, whatever it takes to give you an upper hand offensively. Don’t worry about fairness, they’re the one outnumbering you, that doesn’t sound fair either.

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