If the fight hasn’t officially broken out yet – but you anticipate it inevitably will – this is ample opportunity to position yourself accordingly.
Stop doubting yourself. That’s the single best piece of advice anyone can give you when it comes to preparing for an actual fight. You may choose correctly, you may not, but if you’re sure this is happening, trust your instincts and move accordingly.
You will waste more time wondering if your attackers genuinely mean you harm than you likely will preparing yourself for their attack.
Take The Initiative
When your “spidey senses” begin to tingle, you’re either too late or too soon. Because we live in a civil society where rolling gun battles through the street are not normative behavior, you must, unfortunately, allow your enemies to dictate the how and when.
You get to decide the where.
Through proper positioning, target priority, and taking the initiative over the situation, you will remove a lot of the advantages your attackers depend upon in numbers.
As quickly but thoroughly as possible, figure out the following:
- How many
- Where they are drawing you
- Your routes of escape
- Public spotlight
- Shelter, cover, and concealment
Two attackers versus one almost always give your attackers the advantage. Even if you incapacitate one of them, there is another — and all it takes is one.
Target Priority — Choose Who Goes First
Where one or multiple opponents are facing off against you, you have to prioritize who you turn your attention to first. Your attackers are counting on dividing your attention among many of them. If they’re smart, they will spread out and attempt to flank you. This flanking places you in the predicament of deciding which direction you need to head.
The fastest path may not be the best one.
Reduce their avenue of attack — first and foremost. Find any side alley, dumpster, anything that can provide you even a fraction of cover. If you can, try to keep one avenue of escape open.
A lot of the best-laid plans of mice and men fall away to nothing in an actual fight. Your panic-stricken mind will do its utmost to find safety first and figure out the rest later.
Move and Keep Moving
Once you have engaged your first opponent, strike, and move — never stop. Never let your feet plant themselves in the ground so long as you can keep moving. Circle your opponents until they are forced from your flank and into the center of your attention. Doing this is how you will reduce their effectiveness and extend out your time to run.
Don’t be afraid to call out for help. Make a scene. Make a commotion. Knock things over. This is your life, your safety at risk — there’s no need to be polite about it.
The more attention you draw to the scene, the more heat you’re bringing on your attackers to either move in and finish the job or run. The longer they stay, the more exposed they are. The longer they engage you, the more time the police have to arrive.
The second you plant your feet and take a defensive posture, you are committed to this fight. Once there, keep your hands up at all times. Blocking any strikes to the head or neck will keep you up and moving longer than leaving those critical areas exposed.
So, in conclusion: Assess, Choose, Commotion, Movement. The longer you keep these four elements in motion, the better your odds of making it out of the jaws of the lion.