Use the following 52 Blocks exercises to trigger your thought process regarding multiple-attack scenarios. Experiment with your peers in a controlled environment, where you can modify the situation and 52 Blocks techniques until you have gained a fair amount of insight into what it takes to defend yourself against multiple opponents successfully. When practicing these scenarios, ask yourself, What does it take? How possible is it for a fairly skilled 52 Blocks martial artist to defend herself successfully against multiple attackers?

1. Start with one opponent and identify what you can do. Then introduce a second opponent. How much do your odds of a successful defense decrease? Are you half as likely to be successful, or less than half as likely? How much do the odds decrease when defending against three attackers? What about a gang of four? Is it possible to incapacitate that many people and still get to safety? Will defeating one of the attackers convince the others to leave? If you could choose only one technique against each one of the attackers, what would you do? Why? Does the technique you chose have merit?

2. When are you most likely to get attacked by multiple opponents? Discuss situations where one person is seeking revenge and brings his friends along. Role play different scenarios with your peers in order to determine whether you can talk your way out of a situation before it escalates to a physical attack. How does gang involvement increase the risks of attacks by multiple opponents? What types of weapons might be used?

3. How should you position yourself when fighting more than one person? Explore the difficulties of striking in different directions simultaneously. How can movement help you line up the attackers so they can only reach you one at a time? Can you maintain this position for any length of time? If not, what is your next step? Discuss the dangers of getting cornered.

4. When surrounded by multiple attackers, which assailant would you fight first? If you have a choice, would you fight the smallest and seemingly weakest opponent first? The one with a weapon? The biggest and most obnoxious opponent? Why? If you knew something about these people’s backgrounds, how would it change your decision?

5. What types of targets should you select? Which types of strikes and targets would finish an opponent as quickly as possible, giving you time to deal with the next assailant? If you only have time for one strike or kick, which type would you use and to which target? If you hit an attacker in the midsection with all the power you can muster, will it deter him? If you hit him in the nose with all the power you can muster, will it deter him? How does a high threat situation affect your ability to strike with power?

6. What types of 52 Blocks kicks are useful for fighting multiple opponents? How easy or difficult is it to time a kick to your opponent’s advance? If you throw a kick with all the power you can muster, will it deter him? If it does, will it deter him long enough for you to escape? Explore the usefulness of the front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, axe kick, stop kick and spinning back kick. Which is better: a linear kick (front kick, side kick), or a circular kick (roundhouse kick, hook kick). Why? Which targets would you choose to stop an opponent’s advance? To hurt him? How precise must your kick be?

7. If one of your opponents ends up on the ground, what dangers must you consider regarding your positions? How can an opponent on the ground come to the assistance of the other assailants? If you have an opportunity to run but must step over the person on the ground, what dangers must you consider? Can you incapacitate the person on the ground before stepping over him? Is there enough time to do so before the other assailants will smother you?

8. If your first opponent is empty handed, what types of techniques can you use against him? How can you gain superior positioning against an empty-handed assailant? Is it safer to stay at long range or better to close the distance and take the fight to your opponent? If the first assailant is smaller than you, would it benefit you to close the distance, grab him and use him as a shield against the others? Can you push him into the others with enough force to stun them? If your intended defense fails, how can you adapt?

9. What should you do if your second opponent has a gun? Explore whether you can use the first opponent as a shield against the gun. Does using him as a shield guarantee that the second opponent won’t shoot? How does adrenaline affect a person’s ability to make rational decisions? At what point is it better to submit to your attacker’s demands than to continue fighting?

10. What should you do if you are in an enclosed area when attacked by multiple opponents? Explore possible escape paths from a room. How can you position yourself to avoid getting sandwiched between the attackers and still u. have the escape path available? Is it possible to take out the person standing closest to the door? If the person standing closest to the door has a weapon, is it still a good idea to take him out first? Why or why not? How does the type of weapon affect your decision? Can you use the escape path to limit the other assailants’ mobility?

11. Your first opponent is down on the ground from a kick you just threw, and a second opponent emerges. The door (the only escape path) to the room is closed. What can you do? How can you position yourself so that you have a clear view of both attackers? How can you position yourself if the first attacker gets up from the ground? Can you take advantage of a moment of weakness in either attacker’s position? Can you disrupt the second attacker’s balance or momentarily disengage from him in order to handle the first attacker? Would you use strikes or kicks? How can you use balance manipulation (takedowns)?

12. The person you are fighting calls for his friend, who emerges from around the corner. What should you do? Explore how to avoid getting sandwiched between the two attackers. How can you keep the escape path in view at all times? If you are in a room and the door is closed, can you use the door to brace yourself for a kick? If the door is locked, can you kick it open or push one of the attackers into it? How does a stumble or loss of balance affect your focus?

13. When you get through the first door, you discover there is a short hallway with a second door. What should you do? Can you use the door opening to prevent the attackers from passing through together? Can you brace yourself against the second door and throw a kick to keep the attackers away?

14. You are in a verbal confrontation with one person, when a second person emerges and grabs you from behind. What can you do? Explore how to increase the strength of your position. Can you place the person who is grabbing you between you and the other attacker? How can you manipulate his balance? Is it a good idea to fight the attacker at the grip? Why or why not?

15. What can you do if the person grabbing you is really strong, and you are unable to break the grip? Explore the possibility of hanging on to the assailant rather than trying to get away. How can you neutralize his power by staying close to him? Can you use the person who is grabbing you as a brace for a kick? How? If he is grabbing you from behind, can you disrupt his balance by pushing him back forcefully?

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