So What Is The Best Martial Art For Multiple Attackers?

Multiple attackers against one guy on the street.

When it comes to being attacked by multiple people, running away is often the best form of defence. But when that fails and nobody seems like they want to talk it out. The next thing you need to know is in this situation what is the best martial art against multiple attackers?

In a rapidly changing violent situation, the ultimate goal is to deal quickly with the most clear and present danger. Ensuring that you are able to either control or incapacitate the attackers. And the best all-round martial art for this type of situation is ultimately MMA.

While each martial art offers its own unique set of core principles that can suit a variety of situations. When it comes to multiple attackers, you will need a martial art that can be used in the standing position, using kicks and punches to fend off attacks.

You will need a martial art with which you can get up from the ground, as with multiple attackers. Once you are on the ground and unable to create space, your options for dealing with the situation become critically smaller by the millisecond.

So having a martial art that bridges the gap and chains together the different martial arts into a singular cohesive is ultimately the ideal one for you. And from my own personal experience, after training in, researching, writing about and competing in martial arts for many years. In my honest opinion, the perfect discipline is that of mixed martial arts.

Don’t Be Fooled By Fake Martial Arts

You might not believe it, but even with today’s access to the internet, endless video content and people being called out on social media. We still have students who are being fooled by charlatans, who train paying students in their won brand of fake martial arts.

Hard to believe that in this day and age, we still have to be aware of with whom we train. As there are people out there who are more than happy to take or money. And leave us with a false sense of security as we try to apply our no-touch techniques against a charging attacker or attackers!

This can be an extremely dangerous position to find ourselves in and will no doubt lead to some extremely challenging and potentially life-threatening encounters. So you have now been warned to stay well away from some of these fake martial arts as documented in the following video.

Krav Maga is it Effective

We previously discussed the obvious benefits of Krav Maga for dealing with an attacker. At its core, Krav Maga was a martial art created out of necessity to defend Jewish people from fascist attackers in the period prior to world war two.

Forming itself around elements taken from multiple other martial arts including wrestling, aikido, boxing, judo and karate. Krav Maga looked to take only the essential and most efficient pieces and form a cohesive, practical and easily executable martial art.

It is most definitely up there in terms of the best martial art when dealing with multiple attackers. And I would not say no to training in it if there was not an MMA gym in the local vicinity.

While the main focus of Krav is to del with weapon-based attacks by single attackers. Many of its elements are still viable in a multiple attacker situation. And the fact that it is so widely respected and used by military and police forces around the world is a testament to its effectiveness.

Is Boxing Best In Fights?

How many videos have you seen of someone with good hands fending off multiple attackers, as I know I have seen my fair share. One man versus 10 angry taxi drivers in Turkey or a boxer defends his girlfriend against a group of street thugs. If you want to find these videos you will and you may very well think, hey, boxing is the martial art I need.

What I would say to this is that in many of those examples given, the vast majority of attackers had absolutely no clue how to fight. And they simply ran directly at the boxer as he landed punches one by one, knocking the men to he ground.

But you should take these scenarios as the exception and not the rule. As in any of the given situation, you could have very easily had a group of people who were at least somewhat able to somewhat handle themselves.

Imagine if you will multiple attackers coming at those same boxers, but shooting for a rugby-style takedown. Using their legs to kick and avoid the hands, before piling on and all the time the person trying to defend themselves only knows how to throw punches.

Any of these situations could have ended very differently, with the man on the ground and multiple people beating on him. When the real aim in a group attack scenario is to create space and not let the attackers get you to the ground.

So, for this reason, I could never recommend boxing as the right martial art for dealing with more than one attacker. It simply does not make sense in a situation where it’s you versus a group of attackers.

Jiu-Jitsu For Street Fighting

So then we come to the beautiful martial art of jiu-jitsu. Without a doubt one of the most effective and efficient martial arts you can learn. But jiu-jitsu is very much for one on one fights, that may often end on the ground.

Trust me when I say, as someone who has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That you can often be up against someone much smaller than you, who can still kick your ass. BJJ is truly a martial art where technique is king and on the mats, I would choose it over many of the other grappling martial arts.

But on the streets, against multiple attackers, the last place you want to end up in on the ground. As while you are taking one person out of the fight, there’s no knowing what the rest of the attacking gang might do. A swift kick or punch to your head and that may be all you will remember.

By all means, learn BJJ, it a fantastic martial art and sport that will teach you respect, awesome technique and get you in amazing shape. But you do not want to go to the ground in a mass brawl situation, so as a result, I would not recommend it is this particular case.

Is Judo Any Good For Self Defence

Judo would be very much put in the same bracket as BJJ when it comes to street or brawl situations. A relatively modern martial art, Judo relies on throws and submissions to overcome an opponent. With throws leading to takedowns, chokes, arm locks and or pins.

While this approach works wonderfully in a one-person fight, when there is more than one person involved attacking, it’s simply not a good idea. Again, ending up on the ground in order to finish the fight is not a dominant or logical position when you have other attackers involved.

And along with this, Judo’s approach to weapons only involves preset forms or movements known as Kata. Which outside of the dojo in a fluid and rapidly changing situation is of little value. So for these reasons, I would have to say that Judo is not an optimal martial art for dealing with several attackers.

Muay Thai Against Multiple Attackers

Now some will say that you should not throw punches in a street fight. As a not so well placed punch could easily result in a broken hand. And once your hand is broken, it could well be curtains for you as you are charged down by the mob.

Some have also said that using kicks is not a smart move in a street fight, as once your leg is off the ground. This may lead to you being knocked off balance and pushed to the floor. Now, these are all very valid arguments that have their place. But if you are going to use these techniques, then it’s best to do it Muay Thai style.

Using a range of kicks including low kicks, where the foot is not raised to the chest or head height, minimises the potential for you to be knocked over. The application of front kicks or teep kicks to push away, wind or even knock out a person are all potentially there for you to use, given the right scenario.

All of which will allow you to defensively and offensively deal with multiple people while trying to keep some distance. And a well placed low kick on a knee thigh can easily incapacitate someone who has never had it done to them before.

But one of the very best tools in the Muay Thai tool kit has to be the use of elbows. As I remember all too well when my former coach would detail how to take someone out in close quarters, for some reason every example was in a pub, using an elbow strike.

The great thing about using elbows is they are extremely tough and very destructive to an attacker. And another great attribute of elbow strikes is that you don’t have to wind up your shots as you would with a punch.

As an example with someone standing directly in front of you, with your hand on your chin. You can bring the elbow up from 6 to 12 0’clock with an elbow uppercut. It’s not going to be pretty and will likely knock out plenty of teeth, but he started it right!

Lethwei Fighting Style

The martial art of Lethwei has just recently burst into the mainstream consciousness of the western combat sports world. A neighbouring cousin of Muay Thai, from the country of Burma. Lethwei brings together many of the same striking qualities of Muay Thai, but with the addition of headbutts.

An often underutilised weapon, the headbutt is one of the key tools in the martial art, which often leads to quick and violent ends to fights. And in a scenario where you may be facing off against not one, not two, but maybe three or more people in a fight. You need everything at your disposal to inflict damage and get out of there with your life intact.

One of the added bonuses of Lethwei is that wrapped hands and not padded gloves are used when competing. This much more so represents a real fight situation where no gloves will be involved. And where hands that have been conditioned to punch without padding could very well have the upper edge in the fight.

So for these very reasons, I would absolutely recommend Lethwei as a potential martial art for you to learn. There is no doubt you could use many of its elements when being attacked by multiple people. But, what happens if you end up on the ground, what then? Lets read on to answer that very question.

MMA The Best Fighting Style

Now I started this piece recommending MMA or mixed martial arts as the combat style of choice for dealing with multiple attackers. While other arts may have some benefits in specific areas. For me, MMA offers the best all-round solution to dealing with more than one attacker.

Using both hands and feet to strike, it takes many of the elements of Muay Thai and chains them in with wrestling and submission style grappling that covers almost all potential scenarios.

If you are charged you can use your low kicks and teeps to keep the attackers away. If someone shoots to try to get you to the ground, you know how to stuff the takedown, or if that fail. Know how to get out of a position where you are on the ground.

You have chokes and submissions, as well as some quick moves that can break limbs. In close range, if someone gets their hands on you, you also have your elbow strikes, 6 to 12, 9 to 3 or the illegal inside the cage 12 to 6.

Many of the preceding martial arts offer certain elements of the toolkit. But it is really only MMA that gels all of these together, all be it without weapons defence. But in hand to hand street fighting. I would have to place my money on MMA as the single most effective self-defence against multiple attackers.

Overall Conclusion

No matter what martial art you choose to train in, it’s really down to you to pick what suits you best. One of the unspoken truths about the training itself is how it helps you to avoid being attacked in the first place. Knowing a martial art gives you an air of confidence that often nowadays many people lack.

Now I am not talking about arrogance or cockiness, but confidence in your own abilities, that when sensed by a potential attacker, may make them think twice. As it is often the body language of a person that gives off the signal to would-be bullies and thieves to come and get me, I’m an easy target.

But above all else, training will help you to get fit and stay in good shape. And if needs be to give you the cardio to run away as fast as your legs will carry you. It’s something that you will learn from and carry into your later years, helping to improve your health and your overall quality of life.

So if that day should ever come where you do need to use it, against a single person or against multiple attackers. You will be confident in your own abilities, physically and mentally ready for any challenging situation you might find yourself in.

And reassured in the knowledge that all of the blood sweat and tears, those hours on the mats getting beaten and bloodied were all worth it. Helping to protect you, your friends or your loved ones. Train smart, train hard and be prepared for any eventuality.


Hi, I'm Ross, at 40 years plus, I have been involved in the Martial arts for most of my life. Along with my first pet Collie dog named Tyson, RIP. My journey in the world of Martial Arts is something I want to share. So that others too can learn from my experiences.

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