Sunday, July 03, 2011

Attacked by Twenty:True Multiple Opponent Realities

After fighting and dealing with three, I had to deal with twenty more who swarmed and encircled me. Didn’t see that coming.

Punches, elbows, forearms, hammer fists and chops worked. Knocked out a few but knocked down a lot more of them.

Kicks and knees wouldn’t work. There was just too many of them and they swarmed too fast.

I wasn’t tired until I stopped fighting. Must have been the adrenaline working.

Didn’t see very much, because it was too dark to see. I could only see the asphalt as my face was heading towards it from being hit in the back of the head and shoulders by a bat or two by four. And shoes kicking and stomping me, everywhere at once.

Every time I moved my arms I hit someone, whether moving my arms forward or back. My fists and elbows were both swollen from hitting people, talk about close quarter fighting.

You had to fight offensively and move quickly. Even your defense had to be offensive in nature.

Trying to grapple or ground fight would have killed me. Too many attackers.

Striking and moving was the best way to fight. Didn’t extend the arms too far, too many fists coming at you to block or parry. The further you extended your arms out the more you got hit; you opened yourself up too much.

Being explosive first, having endurance second and finally having isometric strength last seems to be the best way to train for this.

Nobody came to help only to fight me. My two friends were pinned to the wall by others.

You can take a lot of pain and keep fighting. Fear of death tends to keep pain at bay.

Never give up! Keep fighting till the end! Or it will be the end of you!

Use the environment. Walls and cars work well, so do edges of buildings.

Strength and skill won’t keep you alive; God, luck and tenacity are the things that will! Believe me I know first hand.

Running is a 50/50 chance at best. They may catch up to you and drag you down. Where will you run to? Where will you go? How much of your precious energy will you use up?

I later found out these same punks chased down another guy for four blocks and surrounded him at the top of a four story parking garage and beat him into a coma. So much for running.

Nothing good ever happens after midnight. Just ask Cinderella or me about that.

The police never showed up, never! You only had yourself to rely on.

Make sure you get checked for any cuts, holes or cracks. You don’t want to be dying slowly and not know it.

Let the adrenaline go! You don’t want to hold it in, get rid of it as soon as possible.

Don’t wrestle, hit and move, that’s all the time you have for! Don’t waste your energy, forget submissions or chokes.

Don’t go to the ground on purpose! You’re only going to get kicked and stomped on.

Kill the head, kill the body. Take out the leader, the mouth; this can stop the assault very quickly. That’s what I did!

Spread the attackers out, linearly if possible. Less will want to fight you; some will step out of the fight. You’ll have more space to move and fight.

When you decide to make a stand, make sure that there is a wall, fence or car behind you, so that they can’t get behind you. Stand a few feet away from it so you can move explosively.

If you go down to the ground get up as fast as you can, don’t even hesitate for a second, get up!!! Don’t lay there and die!

Don’t listen to your internal dialog, unless it’s yelling at you to get up or fight! Otherwise you won’t be all there; you’ll be somewhere else. Stay focused!

My fists were swollen but not broken and I know I was hitting them hard and powerfully. Just goes to show what happens when you condition your fists and know how to hit bare-knuckle.
You’ll be swollen, in pain, bloody and your clothes will be torn, don’t worry all these things can be fixed. Just be glad you’re alive.

Learn from the experience. The school of hard knocks is the only place where the test is given before the lesson is learned.

And finally no matter how badass you think you are, there is always someone or multiples of someone who will prove you wrong. So be careful out there.

I hope you learned a few things from this multiple assault, I know I did. This was just a glimpse of a multiple attack and what I learned from it. My hope is that you never have to experience this type of violence in your lifetime. But if you do, learn from my experience and train to be ready for it or at the very least to know what to expect before it happens.

And lastly train as realistically as possible and get rid of all the myths and fantasies about multiple attacks.

Until next time, be safe and take care.

Daniel Sambrano


  1. Glad you're okay! Thank you for this important post! -Tom W.

  2. Can you describe more about the situation? Why were they after you? Age? Intoxicated? Urban setting? Any use of weapons? How it escalated? Thanks.

  3. mugato7, If you and everyone else wants to know those details I'll put up another post.

    In this post I just wanted to separate the BS from the reality of a true multiple attack.

    This was not the only one I was involved in but it was the biggest.

    Hope you learned a few things from the Article.

    Stay Safe

  4. Thank you Mr. Daniel in sharing your experience and i personally learned from this article.

  5. Holy crap!! I'm glad you made it out of there!!

  6. Daniel,

    As a Martial Artist that studies several styles, I believe a more in depth analysis of this could be beneficial to all those concerned with self defense. It could be a case study, so to speak. I have a lot of questions about what started it: Could it have been avoided? What were the psychological aspects before, during, or even after surviving that kind of violence? There are so many more, but I think you have an even better opportunity to provide clarity about being attacked by a mob.

    Basics are great, but I would definitely appreciate a deeper look into the events.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you are recovering.

    - R

  7. MissionMMA, I'll put up another post or two and try to answer your questions as well as all the others that have been asked.

    This incident happened to me back in 1980, I realize that I should break it all down for everyone's benefit.

    I may put it on video as well.

    Stay tuned.

  8. Hi Daniel, i've never seen your videos before, your site, your expertise apart from 2hours ago. I've been a kickboxer in the sport aspect for 3 years, personally i knew i was in it too have the self defence ability and not to be a champion. So i've been searching for a year, enjoyed what ive found and the experience and knowledge....opening up the myths of krav maga, kapap, karate etc. But i have to say, after watching your youtube videos and coming to this site, i found more has been answered in the past 2 hours than 2 years for me. At gut level and broken down i was thinking yes yes yes, 2 years of having no sense from so many claims, conflicting ideas, beleifs, what would work in reality and not in reality and what wouldn't. Ive been to the seminars, trained furiously in my kickboxing and cross trained in taekwondo and jiu-jitsu to a similar high scale . I beleive no body here is under illusions, so it goes without me saying the styles besides traditional Muay Thai i have trained are great and have there ups and downs. And by no means am i downing or slagging them off. But after reading this post it was captivating, it clicked with reality and spoke truth. The harsh reality of life is that any fight is going to be a cluster fuck (excuse my language but it serves in explaining the point well), you hit the nail on the head in your article and your explanation was emotion evoking......from watching your youtube videos i was smiling as it just made sense. I can't say much now in such a small post that i have already wrote too much lol, but the technique was down to the nitty gritty reality of outside the ring and i just knew i was watching what i was looking for. Apologies to whoever reads this if it makes little sense as i wrote it spontaneously after reading your article as i felt i had to get my thoughts down, and if being a point to this post that makes sense, it being in saying thank you to Daniel for providing a source of what i have just found "Traditional Muay Thai", and i hope in the near future i can train in it. I'd love to exchange ideas with all of you gents who train this, my e-mail is

  9. Good on you for sharing Daniel, much appreciated.


  10. Well said bro, we appreciate your effort to share a nice and inspirational story to us.

  11. Thanks for sharing - that's a crazy story. If you do add more technical detail about the story, please don't modify this post; I think the short, evocative style teaches the points powerfully. Getting into the nitty gritty, to me, would dissolve some of its potency.

  12. Great post thank you for publishing it

  13. With opponents on drugs (that cause lack if recognition of pain), what would you do?