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Self Defence Shielding

A Defence Method Against Multiple Attackers What is Shielding? Shielding is the art of using an opponent as a shield to fend off multiple attackers. Multiple attack situations are very difficult to deal with. Most people try to fend each attacker off one at a time. Trying to fight each attacker one at a time can mean that you have to receive a lot of blows. In Multiple attack situations it is inevitable that you will get hit, however, you can greatly reduce the amount of strikes you receive by using the shielding method. Shielding also helps you from being blind sided and caught unaware by an attacker. Whether trained or not, multiple attackers instinctively circle a victim until the victim is surrounded. Then they launch a barrage of strikes and take the victim to the ground. As soon as the victim is on the ground……well you know the usual story, all of the attackers dance on the victim’s head!

Where does shielding come into it? Just before we go into the use of shielding it is important to stress that if you have the option to run, take it. The odds are not in your favour in a multiple attack situation and you may not know if they are armed or have reinforcements until it is too late.

Step 1: Try to prevent the attackers from surrounding you.

Q: How?

A: Move.

Q: Move where?

A: As stated earlier, run away if you can and live to fight another day.

Q: What if I can’t run?

A: Then pre-emptive striking is used. Don’t wait for them to start striking. Hit the nearest attacker to you as hard as you can and then start sprinting.

Q: What if there is no room to run after striking the attacker?

A: Then you have the option of slugging it out or shielding.

Q: How do you practice shielding?

A: Start off by practicing with 2 to 3 training partners. You can increase the number of training partners as you become more proficient at shielding. Make sure that you and your partners wear plenty of padded protective equipment. Your partners work together to try to surround you and take you to the ground. You must prevent this from happening and try to escape using the shielding method. You can also arm your opponents if you wish to increase the difficulty of this practice drill.

This is how it works: Make sure that you are not flat footed. Stay on the balls of your feet and use a short stance so that you are agile. Fake, feint and strike at the opponents until you are close to one of them. Try to grab and hold on to that opponent (you may wish to grab the weakest looking one!). It works best if you manage to get behind him/her. Make sure to secure a strong hold of the head because this will give you more control over his/her balance (a basic choke or sleeper hold is perfect). Now you should hold on tight to this opponent and continue to strike at the other attackers. Position the opponent that you are holding between you and the others. As they strike at you, push and pull him/her to block and deflect these strikes. Make sure to keep striking the opponent you are holding. You can then try to make a run for it or you can dispatch this opponent and move onto the others.

Conclusion: You won’t win any prizes for pretty techniques by using this method but it is worth practicing. With multiple attack situations there is no ready-made, 1-2-3 easy method. Trial and error is the only way to practice. Make sure that you train as realistically as possible and try to create the appropriate atmosphere. However, make sure that you practice safely. After all, there is no point in getting injured while practicing to prevent being injured by an opponent.

By Robert Devane

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