BJJ Street Fight Analysis: Assess the Situation When There Are Multiple Opponents Before Engaging.

Creative Commons/Flickr: Rod Waddington

While BJJ is very effective in a 1-on-1 street fight or self-defense situation, there are limits to its effectiveness when there are multiple attackers. In the video below, BJJ Blue Belt Jordan Hoang accepted a 1-on-1 challenge to a fight from another guest who had 2 friends with him while on a cruise ship. Jordan was able to get mount position on his opponent, but just when he seemed to gain the upper hand, his opponent’s friends intervened and pulled him off his opponent and held him while his opponent punched him.

Here is video of the fight below.

Here is where Jordan went wrong

  1. Jordan needed to walk away: In the video, the fight might have been triggered from his opponent calling Jordan a “faggot.” This won’t be the first or last time somebody tries to physically challenge or intimidate him. It will happen at a club, playing in a sports league, or just a drunken person on the street. At times, you have to be the better person and walk away from a potentially volatile situation. Jordan should have advised a crew member of the cruise ship of the incident without taking the bait for the fight.
  2. Jordan didn’t assess the situation: There is no honor on the streets. We have all heard of college fraternities or drunken fools turn what was supposed to be a 1-on-1 fight into a mob beat down. Jordan needed to assess the situation and realize there were two people with his opponent while he was apparently there by himself.
  3. Jordan Said Something That Might Have Triggered Other Guys Into Jumping In: At some point while Jordan was landing ground and pound from the mount, he said “Black Ass” which gave more reason for his opponent’s friends to jump in.
  4. Jordan wasn’t focused on his surroundings: He had mount and was out for blood by landing unanswered blows on his opponents. Did Jordan really think his opponent’s friends are going to let him get the last laugh in their feud? He wasn’t focused on his surroundings, which allowed his opponents friends to come up and grab him from behind and hold him up while his opponent sucker punched him. Before landing strikes, Jordan should assess the situation and ask his opponent if he has enough. He should also consider transitioning to knee on belly so he could both return to his feet faster and also be more aware of his surroundings.
  5. Jordan and his opponent could have been arrested under maritime laws: Jordan and his opponents were both likely on vacation with their families. When you get arrested under maritime law, you can be sequestered in your cabin for the rest of the vacation, you and your family could be removed from the ship, and there are additional legal issues that can arise from the fight. It just isn’t worth it.

Rener Gracie talked about defeating multiple opponents in the video below. Much of the video focuses on assessing and defusing the situation before it escalates. If the situation escalates to a physical confrontation, there is a Krav Maga perspective of doing enough to survive and escape the situation.


  1. I’ve been in fights with multiple opponents…win, lose, and draw. First, the lessons are right on (especially about maritime law!). Also, this is where it might be advantageous to be on your back with your opponent on top (ideally you have your opponent’s back) so you can see around you. Also, you can tell his friends that you’ll hurt him worse if they jump in (little bit of strategy). If you get held by opponents, realize their arms are occupied holding you, which gives you a great opportunity to kick (to the front and sides). You’d better be kicking and getting ready to disengage and improve your position when you come up to your feet. Marine Corps Martial Arts (MCMAP) also gets into multiple opponent scenarios – trying to get to one side of the opponents is key so that they are in each others’ way when trying to get at you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here