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#200096 - 11/02/05 08:36 AM Staying Ahead of the Pack
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hi guys,

I've been given the opportunity to submit some of my ramblings for possible publication. Here's the article I'm going to be submitting. Any feedback guys would be gratefully received?

Gav



Staying Ahead of the Pack

The days of the “Straightener” outside your local pub are on the whole a thing of the past. Having two gentlemen settle a disagreement in a gentlemanly manner now seems but a faded memory from a time long passed, where the grass was greener and the women fairer. Nowadays the once humble “Straightner” seems to have become somewhat of a team sport, where you no longer deal with an individual, but have to fight with half of their social circle. The concept of a “One on One” has now been relegated to the realms of folklore told to you by your parents.

Times have changed; the possibility of being attacked by a group of aggressors is probably greater now than that of an individual assault. Every Friday and Saturday night packs of intoxicated individuals roam the high streets up and down the country looking for prey. Typically pack hunters are actually cowards and couldn’t fight sleep individually, but their strength is in their numbers, not in their individual abilities. The Pack is a collection of weak, insecure and usually intoxicated single parts united to form a formidable whole.

As with any Pack there is usually a distinct hierarchy within in it. At the top of the pack there are usually a couple of Alpha males. These guys are usually the self-elected spokespeople for the pack and will usually handle any matters of communication. They will be at the front of the pack and we will usually lead by example. Being the Alpha’s they are usually the strongest and most respected amongst the pack.

The Alpha’s will have a loyal and loving contingent of Foot Soldiers. Cowards and opportunistic by nature, these guys love the idea of fighting, yet lack the bottle to actually get stuck in. They will however not hesitate in taking care of any scraps thrown down by the Alpha’s. They will never engage directly but happily attack an open and vulnerable victim. These guys are dangerous due to the fact that unlike the Alpha’s they won’t come straight at you, but preferring to blindside and snipe you.

The bottom of the Pack is made up of the Hanger-on’s. These are the guys who are just along for the ride, to be part of the moment. Hanger-on’s are usually spectators by nature, although caution should be exercised as they have been known to be promoted to Foot Soldier status during an intense hunt.

So what do you do if you’re singled out as prey by the Pack? Firstly, run if you can. Fighting multiple opponents means exactly that, you will be fighting multiple opponents. They have all the same tools as you, except they have a stock pile. If you’re facing three opponents your dealing with three pairs of arms and legs compared to your one. Facing five opponents? Take that up to five pairs, ten arms to your two. In doesn’t take a genius to figure out that these aren’t favourable odds. If you can run, get on you toes. If you can’t run, pick something up. If you can’t pick something up, now and only now contemplate using yourself.

When initially engaged Pack mentality is not fully realised yet, there is still a “Me” factor in the Pack members’ minds. They will still be thinking of their own individual vulnerability as opposed to the collective strength of the Pack. Anyone familiar with wildlife documentaries will probably have seen this behaviour. Watch a pack of Hyenas trying to attack a lone Lion. They will surround the Lion, but stay just out of range of attack. The Alpha’s will probe and taunt Lion, while the Foot Soldiers will hover looking for an opportunity. The Hanger-on’s will sit on the periphery providing support for the rest the pack. At this stage none of the Pack will attack individually though, they may individually try and goad the Lion, but know that if they engage fully the Lion will more than likely tear them to pieces. Humans are exactly the same; any one familiar with football violence will confirm this.

So when will the Pack attack? When there is an opening. It will be a split second decision and they will all surge forwards for the kill. This is why it is imperative that you avoid becoming fixated on a particular individual. The Alpha’s will be the ones trying to engage your attention; the Foot Soldiers will fan out and try flanking you. You should always be aware of the group’s movements as a whole and not fix your attention on a particular Alpha. Also try to manoeuvre yourself into a position whereby the majority of the Pack is being eclipsed but a certain member. This stops them having a direct line of attack at you, they will have to go round each other to attack you directly. Above all be aware of the Foot Soldiers, they will try and sneak in a surprise attack.

Your best chance of surviving a Pack attack is to try of beat their fighting spirit, rather than beating them all physically. The chances of physically defeating four or five opponents in a single sitting is pretty remote, however defeating them psychologically is an achievable goal. When a Pack attacks it will be a concerted group effort, all going at the same time. It will be a frenzied attack fuelled purely on aggression and adrenaline, they will be thinking collectively and unable to see individual defeat. This is when the Pack is dangerous! You need to turn the Pack mentality back to an individual mentality, you need to re-introduce the “Me” factor. If the conflict hasn’t erupted into a physical encounter you maybe able to do this verbally, tell them exactly what you’re going to do to them, be graphic and convincing. Be wary though, because this may incite violence rather than curtail it. You can also induce the “Me” factor by pre-emptively attacking, taking the fight to them. If you choose this option aim for one of the Alpha’s and make sure you hurt them badly. Again as with the verbal, a physical attack maybe counteractive. Either way, in order to reduce the Pack mentality, you need to convince of their individual vulnerability, you will need to be an animal!

When the Pack attacks it does so in waves. The whole Pack will be trying to hit you at the same time and you’ll have no choice but to cover up and try to stay on your feet. Bring your hands up, drop your weight, and weather the storm. This is when you’ll find out the true meaning behind the saying, “Adrenaline is brown coloured!” Due to combined effort of multiply attackers trying to attack the same target, if they don’t land cleanly they will all get tied up. They will then pull back to make the second wave possible, that’s your cue to come out banging. Don’t be fixed on a single pack member, bounce from one to the next. When you hit, hit hard. Aim to hurt. Bite, tear, gouge and attack absolutely anything that moves. Remember we’re aiming on convincing them that they are dealing with a psychotic! Should you stun one long enough to grab hold of them use them as a shield, shake, pull and keep them off balance. Swing, hit and shock them continuously, keep them out of the game.

An armed Pack is an entirely different level of danger. Anyone who has done any multiple weapons sparring will vouch that this is a “loose loose” situation. The only outcome is that you’re going to be hurt; the question is just how badly. Again cover up, protect your vital targets and once the wave is over try and make a run for it. You’ll be fighting for your life!

This is by no means a definitive guide to multiply attackers, but should hopefully serve as a basis to stimulate thought and the appreciation of how serious this threat is.
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#200097 - 11/02/05 08:46 AM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Good read Gav. If it is published in the U.S. Most folke will not unsderstand your use of the phrase " The Bottle" or as Geoff thompson says "bottle out". You might find a way to say it without slang. It's like "Getting pi$$ed". Over hear it means I'm getting mad. In th U.K....... well, you know.

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#200098 - 11/02/05 08:51 AM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: oldman]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Yeah, good point. I don't even know I going to get published yet....but a online buddy who is submitting it is a pretty regular in the UK mags, so I suspect there's where I'll be aiming. Don't think I'm up to international status yet, I'll try and crack the UK first. Did really think much about the use of slang though....nothing a bit of editing wouldn't sort out!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#200099 - 11/02/05 03:37 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
Prometej Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 255
Loc: Croatia
Nice, inspiring. Slang could be a problem for those outside of UK, A+
_________________________
Staying silent is the smartest thing to say

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#200100 - 11/03/05 08:25 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Hi Gav,
Good article. I especially like the bit where you describe the "Hangers-on."
I remember saying on another thread about these type of people. I've pulled a few of these lowlifes up myself. Quite often they have nothing to do with the incident that's going down. Just fancy taking a few free potshots at some poor guys that are already out of the fight. If I remember correctly another member that you REALLY LIKE, completely contradicted me.

About the slang. I never gave it a thought even though it bugs me when our American friends use phrases that I don't get.
Is "straightener" an English only usage?

Quote
"An armed Pack is an entirely different level of danger. Anyone who has done any multiple weapons sparring will vouch that this is a “loose loose” situation. The only outcome is that you’re going to be hurt; the question is just how badly. Again cover up, protect your vital targets and once the wave is over try and make a run for it. You’ll be fighting for your life!"

Would you recommend this course of action against knives?
I can understand it against bludgeoning type weapons, but not knives. I would have thought attacking like a loon and trying to make a run for it would be the way to go.
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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#200101 - 11/04/05 09:17 AM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: McSensei]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hi mate,

Thanks for the good feedback.

With regards to the knives, I do think that pre-emptively attacking would probably be the best option, then trying to run. But if they've initiated an attack, I don't think you'd have any choice but to cover up. The long and the short of it is that your going to get hurt. Extending your hands will expose all your vital organs, and it only takes one unlucky shot to end your life. One main strategy I'd liek to try and use would be to pull in one of the group and use them as shield. You've also got to keep moving and hitting hard. I don't care how much training someone does, this situation is one that theres is not right or wrong answer for. As an unarmed MA, this is an absolute worst case scenario.

I've luckily only had to deal with this situation once and I managed to pick something up. Lettting them know that I was more than prepared to use it was luckily enough to keep them at bay...had it gone the other way I strongly suspect I would have been seriously hurt.

Gav
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#200102 - 11/04/05 02:50 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Great article Gav. Very good advice in there. Glad you put it here for us to see as well.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#200103 - 11/04/05 03:09 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Gavin, top stuff. i can honestly say that in my dealings with large aggressive groups i have encountered nothing to contradict your assessment of the 'pack' mentality.

I remember a SD thread on here where JKogas took a little persuasion that such groups were common in our society, but it does seem that such activity is culturaly more prevalent in the UK/Europe than the States. Violence at sporting events and city centres post closing time being prime examples.

Geographical variations not withstanding I think it covers everything very well. The use of slang is up to you, if that is your writing style then stick with it, if it is in some way to convey the authenticity of the truths within the article, it is not necessary.

With regards to the introduction of weapons, I think it would be worth further emphasising that being outnumbered and lesser equiped is practicaly a guarantee of defeat, and that awareness to avoid such groups is the only way to survive, even if you have the skill of someone such as G. Thompson, 8 knife weilding assailants will remind you of the inherent weakness of your flesh very quickly.

Good stuff amigo
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#200104 - 11/04/05 07:16 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Cord]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Cheers guys, thanks for the feedback. The weapons bit I was a little unhappy, so I'll revise that. You are basically f**ked if your facing 8 armed attackers, in this situation, my personal agenda would be to take as many of them with me as possible. But as an information providing piece, I'll try to reiterate the chances of coming out alive.

I'm on a Shiatsu course all weekend, so I'll post a revised last couple of paragraphs on monday for comment. Cheers guys, this is really appreciated....I've got to get some pic's together to go along with the article....right little media darling I'm becoming huh? No autographs please!

Gav
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#200105 - 11/05/05 12:36 AM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Gavin]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

I've got to get some pic's together to go along with the article....right little media darling I'm becoming huh? No autographs please!




OOh! Ooh! I am just perfect for the part of 'thug number 1' I fit all known stereotypes- big, bald, tats, hmmm hang on, you can just get your dad and a stick of shoe polish for less than my train fare cant you? Darn, my hopes of fame dashed again

Enjoy the shiatsu
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#200106 - 11/05/05 06:34 PM Re: Staying Ahead of the Pack [Re: Cord]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Cord, my Dad is actually an experienced thug (more ways than one! ) coz he was in a thug in Pat O'Keefe's "Combat Kick Boxing: A Framework for Success" book.....if anyone's got that book, that's my baseball bat in it!!! Barring experience, my Dad's a bit on the large side....thats gonna be one hell of a lot of shoe polish! How much is the train fare from Cambridge to Southend???

Oh, OOO, Shiatsu...Guys, do yourself a favour, book a Shiatsu treatment.....You will not regret it! I've spent the whole day learning and experiencing it....this is only my 2nd weekend and I'm already getting results....a fully qualified person will chill you out beyond belief! Wouldn't recomend it though if your working the Door that night....it was a real effort to muster up the desire to tell a prat to go forth and multiply tonight!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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