I have mixed experience with the “take the 1st/biggest out hard and the rest will think twice” theory.
I have used it and seen it. Sometimes it works, but more often it REALLY winds up his mates who then try to commit murder!!
Often in a multiple attacker situation they don’t even notice that one of their group is down!
But as Mr V indicates, if you can “out league them” and shock them into immobility so you can hit them this is great, really only works with muppets!
You just don’t want to be on the deck with the boys playing at a “can can” troop, been there far to often!
In the dojo, we can practice with the luxury of space and awareness, it just isn’t like the really world, try 3 on one with you in a corner or in a small room!