The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The World of Iniquus - Action Adventure Romance

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Can Your Character Survive Multiple Attackers? Info for Writers w/ Terror Expert Rock Higgins


Hello Fellow Writers,
Today, my friend Rock Higgins is here to help me with a scene where multiple attackers gang up on my heroine.

Many of you have probably read some of my other interviews with Rock; but if not, let me tell you why he's my go-to guy for all scenes that save my girl.  Rock is an Executive Protection Officer. He is a Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist who trains businesses in anti-terrorism procedures. He also teaches civilians, law enforcement, military, and bodyguards in close quarter combat.

To work through this plotting issue, we are using this tape of an actual attack.

Fiona - 
Okay Rock, can you walk me through this? What were the options? Mistakes? Did the victim do anything right?

Rock - 
Ok at 17 seconds he is surrounded by 5 guys to the front and left and right but no one to the rear, his escape route.

The next act is typical, no cognitive thought of escape and tunnel vision sets in. (to read about tunnel vision go HERE) He argues with the short guy to his right, exposing his back to the fat guy on his left. He had to expose his back to someone, and the fat guy was the best option as he was not going to run too far or too fast. This on the victim's part though was not a planned move.

What he did:
He pushes the short guy but closes with him at the same time so they are holding each other's arms so he cannot get free, at 23 seconds the rest are on him because he did not create space.

What he should have done:
Violent push on the short guy to; if not send him sprawling then to create space and then run full speed to his right, his rear previously. No pre-emptive strike in this case, if it didn't work there would be no space created and no time to correct the decision and run.

He breaks away at 30 seconds. He is either not a very fast runner or more likely he is dazed from the previous blows.

At 37 seconds they have him again up against the wall. He is standing square onto them trying to cover up, head down arms over his head. Here he cannot see where his attackers are, where the blows are coming from and cannot mount an attack from this position.

I have been in a similar position before, more attackers, and I was not alone.

I ended up with my back against the wall next to a friend with around 7-8 guys around us. Both in combat stances and fighting back anyone who ventured in. Effectively fighting back puts doubt into those attacking you, by effective I mean you seriously hurt one of them. They are then unsure whose turn it is to attack next.

To get to this stage you have to weather the initial attack by fighting and making space so that from everyone attacking at once it slows down to limited sporadic singular attacks.

All the while you are looking to escape. We escaped by both going on the offensive against one person, creating space and running as fast as we could.

Fiona - 
I was wondering about getting her back to the wall so at least she could see her attackers. What do you think about her getting in a doorway? Is this a trap or does it protect her on three sides?

Rock - 
I would not choose the doorway option as you are hemmed in and there is still going to be at least two attacking, more if the doorway is larger and the only escape is through the attackers. But if you are protecting someone, your spouse for example then a doorway would be a better option as you need to be in front of them to defend them anyway. But these are best or worst case scenarios, depends on how you look at it.

You could argue that the wall will protect your back, it does but again you have to work at your escape route.

With gang and multiple attackers you will more than likely not have the choice of where to stand your ground. Running at the earliest option is the best plan.

You can see from this and other clips how fast it all happens and how much ground the fight can cover in a short space of time. Each move and stop will bring different escape options.

Fiona - 
I was taught to turn a block into a shove aiming at shoving one bad guy into another if possible and the number one move was flee - but I was thinking also, of protecting a child or someone who could not flee.

Rock - 
Yes if your attackers are standing in such a fashion that you can use one as a shield or push them into each other then great. But here we have to remember that if we can grab them then they can grab us.

If your character is protecting someone, it is going to be a big problem. They're just going to have to run the gauntlet, sorry more like walk the gauntlet. It's going to be a fighting retreat. Your character and who your character is looking after are going to get hurt maybe more than normal because you cannot escape as fast when on your own. They're going to be in the contact area a lot longer.

Fiona - 
At the dojang, we drill with the kids in the hopes that if push did come to shove, their bodies would know what to do even if their brains turn off. We make it a game. In real life, out of the blue, adults should expect the kids to do the wrong thing - Freeze in place. Try to protect their parent. Not hear or follow directions. 

Rock tell me, what if a character knows her family is a target, can you go through some training scenarios that that family might engage in with their kids without terrifying them?

Rock - 
We do a drill for guys looking after young kids who are too old to be carried because of size. 

Because of the sensitive nature of this drill, the violence, it's not something that you can easily train for with the child. There has to be a lot of talking with the child first for them to understand what is happening, why it is happening and how they can help.

We have one person playing the child, one acting as the BG (bodyguard)/ parent and one acting as attacker. One variation is where the attacker has to get to the child but not attack the BG the BG can only push the attacker away. The BG also has to give orders to the child.

Another is where the attacker can attack the BG to get to the child, much harder. Then we put in multiple attackers, weapons and different locations, open spaces, getting in and out of vehicles, corridors, lifts, in fact most locations.

At all times you have to be in touching distance of the child so you can feel where they are. Difficult part for parents and child is telling their child to run when it is safe to do so while they cover their escape.

Most instruction only covers the physical aspect but if the child is (and will be) traumatised, frozen in place, then the training is useless.

A good game for the kids is to play this with both parents with no mention of what the game means. One tries to catch the child and the other defends. You could encompass trying to take the rag from the child's back pocket for instance.

Training can be done both armed and unarmed, single BG /parent, single/multiple kids lots of combinations.

Fiona - 
Fighting takes fitness.

Rock -
It's not pretty, and it's very tiring. Most people do not realise the amount of fitness you need for a situation like this. 

Fiona - 
Thank you, Rock for your help writing my scene.

You can catch up with Rock at:

Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

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