Regardless of the martial art, we always see people in the movies using super bad ass moves and beating multiple opponents often with one hit for each guy...is that even possible? If yes, is a black belt needed ?

And which martial arts is for you a "movie like" art? For the purpose of the question, lets define "movie like martial art" as an art that can effectively stop an aggressor fast and preferably with one hit, can deal with multiple opponents and also deal with knifes/weapons just like we tired of see on the movies...

  • The whole point of a movie is seeing stunning moves that never really work happen and do something. The best place for fights like that to happen are on the screens, and seen from the safety of your couch. Apr 29, 2015 at 20:47
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    There was once an Afghan Martial Artist known as 'Ehsan Shafiq'. He passed away few years back. His techniques, kicks, etc... were pretty impressive. May 5, 2015 at 4:55
  • Wushu/Kung Fu have some beautiful movies, but in real life you are not going to fight like movies. Movies have scripts, everyone will follow them and then I becomes beautiful.
    – Shura16
    Jul 20, 2016 at 18:22

8 Answers 8


Honestly, you'll never look like the movies. Fights suck. They are sweaty, messy, and bloody things that nobody really wins. The best way to win a fight is to avoid the confrontation entirely. Flashy moves don't (often) win you the fight, and people you are trying to defend yourself from tend to be harder to take down than you would like. A strong kick to the chin in surprise will probably knock someone out, though you expose a lot of your lower body and groin when you attempt this. If you can run away then you should. If you can't get into a solid stance and do your best to defend and keep your opponent away from any improvised weapons. Don't be afraid to use cheap shots and dirty tactics to stay alive.

Multiple Opponents

No matter how good you are, if there are more of them than you, you WILL get hurt even if you 'win'. Yes, it is possible to take someone out with a single strike, though it is super unlikely and will hurt your hand doing so. It is hard enough fighting one person, but having to split your focus and energy between more than that requires insane conditioning and training.


If they have weapons the best thing to do is to run away. If you can't run away than you should know how to defend and disarm. Speaking from experience, pool cues don't break like they do in movies and when they hit you with enough force to break they hurt enough to knock your breath out of you for a few seconds (too long to let you recover before the next attack hits you). In a close fight, knives are the most dangerous weapons you are likely to come across. Disarming them is dangerous and blocking them is damn near impossible unless you have a weapon of your own or something hard to shield yourself with. The safest thing to do is disarm them if you can't get away or throw things at them from farther than their knife's reach.


The general consensus on guns is that if you are more than six feet away and they have one drawn and want to hurt you that you are f***ed.

Styles That Are Effective Like Those In The Movies

There are a lot of styles that train you to be able to defend yourself against multiple opponents and weapons. Qualities that you should look for are:

  1. Has a strong emphasis on self defense.

  2. Trains your condidtioning as well as your technique.

  3. Has a strong partner training method and trains with multiple partners.

  4. Trains with dummy weapons.

Some examples of styles that are good for these are Krav Maga, CKM, Keysi Fighting Method, and Jeet Kune Do.


Fights are not like in the movies, they suck, avoid them if possible. If you can't avoid them than do your best to get a couple of surprise cheap shots in. If they have a weapon don't try to block, just dodge and disarm. If they have a gun and you are more than six feet away you are in deep trouble. Try to find a martial art that emphasizes self defense at any cost.


The answer to many of your questions is "Yes, with qualifications and probably not the way you're thinking of, if you're using movies as your reference".

Movie Cheats


In movies, the heroes take on 3 guys coming from different directions without any problem - they turn at just the right time, or maybe they throw a backhand or rear kick, they duck the attack coming from behind... because it's all scripted. In reality, you have to really struggle not to go into tunnel vision when the adrenaline hits, and it becomes very easy to focus on the person in front of you and not pay attention to the fact other people might run up behind you. This kind of sucker punch scenario happens A LOT.


In the movies, people don't get tired until the very end of the fight, if at all, and then they find a second wind and do the most amazing moves ever. In reality, unless you spend a lot of time conditioning, you're probably going to get tired quick and get sloppy. While this also applies to your opponents, if there's more of them than you, they're splitting up the energy cost, while you have to stay "on" the whole time. This is pretty much the classic hunting strategy from the days when we hunted with spears - wear down the prey, take turns, catch your breath.


In the movies, heroes come back from injuries a lot. Or things that should injure them, don't. You're not going to take hits from a baseball bat and "be ok", you're not going to take multiple kicks to the ribs and head while you're on the ground then magically come back and win the fight.

Not getting injured in the first place is a high priority in reality.

Flashy Moves

The best part of movies is stuff like spinning flying jump kicks and all that cool stuff. It's not that none of these EVER work, it's just that either you have to have surprise, have set up a bunch of things first to get to do the move, and finally, odds are, you'd be safer doing something simpler.

I know one person who successfully did a jump kick in a brawl in high school. He hit the guy by surprise, hit him in the jaw and clean knocked him out. That was the one flashy move of that entire fight - he didn't go around jump kicking everyone else.

Tripping and Falling

In the movies, people only fall down when they get thrown. In reality, people trip and fall over everything. The world is a messy place, and unless you're in a nice, flat area that has a lot of space like a competition ring, you might find yourself tripping or backed up against stuff all the time.

Depending on how you've trained, you can use the environment to really help deal with multiple opponents- preventing them from all coming at once, tripping or knocking them over in a way that will take more of their time getting up, or hurting them in the process.

Real World Stuff


Do you need a Black Belt? A black belt is a form of rank, and originally it just meant you got the solid basics down, not "mastery". So, in a sense, yes, if you're going to take on multiple opponents or weapons, in whatever style you study you better damn well have gotten your foundation work together. The belt has jack to do with it as much as the training you put in.

Multiple Opponents

A lot of styles DO train to take on multiple opponents, but as much as anything, some are more realistic and better at real world fighting, others not so much. That endurance and awareness issues I brought up before play a big part in this.

Mostly the places where we see people successfully take on multiple opponents? The singular person is someone with a ton of conditioning and fitness plus a lot of training and the multiple opponents don't have it.


Weapons are dangerous and deadly. And if you don't have a weapon and someone does, you're at a major disadvantage. People can and have disarmed folks before, but you don't want to stay unarmed in a fight with weapons.

I've seen footage of people fending off knife attacks by taking their shoes off and putting their hands in their shoes as arm guards, just to get something to block with. Weapons make things desperate and scary and it's not like the movies where a knife cut is a small red line across your arm...

What style will help?

There's no one style that will make you a super warrior, otherwise everyone would do it. There's different styles that focus on different things, and within those styles, different schools and teachers.

In general, you want a style that:

a) gives some form of live partner training (sparring, high end drills, etc.)

b) teaches you to deal with multiple opponents

c) teachers you to deal with weapons

You'll want to do a ton of conditioning as well.

  • +1 for the good answer, thanks! But i choose the other since it name a few martial arts i could use, but it has hard to choose the answer!
    – Freedo
    Apr 20, 2015 at 3:24
  • It's all good! It's better to have a lot of good answers to choose from.
    – Bankuei
    Apr 20, 2015 at 6:55

No. Fights do not go down like in the movies, or like in the dojo. They are chaotic, messy, and brief. They are usually decided, one way or the other, in the first few seconds of a fight. Involving a weapon is especially dangerous. Surviving a knife encounter (notice I didn't say "fight") usually still results in several cuts to the survivor's arms. If there are multiple attackers, they are likely to swarm the victim rather than approach him one by one, waiting to be knocked out by a flying kick.

Watch this for an example of a trained person successfully defending someone from an aggressor. However, also note that the aggressor was not determined to injure or kill the trained person. Instead, he was mainly putting on a show to save face.

Watch this for an example of how a knife attack is likely to occur. This is the by-now world-famous Tueller drill, illustrating that a police officer with his gun in his holster is not safe from a knife-wielding attacker within a radius of 21'.


which martial arts is for you a "movie like" art?

All of them and none of them. Movies are pretend. Fight choreographers will take whatever moves look good and film it from the best angle - regardless of the efficacy of the move or the art it came from.

beating multiple opponents often with one hit for each guy...is that even possible?

Yes it is possible but it's not likely. Fights are messy and you are likely to get hit, even if you're really good.

If yes, is a black belt needed ?

Nope. A black belt is simply an indicator of progress and achievement in a school, and every art and school is different. A black belt doesn't mean you can fight, nor does it mean you know any bad ass moves. It also doesn't make you a chick magnet.

can deal with multiple opponents and also deal with knifes/weapons just like we tired of see on the movies

Anyone who trains diligently for a good period of time (at least several years) under a reasonable teacher should be able to achieve this. It's probably easier to list arts that don't teach these skills rather than trying to list the ones that do.

But even with the best teacher in the best art* your fights will still never look like they do in the movies.

Remember: movies are pretend.

* "the best art" doesn't exist - not now, not ever.

  • +1 for the question, thanks! But you didn't answer as complete as the others but thanks anyway
    – Freedo
    Apr 20, 2015 at 3:25

Key thing to think about is would you want to fight the same way?

I observe multiple attackers in movies and notice that if i were in the same situation there is no way i would position and fight in the same way.

watch carefully, ignore who wins and loses, just think would you do the same thing? Does it make sense?

When you see a big spinning kick, im sure a hard kick to the knee would be more effective?

remember a kick to the head is about the same distance as a punch would be, I love kicking, I really do, but in a real fight my feet will likely stay on the ground with the exception of a leg kick maybe.

So when it comes to the movies, good guys fight stupid and are lucky that the bad guys are even more stupid.


I think the short answer is not at the extent of multiple people with guns. Without guns yes if there are my guess is not more than 15 but that probably is still too many. And only if you spend A LOT of time training and conditioning.

Simple solution: start with a good stand up art, then learn other arts after you get good, especially other stand ups and preferably no more than one grappling art. Also read a lot of scenario based books like ones written by Peyton Quinn, etc. I think that will help.

I'm not the person on this site with #1 expertise but I think that's the simple answer.


Yes, it's possible. But it won't look quite as good. There are two reasons:

  1. You are not Jason Bourne.
  2. Your attackers probably won't be trained martial artists.

This fight was recorded in Turkey


A point worth making is that fight choreography in a movie is optimized to be visually impressive while minimizing the risk to the participants (the same applies to professional wrestling). A movie fight is a dance, and at it's best a real fight is free-form jazz (more often than not it's just chaos though). In a film things are slowed down, exaggerated, and telegraphed - all things you want to avoid in a real fight. With rare exceptions, there aren't one-hit KOs and even more importantly being knocked out isn't like film portrays it at all.

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