This topic could be posted under the thread I started on voice commands, but it has such a direct relation to hand to hand combat that I thought I would post it here.
If you find yourself outnumbered, or in any situation where you can't take physical control of a subject(s), the next best thing is to give them voice commands that (if they comply) will put them at an extreme tactical disadvantage.
The objective here is to put them in a position where they have to make several overt steps to go into fight or flight. For instance, order them to lie prone, looking away from you, cross their ankles and bring them up to their backside, plus put their hands are behind their back.
Now in order for them to attack you, they have to uncross their ankles, put their feet on the deck, put their hands on the deck, get up to their knees, put a foot on the ground and then raise up. Due to the fact that they have to complete all of these steps, you have a lot of warning that they are not complying and are attempting either fight or flight.
Not only dose this put you at an extreme physical advantage, it also puts them at an extreme phycological disadvantage. It is pretty difficult to think aggressively when you are in this position.
Another thing that can be done to keep them from thinking aggressively is to keep them engaged in conversation. This keeps the mind busy so that it can not formulate a plan of attack. It is important to control the conversation and possibly ask recon type questions, such as, "Where are your buddies at? How many more of you are their?" If they will not answer these types of questions, SOMETIMES it might be appropriate to make small talk, but GENERALLY you will not want to do this.
Another thing that can be done, ONCE THEY ARE IN AN EXTREME POSITION OF DISADVANTAGE, is to place the ball of your foot on their calf, or to have them place their hands in front of them like they are diving and then step on the hands. This techniques is appropriate if you have to watch them, but also have to keep an eye on additional threats, like unsecured doorways.
As long as the principle is in place you can do any number of things to keep them controlled with varying degrees of control. For instance, you might just have them sit down with their legs strait, ankles crossed and their hands in their laps. It all depends on their number's vs yours, their avenues of escape and ability/will to resist.
Use your imagination and have fun training. Just remember that you must remain in control.