I'm not an operator, but I'd start with the "side" closest....take it as it comes. To move to the other side requires "pieing the room" and renders the decision moot.
When facing aggression, counter-aggression is your friend. Just "do what comes next". And don't ever do a clearing exercise without partners, unless you're faced with no choice in "fighting" your way to your kids or spouse.
Try it in your own abode and you'll quickly realize that, against a trained opponent, you will loose. Luckily, few of our average Street Scum spend their time in training.
[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited July 08, 1999).]