https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PgKg0Hc7YIA I recently saw this video made in Japan where three Olympic fencers took on 50 untrained or barely trained fencers on a Japanese variety show. The video was made for a TV so it wasn't that serious but I was amazed at how poorly the Olympic fencers performed. Not only did they show a low level of skill, but they also showed that since it is a sport there was no group strategy.
At first as the 50 converged on them, the Olympians fled to the stairs. I thought, "Ahh, this is correct." Furuya Sensei taught us that to fight one person is the same as hundred and to strive for high ground (which I am sure was gleaned from Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings strategy). Going to the stairs would have provided them a natural barrier for three of the four sides of attack and they would only have to face opponents from only one direction and, most crucially, only one at a time. This strategy would have allowed them to use their skill to win the battle.
As you can see from the video they abandoned the strategy of working together and using the stairs. Those three Olympic fencers would have been overwhelmed and killed in a matter of minutes if it were are real fight. They would have been picked apart as the odds stacked up against them because each Olympian could be surrounded by as many as 16 people at any given time who would be attacking from all sides. Also, did you see by how many times the untrained fighters just poked them in the arms and back as they ran by? This method is called "Death by a thousand cuts" in knife fighting where small non-lethal wounds add up to a tremendous amount of blood loss and eventually take their toll on the fighter as the battle rages on.
It is interesting, as things become more "modern" or sporty they can sometimes lose their martial sense. As martial artists, we can look at this video and take heart to make sure that we practice our arts as martial arts and not just something we do for exercise.