The Book Of Five Rings is the work of Miyamoto Musashi who was a samurai in 16th century Japan. After a lifetime of battles he resided to a cave in the final years of his life to write the strategies he used. Many of his ideas on fighting technique and strategy have become commonplace amongst warriors as a result of his teachings.
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- In strategy it is necessary to treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit unchanging.
- It is difficult to know yourself if you don’t know others.
- You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over familiar with one weapon is as much of fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.
1. Do not think dishonestly.
2. The way is in training.
3. Become acquainted with every art.
4. Know the way of all professions.
5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
8. Pay attention even to trifles.
9. Do nothing which is of no use.
- Both in fighting and in every day life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit.
- It is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.
- Today is a victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over the lesser man.
- Everything can collapse. Houses, bodies, and enemies collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged. When the enemy starts to collapse you must pursue him without letting the chance go. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies collapse, they may recover.
- If the enemy is less skillful than ourself, if his rhythm is disorganized, or if he has fallen into evasive or retreating attitudes, we must crush him straight away, with no concern for his presence and without allowing him space for breath. It is essential to crush him all at once. The primary thing is to not let him recover his position even a little.
- It is bad to repeat the same thing several times when fighting the enemy. There may be no help but to do something twice, but do not try it a third time. If you once make an attack and fail, there is little chance of success if use the same approach again. If you attempt a technique which you previously tried unsuccessfully and failed yet again, then you must change your attacking method.
- You must force the enemy into inconvenience situations. Attack where his spirit is lax, throw him into confusion, irritate and terrify him. Take advantage of the enemies rhythm when he is unsettled and you can win.
- When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.
- With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least crowded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.