27 November 2017
Strategy is the craft of the warrior.
Immature strategy is the cause of grief.
Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.
The strategist makes small things into big things.
The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things.
In short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their movements can be easily predicted. An individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult to predict.
It is difficult to know yourself if you do not know others.
It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
From one thing, know ten thousand things.
You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly.
It is bad for commanders and troopers to have likes and dislikes. These are things you must learn thoroughly.
II - Book of water
Strategy is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways.
In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased.
In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance.
In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.
Knowing the Way of the long sword means we can wield with two fingers the sword we usually carry. If we know the path of the sword well, we can wield it easily.
You must train constantly.
In contests of strategy it is bad to be led about by the enemy. You must always be able to lead the enemy about.
In large-scale strategy, 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.
In single combat, the enemy sometimes loses timing and collapses. If you let this opportunity pass, he may recover and not be so negligent thereafter. Fix your eye on the enemy’s collapse, and chase him, attacking so that you do not let him recover. You must do this. The chasing attack is with a strong spirit.
“To become the enemy” means to think yourself in the enemy’s position.
In large-scale strategy, when there is a “four hands” spirit, do not give up - it is man’s existence. Immediately throw away this spirit and win with a technique the enemy does not expect. In single combat also, when we think we have fallen into the “four hands” situation, we must defeat the enemy by changing our mind and applying a suitable technique according to his condition. You must be able to judge this.
In large-scale strategy, when the enemy is agitated and shows an inclination to rush, do not mind in the least. Make a show of complete calmness, and the enemy will be taken by this and will become relaxed. When you see that this spirit has been passed on, you can bring about the enemy’s defeat by attacking strongly with a Void spirit. In single combat, you can win by relaxing your body and spirit and then, catching on to the moment the enemy relaxes, attack strongly and quickly, forestalling him. What is know as “getting someone drunk” is similar to this. You can also infect the enemy with a bored, careless, or weak spirit.
In large-scale strategy it is important to cause loss of balance. Attack without warning where the enemy is not expecting it, and while his spirit is undecided follow up your advantage and, having the lead, defeat him. Or, in single combat, start by making a show of being slow, then suddenly attack strongly. Without allowing him space for breath to recover form the fluctuation of spirit, you must grasp the opportunity to win.
In single combat, also, you must use the advantage of taking the enemy unawares by frightening him with your body, long sword, or voice, to defeat him.
Whenever we have become preoccupied with small detail, we must suddenly change into a large spirit, interchanging large with small.Buy The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto ← Back to all articles