Friday, September 29, 2017

Musashi's Way of Strategy

1)  Do not think dishonestly.
2) The Way is in training.
3)  Become acquainted with every art.
4)  Know the Ways 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.

- The Ground Book, A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi 

4 comments:

  1. I would be happy if I could just keep from losing my mud when things don't go as I hoped they would.

    How is the term 'strategy' being used in this context, TB? To me, strategy is synonymous with 'tactics' - and dishonesty and subterfuge can be a big part of that...

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  2. Some very good advice there and I agree with all of it. It's not always easy to accomplish, but definitely worth striving for!

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  3. Glen - Musashi is somewhat unique among martial arts and strategy writers in that he does not separate the strategy of the individual combat and the strategy of bodies of soldiers - to him, the principles were the same and that by learning to practice the strategy in an individual combat, one could learn to apply the principles anywhere. And so to that sense, strategy and tactcis are somewhat "mixed" in his writings - in some cases he discusses what would be considered classic "tactics", but the concepts are equally applicable in the strategic sense - for example, sword cuts or tactics which could be applied in a similar fashion to armies. By far (with perhaps the exception of Sun Tzu) I have found him to be the most approachable author on the subject of both strategy and martial arts.

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  4. Rain, Musashi was a very unique and exceptional individual warrior. If in your thrift shop wanderings you come across The Lone Samurai by William Scott Wilson, grab it. It is by far the best biography of his life (and arguably one of the best biographies I have read).

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