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A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy

Through the book Musashi defends his thesis: a man who conquers himself is ready to take it on on the world, should need arise. See more books written by: Miyamoto Musashi.


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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. As a swordsman, Musashi fought mostly by himself, for himself.

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His wisdom, therefore, is mostly internal. Although it is not mentioned, Musashi must have been well aware that this method would also be the most probable to have a higher death count to others, due to the sheer mass of enemies, where more than one enemy can attack a single soldier or trooper. As the name suggests, Tai No Sen Waiting for the Initiative is invented for very opportunistic and decided battles between parties. The main idea being to feign weakness as to open a weak spot, or Achilles' heel in the opposing force, and then regrouping to exploit such a hole by attacking deep within the enemy's party.

Although it is not mentioned, this would most likely be to kill the Officer of the highest rank, as an attempt to remove the tactical centre of a group of soldiers; a method particularly useful for Musashi or others if attacking a general directly, which would signal the end of the battle upon his defeat. Although only a small amount of text is written about Tai Tai No Sen Accompanying and Forestalling ; albeit very confusing, the idea of Tai Tai No Sen is circumventing an ambush or quick attack from the enemy by taking the initiative, and attacking in full force.

Musashi admits himself that this is a difficult thing to explain. Although there are other methods, they are mostly situational methods relating to the crossing of rough terrain, and battling within such rough terrain. Although it spreads over two or more paragraphs, most information is common sense, relating to caution and avoidance of such situations.

The idea of timing, as with singular battles, is known as the most important part of attacking next to the skill of participants. However, the type of timing in this instance is somewhat different to the timing noted in The Ground Book , as it notes looking at the various physical factors which affect an enemy during battle, such as determining if the strength is waning or rising within a group of troopers.

The idea of treading down the sword is a very simple technique; Quashing an enemy's attack before it starts by using a form of charging and then attacking under the veil of gunpowder smoke, and arrow fire, the initial attacks used when starting battles. Like Musashi mentions in his philosophical style, there is causality of collapse; the collapse of houses, empires, and so on. As there is collapse within an enemy, such as waning in his numbers, Musashi notes that to observe such events and use them to your advantage, such as by gaining from loss, or vice versa.

Interestingly, he notes that an enemy's formation can fall if they lose rhythm. It was known that in such battles, drummers drummed a tune for their other fellow soldiers to march to, should the rhythm be lost, leading to " collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged. Although most of the information given in the previous disciplines is useful in that it could still be used today, most of the information lists information based on the time in which Musashi lived, and the differences between swordsmanship, speed, and strategy of other schools.

He notes that although most schools have secret and ancient strategies, most forms are derivative of other martial arts. Their similarities and differences evolved through situational factors, such as indoor or outdoor duelling, the style adapting to the school. Musashi also lists that he may be one sided because the only school he had interest for was his own, and in a way, he does not see parallels to his own creation and work.

However, he still admits that without basic understanding of such principles, you will not be able to learn Ni Ten Ichi Ryu, probably for reasons of finding the wrongs in other techniques, and righting them within yourself in Ni Ten Ichi Ryu. The main difference that Musashi notes between the Ichi School and other Strategists and schools, is that other schools do not teach the "broader" meaning of strategy, that above sword-fencing; " Some of the world's strategists are concerned only with sword-fencing, and limit their training to flourishing the long sword and carriage of the body.

Although the book has many paragraphs on the subject of other school's techniques, it is mostly a list naming the way that other schools do not conform to the ideals which he himself writes about in the Book of five rings, such as Over-reliance, or over-familiarity with a weapon, as well as to do with footwork, sight, and other methods described in previous disciplines. Although short, the void book lists philosophically, the nature of both human knowledge and other things.

The void book expressly deals with " That which cannot be seen ";. The void, according to Musashi, is the true meaning of the strategy of Ni Ten Ichi Ryu; it seems very esoteric in nature, in that he seems to note that you must learn to perceive that which you cannot understand or comprehend.

The Book of Five Rings - Wikipedia

He notes that in this Void, what can be comprehended are things which we do and see, such as the way of the warrior, martial arts and Ni Ten Ichi Ryu. At the same time, in the Void, things we do not do or see which he calls Spirit , are part of the information which we perceive on a conscious level, but with which we have no physical relationship. These things can be understood in terms that in the West would be associated with spirituality and religion.

Jocko Podcast 80 with Echo Charles - Musashi, "The Book of Five Rings"

Sign In Don't have an account? Miyamoto, Musashi, and Brown, Bradford J. From: Ground Zero Books, Ltd. Silver Spring, MD, U. Trade paperback. Condition: Very good. First printing [stated]. Trade paperback US. Glued binding. This is one of the Bantam Wisdom Editions. From Wikipedia: "Miyamoto Musashi c. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age.


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He was the founder of the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu or Niten-ryu style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today. Published by Tuttle Publishing, Boston About this Item: Tuttle Publishing, Boston, Interpretation of Musashi's Five Rings. Ships with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory q. Published by New York. Kodansha International. About this Item: New York. First edition, seventh print. Book and dust jacket are in Fine condition, small gift inscription on front end paper.

Translated by William Scott Wilson. Jacket fitted with a new removable clear cover. Securely packaged. Published by Overlook Press London About this Item: Overlook Press London , This translation by Victor Harris.

The Book of Five Rings

No Jacket. First Edition; Ninth Printing. Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. All domestic orders shipped protected in a Box. Seller Inventory n. Published by Overlook Press, New York First Edition; Tenth Printing. Dent at top of front gutter. Original wrap around band intact.

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