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A Classic Text on the Japanese Way of the Sword
Jocko Podcast 80 with Echo Charles - Musashi, "The Book of Five Rings"

Although this is said to be difficult, Musashi notes that masters of this Technique are usually Masters of the Five attitudes because they must be perceptive of weaknesses. It is rumoured that Musashi disgraced a former sword master by using such a technique with a Bokken , although there are no descriptions mentioning "In one" timing.

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Although the technique seems relatively simple, Musashi lists this as one of the hardest techniques to time correctly. When attacking fast, Musashi notes that you will always be at stalemate, so like Stagnant water, you must cut as slowly as possible with your long sword. In one motion when your sword springs away from theirs, Musashi says to use a continuous motion to slash their head, body and legs.

The fire book refers to fighting methods, mostly away from specific fighting techniques listed in the Water book. It goes into a broader scope in terms of hints as to assess a situation, as well as specific situational instructions.

The Japanese classic on strategy

He notes obvious advantages of Armor , as well as preparedness before a duel or battle. This does not apply to just one man, but a whole group of men;. The dependence of location according to the Go Rin No Sho is crucial.

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This is purely so that your vision is focused on nothing but the enemy, and thus there is more concentration upon the enemies' strategems. Other disadvantages, such as forcing enemies into footholds, swamps, ditches, and other difficult terrain which forces the enemy to be unsure and uncertain of his situation. Ken No Sen, or "Attacking", is the most obvious method of forestalling an enemy, in that a head on collision forces both parties to a standstill.

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 Book of Five Rings

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.

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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. 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.

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These things can be understood in terms that in the West would be associated with spirituality and religion. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. To make this the biggest and most elaborate edition of Gorin No Sho ever published, Hokusai illustrations, famous painter from Japan, are included.

The beautiful illustrations of this great artist match perfectly with the energetic and profound text of the great Samurai. Print text only. Sensei receives teachings from Shihan Gosho Motoharu. Shihan Gosho Motoharu at the foreground. Sensei training with Shihan Gosho Motoharu.

A Book of Five Rings

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