To learn a Japanese martial art is to learn Zen, and although you can't do so simply by reading a book, it sure does help--especially if that book is The Book of Five Rings. One of Japan's great samurai sword masters penned in decisive, unfaltering terms this certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu's The Art of War it is applicable not only on the battlefield but also in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities--these are some of the basic principles. Going deeper, we find suki, the interval of vulnerability, of indecisiveness, of rest, the briefest but most vital moment to strike. In succinct detail, Miyamoto records ideal postures, blows, and psychological tactics to put the enemy off guard and open the way for attack. Most important of all is Miyamoto's concept of rhythm, how all things are in harmony, and that by working with the rhythm of a situation we can turn it to our advantage with little effort. But like Zen, this requires one task above all else, putting the book down and going out to practice. --Brian Bruya
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: It's good. Comment: It's a good translation of the book of Five Rings. Although, I haven't read the original, and I can't read Japanese so I don't know if this is a correct translation or not. but, it makes sense, and it's not in Engrish like some other translated books... Customer Rating: Summary: WARRIORS BIBLE Comment: Musashi, like every great warrior, knew that strategy was as important as tactics and techniques in combat. This book will teach you things that were learned in combat and will enhance your survival potential on the battlefield, street and life.
It is not the easiest book to interpret and understand, but that hardly matters, as for the information in this book is worth your time and effort. One good book is worth a hundred crummy ones, and this book is one outstanding book. This book is divided into various distinct sections, and the serious and professional warrior should extract as much information as possible from each section. Every time I pick this book up I learn something new. This is the warrior's bible.
I highly recommend this book to all readers.
Customer Rating: Summary: Book of three stars Comment: This book left me with a double feeling. Happiness, about being able to read about ancient wisdom and the sense it all made. Sadness, not being able to apply all knowledge in our era.
As Sun Tzu's Art of War was written even more abstract than this book, I found it easier to convert its knowledge into practice. As this book is more focussed on the inner-self of a human being, I strongly recommend you first read some Zen books before digging in on this one. Then I would recommend Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.
The knowledge of this book is definitly four-star material, but this translation into English misses out on some key points. Excellent to read, but don't expect any miracles without years of dedicated training. Customer Rating: Summary: Business and Martial Arts Comment: The book written by the samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645 is considered a classic treatise on military strategy, and it enjoys an audience considerably broader than only that of martial artists: for instance, some business leaders find its discussion of conflict and taking the advantage to be relevant to their work.
The term "Ichi School", which is referred to in the book, Go Rin No Sho, when referring to such books, refers to "Niten No Ichi Ryu", or "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu", which literally translated, means "Two Swords, one heaven".
Throughout the book it is clear: what is primary for Musashi is The Goal, while the means of achieving the goal are secondary. He wrote "According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size."
The same is in business: the leaders who are attracted by the goal rather than by embellishments are the true leaders. For example, the dot-com bubble of 2000 was caused by the managers who forgot about the primary goal of the business: net income. Those who were obsessed by their stock prices regarding of massive losses and the lack of revenue became bankrupt. They put attention to the fancy office buildings and furniture rather than to the assets that generate earning. Musashi wrote about it: "Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects, so it is with weapons. Horses should walk strongly, and swords and companion swords should cut strongly. Spears and halberds must stand up to heavy use: bows and guns must be sturdy. Weapons should be hardy rather than decorative".
Musashi also encourages to maintain a balance of your skills throughout your life. This balance could be thought of as Yin and Yang. The balance is to be neither over-familiar with something nor under-familiar. The over-familiarity or over-use of one weapon is not recommended by Musashi, as it would be seen to reveal your spirituality to your enemy, and thus your boisterousness, or over-calm. The over-familiarity makes you stick to a conviction. This is a very important for the business. Take, for example, mr. Warren Buffet. A quality standing out about Mr. Buffett is his ability to morph. If you read his materials from the 1960s, he said very different things than in the 1970s and early-1980s. Early on he was buying dirt-cheap stocks by simple statistical standards and typically smaller stocks (smallcap), later he bought "franchises", then he entered a period of buying great managements of big companies and being a long-term holder, then, amazingly, he was buying smaller things dirt cheap again just as value came back into play as the twenty-first century began. He tactically morphed steadily over the decades. Trying to freeze his tactics from any decade and replicate them in the next few would never have led you to his actual actions. Musashi wrote about that this way: "You should not have a favourite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly. It is bad for commanders and troops to have likes and dislikes."
Customer Rating: Summary: A Book of Five Rings Comment: Book arrived in perfect condition, still haven't gotten around to reading it just yet though. three cheers for adhd.