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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Book of Five Rings

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Manufacturer: Kodansha International
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 181
EAN: 9784770028013
ISBN: 4770028016
Label: Kodansha International
Manufacturer: Kodansha International
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 160
Publication Date: 2002-06-15
Publisher: Kodansha International
Studio: Kodansha International

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Editorial Reviews:

Setting down his thoughts on swordplay, on winning, and on spirituality, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi intended this modest work as a guide for his immediate disciples and future generations of samurai. He had little idea he was penning a masterpiece that would be eagerly devoured by people in all walks of life centuries after his death.
Along with The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Book of Five Rings has long been regarded as an invaluable treatise on the strategy of winning. Musashi's timeless advice on defeating an adversary, throwing an opponent off-guard, creating confusion, and other techniques for overpowering an assailant was addressed to the readers of earlier times on the battlefield, and now serves the modern reader in the battle of life.
In this new rendering by the translator of Hagakure and The Unfettered Mind, William Scott Wilson adheres rigorously to the seventeenth-century Japanese text and clarifies points of ambiguity in earlier translations. In addition, he offers an extensive introduction and a translation of Musashi's rarely published The Way of Walking Alone. This gift-book edition also features original art by Musashi himself as well as new calligraphy by Japanese artist Shiro Tsujimura.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
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: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Business and Martial Arts
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: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Great classic, bad shipping...
Comment: This is without a doubt, one of the greatest classics in japanese military philosophy... Too bad the shipping and handling was way too crappy... Book arrived with the cover damaged, and ruined. No chance for a return, since it was intended for a gift in another country...

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The Second Best Book I Have Read
Comment: This is the second best book I have ever read second only to the bible. As a amature Boxer and martial artist I found this book very easy to read.
Miyamoto Musashi is one of history,s great warriors history states he has been in single ,and battlefield combat.We also know he even killed a man in a duel with a boat paddle he carved on the boat ride to the place of combat.The other man we know a very good swordsman and armed with a real sword.Musashi was truly a master of the mental side of combat.This book shows no physical technique of any kind. This book deals with battlefield tactics and how to win in a real fight.I use many things I have learned from this book in the ring it has been a great resource for me.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A good book, but not quite what I thought it was going to be...
Comment: I just "finished" reading the book...

Before reading it I thought that it was supposed to be based on the philosophy of life, and the Samurai in general, not on the Way of the sword... Which is actually the Way of the Samurai. Confused?

That was my misunderstanding when I ordered the book. I had expected something more along the lines of "Hagakure."

However, so as to help anyone else avoid that possible area of confusion, this book is based on The Way of the Sword. There is very little philosophy involved that does not in some way relate to it.

Now that the issue of confusion is out of the way, let me get onto the review!

In my experience, the Way laid out in this book is true. Everything that I have experienced thus far in my life points to it.

The book itself is very good, and was written by someone who knew what he was doing when it came to battle. This book has solidified my beliefs on how to engage a combatant. For me I often have to learn from my mistakes, through experience, because I can be quite dense at times... So when he said that "To fight one man, is to fight one-thousand, and to fight one thousand, is to fight one man" really struck a cord with me. It was like he had just knocked down a wall that was blocking my grasp on battle. (*I was paraphrasing what he wrote*)

I honestly believe that Miyamoto Musashi's understanding is the only true Way. As long as you are not biased toward a martial art style, after reading the book I think you will agree.

I am very glad that I bought this book, because not only has it helped me to better grasp my own understanding (which is also his) of the Way, it will also help to remind me in times to come.

ETA: If you seek to follow The Way, I would also suggest that you read "The Naked Ape," which will further help you to understand the Human mind and body - Which is what you will be fighting, and teaching.

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