The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645. It is considered a classic treatise on military strategy, much like Sun Tzu's The Art of War. There have been various translations made over the years, 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. ? Excerpted from The Book of Five Rings on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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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."