Sun Tzu The Art of WarHistory . State of Mind . Training notes
There is much written about Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. You will find various interpretations some saying there are 5 main points, other there are 9 or 13, I am sure there are more interpretations. I personally like the 9 main points interpretation, but I will not pontificate on my personal interpretation of Sun Tzu, why would I be so bold! This is more a common-sense commentary on The Art of War. At the bottom of this article I have included a YouTube video that is brief but quiet nice overview of Sun Tzu’s masterpiece.
The Art of War is considered the most influential treatise on war ever written. The book consists of 13 chapters each devoted to an aspect of warfare. Most think it has shaped the way in which conflicts have been fought for thousands of years from the Japanese samurai to the Napoleonic war. I have never confirmed that Napoleon had access to the text! The study of the book has influences leaders in many fields from military, politicians, sports and business. Most of the text focuses on diversion, distraction and subterfuge, all directed to gaining the advantage in battle.
The 13 chapters include 9 main lessons:
- Choose Your Battles
- Be willing to walk away. Or in practical terms willing to give up your watch and wallet rather then fight an assailant with a weapon.
- Timing is Essential
- This is why we train our bodies and our minds. Timing combined with strength and speed is a powerful weapon that can end a fight before it begins.
- Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy
- Honest introspection is a powerful tool. Knowing your limits and your abilities and being able to assess those our enemies.
- Have a Unique Plan
- Also Know As: Do the Unexpected! Always useful in self-defense situations. Deception or the unexpected often leads to the advantage.
- Disguise Your Plans
- Feinting helps open you expose an opponent’s vulnerabilities so you can strike. Fake down and go up. Keep your opponent focused away from your impending attack.
- Not Fighting is the Greatest Victory
- Psyche out your opponent so they do not want to fight. Real Masters rarely have to fight.
- Change Represents Opportunity
- Be Flexible, only commit to an attack when necessary. I thrust can become a block or visa-versa.
- Success Breeds Success
- Realistic Confidence breeds success. And a Reputation for winning or not backing down make an opponent hesitant to enter battle. Opportunities snowball as the advantage is gained if you stay calm.
- No One Profits From a Prolonged War
- Everyone loses in a fight.
Well there it is I kept my commentary and interpretation to a minimum. Hope you found some of this useful.
This video gives key examples of Sun Tzu’s most influential philosophies and strategies.
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