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About Miyamoto Musashi
Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵?, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was an expert Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent, and unique double bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 60 duels. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and in his final years authored the The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by User Alkivar on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo by User Alkivar on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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It explains the underlying truths necessary for a full understanding of Musashi's message for warriors. The result is an enthralling book on martial strategy that combines the instincts of the warrior with the philosophies of Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and Taoism. It is a crucial book for every martial artist to read and understand.
Like the original, this classic book of strategy is divided into five sections. The Book of Earth lays the groundwork for anyone wishing to understand Musashi's teachings; the Book of Water explains the warrior's approach to strategy; the Book of Fire teaches fundamental fighting techniques based on the Earth and Water principles; the Book of Wind describes differences between Musashi's own martial style and the styles of other fighting schools; while the Book of No-thing describes the "way of nature" as understood through an "unthinking" existing preconception.
Famed martial artist and bestselling author Stephen Kaufman has translated this classic without the usual academic or commercial bias, driving straight into the heart of Musashi's martial teachings and interpreting them for his fellow martial artists. The result is an enthralling combination of warrior wisdom and philosophical truths that Musashi offered to other warriors who wished to master the martial way of bushido.
Tokitsu puts all these writings into historical and philosophical context and makes them accessible and relevant to today’s readers and martial arts students. Tokitsu understands Musashi’s writings—and Musashi as a martial artist—unusually well and is able to provide a rare insight into the man and his historical contribution.
Kendo, is the Japanese Budo martial art of fencing, meaning “Way of the Sword.” Miyamoto Musashi’s principles of the Way of strategy are readily practiced and realized by training and studying hard in kendo. It is my hope that you will improve your kendo by following the Way of strategy. This special interpretation is for the person who trains in kendo (Way of the Sword.)
About the interpreter David Aguero:
A lifelong artist and inventor, trained in various martial arts, and dedicated to kendo and iaido.
As someone who has studied kendo for over twenty years, I am not a kendo champion, I am closing in on being elderly, sixty something, and a flawed human being. Kendo is the practice of the ancient martial art of Japanese fencing, it is not practiced for self defense or to beat people up. Kendo may be practiced as a sport in which winning is the goal or it may be practiced as a martial art in which process is the emphasis and winning the by product. When kendo is practiced as a martial art the process is about polishing your mind and polishing your heart. It is possible to know many things just by being technically proficient in kendo, but to transcend technical ability requires constant study, and sometimes many years or a lifetime of contemplation. To know the difference between sport kendo and the martial art of kendo is a matter of great importance. As an old man with nothing to prove, philosophy suits me best.
Composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. For Musashi, the way of the martial arts was a mastery of the mind rather than simply technical prowess—and it is this path to mastery that is the core teaching in The Book of Five Rings. This brilliant manifesto is written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life.
Written over three centuries ago by a samurai warrior, the book has been hailed as a limitless source of psychological insight for businessmen - or anyone who relies on strategy and tactics for outwitting the competition.
Note: This is an illustrated edition of the book for an engaging read.
'When you attain the Way of strategy, there will not be one thing you cannot see.'
Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings
Shortly before his death in 1645, the undefeated swordsman Miyamoto Musashi retreated to a cave to live as a hermit. There he wrote five scrolls describing the "true principles" required for victory in the martial arts and on the battlefield. Instead of relying on religion or theory, Musashi based his writings on his own experience, observation, and reason.
The scrolls, published as The Book of Five Rings, have recently gained an international reputation in the business world as a means of resolving differences and achieving success. But their delineation of the psychological strength, rigorous self-control, and practical application necessary for dealing with physical and mental conflict also has a wider relevance and can be usefully applied to all our lives.
Uno de los rasgos más característicos de los samuráis era la serenidad con la que se enfrentaban a su adversario, que encaraban con una objetividad y una concentración absolutas. Y es que sabían que para garantizar su victoria era necesario contar con una estrategia de combate imbatible.
Estos principios no sólo son aplicables en las artes marciales, sino que el uso de la técnica y la estrategia puede resultar fundamental para vencer a nuestros adversarios en cualquier ámbito. Pues tanto en los negocios como en la vida, nos enfrentamos a batallas constantemente y para resultar ganadores debemos contar con las herramientas adecuadas.
La obra de Miyamoto Masashi, el legendario samurái que jamás perdió un combate, analiza el proceso de lucha y dominio del conflicto que subyace en todos los niveles de la interacción humana y es uno de los textos más profundos jamás escritos sobre el arte de la confrontación y la victoria.