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Many people around the world have read "The Book of Five Rings" (Go Rin no Sho) by the great Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Even though the book is about swordsmanship, it is one of the greatest works on tactics ever written. Musashi's book is to tactics what Sun Tsu's "The Art of War" is to strategy. It is practically required reading for any Japanese businessperson and anyone that wants to do business with them. The ideas expressed in the book can be applied to virtually every interaction between individuals or groups. Of course as a martial arts practitioner, I am most interested in the philosophies as they can be applied to the art that I teach, Aikido (in addition to Wing Chun, of which I am a student).
In the "Earth Scroll" section of his book, Musashi lists the rules for those intending to pursue his martial art:
1.Think of what is right and true.
2.Practice and cultivate the science.
3.Become acquainted with the arts.
4.Know the principles of the crafts.
5.Understand the harm and benefit in everything.
6.Learn to see everything accurately.
7.Become aware of what is not obvious.
8.Be careful even in small matters.
9.Do not do anything useless.
In my search for a name for my Aikido school, I recently re-read portions of The Book of Five Rings (TBOFR), including these "dojo rules" from the Earth Scroll. I remember reading them the first time and being struck by the principles outlined in them. My training as an engineer and work teaching physic