The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy

Front Cover
C.E. Tuttle, 1994 - Philosophy - 106 pages
23 Reviews
Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings is well known as a book of strategy and has been used by many as a means to understand contemporary Japanese business. However, Musashi himself was not a business person but a martial artist - the greatest warrior Japan has ever known - and the Five Rings was his definitive treatise on mortal combat. The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings interprets this classic book specifically for the martial artist as it was originally intended. It explains the truths necessary for a full understanding of Musashi's message in depth and undiluted by a businessman's bias. The result is an enthralling treatise on martial strategy that combines a warrior's instincts with the philosophies of Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Like the original, this new interpretation is divided into five sections. The Book of Earth lays the groundwork for the study; Water explains attitudes of warriorness through an understanding of strategy; Fire teaches fighting based on the Earth and Water principles; Wind describes the differences in Musashi's own style and the styles of other schools; and the Book of No-thing describes the "way" of nature as being understood through "unthinking" conceptions.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Musashi's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy

User Review  - Violet Propst - Goodreads

Although it isn't exactly a riveting narrative, I really believe that almost everyone can benefit from reading this. It is full of really wise advice and applies to so many different disciplines and ... Read full review

Review: Musashi's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy

User Review  - Seth Pierce - Goodreads

Classic work, some good stuff, but rather esoteric in many ways and not as concrete as Art of War. Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

ability able abyss advantage always ance approach armor attack attain attain perfection attitude attitude of destroying attitude of going aware battle beat the enemy become body and spirit Book of Earth Book of Fire Book of No-thing Book of No-thing-ness Book of Water Book of Wind cannot carpentry chosen art combat come to understand constant practice constantly constantly studied constantly to understand control the enemy control the situation conviction counter-strike craft craftsman cut him down cut the enemy defeat defeat the enemy deflection and parrying destroy the enemy develop ends the Book enemy down enemy like glue enemy's attitudes enemy's body enemy's face enemy's strength enemy's sword enemy's weapon essen essence of strategy essential extra long sword feint fight five approaches Five Rings foolish football FOOTWORK get you killed give the enemy go into combat heart hold the sword However Ichi school idea important kill the enemy killing strike KNOW THE ENEMY koans left side lose lower attack maintain martial arts martialist master master of strategy master strategy means meditation methods mitted move Musashi never no-thing no-thing-ness parrying techniques path perfection permit permit the enemy permit yourself physical possibility praise and admonish proper punch regardless regather regather himself regather his thoughts rely resolve and commit rhythm Samurai sary scare the enemy short sword shout situation skills slashing slay the enemy soul speed spir spirit stance and positioning stand yourself stantly straight and true strategy strength strike SUFFOCATE sword correctly sword in combat sword means teach technique thing itself thing-ness true truly two-sword unarmed understand my strategy understand rhythm understand strategy understand the enemy understand the need utter resolve warrior warrior attitude weak weapons win the fight Yin-Yang yourself

About the author (1994)

Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman commenced his extensive career in the martial arts in 1958, when he began studying karate on Okinawa while serving in the United States Air Force. He became one of the first U.S. Air Force karate instructors under the auspices of the American Karate Federation, accredited by the prestigious Japan Karate Association. Kaufman began teaching in New York City in 1961 and continues to this day, making him one of the "founding fathers" of American karate.

Bibliographic information