What are your thoughts about Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings?

Ivan

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I found it to help a lot when it comes to boxing, and it encouraged me to be more aggressive in my fighting style which helped a lot; it only kicked in today, and all the teachings I've read were just racing in my mind and I could feel myself trying my best to apply them in sparring today. I was just sparring and suddenly when we were poking each other I could just hear myself thinking:
"Establish your dominance, be on the offensive"
"Try to do something weird , surprise him"
"Don't show yourself as weak, even now, when you're catching your breath"
This book was eye opening to me, first time I've sparred since I've read it and I already feel better about my skills; I hope it's not a dud!
 
I find it unintelligible and my dojo president (RIP) was the first person to translate it into English!
 
There are parts, particularly regarding styles of swordsmanship and specific tactics, that are hard to understand as we have no firsthand experience with them. Do not forget, the Go Rin No Sho was not written as a commercial endeavor to be published and purchased by the public, or even other Samurai at large, so little was written with an outsider in mind. It was more of a personal guide book for his prot矇g矇 and perhaps a handful of followers.

I found much wisdom in this little book, both in regards to combat and in everyday life. The part explaining how a good carpenter can find uses for all kinds of wood, regardless of quality or appearance, with the moral being all things have uses if applied correctly, is a particular favorite. This has great application in personnel management.

The parts discussing one's bearing being the same in combat or everyday life, or that there is no unique "man cutting grip" also has wide applications. I read such gems as meaning we should approach any situation centered and not get stressed in extreme circumstances. In other words, keep your cool whether you are about to go on stage, ask for a raise, go into combat, or just ordering lunch. Do them all with the same self-assurance and poise.

I would suggest to any who find this book unintelligible to follow Musashi's advice and "wield the long sword broadly" and not get caught up in specifics, but take a broader outlook at the intent of this book and the wider meanings that can be found within.
 
Which versions/translations do you all favour?

The broad aspects of the book are, indeed, pretty straightforward , but the devil is in the detail and it is that which i find harder to discern.
 
Which versions/translations do you all favour?

The broad aspects of the book are, indeed, pretty straightforward , but the devil is in the detail and it is that which i find harder to discern.

The Zen one.

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Ah yes, the colouring-in version. Keep you crayons sharp;)
 

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