Musashi’s Nine Principles of Strategy

Musashi1.  Do not think dishonestly
2.  The way is in the training
3.  Become acquainted with every art.
4.  Know the ways of all professions.
5.  Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
6.  Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
7.  Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
8. Pay attention even to trifles.
9. Do nothing which is of no use.

— Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings

Timing in Strategy

MusashiThere is timing in everything.  Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.

Timing is important in dancing and pipe and string music, for they are in rhythm only if timing is good.  Timing and rhythm are also involved in the military arts, shooting bows and guns, and riding horses.  In all skills and abilities there is timing.

There is also timing in the Void.

There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord.  Similarly, there is timing in the Ways of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital.  All things entail rising and falling timing.  You must be able to discern this.  In strategy there are various timing considerations.  From the outset you must know the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing. and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow timings find the relevant timing, first seeing the distance timing and the background timing.  This is the main thing in strategy.  It is especially important to know the background timing, otherwise your strategy will become uncertain.

You will win battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect.

–Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings

I wish to express my gratitude to my teacher of many years in the Art of Aikido, Bobby Ishibashi, who explained to me the most important aspects of relating with an attacker:  distance and blending.     — HNS