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Miyamoto Musashi quotes page 1

c. 1584 - 1645, Japanese swordsman, Author of The Book of Five Rings

You can only fight the way you practice.
Miyamoto Musashi

The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.
Miyamoto Musashi

You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.
Miyamoto Musashi

In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.
Miyamoto Musashi

The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful
at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.
Miyamoto Musashi

In fighting and in everyday life you should be determined through calm. Meet the situation
without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. An elevated spirit is
weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.
Miyamoto Musashi

Respect the gods, without relying on their help.
Miyamoto Musashi

All men are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others
may think of them.
Miyamoto Musashi

To know ten thousand things, know one well.
Miyamoto Musashi

Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eyes.
Miyamoto Musashi

To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself, thus the long
sword is the basis of strategy. The principle is "strategy by means of the long sword". If he
attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men. Just as one man can beat
ten, so a hundred men can beat a thousand, and a thousand men can beat ten thousand. In
my strategy, one man is the same as ten thousand, so this strategy is the complete warrior's
craft.
Miyamoto Musashi

Think lightly of yourself and think deeply of the world.
Miyamoto Musashi

Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over
yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.
Miyamoto Musashi

Do nothing which is of no use.
Miyamoto Musashi

You win battles by knowing the enemy's timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not
expect.
Miyamoto Musashi

It is said the warrior's is the twofold way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for
both ways.
Miyamoto Musashi

In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and
in everyday life you should be determined though calm.
Miyamoto Musashi

In large-scale strategy, it is beneficial to strike at the corners of the enemy's force; if the
corners are overthrown, the spirit of the whole body will be overthrown.
Miyamoto Musashi

If you rely on strength, when you hit the enemy's sword you will inevitably hit too hard. If
you do this, your own sword will be carried along as a result. Thus the saying, "The strongest
hand wins", has no meaning. In large-scale strategy, if you have a strong army and are
relying on strength to win, but the enemy also has a strong army, the battle will be fierce.
This is the same for both sides. Without the correct principle the fight cannot be won. The
spirit of my school is to win through the wisdom of strategy...
Miyamoto Musashi

This is the way for men who want to learn my strategy:
Do not think dishonestly.
The way is in training.
Become acquainted with every art.
Know the ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.
Miyamoto Musashi

When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must
not be influenced by the opponent. Train diligently to attain this spirit.
Miyamoto Musashi

You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
Miyamoto Musashi

Fixedness means a dead hand. Pliability is a living hand. You must bear this in mind.
Miyamoto Musashi

When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away,
there is the true void.
Miyamoto Musashi

In my doctrine, I dislike preconceived, narrow spirit. You must study this well.
Miyamoto Musashi

You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that
matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have
as much weaponry as suits you.
Miyamoto Musashi

If you wish to control others you must first control yourself.
Miyamoto Musashi

Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy.
Miyamoto Musashi

When you have come to grips and are striving together with the enemy, and you realize that
you cannot advance, you "soak in" and become one with the enemy. You can win by applying
a suitable technique while you are mutually entangled... You can win often decisively with the
advantage of knowing how to "soak"  into the enemy, whereas, were you to draw apart, you
would lose the chance to win.
Miyamoto Musashi

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