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1 Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:32 pm

If we're talking about debates, here's one I want to have.

Ever since my rereading of The Book of the Five Rings, I really did find his book complete and utter shit when spoken through his mouth.

Sun Tzu's Art of War will always be more practical and useful than Musashi's Book of the Five Rings.

Musashi is constantly stating how no one is perfect, how there is no greater martial art than another, just how the "spirit of the thing" takes you to whichever martial arts style yo seem to fit with, then has an entire chapter based on different martial arts styles, and why HIS fighting style is superior. My favorite is when he talks about those with the long swords, like nodachi, and goes so far as to call them cowards!

When Musashi fought Sasaki Kojiro, who was known for using a nodachi, and carved a bokken out of an oar, which was LONGER than Kojiro's nodachi, and was more like a suburito. This is, plain and simple, a cheat, and for a nobleman like himself to cheat like that, and go against what he called a "cowards weapon" shows he didn't really take what he was bashing and writing into much consideration.

Let's also look into the context that Musashi seems to think only in duels, and thus, mainly writes about one versus one battles, or two versus one. Every now and again does he mention something about fighting full scale war. Sun Tzu's entire book is about facing the odds, or finding a way to beat an enemy. However, Sun Tzu's advice is not so much vague, but very SPECIFIED to each particular situation that you can pull it into every day occurrences like work, or life, or love or whatever.

Thus, Sun Tzu's Art of War, is way better than Musashi's Book of the Five Rings.

Please, flame me.

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2 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:59 pm

I haven't read either but from what I've heard of them, Mushashi's IDEAS are practical, and in some ways very philosphical, but beyond that I don't care much for looking into. However Sun Tzu's book I do very much hope to find because of the usefulness of what he writes about and how you said, can fit into everyday situations.

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3 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:55 pm

You should really read them both Joey. Sun Tzu's books is really just a collection of 3-6 sentence philosophies. It's really to understand and REALLY practical.

Musashi is great, but he's a hypocrite and he's pretty ego-centric. The main difference, as Colton and you have said, is that Sun Tzu's teachings can be more widely used in different settings. "The Art of War" is actually required reading for most Fortune 500 CEO's, whereas Musashi's book is more related to purely martial arts, but not completely.


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Corruption causes justice to appear as insanity. - Saito Hajime, "Samurai X: Trust & Betrayl"
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4 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:42 pm

the copy of 5 rings i have is marketed towards business people. I have read too little of it to make an argument against colton on this one. art of war, however, was required reading for many samurai children, though, so it's likely that musashi would have read it as a boy.

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5 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:39 pm

The Art of War may be more comprehensive and easier to understand, but it only outlines war. So yes you're right in the respect that it will be more practical and useful in war. But Musashi's book takes aim at the spirit of being a complete and successful warrior. In my opinion, Musashi's book is more of a guide to success in life. He just happened to have made his examples with his own experiences as a samurai. Musashi's book teaches one how to determine the spirit of a given situation, and choose the correct way to overcome it. No single school is best because they can all be beaten, however; not by any single way. There is a way to overcome anything, which is found in overcoming nothing.

Most of his teachings are metaphorical, philosophical, and more difficult to grasp. However, it is the contradicting dualities found in his teachings which give his work more usefulness in life. For example "style/no-style." This concept is like a paradoxical marriage of two extremes. If they were ever to actually meet, they would annihilate each other. Simply put.. You cannot have one without the existence of the other, and they can never merge to form a structured "perfect style." Musashi wants the reader to understand that only through study of both extremes SIMULTANEOUSLY, can one choose the appropriate attitude necessary to defeat any given opponent in any given situation.


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6 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:49 pm

simply put then, Musashi's goal was self exploration, right? reminds me alot of Bruce Lee both in his "lost interview" and the bits of his personal philosophy that he inserted into his character on the "Longstreet" TV series.

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7 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:37 pm

Musashi was most definitely focused on improvement of the self. But look at the way he went about it.. He improved himself to the point where his skills were unmatched with a sword, and then improved all others to the same effect with his book. His is the example of the art of self/selfless. Whereas Sun Tzu's is simply the art of war. Musashi thinks the way to win a war is to make yourself better than the opponent. Sun Tzu thinks the way to win a war is to make your opponent worse than yourself. Now which of those two do you find more tasteful? Improving yourself, or disproving your opponent?

Personally, I like Musashi's book better. Yeah, he might be a douche.. But his approach is more favorable to me. I'd rather learn from a bona-fide badass than a little bitch with a big head.


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My redemption lies in your demise.

W H I T E B R E A D
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8 Re: Debate on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:42 pm

I feel that a martial artist should always strive for perfection in life, not simply as a fighter, but as a human being. however, in combat, you will eventually find someone who is better than you. in cases like these, i think sun tzu's approach is more appropriate if you wish to survive.

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9 Re: Debate on Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Ive reread both many times. Musashis is more introverted while the Art of War is more extroverted. The way i look at it, they are both extremes. Musashi is more an individual practice where as the Art of War is more for the commanding thousands. They both are at their own end of the spectrum and i believe in conjuction they are what everybody needs to know to live a warrior lifestyle.

To understand them both, means to be a great commander and a great fighter. Thing/No-thing.

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