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We Love Swords, Knives, Ninjas, Samurai's & Martial Arts. Do You?

20 Apr '16

Just got back from Asia.

Posted by Matt Grant

Spent time in Hong Kong, China and Japan looking for new stuff and seeing what was out there.  I am always impressed by how much time and effort it taken into making the items we buy and sell.  We require a very high standard and the factories know it and are very good at it.  I am especially impressed with the manufacturing of the Musashi Sword.  In the past I have studied Sun Tzu the Art of War book but I decided that I should look at  The Book of 5 Rings by Miyamoto, Musashi.  One of the things that interested me in this book is that I am a Jiu Jitsu Competitor and one of our fellow Riberio Affiliates is 5 Rings. One of my best competitors is from that School based in Oregon so I thought maybe I could see what they were studying and learn some pointers.

This is an incredible book.  Very short but has a lot of good advice for those who are considering using a sword or performing in a martial art like JiuJitsu.  I got this from Wikepedia that explains a lot about the book and does it much better then if I would.

The Book of Five Rings (五輪書 Go Rin no Sho?) is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645. There have been various translations made over the years, and it enjoys an audience considerably broader than only that of martial artists: for instance, some business leaders find its discussion of conflict and taking the advantage to be relevant to their work. The modern-day Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū employs it as a manual of technique and philosophy.

Musashi establishes a "no-nonsense" theme throughout the text. For instance, he repeatedly remarks that technical flourishes are excessive, and contrasts worrying about such things with the principle that all technique is simply a method of cutting down one's opponent. He also continually makes the point that the understandings expressed in the book are important for combat on any scale, whether a one-on-one duel or a massive battle. Descriptions of principles are often followed by admonitions to "investigate this thoroughly" through practice rather than trying to learn them by merely reading.

Miyamoto Musashi in his prime, wielding two bokken.

Musashi describes and advocates a two-sword style (nitōjutsu): that is, wielding both katana and wakizashi, contrary to the more traditional method of wielding the katana two-handed. However, he only explicitly describes wielding two swords in a section on fighting against many adversaries. The stories of his many duels rarely refer to Musashi himself wielding two swords, although, since they are mostly oral traditions, their details may be inaccurate. Some suggest that Musashi's meaning was not so much wielding two swords "simultaneously", but rather acquiring the proficiency to (singly) wield either sword in either hand as the need arose.[citation needed] However, Musashi states within the volume that one should train with a long sword in each hand, thereby training the body and improving one's ability to use two blades simultaneously.


I would suggest this book as a good read for anyone even those interested in Business can learn from this book.  Amazing that something written almost 400 years ago would still have application to what is going on today.