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Miyamoto Musashi – The Book of Five Rings

Miyamoto Musashi (1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezo, was an expert Japanese Swordsman, Ronin, and an author of the Book of Five Rings.

Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent and unique double-bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 60 duels. He founded the Hyoho Niten Ichi-Ryu style of swordsmanship. The name literally translates as “Two Heavens as One” or “Two Swords as One”.

In his final years, he authored The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still being studied today.

This little book is not about aikido, it doesn’t even contain a hint about it but it does have a lot of information for you to understand the way of a successful swordsman, his mind, and spirit. Aikido is a martial art and when a need to use your skills in a real-life will comes – your spirit also has to be prepared.  A good Irimi Nage during your classes won’t do it by itself. If you ever had a real street fight without the rules you know that wins the one with a bigger temper (spirit), not with a bigger biceps or the best technique. Musashi had much to say about this with his experience and he did it through the book.

It’s kind of a dry text inside the book and it’s a good example where the deficiencies are a continuation of the qualities. No drama inside, nothing but advice from the author like do this, work it out, and some thoughts. Once you get fully in the book it’s up to your feelings and stories from inside of your heart that will have a new solution due to Miyamoto Musashi’s spirit. You never know until you read. Full book here.

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