Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gorin No Sho excerpt from the Water Book

Gorin No Sho


Miyamoto Musashi

The Book of Five Rings

An exerpt from the Water Book




The spirit of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy is based on water, and this Water Book explains methods of victory as the long-sword form of the Ichi school. Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively. Study this book; read a word then ponder on it. If you interpret  the meaning loosely you will mistake the Way.


The principles of strategy are written down here in terms of single comba,t but you must think broadly so that you attain an understanding for ten-thousand-a-side battles.


Strategy is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways.


If you merely read this book you will not reach  the Way of strategy.  Absorb the things
written in this book. Do not just read, memorize or imitate, but, so that you realize the principle from within your own heart study hard to absurd these things into your body.

The  Flowing Water Cut


The "Flowing Water Cut" is used when you are struggling blade to blade with the enemy. When he breaks and quickly withdraws trying to spring with his long sword, expand your body and spirit and cut him as slowly as possible with your long sword, following your body like stagnant water. You can cut with certainty if you learn this. You must discern  the enemy's grade.


Continuous Cut


When you attack and the enemy also attacks, and your swords spring together, in

one action cut his head, hands and legs. When you cut several places with one sweep of the long sword, it is the "Continuous Cut". You must practice this cut; it is often used. With detailed practice you should be able to understand it.


The  Fire  and Stones Cut


The Fires and Stones Cut means  that when the enemy's long sword and your long

sword clash together you cut as strongly as possible without raising the sword even a little. This means cutting quickly with the hands, body and legs - all three cutting strongly. If you train well enough you will be able to strike strongly.


The  Red  Leaves Cut


The Red Leaves Cut [allusion to falling, dying leaves. - Slaegr] means knocking down the enemy's long sword. The spirit should be getting control of his sword. When the enemy is in a long sword attitude in front of you and intent on cutting, hitting and parrying, you

strongly hit the enemy's long sword with the Fire and Stones Cut, perhaps in the spirit of the "No

Design,  No Conception" Cut. If you then beat down the point of his sword with a sticky feeling, he will necessarily drop the sword. If you practise this cut it becomes easy to make the

enemy drop his sword. You must train repetitively.


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