Wisdom from The Book of Five Rings

“Determine that today you will overcome yourself of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill, and later you will win over those of greater skill.” 

Miyamoto Musashi

Fight Your Self:

  1. There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.
  2. If you wish to control others you must first control yourself.
  3. Do not think dishonestly.
  4. Do not regret what you have done.
  5. When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.

This life is not about us alone, we become emotionally attached to one thing or another and desires fire up our ego, our ego must not be killed (as this will enslave us to those whose egos are growing unchecked) but rather disciplined and we need to start deleting the need to please others and instead grow higher values within us. 

Seek Wisdom & Detach Stupidity:

  1. You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.
  2. Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.
  3. It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet.
  4. To become the enemy, see yourself as the enemy of the enemy.
  5. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
  6. It is said the warrior’s is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.
  7. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way.

We live our life and come across the wisest and the stupidest. Within us, we also have both wisdom and stupidity that we express or withhold – the key is to understand which is which.

Detach from ‘Things’:

  1. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
  2. Do nothing that is of no use.
  3. You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter.
  4. The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.

Fear does not fade away, and neither do monsters regardless if the monster is another or our self. We hold on to ‘things’ as we fear an empty life. Understanding fear and how its used to control us is the key for a more balanced life.


  1. You can only fight the way you practice.
  2. When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy…attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last.
  3. If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you.
  4. The Way is in training.
  5. Become acquainted with every art.
  6. Know the Ways of all professions.
  7. Never stray from the Way.
  8. Step by step walk the thousand-mile road.

The person we see in the mirror is not one of reason or responsibility. There is a soul that is imprisoned in the emotional body we see, its a prison that we have accepted – made by society, family and culture. Our mission is to keep learning but not dishonouring our soul.

Mohammed Abbasi

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