Mastering the Art of War

Over my many years as a martial artist
I have always found that you cannot
rely on force to truly change an
‘enemy’s’ mind.

A true warrior knows that no peace is
won on the battlefield.

It is critical to understand this point.

I am astounded that so few, in positions
of leadership in our government and our
population at large,
have even the slightest familiarity
with this principle.

If you consult the most often quoted
and most misunderstood book on warfare,
Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, you find grotesque
and offensive abuses at the hands of the
modern State apparatus.

In his section on Attack By Stratagem
Tzu Laoshi (teacher Tzu) points out,

“The best thing of all is to take the
enemy’s country whole and intact.

Hence to fight and conquer in all
your battles is not supreme excellence;
supreme excellence consists in breaking
the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

When folks ask me about my the style of
martial art and what I teach I often tell them…
I teach the art of fighting without fighting.

Have you ever heard of this style before?

Furthermore, Laoshi Tzu reminds us that,
“…the worst policy of all is to
besiege walled cities.” And that,
“The rule is, not to besiege walled
cities if it can possibly be avoided.”

Teacher Tzu goes on to point out that any
leader who is unable to control his own
frustration and irritation will,

“…launch his men to the assault like
swarming ants, with the result that
one-third of his men are slain,
while the town still remains untaken.
Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.”

One of the worst things of all is that
the Art of War is used as a standard text
at the CIA, the FBI, and at the United States
most prestigious military academy, West Point.

Worse still, tens of thousands of
civilian and military leadership seem not
to have even a passing familiarity with this
most important text.

As the teacher of War admonishes us…

“If you know the enemy and know yourself,
you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles.

If you know yourself but not the enemy,
for every victory gained you will
also suffer a defeat.”

And the most disastrous of all…
“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself,
you will succumb in every battle.”

Arm yourself with wisdom of
laying plans, strategy, knowing people,
generalship, tactical dispositions,
the use of energy, and how to attack strong
and weak points before you ever begin to
consider the waging of war.
Words of Wisdom:

The Stoic Cicero was fond of saying,
“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”

Consider its many meanings.

Lead the way,
Matt Shannon

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