71 Quotes By Miyamoto Musashi That Will Help You Battle All Odds In Life
Swordsman & Warrior
Miyamoto Musashi was one of the best known Japanese swordsmen and because he was self-taught in this art, he is also known as rōnin. Though there is not much information about Musashi, yet his book ‘The Book of Five Rings’ (Go Rin no Sho) tells a lot about him and his origin.
He was born at Shinmen Takezo in the Harima Province of Japan and was named Shinmen Musashi-no-Kami Fujiwara no Genshin. His father Shinmen Munisai was a samurai who was skilled in kenjutsu as well as juttejutsu and this was probably how Musashi developed an inclination towards this combatting art. Shortly after his birth his mother died and hence, he was under the parent ship of his stepmother called Toshiko, but after his father divorced this lady, he was sent to the Shoreian temple to his uncle Dorin who was a monk there. During his stay there he learnt about Zen Buddhism and also given primary education. Not much is known about his family after this point, as his book is more about fighting tactics.
As stated by him, his first achievement as a swordsman was at the age of thirteen when he defeated a samurai named Arima Kibei. From then on, there was no looking back and it was him who first realized that only getting better at handling the sword is not enough. To win a combat one must know other strategies like gauging the moves of the opponent and plan their moves in accordance. Thus, the world was introduced to the book of strategies by Miyamoto Musashi which has not lost the lustre even after centuries.
Here is a treasure of quotes by this impeccable swordsman which will tell you how to move forward in life.
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. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain Do nothing that is of no use The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them If you wish to control others you must first control yourself From one thing, know ten thousand things You can only fight the way you practice It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye. Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man. In battle, if you you make your opponent flinch, you have already won. Do not regret what you have done Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom. If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you All man are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions To know ten thousand things, know one well The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast….Of course, slowness is bad. Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour. To become the enemy, see yourself as the enemy of the enemy The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things. Know your enemy, know his sword. 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. Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. Under the sword lifted high, There is hell making you tremble. But go ahead, And you have the land of bliss. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the ways of different arts one by one. When in a fight to the death, one wants to employ all one's weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one's sword still sheathed is most regrettable. Never stray from the Way. A bullet from a gun does not make a distinction between practice and combat. You are training to be one and the same way in your life Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything. Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast. Do nothing which is of no use I dreamt of worldly success once. Step by step walk the thousand-mile road. Become acquainted with every art. If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything. When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love. Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is ... A thousand days of training to develop, ten thousand days of training to polish. You must examine all this well. You should not have a favourite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study. Immature strategy is the cause of grief". Nobody is strong and nobody is weak if he conceives of the body, from the head to the sole of the foot, as a unity in which a living mind circulates everywhere equally. When you attack the enemy, your spirit must go to the extent of pulling the stakes out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds. It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. If you are not progressing along the true way, a slight twist in the mind can become a major twist. This must be pondered well. What I call the void is where nothing exists. It is about things outside man's knowledge. Of course the void does not exist. By knowing what exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void. Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor. It is necessary to know ten thousand things by knowing one well. If you are to practice the way of strategy, nothing must escape your eyes.54 Reflect well on this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him. More than anything, you must be thinking of carrying your movement through to cutting him. You win battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect. Guard. It is in this sense that I recommend the guard without a guard. Whatever the situation is, you hold the sword so that you can slash your opponent. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. The essential is to think that anything you are doing has to become the occasion for slashing. You must examine this well. In strategy it is necessary to treat training as part of normal life with your spirit unchanging. In sum, it is not good to let the hand or the sword become fixed or frozen.87 A fixed hand is a dead hand; a hand that does not become fixed is alive. It is necessary to master this well.
This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.
Know that there are no other forms apart from these five in the School of the Two Swords.
Observe their attacking order, and go to meet first those who attack first.
This Fudo Myo-o, whose name means “Immovable Wisdom King,” is represented with a sword to cut through our ignorance and a rope to bind up our emotions
Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them. Immature strategy is the cause of grief.” That was a true saying.