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on 18 November 2001
The Book of Five Rings is an essential to serious martial artists and swordsmen everywhere, Master Miyamoto outlines his school of two skies, and breaks down other swordforms and why they failed against him, in his many years as a duelist and warrior, he never failed to down an opponent.
This book can be used for buisnessmen, however, you have to inference how yourself, there is a buisness version of this book,
written by Donald G. Krause, that directly relates Master Miyamoto's principles to buisness.
Whether you are martial artist, swordsmen, or buisnessman, this book is a usefull tool and represents a man who understood a great deal about the human psyche when the term was not even heard of.
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on 4 March 2010
Apart from anything else, this book is very interesting. As a tool, it is useful as far as you can apply mostly sword/battle-specific stratagems to a wider use.
For me, I believe the stratagies suggest a winning state of mind or feeling, alluded to as 'The Way'.
I enjoyed this book!
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on 2 July 2002
The text provided by the 'Book of Five Rings' will not show you techniques that will defeat all attackers or show you how to develop killer kicks. What it will do is provide the doorway to the thinking behind the martial arts. Although the Book was originally intended for the swordsman, any martial artist will find this book enlightening. The views on tactics that should be employed is an aspect that is sorely missed from many other titles.
Speaking as a martial artist that trains in many different styles, the Book looks into how to turn a kick/punch/projection, into a force in its own right. Don't be misled however! As good as this book is, it is no substitute for actual training. Its use is better when the reader can sit an dthink how its lessons can be applied to both his/her training and fighting technique.
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on 1 July 2007
The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a GREAT book, if you take time to properly absorb and understand ALL of its teachings. It's not a very long book and so would be easy to read a few times over so that you get a proper flavour of the important message being presented.

A better and easier to digest version (IMHO) of this small book is "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets" by by Boye De Lafayette Mente, who very cleverly summarises this book into 42 easy to digest and understand and apply chapters.

The ideas in this book are NOT dangerous to anyone in the least, IF you balance and apply ALL of the lessons within it - that's the idea that the great undefeated warrior Musashi was trying to put across. The life saving principles he expounds here are designed to help us all have a better, easier and more fulfilled life, Martial Artist or not. His strategies can be applied and used by anyone.

"A knife is dangerous for anyone - you just have to learn how to use is safely & intelligently"

We are all so lucky & truly blessed that, nearly 400 years ago, someone called Lord Hosokawa had the foresight to ask the ageing Musashi to write down his secrets of success. Musashi himself was not only extremely talented but must have been a very intelligent man for his time to write such a treatise.

The comment (else ware) about this book not being for beginners is misleading I think, it isn't that hard to understand and extrapolate the true meaning and intentions that Musashi was trying to put across.

Don't be put off by ANY of the negative criticisms (in other reviews), it's only because they've missed the point or just quickly scanned & glossed over the book.

Although we are not entirely certain of Musashi's religious bent, Musashi bases his book [loosely] on the Zen Buddhist philosophies of the Five Elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Wind & Emptiness. One of his close associates was Takuan Soho, author of "The Unfettered Mind".
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on 1 July 2007
The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a GREAT book, if you take time to properly absorb and understand ALL of its teachings. It's not a very long book and so would be easy to read a few times over so that you get a proper flavour of the important message being presented.

A better and easier to digest version (IMHO) of this small book is "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets" by by Boye De Lafayette Mente, who very cleverly summarises this book into 42 easy to digest and understand and apply chapters.

The ideas in this book are NOT dangerous to anyone in the least, IF you balance and apply ALL of the lessons within it - that's the idea that the great undefeated warrior Musashi was trying to put across. The life saving principles he expounds here are designed to help us all have a better, easier and more fulfilled life, Martial Artist or not. His strategies can be applied and used by anyone.

"A knife is dangerous for anyone - you just have to learn how to use is safely & intelligently"

We are all so lucky & truly blessed that, nearly 400 years ago, someone called Lord Hosokawa had the foresight to ask the ageing Musashi to write down his secrets of success. Musashi himself was not only extremely talented but must have been a very intelligent man for his time to write such a treatise.

The comment (else ware) about this book not being for beginners is misleading I think, it isn't that hard to understand and extrapolate the true meaning and intentions that Musashi was trying to put across.

Don't be put off by ANY of the negative criticisms (in other reviews), it's only because they've missed the point or just quickly scanned & glossed over the book.

Although we are not entirely certain of Musashi's religious bent, Musashi bases his book [loosely] on the Zen Buddhist philosophies of the Five Elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Wind & Emptiness. One of his close associates was Takuan Soho, author of "The Unfettered Mind".
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on 23 February 2014
As others have noted, by comparison with Hagakure, this is much more concise and structured. Hagakure is a sequence of anecdotes, whereas the Book of Five Rings is more an ordered programme. I wonder if there was ever an illustrated version? Some of the sections lend themselves to that thought as the descriptions take some understanding. Nevertheless, the philosophy is as fascinating as the practical aspects, and the lessons are applicable in so many other walks of life.
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on 2 March 2012
This book is simply great. In a world (both past and present) where environments are created to suit the masses, here is a book that challenges common knowledge. It cuts through complacent attitudes and hipocratic learnings and provides an insight into a Ronin's life and what could be attained though dedication and self-dicipline.

What the book presents is a rare case of mastery and the means to attain personal success, devoid of the consideration for rewards. A victory that is attained through unconventional means and a very difficult trait to achieve, a life attained through pain and strife. If you need to get away from bounded rationality, do get a copy and try and understand the underlying message of the book.
The seller Kirk Patrick is probably superman, the book got delivered the second day itself. I don't know how the seller does it, but it seems the seller 'reads' what he sells.
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on 24 October 1997
He is a phenomonal writer. He has written an encrypted owners manual to the mind, body and spirit and put in a very eloquent but realistic way....He provides a way of evolving and mastering yourself and your actions. This is one of the best books of the millenium...No doubt about it...
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on 9 March 2014
I give this full marks because firstly, I am a business man and constantly research new ways to make my business and its endeavors more sharper and successful. I find that this book never fails to help me in doing this, and in many other most positive ways as well. Secondly, I do find a lot of joy in the study and research of martial arts. I love eastern wisdom, history and philosophy and I find that within it, there is such vast and most positive amounts of things to offer, particularly in the line of wisdoms and betterment. I find that this book is one of the most important and useful sources of information and wisdom which I have been lucky enough to attain in my collection of such knowledge available to the public so far and because it helped me so possible in the vast way which I did, I definitely would give this 100%. Hence full marks.
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on 6 May 2001
I bought this book hesitantly, as I was only just getting into philosophy, but it has provided me with an excellent base of thought. The book clearly demonstrates Eastern Philosophy, and the swordmanship techniques are described well, although not illustrated.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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