The legendary text of The Book of the Five Rings is written by a master swordsman and artist who was known as Miyamoto Musashi. During the Kyoto Renaissance, the swordsman traveled around Japan in search of self-discovery and to learn the many styles of Martial Arts. During his travels, he studied under the careful and wise guidance of his many teachers and leaders. From his lessons, he only adapted methods that were efficient and effective. All others, he disposed of. This particular preference of his led him to 60 battles, all of which where he was victorious.

Perhaps sensing his own end due to a disease, he decided to be purified on October 10, 1643. This led him into yet another journey where he climbed the Mount Iwato to retreat and write his ponderings for anyone willing to listen. The book of Five Rings was born out of passion and the desire to lead strong warriors who were looking for advice.

The book offers much advice that applied in the ancient ages and still applies in this modern and complicated world. The book of the Five Rings is so effective in its teachings and wisdom, it’s a required text reading at the famous Harvard College. This text while difficult to understand for some, offers many useful words for every facet of life. While many of the students or readers who choose to read this text may not be waging battles against the same foes of Miyamato Musashi, the principles are still the same. Below you will find various influential lines from the book of the Five Rings.


Find anyway to visualize your success with any amount of resources available to you, even if the resources seem un-related or are scarce.

Be sure you train enough to be able to use your developed skills anytime the situation calls for them. Make sure you train constantly. Your training is never finished and you are always growing.

By constantly educating yourself and using your knowledge, you will be miles ahead of your enemies and competitors.

How to Use This Method

  • Any thoughts you have should be without dishonesty.
  • Keep yourself grounded in the facts.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just one method or study. Constantly broaden your horizons and educate yourself. When you’re done with that, re- educate yourself. You are never done learning.
  • Be aware and educated in all occupations in life.
  • Know the pros and cons to everything.
  • It’s important to have a sharp eye for detail and pay attention to the big picture rather than just a small detail in the big picture.
  • Learn how to see beyond deception.
  • Understand that there is more than what meets the eye.
  • Avoid impractical matters or methods. This means doing away with methods or strategies that don’t serve you well.
  • Constant practicing of your trade/passion will produce finesse results.
  • When practicing martial arts, you become almost super human. Constant and methodical practice in the martial arts will teach you how to be effective, strong, and lethal in the results you deliver.
  • To achieve the results you desire, you can’t take short cuts and cheat yourself in any way. To achieve the results you’re looking for, it requires time, patience and dedication.
  • When handling the sword in an ill frame of mind, the results will be poor or disastrous. You cannot win with roughness.
  • Know the truth of the matter. Do not lose yourself in the details or be overwhelmed by information overload. Keep yourself composed no matter what.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of sticking to one and only one method. By doing so, you’re becoming narrow minded and closing the door to opportunities to learn and be enlightened. Always keep an open mind but throw away whatever doesn’t work for you.
  • When paying attention to failings and winnings, watch for patterns. Identify these patterns and use them to your advantage.
  • Don’t trouble yourself over small trivial matters. These are a waste of time and your time is better of spent towards something much more beneficial to you, your life, or your business.
  • Think outside the box. If you’re thinking of a specific strategy, who’s to say your opponent isn’t? This is a waste of time. Think outside the box and go against the grain of things.
  • Don’t attempt to become a jack of all trades. You’ll lose yourself in all the details and it’s not possible to remember every little thing that is required for each of the trades. Instead, master a trade and stick to it. Continue to educate yourself so you can be seen as the master or expert of that trade. People will be more impressed if you’re a legitimate expert in one trade instead of claiming to be a jack of all trades and producing sloppy results.

These are some of the key points that this master swordsman left behind for his students. If one is to be successful in unraveling his hidden meanings, the student needs to have an open mind and find ways to apply Musashi’s philosophy to every aspect of their life. For a business person, this includes the health and development of their business.

A lot of the sayings and teachings of Musashi left behind were metaphorical. It’s up to the individual student or business owner to determine how each individual meaning is perceived and relates to the business. For instance:

If you wish to control others you must first control yourself” 

In order to be influential to others, you need to be well educated in your strategy or trade. You need to be self-disciplined so you can reflect this quality into the others around you.

And another:

“Know your enemy, know his sword.” 

If you want to defeat your opponent, know his strategy and where he/she is coming from. In order to know your enemy and your enemy’s fighting style, you need to educate yourself. Only by educating yourself on your enemy will you have an edge and be victorious.