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Sun Tzu and the Martial Arts

How Sun Tzu's Art of War applies to the individual martial artist

Most serious martial artists consider Sun Tzu's Art of War to be required reading.  It is a martial art for the mind that can be practiced and applied with the physical aspects of training and competition. 

One of the key ingredients for the individual martial artists is Sun Tzu's discussion on deception.  Deception causes the deceived to take action that is otherwise not in their best interest.  That means, for example, that the block high when they should have blocked low because you made it appear you were striking high.

Sun Tzu describes psychological skills of deception, positioning, and energy conservation that the masters learn to apply to fighting through many years of experience.  The application of these ideas, whether learned from Sun Tzu or through experience, explain why older fighters often defeat younger, more agile upstarts, even after those upstarts have attained black belts.  It takes time to learn this higher level of martial arts thinking and how to apply it.  Sun Tzu's ideas, when taken to heart, can accelerate that process.

As written, Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War will improve the ability of the martial artist to think while fighting and use his or her mind to win the physical fight.  The companion card deck provides a tool for training and drilling the mind just as you would train and drill the body.  When the idea in the cards come to you without thinking, just as you might block or move in a fight without thinking, then you will see your fighting move to a higher level.

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Copyright 2004 Robert L. Cantrell All Rights Reserved