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.