Epilogue

Recorded in the above book is an outline of my school of sword-fighting.

To learn how to win with the long sword in strategy, first learn the five approaches and the five attitudes, then absorb the Way of the long sword naturally in your body. You must sharpen the spirit to understand rhythm, handle the long sword naturally, and move your body with total freedom in harmony with your spirit. Whether beating one man or two, you will then know what is good or bad in strategy.

Study the contents of this book, practice one item at a time, and through fighting with enemies you will gradually come to know the principle of the Way of Strategy.

Deliberately, with a patient spirit, absorb the virtue of all this, from time to time raising your hand in combat. Maintain this spirit whenever you cross swords with and enemy.

Even a thousand-mile road is walked one step at a time. It is the duty of a warrior to study this art without hurry and practice it over the years. Try to defeat today what you were yesterday, defeat lesser men tomorrow, and stronger men the day after.

Train according to this book, not allowing your heart to be swayed along a side-track. Even if you defeat an enemy, if you do so in a way contrary to what you have learned, you are not following the true Way. If you grasp this principle, you will be able to defeat fifty or sixty men single-handedly. When that happens, you will have reached enlightenment in the way of strategy through swordsmanship, for large battles as well as individual combat. I call practice for a thousand days tan [hardening], practice for ten thousand days ren [practice. Musashi here divides the word tanren or drill. One thousand days refers to three years and ten thousand to thirty. Musashi's intention is explaining that one must continue to seek the way].
Comments