This morning I was getting ready, and my daughter asked me why I write a “to-do” list every morning when I drink my coffee. I told her because it helps me stay focused on the things that I need to do. She looked at me and shrugged; then went off to watch Phineas and Ferb.
The only way I feel to achieve constant progression is with the proper strategy. This is not just in war, but if life. Keep in mind I am saying “constant” progression, meaning you are succeeding in one area over a long period of time. To do this, I feel you have to devise the correct strategy and then carry out the smaller tasks so that you can then complete the larger objective.
Everyday I wake up; I make a to-do list. Even if some of the same things that I write on the list were on yesterday’s list; I write again, because today is today and what I need to get done is today; this also is part of understanding the principals of Shibumi-do (下味道).
In 1605 Miyamoto Musashi wrote The Hyodokyo (The Mirror of the Way of Strategy) was Miyamoto Musashi’s first piece of work. These 28 strategies I read and utilize all of the time in my daily objectives in all realms of life. These strategies written by Musashi was when he was between the ages of 21 and 24 (Two copies are extant still in the present day) and was his first written work on strategy, before the Gorin no sho (book of the 5 rings).
Clearly anyone reads this even if they do not have martial training, can understand that these are strategies of war. But a marital artist should read them as strategies of life. As you read them, understand we do not carry a sword, so what is the same meaning of all of the statements in the present day? How can we take these great strategies and apply them today? Everything has meaning, strategy, principals, study them, contemplate on them, and you will find the answer.
THE HYODOKYO; 1605
The 28 Mirror Ways of Strategy; By Miyamoto Musashi
(01) The state of mind of strategy.
(02) The way of looking.
(03) The way of holding the sword.
(04) About sword combat.
(05) The way of moving from place to place.
(06) The way of holding the body.
(07) The way of cutting.
(08) How to change the situation in the mindset of combat.
(09) Getting the other to drop his sword.
(10) “In” in combat
(11) “Yo” in combat
(12) How to discern the others state.
(13) Delivering a blow
(14) How to take the initiative.
(15) Striking while turning the point of the sword.
(16) Attacking the legs
(17) Attacking the hand
(18) How to avoid the point of the enemy’s sword.
(19) How to pass above the enemy’s sword.
(20) Moving with sliding steps.
(21) Discerning the real intention.
(22) The two swords.
(23) How to throw shuriken.
(24) Fighting against many opponents.
(25) Using Jutte.
(26) How to draw the various swords.
(27) The ultimate strike
(28) The state of direct communication. (Jiki Tsu)
I hope that you all enjoy today’s lesson, take care and be safe.
Anshu Christa Jacobson
21st Soke of the Tomo Ryu Tradition
Headmistress of the Budo Ryu – School of the Warrior Way
Founder of the Budo Ryu Online University
Owner of the Ninjutsu Super Store
Chief Editor of the Shinobi no Mono Magazine
Founder of the Ninjutsu International Federation
Professional Model and Artist