The Samurai Tradition And Modern Martial Arts

Chess is a sport a violent sport, . , , If it's anything at all, then it's a fight.

-—The painter Marcel Duchamp, quoted in Marcel Duchamp Plays and Wins by Yves Arman

.Like chess, the martial arts have evolved over thousands of years. Fear of death has a unique way of concentrating the mind and martial strategy has developed accordingly. As we learn more about the martial arts we are continually amazed at the myriad sophisticated and diabolically clever methods people have created to protect themselves and inconvenience others. This phenomenal, strategic databank can be applied for good or evil, and we aim to use it for good: specifically, to help you to improve your chess game and generally to hone your strategic skills in business and in life.

We draw our approach to strategy from many sources. Our strongest influence comes from the Samurai tradition of Japan, its greatest masters and modern pioneers: supreme swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi and Yamaoku Tesshu, judo founder Jigoro Kano, karate giant Gichin Funakoshi, and Morihei Ueshiba, the creator of aikido. While we recognize our debt to Japanese budo (the tradition of cultivating martial prowess, mental and spiritual development, and social responsibility), we must also acknowledge that we have been strongly influenced by two Chinese geniuses, one ancient, one modern. Sun Tzu, a Chinese general who lived 2,500 years ago, wrote a masterpiece of strategy titled The Art of War, which profoundly influenced the evolution of martial thought in Japan. Like Musashi's A Book of Five Rings, The Art of War has become an essential guidebook for military and business leaders everywhere. Bruce Lee (1949-73), known in the West primarily for his action movies, was a transcendentally magnificent martial artist and philosopher of strategy. His manual, the Tao of]eet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist), represents a synthesis of the best of martial strategy and tactics from all traditions.

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