Sun Tzu the Art of War
Interpretation and Explanation by Osama El-Kadi
"The Art of War"
In Sun Tzu the Art of War Chapter one, Master Sun believed that even before considering a confrontation; for whatever purpose, it is essential to calculate a complete analysis of the situation.
I. Analysing the Situation
The Five Fundamentals of Strategy
1. Sun Tzu said: The Art of Strategy is of vital importance to the nation
2. In situation of life or death, it the way of winning or defeat, its study cannot be ignored.
3. Therefore, before any confrontation, analyse the five fundamental elements of strategy and compare the results for all involved
4. The first is Mission: The second is change, The third is ground, The forth is leadership, The fifth is art.
5. The Mission inspires people to be in complete unity with their leaders, Therefore, they will join in regardless of any danger even for their lives.
6. The Change is yin and yang, right or wrong, and the systems of time.
7. The Ground is where the confrontation takes place, obstructed or easy, far or close and the chances of winning or defeat.
8. The Leadership is ability, credibility, humaneness, bravery and discipline
9. The Art is a flexible system of skills brought to the ground of operation.
10. Leaders must be familiar with these five, those who know them well will win and those who don't understand them, will be defeated.
Examining the five Fundamentals
11. When analysing the five fundamentals, examine each one carefully for all involved in the confrontation:
12. Now tell me: which side has a mission? Which leader has ability? which leader can influence change and the ground? Which side has Art? which strategy has numerous strength? Which side is highly trained? Which side has fair rewards and penalties?
13. It is through these calculation that I sense triumph or defeat.
14. If leaders who listen to my calculations are employed, they are certain to win, retain them. If leaders who do not listen to my calculations are employed, they are certain to be defeated, Remove them
The Tao of Deception
15. While paying attention to my advice, keep an open mind on any helpful changes over and above the current situation.
16. According as circumstances are favourable, one should modify one's plans. (Therefore, when the situation favourably changes, one must adjust one's tactics.
17. Those who strategize, use the Tao of Deception.
18. Thus, when able to attack, pretend to be unable. When forces are being employed, pretend to be inactive. When close to the target, appear to be distant, When far from target, make the opponent think we are near.
19. When ready, Feign disorder to lure them to attack and crush them.
20. When the opponent is secure, prepare against him. If he is superior, evade him.
21. If the opponent is angry, irritate him: he will make mistakes. Pretend to submit, so that he may grow arrogant.
22. if he is comfortable, give him no rest. If he is united, divide them)
23. Attack where the opponent is unprepared and appear where you are least expected)
24. This is the strategist's methods of victory, it must be kept secret.
25. Those who are victorious, calculate many factors before the confrontation. Those who lose battles, calculate but few factors before the challenge. many calculations leads to victory, little calculations lead to defeat: how much more so with no calculations at all. By paying attention to this point only, I foresee triumph or defeat.
You may also be interested in...
From Sun Tzu Chapter One Return to Home Page