Musashi’s Nine Precepts

Miyamoto Musashi [full name: Ben no Suke Shinmen Genshin no Fujiwara no Kami Miyamoto Musashi Masana no Kensei] was the greatest swordsman in the history of Japan. He lived in the 17th century, and his long list of accomplishments are studied to this day.

He was thirteen years old when he had his first duel, in which he fought and killed an adult opponent, a master in the chain-and-hook school of martial arts. He invented the eight-point-stance, a fencing position that left no side of him unguarded and unprepared for an attack.

In his later years, he published a book entitled, Go Rin No Sho (Book of Five Rings), which outlined and explained his science of

martial arts and strategies. This book is used in Japan today as a roadmap for business success as well as a treatise on martial arts.

Below are his nine precepts for conduct and success:

1. Think of what is right and true.

2. Practice and cultivate the science.

3. Become acquainted with every art.

4. Know the principles of the crafts.

5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.

6. Learn to see everything accurately.

7. Become aware of what is not obvious.

8. Be careful even in small matters.

9. Do not do anything useless.