Chapter 1 Embodying the Dao

道 可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。此兩者,同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,衆妙之門。 1. The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name. 2. (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of […]

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XII. THE ATTACK BY FIRE

XII. THE ATTACK BY FIRE 1. Sun Tzu said: There are five ways of attacking with fire. The first is to burn soldiers in their camp; the second is to burn stores; the third is to burn baggage trains; the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines; the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst […]

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XI. THE NINE SITUATIONS

XI. THE NINE SITUATIONS 1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: (1) Dispersive ground; (2) facile ground; (3) contentious ground; (4) open ground; (5) ground of intersecting highways; (6) serious ground; (7) difficult ground; (8) hemmed-in ground; (9) desperate ground. 2. When a chieftain is fighting in his own […]

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IX. THE ARMY ON THE MARCH

IX. THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 1. Sun Tzu said: We come now to the question of encamping the army, and observing signs of the enemy. Pass quickly over mountains, and keep in the neighborhood of valleys. 2. Camp in high places, facing the sun. Do not climb heights in order to fight. So much […]

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VII. MANEUVERING

VII. MANEUVERING 1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign. 2. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp. 3. After that, comes tactical maneuvering, than which there is nothing more difficult. The difficulty of tactical […]

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VI. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG

VI. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG 1. Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. 2. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but […]

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V. ENERGY

V. ENERGY 1. Sun Tzu said: The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers. 2. Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a […]

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I. LAYING PLANS

I. LAYING PLANS 1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. 2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. 3. The art of war, then, […]

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