Musashi's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy

Musashi's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy

by Miyamoto Musashi, Stephen F. Kaufman

Paperback(1st Edition)

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This classic interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's famous Book of Five Rings is explicitly intended for the martial artist—as Miyamoto Musashi originally intended.

It explains the underlying truths necessary for a full understanding of Musashi's message for warriors. The result is an enthralling book on military strategy that combines the instincts of the warrior with the philosophies of Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and Taoism. It is a crucial book for every martial artist to read and understand.

Like the original, this classic book of strategy is divided into five sections. The Book of Earth lays the groundwork for anyone wishing to understand Musashi's teachings; the Book of Water explains the warrior's approach to strategy; the Book of Fire teaches fundamental fighting techniques based on the Earth and Water principles; the Book of Wind describes differences between Musashi's own martial style and the styles of other fighting schools; while the Book of No-thing describes the "way of nature" as understood through an "unthinking" existing preconception.

Famed martial artist and bestselling author Stephen Kaufman has translated this classic without the usual academic or commercial bias, driving straight into the heart of Musashi's martial teachings and interpreting them for his fellow martial artists. The result is an enthralling combination of warrior wisdom and philosophical truths that Musashi offered to other warriors who wished to master the martial way of bushido.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804835206
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication date: 01/15/2004
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 141,633
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Stephen F. Kaufman, Hanshi, 10th Dan, is the holder of the highest title and rank attainable in the martial arts. His martial system, Hebi-ryu ("School of the Snake"), is recognized as one of the most effective martial methods in the world. A career spanning close to 60 years began in Okinawa in the 1950's. He's acknowledged as the "founding father" of American karate and has received countless awards and honors, including an induction into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as Author of the Year in 2011.

Kaufman has authored and interpreted many martial arts titles including The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Way of the Modern Warrior , and The Shogun's Scroll , all available from Tuttle Publishing.

Table of Contents

About the Translationxi
The Book of Earth1
The Book of Water23
The Book of Fire53
The Book of Wind81
The Book of No-Thing101

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Musashi's Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
othersam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely gobsmacking. Not "just" one of the finest books of martial strategy ever written, as penned by Japan's most famous swordsman, but, in parts, it's like a manual of /how to live/. I tried other English versions, but Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman's is unquestionably the clearest and best. Try this, from Musashi's introduction: "This is a very difficult road to travel, and not many are made for it. It is frustrating, confusing, very lonely, certainly frightening, and it will sometimes make you think you do not have much sanity left to deal with the everyday surroundings of your world. Also, there is no guarantee that you will attain prefection. It must all come from inside you without any preconceived notions on your part. And so we begin¿" A book to keep by you always. Essential.
ThaiMuayThai More than 1 year ago
Exceptional Book. Particularly, translated by S F. Kaufman. Others are business based, marketing strategies, etc. A major Blur  from the  reality of fighting. In the case of Musashi; killing, a duel of life or death. Read, read again, and yet, again. Ponder!  A must read book for any martial artists, professional fighters and combat athletes, alike. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just completed Hanshi Stephen Kaufmans’s translations of Miyamoto Musashi’s classic work, Book of Five Rings, and find it to be an interesting version of the timless classic. It is written in a clear, very readable format, and will be easily understood. As I have a background in Iaido and Kenjutsu, I find the sword training information presented by Musashi particularly helpful. I will put this in my collection with the other translations, and overall prefer it to the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for the martialist. If you are in the armed forces,law enforcement or trainer in these environments, you need to read this regularly as your policy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SpinKickinHipster More than 1 year ago
Hands down the best translation I've read of Musashi's classic. I think the biggest difference here is that it's written by the martialist, for the martialist. So many modern translations are geared toward business dealings, but (like the book says) if you botch a business deal, they don't take your head. I got so much from this work, that I've made it required reading for my martialism students. I give this one five kicks up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought Stephen F. Kaufman's translation of the Book of Five Rings couple years ago, and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the translation itself. First, there are many areas in the book where the translation is very ambiguous and almost surprisingly different from other respectable translations of the Book of Five Rings that I had bought (I bought about 4 or 5 copies of them). It seems that Mr. Kaufman had relied heavily on his own interpretation instead. Another thing is that I have noticed he always put 'The Definative Interpretation of...' on his book cover. I think it is OK to do that sometimes, but whenever a text is translated from one language to another language, there will never be 'the definative interpretation.' The translation is always a work in process. I think perhaps Mr. Kaufman is an experienced martial artist, but for some reason he sounds more like a salesman in this book. Of course this is just only my opinion.