10 Things You Should Know About The Art of War by Sun Tzu

10 Things You Should Know About The Art of War by Sun Tzu

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  1. Varied Applications

    This work does not apply just to war, but can be used in any situation where there is conflict.

    The Translation

    Both the translation and the background information provided in The Art of War can vary depending on the publisher.

    One Cannot Act Independently of the Future?

    There can never be a single solution or guidebook which will tell how to find victory. And those who remain inflexible with their solutions will enjoy only disaster.

    What Is the Army and How Should it be Used

    The army or main force is the one major tool for victory. There are other tools such as deception, but they rely on the existence of the army. The army in prolonged combat quickly loses its effectiveness, which is why combat should be kept to as short a duration as possible. Keeping combat to a short time span hides weakness from the enemy, but can also hide it from one’s own side.


    Generosity should be exhibited when it comes to spoils taken after victory or for other good reasons. Too much unprovoked generosity, especially when used to appease one’s own side will only lead to trouble.

    Best Character Traits of Good Leaders  

    The most important trait and the one mentioned by far the most is being rational and able to hold one’s temper. When officers take out their frustrations on their subordinates the whole structure of command is upset.

    Worst Trait of Soldiers

    Ignorance is the worst trait soldiers can have. It makes them superstitious, which in turn may make them unresponsive to orders.

    The Difference between Excellent and Poor Soldiers

    The Art of Warprefaces the modern saying, ‘there are no bad soldiers only bad officers.” A leader and his officers, have it in their power to transform the worst recruits into the best army or to take an excellent force and destroy it by their own stupidity and carelessness.

    Best Motivation before Battle

    During training many types of mental and physical techniques may have to be used to get the soldiers ready. But once they are about to enter battle encouragement is far more effective then fear, especially if the soldiers are being asked to sacrifice their lives.

    Using the Tools of the Enemy

    The Art of War says shrewdly that all of the foodstuff (raw material) of the enemy may be incorporated into one’s own military complex. Other supplies, such as manufactured equipment, may distributed among one’s own force if found useful. But because the distribution of potentially unfamiliar or dissimilar equipment may cause confusion in one’s own ranks, this decision should be weighed carefully and be made by someone familiar with the circumstances.

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