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“In ancient times skilful warriors first made themselves invincible, and then watched for vulnerability in their opponents.” –Sun Tzu, Art of War, Thomas Cleary translation.

The above passage in the Art of War, can be found in the fourth chapter of the book, titled, “Formation”. In terms of martial arts in a one on one setting it could refer to the shape or form you take before you engage in a fight. Making yourself invincible as the skilful warriors of ancient time is more than just defence, if one is to dig deeper.

Making yourself invincible refers to knowing yourself. Knowing your weaknesses and strength. This is something most of us think we know. But we do not, we do not know ourselves, we delude ourselves by avoiding truths and burying dark memories of our past. The more complete and in touch you are with your mind and body the easier it would be to spot and see the weaknesses in your opponent.

It is what is referred to a ting jin in martial arts like Tai Chi Chuan, and in “knowing yourself” you can than have more clarity of the enemy. Focusing on what makes you weak and what makes you strong. This concept can be applied not only in war or martial arts, but the world of business as well.

It is however not a concept that can be achieved easily, like many things in life, there more we practice or apply ourselves, the better we get.w

In ancient times skilful warriors

“Therefore skilful warriors are able to be invincible, but they cannot cause opponents to be vulnerable”- Sun Tzu, Art of War, Thomas Cleary translation.

 The passage above in the same chapter, “Formation” goes further that by knowing yourself, you may be invincible, but this will not cause your opponent to be vulnerable. In other words do not force an offensive or force your way to victory.



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