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The Book of five rings is the legendary text by the Japanese swordsman Musashi Miyamoto. In the Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System (UBWPS) we undergo a study of a multitude of philosophies and texts as apart of scholarship and higher learning. Through these studies in combination from the things learned from a multitude of other repective cultures we gather our own thoughs and interpretations that we use we use to continually foster our own ideals of warriorism, better living, deeper thinking and self education as those whom life the warrior lifestyle.  The following are some of the things we have come to learn from our study of those whom have come before us. More specifically, in regards to this classical and respected text.

1. No man is invincible, and therefore no man can understand that which would make him invincible. Even with complete and thorough study there is the possibility of being defeated and although one may be expert in a particular form, mastery is something one never stops seeking to attain. It is doubtful anyone truly understands the “real” way of strategy, much less truly lives it.  – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

When approaching battle, the true warrior does not think of victory or defeat, they only think of the moment at hand. They focus on their training, the task at hand, and past battle experience. They do not care of the notions of victory or defeat because they are inconsequential distractions. For the true warrior, they know that defeat is never an option anyways, yet always a possibility.  – Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

 2. The development of warrior consciousness is an ongoing thing    – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

The true warrior begins their study into the way of the warrior knowing no matter how much they learn or how well they master the application of    learned skills, that they can be defeated.  Does this worry them ? No. Does this make them train any less harder ? No. Why ? Because being a warrior is something you are and you live. Not a hobby, toy, game, or recreation. As a way of life, it is a lifelong study and pursuit. The true warrior is not concerned with being the best combatant in the world or being better than anybody else. They are concerned with being the best they can be everyday and striving for excellence in all their actions. They study not only the main subjects of their craft, but any and everything relating to their craft. The learning and study never ceases and more and more subjects are added, fostering intelligence (knowing many things) and leading to wisdom (knowing the truth and what matter of many things).  – Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

3. The “Way” cannot be learned through frivolous contests in which the outcome is for the name of a school or a large trophy. It can only be realized when physical death is a reality.   – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

In learning combat, the warrior does not let their ego influence them to think that physical or sportive contests are an indicator of their true proficiency as a warrior. They understand be it training or athletic contests that they are all a simulation of aspects of true combat. While contests have rules and safety measures true combat does not and has more variables. Contests with the confines of rules does can not teach truth in combat to the practitioner, no matter how adept they may become at them. Truly no “training” can simulate life or death battle either. Any contest or training, no matter how rugged or intense (and while a positive and worthwhile pursuit) only prepares the warrior for what they may potentially face by mentally and physically toughening and callousing them. It is when you are on the battlefield and looking an aggressor in the eye whom means to take your life, can you truly understand the full implications of the “Way” or truth in combat.   – Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

4. It is useless for people whom look good in play competition to think in terms of being masters. They appear to understand the truth and permit their own self-importance to convince themselves that they are bearers of the truth.  

    – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

4. B. Commercialism does nothing to enhance the reality of truth.    – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five

The true warrior understands that while sport is a positive endeavor and is fun, exciting, and even has its share of benefits, that it is not true life or death struggle. Because of this, regardless of how great a fighter they may become, they do not let their ego carry them into the mind sate that they are masters of combat because of what they have achieved competitively. They know the truth of the matter and can separate fighting fellow contenders from fighting for their lives.           – Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

The truth is the way of the universe as the Tao (Dao) states. So with that being said, if there is truth in your actions and what you do in regards to the greater public, promoting your works will not bring out anything new, just as in those whom are fraudulent cannot expect promotion (distraction) to bring out truth in their works that is not there. The truth cannot be hidden, denied, defeated, or obstructed. Neither so, can lies, deceit and deception become or be molded into truth. The one common rationale in both lies and the truth is that in due time, they both are exposed.

– Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

5. A man cannot understand the perfection and imperfections of his chosen art if he cannot see the value in other arts. Following rules only permits development up to a certain point in technique. To advance further the student and artist must learn to seek other knowledge. It makes sense to study other arts as well as those of strategy. Whom has not learned something more about themselves by watching the activities of others? To learn the sword, study the guitar. To learn the fist, study commerce. To only study the sword will make you narrow minded and will keep you from growing outward.                                  

               –  Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

In study of the physical warrior arts, the fighting aspects, there are many whom become fixated on style or system as far as which one is the best, to thinking their chosen one of study is the best. Some are so good at a particular style or range of fighting that they do not want to study another for fear of not being the “best” or not being able to “look good” .  In training there are those whom do branch out in their studies, but when they encounter the way some else does things, if it is not done the way they learned elsewhere, then they feel it is incorrect. These mindsets and more are not only shallow and frivolous, but they are closed up and “in the box” so to speak. This type of individual could study for a lifetime, but because of their inner preconceived notions, attitudes, or mentalities, they will never be masters in any true sense of the word.  When one frees themselves from the limits and constraints of their own mind, they then can fully be open to learning, and become true masters of their craft.

– Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

6. I can compare the way of the warrior to the way of the craftsman. To study the sword you study war, weapons and men. To study craftsmanship you study the project, tools, and men. You will succeed in either one depending on your attitude towards the “spirit of the thing”. There can be no let up in your study, regardless of the path you choose, even though you may have mastered a particular level. You must constantly search still for more understanding of your chosen art.  

 – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

To achieve mastery you must involve yourself in a complete and thorough study of your art. Within our organization, our “warrior society” we see being a warrior as a lifestyle and a way of being / living. Broken down to its smallest details we treat it as science. We experiment, we research, and we use trial and error. We are constantly in a state of study and self development and refinement. We are “martial scientists” as being students of combat.  We understand that the subject matter is vast, and that each subject studies is so vast that there is nothing more we cannot glean from an even closer look.  For us, learning never ends because part of being a warrior is being a scholar. That is all encompassing or holistic. More so than diligent study, is right mindfulness in study, or study with the right mentality and purpose. This will be the only way that the truth in things…..of anything in life really….. will open to you.  In not stepping forth with the correct mentality, very simple and obvious things will not be obvious to you. Have anterior motives of insincere purpose could your perception. That is the Way of the Universe” and how things work. This is how the Universe safeguards its self and its power. This leads into a whole differing and vast subject matter.

– Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

7. A warrior is responsible for his own weapons just as a craftsman is responsible for his own tools. It is simply not possible to get good results without proper respect for one’s weapons. Time must be devoted to training, practicing, and maintaining one’s tools or weapons, however gifted a man one may be.    – Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

The warrior cares for and cultivates his armament, weapons, and tools of his trade. It begins first and foremost with their body, for their body, fitness, and physicality are the root from which they are a combatant. Everything from disciplined eating, supplemental exercise, nourishment of the mind and spirit through education and relaxation and more. Next are the more overt things, like physical armament, weapons, and such. They maintain these things, keep them clean, invest in replacement or upgrading what they have, and keep their skills in their usage sharp. The warrior knows their life may depend on their equipment, so they maintain a high level of quality and functionality of all these things.

– Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System

8. To learn technique is essential. However strategic thinking has its own principles and they can be applied to anything to do with war and combat.

 – Musashi Miyamoto, Book of Five Rings

8. B.  All weapons are warriors equipment and apart of strategy.  – Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings

8. C. Each weapon must be used in its proper place in order to be effective and enable the handler of the weapon to take advantage of its properties.      – Musashi Miyamoto, Book of Five Rings

8. D. In addition to physical weapons, consider the use of “empty hands” to be the the ultimate physical weapon. Now consider the use of “empty mind”.           – Musashi Miyamoto, Book of Five Rings

8. E. You must study with the idea in mind of being able to function with any weapon. If you study hard and understand the properties of all weapons, they may effectively be used in any situation.       – Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings

8. F. Keep in mind the weapons that are used in warfare.  As new weapons are developed they should be with the proper intent of the warrior, which is to master strategy.       – Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings

8.G. Consider the times you are living in and the weapons available to you. As times change and new weapons are made available to you, you must continue to study the nature of these weapons and learn to work with them.                                                                           – Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings

8. H. The weapon is a tool to be used efficiently and effectively; otherwise it will be of little value even in the hands of a master.

       – Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings

Learning fighting techniques is essential. Over time one should understand the “ranges” of fighting and the different fighting “types”. Once one becomes proficient in all of these, fighting then becomes more about concepts and strategy or tactics. Knowing when to use what, as opposed to needing to know specific techniques. Once you get to this point, you learn strategy, and then, you will possess the ability to defeat any opponent, be it in the ring or the street. All you have to do is know “when” to do “what” with this ability. You them become a Master, for this here is the difference between those whom have reached mastery and those whom have not. Few reach true mastery because the average person lacks the patience to start from the beginning and work their way through with diligent study.  There is, and never will be shortcuts to mastery, because that is not the will or way of the Universe.           –  Universal Belief & Warrior Philosophy System