Lessons from Musashi-The Book of Water

In  Musashi’s second book, The Book of Water, we continue to develop the warrior/trial lawyer metaphor:

Appearance. “The manner in which a warrior carries himself is of utmost importance both physically and mentally.” Musashi’s, Book of five Rings (Translated by Stephen Kaufman, Hanshi 10th Dan) (1994) at 26. The appearance of a warrior / trial lawyer should be “quiet and strong and seem to be doing nothing.” Id. The lawyer neither appears to be tense nor in disarray. The lawyer simply appears. When it is necessary to present the lawyer does so with complete resolve, confident, “neither overbearing in attitude nor with false humility.” Id.

The Opposition. “A small man can beat a much larger man and one man can beat many men.” Id. at 27.  Never allow yourself to be intimidated by the size of the opposition. Never show the enemy “false bravado.” Id. at 30. Never “prejudge a view according to what you think things should be, but instead look at all things equally and in this way you will be able to discern what can hurt you and what cannot.” Id. at 29. Steadfastness of purpose is a key requirement because if you lack this you will easily be led into false security and be easily defeated. Id.

Purpose. “The martial arts [and trials] are not a game… . You must mean it when you strike… . If you do not, you will certainly get hurt. The only reason to draw your sword is to cut down the enemy.” Id. ad 31. The warrior/trial lawyer must “go straight to the heart of the matter… .” Id. at 33. Musashi teaches the main purpose of the warrior is to defeat the enemy. “Do not be side-tracked by the appearance of the enemy or yourself. Do not be conscious of the particular technique you will use. This causes hesitation. …” Id. “Your attack must be filled with conviction and purpose. In this way you defeat the enemy regardless of his abilities.” Id. Your attitude will be recognized by your opponent and he will prefer to fight someone else. Id.

Demeanor and Attitude. “Regardless of … experience, you must always remain calm. Calmness is attained through meditation and belief in your own skills. It is not to be confused with egotistical technique, which generally fails… .” Id. at 34-35. “Always be aware of the possibility of changing timing and rhythm.”  “Your attitude must be such that you can shift into any other mode… without having to make a conscious decision.”Id. at 39. Never have a preconceived ideal about how a situation should come out. Be flexible with the intent to defeat the opposition. “The main idea is to move on the enemy instantly upon perceiving his own approaching attack.” Id. at 37. Go into the attack without hesitation and with the attitude of destroying the opposition.

Make Yourself Bigger. Musashi teaches: “Extend your spirit above and beyond the enemy’s body and spirit. Never cringe in fear. …[keep] your spine straight. … You first beat the enemy with your spirit and then you beat the enemy with…[your argument]. Go for the…[win] with utter resolve and commitment.” Id. at 46.

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    9. […] Trudell writing as Zen Lawyer Seattle (patrick@ktbllaw.com) posted “Lessons from Musashi-The Book of Water” on 24 January 2012. This post was preceded by Lessons from Musashi – The Book of Earth, and […]

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    11. […] from Musashi – The Book of Wind" on 24 February 2012.  This post was preceded by “Lessons from Musashi-The Book of Water, Lessons from Musashi – The Book of Earth, and Lessons from Musashi – The Book of […]

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