Wednesday

The Art of Winning



The Art of Winning
by Don Terrill © - RacingSecrets.com

The most famous military text of all time is the Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese general from 500 BC. Let's face it, when we race we're doing battle. Every military strategist on the planet has probably read Sun Tzu's work. I've picked out a few of my favorites. I'll let you think about how to apply them to racing.

Tips from Sun Tzu:

All warfare is based on deception. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack--the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.

Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight. Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances. So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. Now a soldier's spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning to camp. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.

Don Terrill
www.RacingSecrets.com

Free Art of War by Sun Tzu ebook at: (Full Text) http://raceology.com/downloads/art_of_war.pdf

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