When asking yourself, “Who is the greatest Samurai ever?” there is only one answer – Miyamoto Musashi, he is widely regarded as the best Samurai that has ever lived. Not including any wars, he is believed to be undefeated in challenges from other Japanese masters and swordsmen in over 60 duels. In case you’re a little lost, that’s what happened once rifles were introduced, swordsmen walked around keeping the sword-play alive for honor by challenging other swordsmen. Musashi was the absolute best at this and I would highly recommend clicking here to read more about him.
On his deathbed (actually, the same week he died), Musashi was apparently aware of his impending end. While listing out personal possessions to be passed on, he wrote something called “The Dokkodo” which roughly translates to “The Path of Aloneness”. His intention was to pass on a list of vital guidelines essential to becoming and maintaining status as, well, pretty much the baddest dude alive. The Dokkodo a list of 21 precepts that are from Musashi’s mind and what he thinks makes the perfect warrior…pretty interesting:
- Accept everything just the way it is.
- Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
- Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
- Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
- Be detached from desire your whole life long.
- Do not regret what you have done.
- Never be jealous.
- Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
- Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
- Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
- In all things have no preferences.
- Be indifferent to where you live.
- Do not pursue the taste of good food.
- Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
- Do not act following customary beliefs.
- Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
- Do not fear death.
- Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
- Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
- You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
- Never stray from the way.
Pretty cool motivation list eh? He’s also got a book he wrote towards the end of his life about 5 stages of tactics and being a warrior. I have just started the book and I love it. If you’re a fan of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, check out Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings. Trust me, you’ll dig it. At the very least, it will motivate you to get your butt in the gym and train.