Kiado-Ryu Karate

Mar 28, 2021 - Feature of the Week

Sun Tzu: The Skillful Commander

Kiado-Ryu philosophy teaches that Martial Arts is Life. All true Black Belts understand this principle. Sun Tzu’s statement that The skillful commander takes up a position in which he cannot be defeated and misses no opportunity to master his opponent does not simply apply to mortal combat. It also applies to everyday challenges of normal human existence.

For example, take the COVID pandemic. In reality it is an opponent. As a human being, our job is to defeat it and certainly not allow it to touch us, and if it does touch us, not to let it defeat us, i.e., take our life.

So how do we “take up a position in which we cannot be defeated” by the virus? First, we take the mental stance that it will not affect us; we will not be defeated, and we will not allow it to negatively affect us in any way. We don’t cower; we don’t cringe; we don’t run and hide in fear. We stand and we fight. In so doing, we set the stage to be triumphant, i.e., we win; the virus loses.

Second, understanding that the virus affects the body, we pay particular attention to our nutrition. The Karate Institute of America firmly believes in taking Vitamin D3 and Zinc (50 mg) every day. We also go outside, get some sterilizing sun light, and breathe fresh air.

Third, using common sense we keep social distance and wear masks where socially appropriate.

Fourth, we definitely think for ourselves, make our own decisions and not get caught up in the hysteria of the moment. Taking a vaccine is a matter of free choice and should never be the order of those who think they know better or who just want to play dictator.

In doing these things, we “take up a position in which we cannot be defeated.” Too, by following this plan we put ourselves in a position to “master our opponent.” Indeed, each of us is “The Skillful Commander” of our own life. If we don’t take charge of it, someone or something else will, but such is not the way of strong, courageous, free-thinking and sovereign individuals.

Sun Tzu’s principle that we “take up a position in which we cannot be defeated” also applies to other areas of life, such as emotional, financial, psychological, professional and familial endeavors. The point is, we are our own “Skillful Commander” and we need to govern ourselves individually using our innate common sense, intelligence, experience and intuition. After all, it is our life and it is most definitely our responsibility.