This piece has been prompted by some recent forays I have had students make into creative, semi-free form, Aiki Jo Jutsu practice.
Arrian, Xenophon, Sun Tsu, Musashi, von Clausewitz, these and many, many other authors I have been reading since my early teens.
When other children were talking about sport, movies and music, I preferred such topics as how Alexander and the Macedonians took the Persian Gates.
Yes, I was that kind of popular at school.
I have always loved tactics and strategy.
When executed correctly, there is an elegance and beauty to them.
While I still regularly read such works, (I have lost count of how many times I have read Musashi, and have recently revisited both Xenophon’s and Arrian’s, Anabasis), thirty-five years of martial arts practice has taught me that for all their apparent complexity, the essence of tactics and strategy comes down to the application of two, interrelated principles.
Get them right and you have success: