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Energy – shi pian di wu

Apr. 1, 2015

Sun Zi’s Art of War was written by Sun Wu in the final year of the Spring and Autumn

Period (770BC – 476BC).

It is not only the oldest Chinese military work in existence but also the oldest book

of military theory in the world, well-known for a long time in the history of the

military academy in China and abroad.

Sun Zi’s Art of War has altogether 13 chapters. Both concise and comprehensive,

this book sum up the experience of ancient wars, bring to light the many laws of

war which are of universal significance.

Want to know why business people like it so much? Come and learn Sun Zi’s Art of

War with eChineseLearning’s professional teachers!

shì piān dì wǔ
势   篇   第 五

sūnzi yuē : fán zhì zhònɡ rú zhì ɡuǎ , fēn shù shì yě ; dòu zhònɡ
孙子  曰 :   凡   治    众     如 治  寡 ,   分   数   是  也 ;  斗     众

rú dòu ɡuǎ , xínɡ mínɡ shì yě ; sān jūn zhī zhònɡ , kě shǐ bì shòu
如  斗   寡 ,    形    名     是 也 ;  三   军   之   众 ,     可  使 必  受

dí ér wú bài zhě , qí zhènɡ shì yě ; bīnɡ zhī suǒ jiā , rú yǐ duàn
敌 而 无  败 者 ,   奇   正     是  也 ;  兵   之   所  加 , 如  以 碫

tóu luǎn zhě , xū shí shì yě 。
投   卵    者 ,   虚  实  是 也 。

fán zhàn zhě , yǐ zhènɡ hé , yǐ qí shènɡ 。ɡù shàn chū qí zhě, wú
凡   战     者 ,  以  正     合 ,  以 奇  胜 。    故   善    出  奇  者 , 无

qiónɡ rú tiān dì , bù jié rú jiānɡ hé 。zhōnɡ ér fù shǐ ,rì yuè shì
穷      如  天  地 , 不  竭 如  江   河 。   终     而 复 始 , 日 月 是

yě 。 sǐ ér fù shēnɡ ,sì shí shì yě 。shēnɡ bú ɡuò wǔ ,wǔ shēnɡ zhī
也 。 死 而 复 生 ,    四 时 是 也 。  声      不   过   五 , 五   声     之

biàn , bù kě shènɡ tīnɡ yě ;sè bú ɡuò wǔ, wǔ sè zhī biàn , bù kě
变 ,     不 可   胜      听  也 ; 色 不  过   五 , 五  色 之   变 ,   不 可

shènɡ ɡuān yě ; wèi bú ɡuò wǔ , wǔ wèi zhī biàn ,bù kě shènɡ chánɡ
胜        观     也 ; 味  不   过   五 ,   五  味  之   变 ,  不 可   胜       尝

yě ;zhànshì bú ɡuò qí zhènɡ ,qí zhènɡ zhī biàn ,bù kě shènɡ qiónɡ

也 ; 战势     不  过   奇   正 ,    奇   正     之  变 ,   不  可  胜       穷
yě 。 qí zhènɡ xiānɡ shēnɡ ,rú xún huán zhī wú duān ,
也 。 奇  正       相      生    ,  如  循    环   之   无   端   ,

shú nénɡ qiónɡ zhī ?
孰    能      穷     之 ?

jī shuǐ zhī jí , zhì yú piāo shí zhě , shì yě ; zhì niǎo zhī jí ,
激 水  之 疾 , 至 于 漂     石  者 ,   势 也 ;  鸷   鸟  之 疾 ,

zhì yú huǐ zhé zhě , jié yě 。 shì ɡù shàn zhàn zhě , qí shì xiǎn ,
至  于  毁  折   者 ,   节 也 。 是  故  善     战    者 ,   其 势  险 ,

qí jié duǎn 。 shì rú kuànɡ nǔ , jié rú fā jī 。
其 节 短 。     势  如  旷     弩 ,  节 如 发 机 。

fēn fēn yún yún , dǒu luàn ér bù kě luàn yě ;hún hún dùn dùn ,xínɡ
纷   纷  纭    纭 ,   斗    乱   而 不  可  乱   也 ; 浑   浑   沌    沌 ,   形

yuán ér bù kě bài yě 。 luàn shēnɡ yú zhì , qiè shēnɡ yú yǒnɡ , ruò
圆     而 不 可  败 也 。   乱     生     于 治 ,   怯    生     于  勇 ,     弱

shēnɡ yú qiánɡ 。 zhì luàn , shù yě ; yǒnɡ qiè ,shì yě ;qiánɡ ruò ,
生       于   强 。     治   乱 ,    数  也 ;   勇    怯 ,  势 也 ;  强     弱 ,

xínɡ yě 。
形    也 。

ɡù shàn dònɡ dí zhě , xínɡ zhī , dí bì cónɡ zhī ;yǔ zhī ,dí bì qǔ
故   善     动    敌 者 ,    形   之 , 敌 必  从    之 ; 予 之 , 敌 必 取

zhī 。 yǐ lì dònɡ zhī , yǐ zú dài zhī 。
之 。 以 利  动   之 ,  以 卒 待 之 。

ɡù shàn zhàn zhě , qiú zhī yú shì ,bù zé yú rén ,ɡù nénɡ zé rén ér
故  善     战     者 ,   求  之  于 势 , 不  责 于 人 , 故  能     择 人  而

rèn shì 。 rèn shì zhě , qí zhàn rén yě , rú zhuǎn mù shí 。 mù shí
任   势 。   任 势  者 ,  其  战    人   也 , 如  转      木   石 。  木  石

zhī xìnɡ , ān zé jìnɡ , wēi zé dònɡ , fānɡ zé zhǐ , yuán zé xínɡ 。
之  性 ,    安 则  静 ,   危   则  动 ,     方    则 止 ,   圆    则  行 。

ɡù shàn zhàn rén zhī shì ,rú zhuǎn yuán shí yú qiān rèn zhī shān zhě ,
故   善    战     人   之  势, 如  转      圆     石  于  千   仞   之   山    者 ,

shì yě 。
势 也 。

Translation: (Translated from the Chinese version By LIONEL GILES, M.A.

(1910))

V. ENERGY

1. Sun Tzu said: The control of a large force is the same principle as

the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their

numbers.

2. Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from

fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs

and signals.

3. To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy’s

attack and remain unshaken– this is effected by maneuvers direct and

indirect.

4. That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against

an egg–this is effected by the science of weak points and strong.

5. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but

indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

6. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and

Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun and moon,

they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return

once more.

7. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of

these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

8. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white,

and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been

seen.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like

moving in a circle–you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the

possibilities of their combination?

12. The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll

stones along in its course.

13. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which

enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

14. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt

in his decision.

15. Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the

releasing of a trigger.

16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder

and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may

be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.

17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear

postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of

subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a

fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected

by tactical dispositions.

19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains

deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He

sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of

picked men he lies in wait for him.

21. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does

not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the

right men and utilize combined energy.

22. When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it were

like unto rolling logs or stones. For it is the nature of a log or stone

to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on a slope; if

four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped, to go rolling

down.

23. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of

a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height. So much

on the subject of energy.

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