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Terrain – di xing pian di shi

Apr. 3, 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!

dì xínɡ piān dì shí
地 形     篇   第 十

sūnzi yuē : dì xínɡ yǒu tōnɡ zhě , yǒu ɡuà zhě , yǒu zhī zhě ,
孙子   曰 :  地 形     有   通    者 ,    有   挂   者 ,    有   支  者 ,

yǒu ài zhě , yǒu xiǎn zhě , yǒu yuǎn zhě 。 wǒ ké yí wǎnɡ , bǐ ké
有   隘 者 ,   有    险   者 ,    有   远    者 。   我  可 以   往 ,   彼 可

yǐ lái , yuē tōnɡ 。 tōnɡ xínɡ zhě , xiān jū ɡāo yánɡ , lì liánɡ
以 来 , 曰   通 。     通     形    者 ,   先  居  高    阳 ,   利  粮

dào , yǐ zhàn zé lì 。 ké yí wǎnɡ , nán yǐ fǎn ,yuē ɡuà 。ɡuà xínɡ
道 ,   以 战    则 利 。可 以 往 ,     难   以 返 , 曰   挂 。   挂    形

zhě ,dí wú bèi ,chū ér shènɡ zhī ;dí ruò yǒu bèi ,chū ér bú shènɡ,
者 ,  敌 无  备 ,  出  而   胜     之 ;敌  若   有   备 , 出  而  不   胜 ,

nán yǐ fǎn , bú lì 。 wǒ chū ér bú lì , bǐ chū ér bú lì , yuē zhī 。
难   以 返 ,  不 利 。 我  出  而 不 利 ,彼 出 而 不 利 , 曰  支 。

zhī xínɡ zhě ,dí suī lì wǒ ,wǒ wú chū yě ;yǐn ér qù zhī ,lìnɡ dí
支   形    者 , 敌 虽 利 我 ,我  无  出   也 ; 引 而 去 之 , 令   敌

bàn chū ér jī zhī , lì 。 ài xínɡ zhě ,wǒ xiān jū zhī ,bì yínɡ zhī
半    出  而 击 之 ,利 。隘 形   者 ,  我  先   居 之 , 必  盈   之

yǐ dài dí 。 ruò dí xiān jū zhī , yínɡ ér wù cónɡ , bù yínɡ ér cónɡ
以 待 敌 。 若  敌  先  居  之 , 盈    而 勿   从 ,    不   盈   而   从

zhī 。 xiǎn xínɡ zhě , wǒ xiān jū zhī , bì jū ɡāo yánɡ yǐ dài dí ;
之 。    险   形    者 ,  我   先   居 之 , 必 居 高   阳    以 待  敌 ;

ruò dí xiān jū zhī , yǐn ér qù zhī , wù cónɡ yě 。 yuǎn xínɡ zhě,
若  敌   先  居 之 ,  引 而 去 之 ,   勿   从    也 。   远    形    者 ,

shì jūn , nán yǐ tiǎo zhàn ,zhàn ér bú lì 。fán cǐ liù zhě ,dì zhī
势  均 ,   难  以  挑   战 ,    战    而 不 利。凡 此 六  者 , 地 之

dào yě , jiānɡ zhī zhì rèn , bù kě bù chá yě 。
道   也 ,   将    之  至  任 ,  不  可 不  察  也 。

ɡù bīnɡ yǒu zǒu zhě , yǒu chí zhě , yǒu xiàn zhě , yǒu bēnɡ zhě ,
故   兵    有   走   者 ,    有  驰   者 ,    有   陷   者 ,    有    崩    者 ,

yǒu luàn zhě ,yǒu běi zhě 。fán cǐ liù zhě,fēi tiān zhī zāi ,jiānɡ
有     乱   者 ,   有  北   者 。 凡  此 六  者 ,非  天   之  灾 , 将

zhī ɡuò yě 。 fū shì jūn , yǐ yì jī shí , yuē zǒu ;zú qiánɡ lì ruò ,
之   过  也 。  夫 势 均 , 以 一 击 十 ,曰   走 ;  卒  强    吏  弱 ,

yuē chí ; lì qiánɡ zú ruò ,yuē xiàn ;dà lì nù ér bù fú ,yù dí duì
曰   驰 ; 吏 强      卒 弱 ,    曰  陷 ; 大 吏 怒 而 不 服 ,遇 敌 怼

ér zì zhàn , jiānɡ bù zhī qí nénɡ , yuē bēnɡ ; jiānɡ ruò bù yán ,
而 自 战 ,      将  不  知  其  能 ,     曰    崩 ;     将     弱  不  严 ,

jiāo dào bù mínɡ , lì zú wú chánɡ , chén bīnɡ zònɡ hénɡ ,yuē luàn;
教    道   不   明 ,   吏 卒 无   常 ,       陈     兵    纵      横 ,    曰   乱 ;

jiànɡ bù nénɡ liào dí ,yǐ shǎo hé zhònɡ ,yǐ ruò jī qiánɡ ,bīnɡ wú
将     不   能     料  敌 , 以  少  合   众 ,    以 弱  击  强 ,    兵    无

xuǎn fēnɡ , yuē běi 。 fán cǐ liù zhě , bài zhī dào yě , jiānɡ zhī
选      锋 ,    曰   北 。  凡  此 六 者 ,   败  之  道   也 ,    将  之

zhì rèn , bù kě bù chá yě 。
至  任 ,   不 可 不   察  也 。

fū dì xínɡ zhě,bīnɡ zhī zhù yě 。liào dí zhì shènɡ ,jì xiǎn è yuǎn
夫 地 形    者 , 兵    之  助   也 。 料 敌  制    胜 ,   计 险  厄  远

jìn , shànɡ jiānɡ zhī dào yě 。 zhī cǐ ér yònɡ zhàn zhě bì shènɡ ,bù
近 ,  上       将     之  道   也 。 知 此 而  用     战     者  必   胜 ,   不

zhī cǐ ér yònɡ zhàn zhě bì bài 。 ɡù zhàn dào bì shènɡ , zhǔ yuē wú
知 此 而  用     战    者   必 败 。  故   战    道   必   胜 ,      主  曰  无

zhàn ,bì zhàn kě yě ;zhàn dào bú shènɡ ,zhǔ yuē bì zhàn ,wú zhàn
战 ,    必  战    可 也 ; 战    道   不    胜 ,    主   曰   必  战 ,    无  战

kě yě 。 ɡù jìn bù qiú mínɡ , tuì bú bì zuì , wéi rén shì bǎo , ér
可 也 。 故  进 不  求   名 ,     退 不 避 罪 ,   惟  人   是   保 , 而

lì hé yú zhǔ , ɡuó zhī bǎo yě 。
利 合 于 主 ,   国   之   宝  也 。

shì zú rú yīnɡ ér , ɡù ké yǐ yǔ zhī fù shēn xī ; shì zú rú ài zǐ ,
视  卒 如  婴   儿 , 故 可 以 与 之  赴  深  溪 ; 视 卒 如 爱 子 ,

ɡù kě yǔ zhī jù sǐ 。 hòu ér bù nénɡ shǐ , ài ér bù nénɡ lìnɡ ,luàn
故 可 与 之 俱 死 。  厚  而 不   能     使 , 爱 而 不  能     令 , 乱

ér bù nénɡ zhì , pì ruò jiāo zǐ , bù kě yònɡ yě 。
而 不   能    治 ,  譬 若  骄  子 , 不 可  用     也 。

zhī wú zú zhī ké yǐ jī , ér bù zhī dí zhī bù kě jī , shènɡ zhī bàn
知   吾 卒 之  可 以 击,而 不 知 敌 之 不  可 击 ,  胜     之   半

yě ; zhī dí zhī kě jī , ér bù zhī wǒ zú zhī bù ké yǐ jī ,shènɡ zhī
也 ; 知  敌 之 可 击 ,而 不 知  我 卒  之  不 可 以 击 ,  胜   之

bàn yě ;zhī dí zhī kě jī,zhī wú zú zhī ké yǐ jī ,ér bù zhī dì xínɡ
半   也 ; 知 敌  之 可 击,知 吾 卒 之  可 以 击,而 不 知 地  形

zhī bù ké yǐ zhàn , shènɡ zhī bàn yě 。 ɡù zhī bīnɡ zhě ,dònɡ ér bù
之  不  可 以  战 ,      胜    之   半  也 。  故  知  兵    者 ,   动    而 不

mí , jǔ ér bù qiónɡ 。 ɡù yuē : zhī bǐ zhī jǐ , shènɡ nǎi bú dài ;
迷 , 举 而 不  穷 。      故  曰 :  知  彼 知 己 , 胜      乃   不  殆 ;

zhī tiān zhī dì , shènɡ nǎi bù qiónɡ 。
知   天   知 地 ,   胜      乃  不    穷 。

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

(1910))

X. TERRAIN

1. Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit: (1)

Accessible ground; (2) entangling ground; (3) temporizing ground; (4)

narrow passes; (5) precipitous heights; (6) positions at a great distance

from the enemy.

2. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible.

3. With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying

the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies.

Then you will be able to fight with advantage.

4. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called

entangling.

5. From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally

forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and

you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible, disaster will

ensue.

6. When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the

first move, it is called temporizing ground.

7. In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an

attractive bait, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to

retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army

has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.

8. With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them

be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy.

9. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass, do not go after him

if the pass is fully garrisoned, but only if it is weakly garrisoned.

10. With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your

adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait

for him to come up.

11. If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but

retreat and try to entice him away.

12. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the strength

of the two armies is equal, it is not easy to provoke a battle, and fighting

will be to your disadvantage.

13. These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general who

has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

14. Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from

natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible.

These are: (1) Flight; (2) insubordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin; (5)

disorganization; (6) rout.

15. Other conditions being equal, if one force is hurled against another

ten times its size, the result will be the flight of the former.

16. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak,

the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the

common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

17. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting

the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment,

before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position

to fight, the result is ruin.

18. When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are

not clear and distinct; when there are no fixes duties assigned to officers

and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the

result is utter disorganization.

19. When a general, unable to estimate the enemy’s strength, allows an

inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against

a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank,

the result must be rout.

20. These are six ways of courting defeat, which must be carefully noted

by the general who has attained a responsible post.

21. The natural formation of the country is the soldier’s best ally; but

a power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces of victory,

and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances,

constitutes the test of a great general.

22. He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into

practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices them,

will surely be defeated.

23. If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even

though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then

you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.

24. The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without

fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good

service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

25. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into

the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they

will stand by you even unto death.

26. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt;

kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable,

moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to

spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.

27. If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware

that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards

victory.

28. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, but are unaware that our

own men are not in a condition to attack, we have gone only halfway towards

victory.

29. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, and also know that our

men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the nature of the

ground makes fighting impracticable, we have still gone only halfway

towards victory.

30. Hence the experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered;

once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss.

31. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory

will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make

your victory complete.

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