9 Fearless Secrets of Victory Used by Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi

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How to live without fear

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”  ― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

He is one of the most famous Japanese warriors.

He was born in 1584 and lived until he died at the age of 60 years old. His time as a Japanese samurai warrior spanned more than 50 years, during which he won 60 duels.

He authored The Book of Five Rings, a masterpiece on strategy so influential that it has been translated into several languages for over 250 years since its publication.

While in the Marine Corps, I spent seven years on the beautiful island of Okinawa, Japan, and while there, studied Shorin-Ryu karate under Sensei Kise.

In this article, I will share with you 9 Fearless Secrets to Victory Used by Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi; secrets that were passed down to me and have stood the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were centuries ago when first used by Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi himself.

Secret #1: Focus on the physical aspect of combat

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi understood that when it comes to facing an opponent in battle, you are not in a courtroom where words can be used as a weapon to verbally destroy your enemy.

He taught to focus on the physical aspect of combat and would tell students to focus on technique, power, and speed in battle rather than their own fears.

He understood that fear is a mental state that makes you weak and distracts you from your true capabilities.

Secret #2: Conquer your fear

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi understood that fear is an illusion, a self-imposed state where you allow your mind to perceive danger in something that does not actually exist.

He encouraged students to conquer their fears by telling them "the moment you pause in your pursuit of something new, all you are really doing is giving yourself time to recover from your last endeavor."

He taught students to relentlessly pursue their dreams and would tell students to forget about fear and everything else except what they were doing, whether it be practicing katas, sparring, or anything else that took their attention away from what they wanted.

Secret #3: Make your mind like water

make your mind like water
Image by Kanenori from Pixabay

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi understood that the mind is a powerful thing and when you give your thoughts too much power, they can hold you back.

He taught students to make their minds like water by reminding them that "the essence of martial arts training is not about developing muscle or memorizing techniques; it is about training your mind to be like water."

He would tell students to use their minds and focus them on the moment and encouraged students not to allow their thoughts and fears to hold them back and also encouraged students to always move forward and never look back.

Secret #4: Resist the urge

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi understood that there would be many distractions when in battle, not just fear.

He taught students to resist the urge to do anything but what they were doing at all costs.

He would tell students "diligent practice will develop your skills so you can do what you have to do when the time comes."

He would tell students "You must avoid letting your mind wander, and never stop paying attention to your opponent."

He also taught that in battle, there is no set direction for an attack, so when fighting against someone with a weapon Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi would tell students to be unpredictable.

And he urged students to do their best and not worry about the result. Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi taught that if they were prepared mentally and physically, everything else would fall into place.

Secret #5: Control your fear

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi understood that in battle, fear is something that could only be dealt with after the battle has finished.

He taught students to control their fears by telling them that "you must learn to regulate your breathing, and always remain calm even in tense situations."

And He taught students to fight under all conditions, whether they were stressed or not.

Secret #6: "Do not allow yourself to be overcome with anger

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi would tell students that getting angry is a sign of weakness and if they could remain calm they were never beaten.

He encouraged students to learn from their defeats, not fear them. He urged students to remember that fear was all in the mind and it can be conquered.

And he would tell students "Although you must face your fears, do so without creating new ones." Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi believed that if they could control their fears, they could conquer anyone Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi faced.

Secret #7: Know yourself

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi would teach students "If you do not know your own limitations, then how can you recognize and exploit the opponent's?"

He urged students to be well-rounded and able to fight in any way.

He urged students to learn all different types of weapons to be flexible and versatile and would tell students "It is better to know a little bit about a lot of things rather than knowing a great deal about one thing."

He knew that by learning many different things, there was always something they could use Japanese samurai and he would tell students "If you follow one master too closely, you will lack breadth."

He said "You must learn to adapt your skills and techniques to the new situations" and wanted them to not be afraid of change because it was a part of life.

Secret #8: Don't wait for something to happen

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi would tell students to "be resolute and act quickly."

He believed that by acting quickly, their opponents never had time to be ready Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi taught students that they should study their opponents carefully before making a move.

He told students that if something needs to be done, to not wait around and do it Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi urged students "do not let your actions be dictated by the situation, but rather take charge of the situation."

Secret #9: Take control of your destiny

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi would tell students "You must believe that you can do anything."

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi says that one should always be prepared and know the things for which they are responsible Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi wanted students to take responsibility for their own actions and not blame others

He urged students to remember it is our thoughts, words, and deeds that we will have to answer for. "There is no other teacher as effective as experience."

Musashi believed that if they were prepared mentally and physically, Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi believed they would never fail and he told students "Do not look for a reputation as a warrior but always conduct yourself properly."

He kept an open mind and stayed humble and told students "the primary objective of a warrior is to seek out, engage and break those who are stronger than him or her."

Takeaways

Miyamoto Musashi
Sasaki Kojiro (right) engages Miyamoto Musashi on the shores of Ganryū Island. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, and writer.

He is considered one of the most skilled martial artists to have ever lived.

His lifelong goal was to find enlightenment through understanding the meaning behind fearlessness in Japanese culture; he believed that by mastering himself, you could conquer any enemy.

Please remember his 9 secrets of victory and you'll be well on your way to overcoming your fears:

  • Secret #1: Focus on the physical aspect of combat
  • Secret #2: Conquer your fear
  • Secret #3: Make your mind like water
  • Secret #4: Resist the urge
  • Secret #5: Control your fear
  • Secret #6: "Do not allow yourself to be overcome with anger
  • Secret #7: Know yourself
  • Secret #8: Don't wait for something to happen
  • Secret #9: Take control of your destiny
Randy Salars

Randy Salars

Copywriter and marketing consultant. Author of ‘Stories And Recipes From The Soup Kitchen.’ Freedom lover, adventurer, and treasure hunter.
Silver City, NM, USA