Education Index

More Sun Tzu information


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter One


Analyze thoroughly before war solution

War is important to the country, either to win or ruin and as matter of life or death. This is the reason why thorough analysis is vital.

Appraise situation with five basic elements and enhance with seven vital answers

Five Basic elements:



With total consent and complete harmony from the people.



Signifies the effect of different weather condition, season, day or night, natural forces and also interact with the five elements such as metal, wood, water, fire and earth.



The safety of an army depends largely on the detail of geographical features. Factors to consider comprise distances, surrounding environment namely open ground or narrow passes, whether fit for either offensive or defensive tactics and always has plan for an escape route in case of retreat.


 Commander must have:

a. Wisdom

b. Sincerity

c. Benevolence

d. Courage

e. Strictness



State clearly and understand the marshalling of the army, the gradations of rank among the officers and their duties, maintenance of logistics, control of expenditure, rules and regulations.

Seven vital answers:

(1) Which country's sovereigns rules his people in harmony with Moral Law?

(2) Which sides General is more capable?

(3) Which sides terrain has the better advantages?

(4) Which side enforces rigorous discipline?

(5) Which army is stronger morally as well as physically?

(6) Which army is highly and disciplinal trained?

(7) Which army implements both reward and punishment?

One could forecast which side is having better chances to win after the above comprehensive analysis.

Addition to the above basic rules:

(1) General should listen to his counsel's advice and acting upon it will lead to success.

(2) Accept any avail and helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

(3) Plans should be modified along the line if an advantageous situation arises.

All warfare is partly based on deceptions:

(1) Seem unable when able to attack.

(2) Behave as inactive but are ready to use forces.

(3) Pretend the army is moving away from the war field but actually camped near the area.

(4) When far away, must make the opponent believe we are near.

(5) Use baits to allure the opponent.

(6) Feign disorder followed by attack.

(7) "Be prepared and stay low profile" if opponent is secure and strong.

(8) Pretend to be strong to cause the opponent to avoid you.

(9) Seek ways to irritate the opponent if they are having choleric temper.

(10) Pretend to be weak in order to provoke the opponent to grow arrogant.
(i.e. Like a cat plays with a mouse - a cat feigns weakness and immobility initially, then followed by sudden pouncing upon the mouse.)

(11) Give opponent no rest if they show ease.

(12) Separate the opponent if they are united.

(13) Attack the opponent when they are unprepared.

All the secrecy of the military devices must not be divulged.



(1) He who employs thorough calculations/planning will win the battle.

(2) Compare the advantages and the disadvantages of different situations.
(Should not enter into a war if disadvantages outweigh advantages.)

(3) Sticking only to devised strategy is sometime impossible since situations could be affected by any unforeseen factors.

(4) "Quick Decisions and Flexibility" are the important actions to take when the environment changes and to make good use of the situation swiftly in order to win the battle.

"Know yourself first, then know your opponent, and win thousand battles".

Applying to Business:

(1) Analyze the nature of the business, strategy, products, marketing etc.

(2) Set up Company rules for employees to comply.

(3) Clearly state all the job description for each post.

(4) Introduce bonus scheme.

(5) Employ capable personnel.

"Speedy Decisions and Flexibility" are the major actions to take since external factors and unforeseen situations cannot be predicted, which will have a great effect on the business sector.

Chapter Two

Waging War

Estimate all the expenditure before declaring War

Calculate the cost of the required equipment in a war operation, including all basic necessities together with salary to be dispatched to the army.

Disadvantages of a prolonged war

(1) Country's treasures will decrease.

(2) Mounting debts especially if the army has to come from a far.

(3) Blunt weapons.

(4) Depressed morale.

(5) The strength of the army will be extremely exhausted after attacking city.

(6) A chance for the chieftains of the neighboring places may spring up to take advantage to attack your country, in such a situation even a wise General will not be able to avert the consequences. "Distant water can not help to extinguish the near fire".

Speedy Victory is the solution:

(1)Haste in war may be stupid, but timing will save many costs.

(2)Detailed planning as mentioned in Chapter one is the vital factor for a speedy victory.

Understanding the evil of war first, will help to understand thoroughly the benefit the war will bring.

A wise General will do the following:

(1) Second levy of conscripts will never be called.

(2) The food supply-wagons would only be delivered twice.

(3) Army carry all the equipments from homeland.

(4) Forage on enemy land for the provisions especially food in order to reduce the burden to their own country's people.


(a) The price of the food in their own country will be maintained at acceptable level without draining away people's wealth and affect their routine life.

(b) Reduce cost of distant transportation and all related expenditure.

(5) In order to win the war, his army must be roused to anger in order to enhance their courage in overcoming the enemy

(6) Conquer foe to augment one's strength

(a) Rewarding the army will boost the morale when capturing enemy's booty.

(b) The prisoners of war should be kindly treated and kept.

(c) Re-use captured equipment.


Therefore the leader of the armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the nation's peace or peril will depend on him.


"Speedy Victory" is important for war.

Applying to Business:

(1) Budget in detail before setting up any business.

(2) Reward workers with incentives will help to improve productivity.

(3) Equipment, systems, tactics, personnel, planning, targets etc have to be reviewed frequently in order to achieve better results.

(4) Utilize the local resources.

Chapter Three

Attack by Stratagem

Capture the enemy's entire company and take the country as a whole and intact, breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting is considered to be of supreme excellence.

(1) Avoid Besieging walled cities - This is a lengthy and costly operation.

(2) Men will be killed if the impatient General orders attack.

(3) Subdue the enemy's troops without fighting.

(4) Capture cities without laying siege to them.

(5) Overthrow a country without prolonged operations.

Using troops:

(1) Surround the enemy if numbers are ten to one.

(2) Attack enemy if numbers are five to one.

(3) Divide enemy if numbers are two to one.

(4) Engage enemy with good plan if in equal number.

(5) Avoid engaging enemy if numbers are lower.


Therefore the General is the bulwark of the country, weakness or strength are all depending on his abilities.

Three ways for the Sovereign to bring misfortune upon the army:

(1) "Hindering the Army" - commanding the army to advance or retreat when both situations are impossible.

(2) Interference in the military affairs causes restlessness in the army.

(3) By employing officers of his army indiscriminately, through ignorance of military principles and how to adapt to different circumstances.

The above three ways will cause army to be restless, distrustful, confused and suspicious. The neighboring rulers will take advantage and attack.

Five elements to predict victory:

(1) Know when to fight and when not to fight.

(2) Know how to control both superior and inferior forces.

(3) Army should have equal high spirit throughout its ranks.

(4) Well prepared army will wait to take on unprepared enemy.

(5) The sovereign should never interfere with capable general.

Applying to Business:

Merger or takeover

(1) Collect and analyze all data and situations thoroughly.

(2) Calculate how much you will spend on such operation.

(3) Employ capable personnel.

(4) Announcements should be kept until the last minute.

(5) Keep Company intact.

Chapter Four

Tactical Disposition

A Good General should know:

(1) Will win the war by knowing the possibility of defeat by others first, then waiting for a better chance to attack.

(2) Knows that avoiding defeat by the enemy lies in his own hands, but the chances to defeat the enemy are provided by the enemy.

A good General secures against defeat but cannot be certain to defeat the enemy.

Attack or Defense situation:

(1) Defense - Hide in the most secret place if the army does not have enough strength to conquer.

(2) Attack - When conditions are favorable, then attack with full force.

The clever General should win the war with ease, without mistake and not miss any chance to defeat the enemy.

Preparation before war:

(1) Know all the weak points of the enemy before the war begins.

(2) Analyze all the weak and delicate situations as well as plan any alternate methods.

(3) Implement moral law and discipline.

Five steps to win the battle:

(1) Measuring the size of the enemy's terrain will help to set up plan.

(2) Estimating the required resources according to the above measure.

(3) Calculating the required manpower according to the estimated resources.

(4) Comparing our army with the enemy - weighing up the chances.

(5) Victory will be assured according to the comparisons.

Applying to Business:

(1) Solid foundations and sound financial situations are the factors vital to planning any expansion of the Company.

(2) Do not advance when the situation is not favorable and keep the entire future expansion program in secret.

(3) Implement Company rules, systems and discipline on all levels.

(4) Before expansion, analyze the new project by using method of Measuring, Estimating, Calculating and Comparing in order to ensure victory.

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