Education Index

More Sun Tzu information


Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Five

Posture of Army

Managing a large force is similar to organizing a small army


(1) A method of dividing the army

(2) Creating signs and signals such as flags, banners, drums, gongs and names for the troops to be distinguished.


Withstand attacks from the enemy without suffering defeat by using tactics of "Direct and Indirect Maneuvers".

In all fights, use direct methods in battle, but use indirect methods to win the war.

Direct and indirect tactics should always be employed in battles, which have an endless series of maneuvers, combinations and possibilities.

The combination of direct and indirect tactical methods are like:

(1) Inexhaustible haven and earth.

(2) Endless flow of rivers.

(3) Endless sun and moon rises and falls each day.

Four seasons repeated endlessly.

Five musical notes with their different combinations could produce melodies that one has never heard before.

Five primary colors with the different combinations will produce endless hues.

Five basic tastes such as sweet, sour, bitter, chili and salty with different combinations to create endless flavors.

A good General knows how to utilize circumstances and wait for the right moment to attack.

Similar to a fully bended crossbow waiting for the right time to be released relates to:

(1) Momentum - like stones rolling in a torrent of water.

Timing - like a well-timed falcon striking the victim at the precise moment.

Against defeat:

(1) Order in the army is largely dependent on direction and organization.

Avoid overconfidence as it will lead to disaster.

Strength depends on tactical positioning.

The art of skillful deception of the enemy followed by speedy attack.


A good General knows:

(1) When not to put undue demand on his sub-ordinates.

Not to demand perfection from the untalented, but select and arrange his army into suitable posts according to the individual capabilities and talents.

(3) To utilize the combined force like a pebble or log, motionless on the ground, but when rolling down a slope, gathering speed and momentum.

Applying to Business:

In the Company:

(1) Select and arrange personnel in different posts according to ability and talent.

(2) Team work is often better than individual effort.

(3) Utilize local resources.

(4) Wait for the right time to expand.

Chapter Six

Weak and Strong Points

First to be in the field and wait for the enemy will have the upper hand to win the battle with ease rather than later arrival

Clever General knows how to impose his will on enemy by using bait, tactics and deception together with:-

(1) Attacking enemy when they are at ease.

(2) Starving the enemy by cutting off their food supply.

(3) Keeping the enemy on the move when they want to rest.

(4) Attacking the weakest point of the enemy line.

(5) Gather information as to where the enemy will be.

Separate Enemy's Strength



(1) Divide the enemy's strength by surprise attack.

(2) Use full force to attack the divided enemy to win the battle.

Tactical approach is like the flow of water

(1) Military tactics is like water flowing from high to low level.

(2) The terrain always alters the run of the water which resembles the changing tactics of the enemy's movement.


No fixed Rules for Method of Attack:

(1) The ever changing Five Elements - Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.

(2) Changeable four seasons.

(3) Changeable length of days and nights.


In the Company:

(1) Know adversary's capability and compare with own performance in order to survive in the market.

(2) Alter strategy with changing market economy.

Applying to Business:

(1) Attack the weak fronts, but avoid the strong.

(2) Change tactics as situation requires.

Chapter Seven


Tactical maneuvering is the most difficult task compared to harmonize the army in different prospects.

To gain the favorable situation, the General has to consider:-

(1) Turning the devious into the direct.

(2) Change all misfortune into gains.

Swiftly arrive at the war-zone before the enemy is critical, but choosing which way to maneuver the army to the war-zone is even more important.

Analyst the different ways to maneuver:

(1) A fully equipped army will delay the journey, but by leaving heavy equipment behind, may result in loosing to the enemy.

Tactics to use:- Mislead enemy, move when there is real advantage to gain, divide or gather army depending on the circumstances.

(2) For an army travel continuously days & night to the war-zone without halt is not practical.

(3) The war will be lost without heavy arms, provisions and supply base.

(4) Seeking alliances with the neighboring countries around the war-zone could help to win the war.

(5) Familiarity with the terrain of the war-zone is vital.

(6) Employ local guides.


Six examples - Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain, Dark and Thunder.

(1) Moving army as swift as the wind, gone without trace.

(2) Moving quietly like the forest.

(3) Raiding aggressively like the fire.

(4) Holding a position like a mountain that cannot be moved.

(5) Hiding in secret place without enemy knowing like the dark cloud covers the sky.

(6) Attack like the speed of thunder so that enemy cannot parry.

General also has other points to consider:

(A) Use of Drums and Banners & Flags in the battlefield.

(1) Spoken order cannot carry far enough, then drums will be used to convey the order.
(2) Distinguished Banner & Flags are used to help to identify.

When fighting at night, make use of fire and drums signals, and by day, using banners and flags as a means of communication with the army. These tactics also affect the enemy's sprit.

(B) Soldiers' spirits are higher in the morning, tired & lazy at noon, looking forward to returning to camp in the evening.

Therefore: Avoid attacking the enemy when their spirit is high or looking forward to returning to camp in the evening.

The Art of War is:

(1) Advancing uphill to fight the enemy is not favorable.

(2) Do not oppose enemy when they move downhill.

(3) Do not pursue an enemy who entices the fight.

(4) Do not attack when the enemy is in high spirits.

(5) Do not eat food offered by the enemy.

(6) Do not stop enemy returning to their camp.

(7) Leave an escape route for the enemy when surrounding them.

(8) Do not press or track after the fleeing foe too hard.


Applying to Business:

In the Company:

(1) It is not wise to challenge a large corporation with solid foundation.

(2) Rapid expansion may result in failure.

(3) Analyze thoroughly before investing.

(4) Aggressive advertising may help to revert the declining sales.

Chapter Eight

The Nine variables

Mandate from the sovereign is vital for the General to mobilize the army.

A general should know the importance of "The Variables" in order to win the battle.

(1) An inaccessible area is not an ideal place to set up camp.

(2) Route to neighboring country from the camp must be easily accessible.

(3) Avoid remote terrain.

(4) Beware of area surrounded by mountains in case of sudden attack.

(5) If surrounded, employ various tactics to fight.

(6) In a hopeless situation, fight with all strength.

(7) Change route to confuse enemy.

(8) Ignore small skirmishes but concentrate on gathering all the army at the main battleground.

(9) Refrain from attacking minor places, but advance to the major strategic center in order to gain a speedy victory.

A wise General always considers:-

(1) Favorable and unfavorable factors must always be taken into consideration in any good or bad situation.

(2) Do not assume the enemy will not come to attack because you are invincible, but always continue to set up strong and seamless tactics.

Five fatal characteristics for a General could result in a lost battle.

(1) Dying is nothing but they could be killed.

(2) The cowardly and fearful could be captured.

(3) The Quick-tempered cannot resist provocation.

(4) The importance of reputation could easily be exploited by the enemy.

(5) Compassionate nature will also be ceased upon by the enemy.

Applying to Business:

In the Company:

(1) Change tactics whenever possible.

(2) Always have plans and solutions ready for a sudden change of situation.

(3) The attitudes and approach of the Managers, CEO etc certainly influences the productivity of staff.

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