Wu Zi / The Methods of The Sima / Wei Liao Zi

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The Wuzi is a classic Chinese work on military strategy by Wu Qi.It is said there were other two books on the art of war by Wu Qi, but both were lost, hence leaving Wu Zi as the only existing book carrying Wu's military thoughts. The earliest Wuzi edition dates to the Song Dynasty.The book analyzes that there are five reasons for wars-desire for fame, want of profit, accumulated evils, civil strife, and famine-and five kinds of troops-righteous, strong, firm, violent, and rebellious; the book also pays much attention to war preparedness. It is considered to be on par with Sun Tzu's The Art of War. The Methods of the Sima is a text discussing laws, regulations, government policies, military organization, military administration, discipline, basic values, grand strategy, and strategy. It is considered to be one of the Seven Military Classics of ancient China. It developed in the state of Qi during the 4th century BC.The message of this classic is that war and force in general is a tool of rectification and cannot be used for mere advantage. A distinction must be drawn between civilian and military life. In civil life, courtesy and benevolence are essential. In military affairs, order and discipline is essential. The Emperor must conduct himself differently in these two spheres and expect different things from citizens. In civil life, he must cultivate the people through education and custom which should become habitual.Only an army which is perfectly unified has any chance of success. The army is like a tennis player who must respond to the movements of the ball with perfect coordination. A tennis player whose arms moved in contradiction to his legs would certainly lose. This requires the Emperor and his representatives to enforce strict discipline. Laws must be clear and consistent and enforced with total impartiality. There must also be active concern for disruption and sedition. ..
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Wu Zi replied: "This is called fighting in valleys where numbers are of no avail. Talented men should be collected, and set against the enemy. Well-armed light troops should be deployed in front; the chariots divided; the horsemen drawn up and placed in ambush on four sides with several li in between and without showing themselves. Then the enemy will certainly make his defense firm and will not venture either to advance or retreat. Whereupon raise your standards and show the ranks of banners, march out of the mountains and pitch camps in the plain.The enemy will certainly be apprehensive. Challenge him with your chariots and horsemen and allow him no rest. Such is the method of fighting in valleys."
Marquis Wu asked: "If the enemy is suddenly encountered in a marsh where the water is out,so that the chariot wheels are sunk in, and the shafts are covered, and the chariots and horsemen overcome by the waters, and if there are no boats or oars, and it is impossible either to advance or retreat, what should be done in these circumstances?"
Wu Zi / The Methods of The Sima / Wei Liao Zi