|Sun Tzu said:
1. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the
possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the
||To win, you need the
right opportunity, which may take time to find. During that time of
you may be defeated and so lose. Defense comes first.
if you put all your resources into promoting new products, your cash
cows may be exposed to attack.
|2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the
opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
||If you have a good
defense, you will survive attacks. If you have a weak defense, then
even a moderate attack may well succeed.
The same is true for your enemy. Understand their defense to know
how hard or easy it will be to defeat them.
This is the principle of the feint,
where a false attack triggers a defensive move that also exposes a
In business, you can make small competitive moves just
to see how your competitors react. You can then plan a more
|3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot
make certain of defeating the enemy.
||The same is true for
the individual fighter. If you can block and parry or otherwise
avoid their thrusts, you can wait to find an opening through which
you can defeat them in a single blow.
In this way, two good
fighters circle one another and may fight for a long period before
one makes a mistake
|4. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.
||If you know how to
attack or punch well, yet your opponent can defend against all your
attacks, then you will still not win.
Recognizing good strategy
and being able to design and implement it are different things.
|5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the
enemy means taking the offensive.
||To avoid losing, you
must be able to defend. Knowing this, you can spend too much on
building a strong defense.
To win, however, you must be able to attack.
And so you must also plan and prepare for winning attacks.
Yu said: "Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning
of an attack."
|6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a
superabundance of strength.
||It can be easier to
defend than attack, for example by holding a defensible higher
position. In this way weaker forces will defend more, hoping perhaps to see
a weakness in their attackers into which they can sally forth.
Strong forces can
successfully attack a defensive position only if
they are strong enough to break through. This may require very
significant attacking advantage.
|7. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of
the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of
heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other,
a victory that is complete.
||The leader must
unashamedly know their strengths and weaknesses in both defense and
attack and act accordingly.
If they are weak in attack, they should seek an unassailable
position which is easy to defend. Concealment is an art that does
not literally meet going underground. If the enemy cannot find you,
you may hide in plain sight. If they cannot see your strength or
know your plans, they may make foolish moves.
If they are strong in attack, then a fast and powerful thrust can
overcome many defenses.
Sometimes abilities come from where you live or what you do.
People on desirable islands or hilltops may not need to attack, but
regularly need to repel invaders, and so develop defensive skills.
Those who are aggressive and acquisitive may, through many
campaigns, become skilful in attack.