|Sun Tzu said:
7. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places
which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold
positions that cannot be attacked.
attack in places which are undefended, such as flanks and the rear.
If all areas are defended, select weaker points to attack, where
defenses are weakest.
In the opposite sense, ensure you have no undefended or weak
points that offer the enemy an easy way in.
|8. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what
to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to
|A foolish enemy will
assume you will attack only directly. If they are less foolish, you
can still keep them on their toes with regular indirect attacks such
that they have to distribute their troops everywhere.
If you are
good at defending, you can hold off a larger force which remains
puzzled as to what attacks to use and so does not attack.
Ways to do this include taking superior positions and having good
intelligence and mobile troops who can reach defensive positions
before the enemy arrives.
This principle is equally applicable in business. If you can take
market share and defend your own, you will grow and grow.
|9. O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be
invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our
|When you use
camouflage, secrecy and other ways of cloaking your positions and
intent, you can act at will, even from within enemy territory.
original words for this paragraph talk about 'without form or
sound'. how can you attack a formless enemy?
10. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the
enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements
are more rapid than those of the enemy.
through weak points, always sustain the route back home. It does not
help to be cut off whilst in enemy territory.
|11. If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though
he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. All we need do is attack
some other place that he will be obliged to relieve.
|A simple way to
winkle an enemy out of his hidey-hole is to force him to come to the
defense of some other place.
Rather than laying siege, attack other places. When the enemy
leaves their stronghold to help others, then you can ambush them.
It is also possible to feed them false information that other
places are being attacked, with the same effect.
|12. If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us
even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All
we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way.
|An advancing army is
cautious in case of traps and deception. You can hence deceive by
suggesting deception. This will halt them until the suspected
problem is resolved.
Such bluffing can require bold moves. There is a story of a city
being attacked that suddenly threw open its gates to reveal not
defenders but people sweeping the ground. Filled with suspicion, the