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The Fire Scroll For SOG

December 27, 2009

I went to sleep during the day, and checking back in I asked someone following the time line while I was resting what is happening. I’m told it is confused with ongoing clashes. There is continued struggle around IRIB, national TV. Fire is reported there now.

I saw the fires starting before I slept. OK, I’ll need to get organized and I’m up for the rest of the night to review. Even though this is very volatile, Fire is one of the most amazing signs of “I don’t give a fuck” destruction of the old, in with the new, no matter who sets it.

I carry on my person at all times a pocket size version of “The Book Of Five Rings“. I will transcribe the portion of the book on:

“The Fire Scroll”

In the military science of the individual Two Sword school, combat is thought of as fire. Matters pertaining to victory and defeat in combat are thought of a scroll of fire and so are written down herein. To begin with, people of the world all think of the principles of advantage in martial arts in small terms. Some know how to take advantage of a flick of the wrist, using the tips of the fingers. Some know how to win using a fan, by a timely movement of the forearm. Then again, using a bamboo sword or something like that, they may just learn the minor advantage of speed, training their hands and feet in this way, concentrating on trying to take advantage of a little more speed. As far as my military science is concerned, I have discerned the principles of living and dying through numerous duels in which I set my life on the line, learning the science of the sword, getting to know the strength and weakness of opponents’ sword blows, comprehending the uses of the blade and ridge of the sword, and practicing how to kill opponents. In the course of doing this, little sissy things never even occurred to me. Especially when one is in full combat gear, one does not think of small things. Furthermore, to fight even five or ten people singlehandedly in duels with your life on the line and find a sure way to beat them is what my military science is all about. Sow hat is the difference between the logic of one person beating ten people and a thousand people beating ten thousand people? This is to be given careful consideration. Nevertheless, it is impossible to collect a thousand or ten thousand people for everyday practice to learn this science. Even if you are exercising alone with a sword, assess the knowledge and tactics of all adversaries, know the strong and weak moves of adversaries, find out how to beat everyone by means of the knowledge and character of military science, and you will become a master of this path. Who in the world can attain the direct penetration of my military science? Training and refining day and night with the determination to eventually consummate it, after having perfected it, one gains a unique freedom, spontaneously attains wonders, and is endowed with inconceivable powers of penetration. This is how cosmic law is carried out through martial arts.

The Physical Situation

In discerning the lay of the physical situation, there is what is known as positioning yourself with the sun at your back. This means that you take up your stance with the sun behind you. If the situation does not allow you to keep the sun at your back, then you should strive to keep the sun to your right. This also applies indoors, where you should keep the light to your back, or to your right. It is desirable to be sure that there is nothing in the way behind you, and that there is plenty of room to your left, taking a stance in such a way as to cut off the space to your right and close in. At night also, where you can see your opponents, take your stand with fires to your back and lights to your right, as dictated above. In order to “look down on the enemy,” understand that you should take your stand on the highest ground, even if it is only slightly elevated. Indoors, the seat of honor should be regarded as the high ground.  Anyway, when it comes to battle, the idea is to chase your opponents to your left; it is essential to make sure that obstacles are to the rear of your opponents, then chase them into an obstacle any way you can.

When you get opponents to an obstacle, in order to prevent them from observing the situation, press your attack without let up so that they cannot look around. The same thing about not letting opponents observe the situation also applies indoors, when you are chasing them into door sills, head jambs, doors, screens, verandas, pillars, or other obstacles. In any case, the direction in which you chase opponents should be toward places where the footing is bad or there is obstruction on either side. Use whatever qualities of the setting you can, concentrating on taking advantage of the situation. This is something that calls for careful and thorough reflection and practice.

Three Preemptions

There are three kinds of preemption. One is when you preempt by attacking an oponent on your own initiative; this is called preemption from a state of suspension. Another is when you preempt an opponent making an attack on you; this is called preemption from a state of waiting. Yet another is when you and an opponent attack each other simultaneously;his is called preemption in a state of mutual confrontation. These are the three ways of preemption. At the beginning of any battle, there are no other choices but these three initiatives. Since it is a matter of gaining victory quickly by preemption, therefore preemption is the foremost concern in martial arts. There are many details involved in preemption, but they cannot be fully written down because it is a matter of putting priority on the pattern of the particular time, perceiving the intention of opponents, and using your knowledge of martial arts to win.

First there is preemption from a state of suspension. When you want to attack, you remain calm and quiet, then get the jump on your opponent by attacking suddenly and quickly. You can preempt by being outwardly powerful and swift while inwardly leaving reserves. You can also get the jump by steeling your mind to the utmost, accelerating your pace a bit, and making a violent attack the instant you get up close to the opponent. You can also win by letting your mind go free, determining to beat your opponent at the same thing from start to finish, gaining victory by thoroughgoing strength of the heart. All of these are examples of preemption from a state of suspension.

Second is preemption from a state of waiting. When an opponent comes at you, you do not react but appear to be weak: then, when the opponent gets near, you spring away with a powerful leap, almost as if you were flying; then when you see the opponent slack, you forcefully overcome his straightaway. This is one way of preemption. Also when an opponent attacks and you aggressively meet the attack, the moment you sense a change in the rhythm of the opponent’s attack, you can gain victory right there and then. This is the principle of preemption from a state of waiting.

Third is preemption in a state of mutual confrontation. In case an opponent attacks swiftly, you attack calmly yet powerfully; when the opponent gets close, tighten your bearing with absolute resolve, and when the opponent shows sign of slacking, overcome him with force immediately. then again, when an opponent attacks calmly and quietly, accelerate your own attack slightly, with your body lightly buoyant; when the opponent gets close, clash once and then, adapting to his condition, overcome him forcefully. This is preemption in a state of mutual confrontation. These moves are hard to write about it detail; they should be worked out along the general lines of the moves written down here. These three ways of preemption depend on the time and logic of the situation. Even though you are not to be always the one to attack, if it amounts to the same thing, you would rather take the initiative and put opponents on the defensive. However it may be, the idea of preemption is gaining certain victory through the power of knowledge of martial arts. It must be cultivated and refined very thoroughly.

Holding Down The Pillow

Holding down the pillow means not letting someone raise his head. In martial arts, in the course of dueling, it is bad to be maneuvered around by others. It is desirable to maneuver opponents around freely, by whatever means you may. Therefore opponents will be thinking along these lines, and you too have this intention, but it is impossible to succeed in this without comprehending what others are doing. Martial arts include stopping an opponent’s striking blows, arresting his thrusts, tearing away his grips. holding down the pillow means that when you have attained my science in reality and are engaged with an opponent, whenever the opponent evinces any sign of intending to make a move ,you perceive it before he acts. Stopping an opponent’s attack at the initial outset, not letting him follow through, is the sense of “holding down the pillow.” For example, you inhibit an opponent’s attack the from the letter “a”, so to speak; you inhibit an opponent’s leap from the letter b, and inhibit an opponent’s cut from the letter “c”. These are all the same idea. whenever opponents try to attack you, let them go ahead and do anything that is useless, while preventing them from doing anything useful. This is essential to military science. Here, if you consciously try to thwart opponents, you are already late. First, doing whatever you do scientifically, thwart the opponent’s very first impulse to try something, thus foiling everything. to manipulate opponents in this way is mastery of the art of war, which comes from practice. The act of holding down the pillow requires thorough examination.

Crossing a Ford

When you cross a sea, there are places called straits. Also, places where you cross a sea even twelve or fifteen miles wide are called fords. In going through the human world as well, in the course of a lifetime there will be many points that could be called crossing a ford. On the sea-lanes, knowing where the fords are, knowing the state of the boat, knowing the weather, even without launching companion boats, you adapt to the state of the time, sometimes taking advantage of crosswinds, sometimes even getting favorable winds, knowing that even if the wind changes you can still reach port by oar, you take command of the ship and cross the ford. With that attitude, in passing through the human world you should also have a sense of crossing a ford in an emergency. In martial arts, in the midst of battle, it is also essential to “cross the ford.” Sensing the state of opponents, aware of your own mastery, you cross the ford by means of the appropriate principles, just as a skilled captain goes over a sea-lane. having crossed over the ford, furthermore, there is peace of mind. To “cross a ford,” put the adversary in a weak position and get the jump yourself; then you will generally quickly prevail. whether in large-scale military science or individual martial arts, the sense of crossing a ford is essential. It should be savored thoroughly.

Knowing the State of Affairs

In large-scale military science, knowing the state of affairs means discerning the flourishing and decline of opponents, discerning the intentions of adversary troops and perceiving their condition, clearly seeing the state of affairs, determining how to deploy your own troops so as to gain certain victory by the principles of military science, and doing battle with knowledge of what lies ahead. Also, in individual martial arts, you determine opponents’ traditions, observe the personal character of adversaries, find out people’s strengths and weaknesses, maneuver in ways contrary to opponents’ expectations, determine opponents’ highs and lows, ascertain the rhythms in between, and make the first move; this is essential. If your own power of insight is strong, the state of affairs of everything will be visible to you. Once you have attained complete independent mastery of martial arts, you will be able to figure out the minds of opponents and thus find many ways to win. This demands work.

Stomping a Sword

 Stomping a sword is a move used only in martial arts. First of all, in large-scale military science, even with bows and guns, when opponents attack you with whatever they have, after they have shot their first volley and are renewing their barrage, it is hard for you to make your attack if you are cocking a bow or loading a gun. The idea is to attack quickly while the enemy is in the process of shooting. The sense of this is that if you attack quickly, it is hard to use arrows against you, hard to shoot you with a gun. The idea is that whatever opponents attack with, you immediately sense the pattern and gain victory by stomping down anything the opponent does. In the context of individual martial arts as well, if you strike in the wake of an opponent’s striking sword, it will turn into a clashing, clanging volley of blows, and you will get nowhere. When an opponent lashes out with his sword, you overpower his assault by stomping the sword down with your foot, seeing to it that he cannot strike a second blow. Stomping is not only done with the feet. You should also learn to “stomp” with your body, “stomp” with your mind, and of course “stomp” with a sword, in such a way as to prevent opponents from making a second move. This means getting the jump on everything. It does not mean randomly hitting an opponent with the idea of settling the contest all at once. It means instantaneous and unyielding follow-up. this should be investigated thoroughly.

Knowing Disintegration

Disintegration is something that happens to everything. When a house crumbles, a person crumbles, or an adversary crumbles, they fall apart by getting out of rhythm with the times. In large-scale military science, it is also essential to find the rhythm of opponents as they come apart and pursue them so as not to let openings slip by. If you miss the timing of vulnerable moments, there is the likelihood of counterattack. In individual martial arts it also happens that an adversary will get out of rhythm in combat and start to fall apart. If you let such a chance get by you, the adversary will recover and thwart you. it is essential to follow up firmly on any loss of poise on the part of an opponent, to prevent him from recovering. The follow-up calls for directness and power; it is a matter of lashing out violently in such a way that an opponent cannot recover. This lashing out must be carefully analyzed. If you do not let go, there is a sense of slovenliness. This is something that requires work.

Becoming the Opponent

Becoming the opponent means you should put yourself in an opponent’s place and think from the opponent’s point of view. As I see the world, if a burglar holes up in a house, he is considered a powerful opponent. From his point of view, however, the whole world is against him; he is holed up in a helpless situation. The one who is holed up in a pheasant; the one who goes in there to fight it out is a hawk. This calls for careful reflection. In large-scale military science as well, opponents are thought of as powerful and dealt with carefully. When you have good troops, know the principles of martial arts well, and sense the way to overcome an oppponent, you need no worry. You should also put yourself in the opponent’s position in individual martial arts. When one meets a master of the science, someone who comprehends martial arts and is good at the science, one thinks one will lose. Consider this well.

Letting Go Four Hands

Letting go four hands is for when you and an opponent are in a deadlock and no progress is being made in the fight. It means that when you think you are going to get into a deadlock, you stop that right away and seize victory by taking advantage of a different approach. In large-scale military science as well, if there is total deadlock and no progress is being made, there will be a loss of personnel. It is essential to stop right away and seize victory by taking advantage of a tactic unsuspected by the enemy. In individual martial arts also, if you think you are getting into a deadlock, then it is essential to immediately change your approach, ascertain the opponent’s state, and determine how to win by means of a very different tactic.

Moving Shadows

Moving shadows is something you do when you cannot discern what an adversary is thinking. In large-scale military science, when you cannot discern the enemy’s state, you pretend to make a powerful attack to see what they will do. Having seen opponents’ methods, it is easy to seize victory by taking advantage of different tactics specially adapted to each case. In individual martial arts also, when an opponent is brandishing his sword behind him or to his side, when he is suddenly about to strike, he shows his intent in his sword. Once it shows perceptibly, you should immediately sense the advantage and know how to win with certainty. If you are inattentive, you will miss the rhythm. This should be examined thoroughly.

Arresting Shadows

Arresting shadows is something you do when adversaries’ aggressive intentions toward you are perceptible. In large-scale military science, this means to arrest the enemy’s action at the point of the very impulse to act. If you demonstrate strongly to opponents how you control the advantage, they will change their minds, inhibited by this strength. You change your attitude too – to an empty mind, from which you take the initiative and seize victory. In individual martial arts as well, you use advantageous rhythm to arrest the powerful determination of the adversary’s motivation; then you find the winning advantage in the moment of pause and now take take the initiative. This must be worked out thoroughly.


There is infection in everything. Even sleepiness can be infectious. There is even the infection of a time. In large-scale military science, when adversaries are excited and evidently are in a hurry to act, you behave as though you are completely unfazed, giving the appearance of being thoroughly relaxed and at ease. Do this, and adversaries themselves are influenced by this mood, becoming less enthusiastic. When you think opponents have caught that mood, you empty your own mind and act quickly and firmly, thus to gain the winning advantage. In individual martial arts as well, it is essential to be relaxed in body and mind, notice the moment an opponent slackens, and quickly take the initiative to win. There is also something called “entrancing” that is similar to infection. One entrancing mood is boredom. Another is restlessness. Another is faintheartedness. This should be worked out thoroughly.


Upset happens in all sorts of things. One way it happens is through a feeling of being under acute pressure. Another is through a feeling of unreasonable strain. A third is through a feeling of surprise at the unexpected. In large-scale military science, it is essential to cause upset. It is critical to attack resolutely where enemies are not expecting it; then, while their minds are unsettled, use this to your advantage to take the initiative and win. In individual martial arts also, you appear relaxed at first, then suddenly charge powerfully; as the opponent’s mind changes pitch, it is essential that you follow what he does, not letting him relax for a moment, perceiving the advantage of the moment and discerning right then and there how to win. this must be investigated diligently.


There is fright in everything. this means being frightened by the unexpected. Even in large-scale military science, threatening an adversary is not something right before the eyes. You may threaten by sound, you may threaten by making the small seem large, and you may threaten by making an unexpected move from the side. These are situations in which fright occurs. If you can seize the moment of fright, you can take advantage of it to gain victory. In individual martial arts also, you can threaten by means of your body, you can threaten by means of your sword, and you can threaten by means of your voice. What is essential is to suddenly make a move totally unexpected by the opponent, pick up on the advantage of fright, and seize victory right then and there. This must be worked out thoroughly.

Sticking Tight

Sticking tight means when you are fighting at close range, you and your adversary each exerting great force against the other, and you see that it is not going well, you then stick tight to your opponent; the essential point is to take advantage of opportunities to win even as you wrestle together. Whether in large or small-scale military science, when you and opponents have taken sides and aer facing off and it is not clear who will prevail, right then and there you stick tight to the opponents, so that you cannot be separated, and in that process find the advantage, determine how to win, and seize victory powerfully; this is quintessential. This must be studied diligently.

Coming Up Against Corners 

Coming up against corners means that when you push something that is strong, it hardly gives way immediately, just like that. In large-scale military science, observe the opposing troops; where they have surged ahead, hit the corner of this strong front, and you should get the advantage. As the corner collapses, everyone gets the feeling of collapse. Even as they are collapsing, it is essential to realize when each corner is ready to go and sense when to overcome it. In individual martial arts too, when you inflict pain on part of his body each time an opponent makes an aggressive move, his body will weaken by degrees until he is ready to collapse and it is easy to beat him. It is essential to study this carefully to discern where you can win.


STILL MUST ADD MORE INFORMATION …. continuing now…..check back in. 

Translators Introduction

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