Transcript of "The Art Of War - The Methods of Sima Fa"
The Art Of War The Methods of the Minister of War
During Spring and Autumn Period ( 722 to 476 BC) , King Hui reigned Eastern Shou Dynasty for 5 years (since 677 BC). Chen Wan, who fled from the Chen State to Qi in 672 BC because of civil unrest in Chen . Chen Wan changed his clan name from Chen to Tian and named Tian Wan when in Qi, and the Tian became a prominent family in the politics of the state . King Hui Tian Wan
125 years Later, during the reign of Duke Jing of Qi ( 547-490 BC ) , Tian Wan’s Descendants, Tian Shu was a minister in the Qi court , while Tian Rangju was an impoverished member of a lesser branch of the Tian clan . Tian Rangju Duke Jing of Qi Tian Shu
During the reign of Duke Jing Gong, Yanzi was the renowned prime minister of the Qi State. It is said that Yanzi was short and ugly, but well - leant and brilliantly talented . He was also gifted with a silver tongue . Meanwhile, he was an advocate of ruling the country with rites . As such, he suggested to Duke Jing of Qi that he should ease the people's tax burden and reduce penalties . He died of illness in 500 BC.
Tian Rangju was War Minister to Duke Jing of Qi . In his youth, he made a thorough study of the art of war and became well - versed in military affairs . He shared the same ancestor as Sunzi and Sun Bin, both famous military strategists in ancient China .
Kind and generous to his men, he was able to inspire and motivate them to give their utmost in their motherland quest for survival and power . Later, one of his descendants, King Wei of Qi, had his senior officials compile ancient teachings on warfare as studied, expounded and enriched by Tian Rangju .
Later Tian Shu was granted a fief and a new sub - surname of Sun and he was the grandfather of Sun Wu, while Tian Rangju was made Grand Marshal of the Qi and thus became known as Sima Rangju . Sima Rangju was the tactician who served the Qi State and wrote the military manual Sima Fa or Methods of Sima which was included in 7 military classic books. Sima Rangju
The Methods of the Minister of War ( 司馬法 , Sima Fa ) , attributed to Sima Rangju ( 司馬穰苴 )/ Tian Rangju ( 田穰苴 )
There are altogether 5 chapters in this work and they are as follows : Chapter 1 : Benevolence as Foundation Chapter 2 : Duty of the Son of Heaven Chapter 3 : Determining Ranks Chapter 4 : Formational Discipline Chapter 5 : Employing Masses The Methods of the Minister of War
Chapter 1 : Benevolence as Foundation Ideal Political Governance Love People Teaching Six Virtues Administrative Measures Punishing Offenders Governing Feudal Lords Nine Prohibitions
Ideal Leadership Ancient Leadership Authority The Leader Within The State Outside of State Benevolence as the Foundation. The leader gains the Love of the people Acquire Awesomeness Employing Righteousness By which he can be preserved By which he Can wage war Restored to when Leader doesn’t achieve desired objective Authority comes from warfare – not from hamony among men Killing is permissable – If one must kill men to give peace to The people Attacking permissable – If one must attack a state out of love For their people War permissable – If one must stop war with war Shows Benevolence Shows Righteousness Shows Wisdom Shows Courage Show Integrity
Love People The way to love Your people The way to love Others people The way to love Both your own and Others people Not forgetting warfare Not going against the seasons Not taking too much form the people Those who forget warfare will be endangered One must still use hunting trips as war exercises One must still train the army during spring and summer Not attacking them during national mourning Not taking advantage of Natural Disasters Not mobilizing the army in winter or summer
The six virtues The forms of Propriety Benovolence Integrity Wisdom Not Pursuing a fleeing enemy more than 100 pace Not following a retreating enemy more than 3 days Not exhausting the incapable Having sympathy for the wounded and sick Awaiting completion of the enemies formation Before attacking Righteousness Contending Righteousness and not for profit Courage Pardoning those who submitted Knowing the beginning and end of war
Chapter 2: Duty of the Son of Heaven Duty of Son of Heaven Educating the Population Pursuing the Enemy Uniting the Masses Governance and Weapons Promoting Virtue Weapons Chariots, Flags, Insignia Awesomeness Order in Formation Military and Civilian Realm Rewards and Punishment Harmony and Peace
Chapter 3: Determining Ranks Before Start of War Before Start of War II Five Considerations and Weapons Unity and Strength Wits and Courage Heaven, Resources and Excellence Army Preparation Disastrous Campaign Waging War Waging War II Military Formations Making Enemy Submit Seven Military Affairs & Four Controls Benevolence & Talents Setting Out for War Setting Regulations & Policies Managing Chaos Establishing Laws Centralized Authority & Law Upper & Lower Ranks
Chapter 4: Formational Discipline Troops Formation Requirements Sitting and Squatting Formations Executing Punishment Endurance & Victory Solid Defense Set for Victory & Fear Troops Size Encamped, On the Move, In Battle Respecting Troops From Small to Big Bad Characteristics of General Some Causes of Death Timing, Terrain & Popular Support Alertness Strategic Attack vs Physical Attack Unity and Victory Drums and Drumbeats Strength in Formation and Numbers Using Formations Character and Culture Basic Principles to Achieve Victory Credit Victory and Assuming Blame Treating the Population Enemy to Attack or Avoid
Chapter 5: Employing Masses Employing Large or Small Forces Movement of Troops After Deployment Testing Enemy Chasing Enemy Planning Attack and Retreat Timing and Resting Troops Administration
The book generally classifies wars into two categories of just and unjust based on the purpose . The wars that put down chaos, root out evil and violence, and help the weak are considered righteous . Therefore, killing to stop killing, attacking another nation for its people's sake, and fighting that stops more fighting are acceptable . In short, the principle of starting a war is whether it is humane, and the book raises nine conditions under which one should not start a war . The precondition of launching a war is to protect the interest of the people . The Methods of the Minister of War
The Methods of the Minister of War On the issue of dealing with the enemy, the book also comes up with some innovative ideas . Common soldiers should be treated differently from war criminals, while prisoners of war deserve preferential treatment . The wounded in the war should be treated with proper medical care . The troops should not violate the interest of the people of the enemy country . Upon entering the enemy's domain, the soldiers are to strictly follow rules and regulations to get the support of the people in the enemy country . This is the earliest discussion on the policies to the enemy in China .
Preparedness and cautiousness to war are two important thoughts in the book . To be alert to danger in times of peace requires mental preparedness, which in turn ensures security . Via two large - scale surrounding hunts each year, the troops are trained and inspected, so as to remind the country about possible war any time . While emphasizing war preparedness, the book also stresses, " though the country is big and powerful, it is doomed to demise if it is too belligerent ." The Methods of the Minister of War
The Methods of the Minister of War Administering an army is very different from managing the state affairs, as the former upholds rituals and the latter values laws . The paramount problem of regulating discipline in the army is handled through the reward and punishment system . The book lists the differences and similarities of the reward and punishment systems in the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties ( about 21st century-256BC ) , and discusses the essentials for establishing various rules in the army . Besides, there are also a lot of specific customs and rules, as well as the standards for an army general at that time in the book .
The Methods of the Minister of War The guiding thought of the book is based on the military dialectics . The book accentuates comprehensive investigation and inspection about war, namely, the " five ponderings " -- timing, wealth, support ( of the people ) , landform, and weapons . Before a war, meticulous schemes are required, while changes and adaptations are needed in the war according to the increasing knowledge about the enemy .
In Sima ’ s Rules of War , Sima Ranju said that the Tao is about benevolence . " Neither contravening the seasons nor working the people to exhaustion, neither attacking a state in national mourning nor taking advantage of natural disaster, or not mobilize the army in either winter or summer, this is the mean of loving the people, both yours and your enemy's ." Quotes of Sima Rangju