Governing a large number as
though governing a small number
is a matter of division into groups.
Battling a large number as though
battling a small number is a matter
of forms and calls.
Making the armies able to take on
opponents without being defeated
is a matter of unorthodox and
For the impact of armed forces to
be like stones thrown on eggs is a
matter of emptiness and fullness.
In battle, confrontation is done,
directly, victory is gained by surprise.
Therefore those skilled at the
unorthodox are infinite as heaven
and earth, inexhaustible as the
great rivers. When they come to an
end, they begin again, like the
days and months; they die and are
reborn, like the four seasons.
There are only five notes in the
musical scale, but their variations
are so many that they cannot all be
heard. There are only five basic
colors, but their variations are so
many that they cannot all be seen.
There are only five basic flavors,
but their variations are so many
that they cannot all be tasted.
There are only two kinds of charge
in battle, the unorthodox surprise
attack and the orthodox direct
attack, but variations of the
unorthodox and the orthodox are
endless. The unorthodox and the
orthodox give rise to each other,
like a beginningless circle -- who
could exhaust them?
When the speed of rushing water
reaches the point where it can
move boulders, this is the force of
momentum. When the speed of a
hawk is such that it can strike and
kill, this is precision. So it is with
skillful warriors--their force is
swift, their precision is close.
Their force is like drawing a
catapult, their precision is like
releasing the trigger.
Disorder arises from order,
cowardice arises from courage,
weakness arises from strength.
Order and disorder are a matter of
organization, courage and
cowardice are a matter of momentum,
strength and weakness are a
matter of formation.
Therefore those who skillfully
move opponents make formations
that opponents are sure to follow,
give what opponents are sure to
take. They move opponents with
the prospect of gain, waiting for
them in ambush.
Therefore good warriors seek
effectiveness in battle from the force
of momentum, not from individual
people. Therefore they are able to
choose people and let the force of
momentum do its work.
Getting people to fight by letting
the force of momentum work is
like rolling logs and rocks. Logs
and rocks are still when in a secure
place, but roll on an incline; they
remain stationary if square, they
roll if round. Therefore, when
people are skillfully led into
battle, the momentum is like that of
round rocks rolling down a high
momentum -- this is force.