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The Kind Win
The strategists say,
"Do not be the aggressor but the defender.
Do not advance an inch, but retreat a foot instead."
This is movement without moving,
stretching the arm without showing it,
confronting enemies with the idea there is no enemy,
holding in the hand no weapons.
No disaster is greater than underestimating the enemy.
Underestimating the enemy will destroy my treasures.
Thus when the battle is joined,
it is the kind who will win.

Strategy and Compassion ...

The strategists have a saying:
"If I cannot be host,
Then let me be guest.
But if I dare not advance
Even an inch,
Then let me retire a foot."

This is what they call
A campaign without a march,
Sleeves up but no bare arms,
Shooting but no enemies,
Or arming without weapons.

Than helpless enemies, nothing is worse:
To them I lose my treasures.
When opposing enemies meet,
The compassionate man is the winner!

The strategists say:
"If I dare not be the guest, then let me be the host. When I dare not take the offensive, then I'll take the defensive. If you doubt your ability to advance, then retreat." Also: "When you doubt your ability to meet the enemy's attack, take the offensive yourself."

Much of this his implies to march without visible formations; its in part like rolling up the sleeve, and yet presenting no bare arm. Or it could be like stretching your arm without showing the sleeves.

Confront well, present no battle-front yourself. Refrain from charging in frontal attacks, and seem to be armed without weapons. [Let that come as a surprise.] Hold a thousand weapons without seeming to have them.

Now, great calamity comes from making light of an enemy. There's no greater catastrophe than if a foolishly underestimated enemy robs and destroys your most cherished treasures. It could even destroy your topmost treasure, your old, dear body. Refrain from having an enemy at the price of losing your body and life. Remember: He whose enemy presents no front, could lose his booty.

Therefore when armies meet, the kind-looking man of sorrows could win [by such as surprise tactics. But often it's the opposite that happens.] Who doesn't delight in warfare in the open, he wins. [And most often not?]


There is a saying among soldiers:
I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest;
I dare not advance and inch but would rather withdraw a foot.

This is called marching without appearing to move,
Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm,
Capturing the enemy without attacking,
Being armed without weapons.

There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy.
By underestimating the enemy, I almost lost what I value.

Therefore when the battle is joined,
The underdog will win.

Tao Strategy

Ancient military strategists said:
I would rather be invaded than be the invader.
I would rather retreat one foot than advance one inch.

This means not marching in formation;
not appearing prepared, with sleeves up;
not charging in frontal assault;
not arming with elaborate weapons.

There is no worse catastrophe
than to underestimate the enemy.
To underestimate the enemy
is to run the risk of losing everything.

When evenly matched armies do battle,
the passive, recessive one is the victor.

There is a saying among soldiers:
It is easier to lose a yard than take an inch.

In this manner one may deploy troops without marshalling them,
Bring weapons to bear without exposing them,
Engage the foe without invading them,
And exhaust their strength without fighting them.

There is no worse disaster than misunderstanding your enemy;
To do so endangers all of my treasures;
So when two well matched forces oppose eachother,
The general who maintains compassion will win.


Profound Use
There are slogans for using armies.
"I don't presume to deem-act as lord and deem-act as guest.
Don't presume to advance an inch and withdraw a foot."
This is called "carrying out not carrying out.
Bearing non-existent arms;
Throwing against non-existent enemies.
Controlling non-existing armies."
No disaster is greater than taking an enemy lightly.
Taking an enemy lightly almost brings my treasures to grief.
Inherently, opposing armies strengthen each other.
Grieving then wins.

A master of the art of war has said, 'I do not dare to be the
host (to commence the war); I prefer to be the guest (to act on the
defensive). I do not dare to advance an inch; I prefer to retire a
foot.' This is called marshalling the ranks where there are no ranks;
baring the arms (to fight) where there are no arms to bare; grasping
the weapon where there is no weapon to grasp; advancing against the
enemy where there is no enemy.

There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war. To do
that is near losing (the gentleness) which is so precious. Thus it is
that when opposing weapons are (actually) crossed, he who deplores
(the situation) conquers.

The master soldiers have a saying:
I dare not be the host but prefer to be the guest.
I dare not advance an inch
but prefer to retreat a foot.

This is called marching without Inoving,
rolling up a sleeve without baring an arm,
capturing a foe without a battlefront,
arming yourself without weapons.

There is no disaster greater than attacking
and finding no enemy.
Doing so will cost you your treasure.
Thus it is that when opposing forces meet,
victory will go to those
who take no delight in the situation.

There is an old saying:
"It is better to become the passive
in order to see what will happen.
It is better to retreat a foot
than to advance only an inch."

This is called
being flexible while advancing,
pushing back without using force,
and destroying the enemy without engaging him.

There is no greater disaster
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means losing your greatest assets.
When equal forces meet in battle,
victory will go to the one
that enters with the greatest sorrow.


There is a saying among soldiers:
It is easier to lose a yard than take an inch.

In this way one may deploy troops without marshalling them,
Reveal weapons without exposing them,
Assault the foe without charging them,
Apply force without aggression.

Conversely there is no disaster like underestimating your enemy;
For false confidence will lose you your most valued assets.
When two equally matched forces meet
The general who conserves life will win.

Compassion is the finest weapon and best defence.
If you would establish harmony,
Compassion must surround you like a fortress.
A good soldier does not inspire fear;
A good fighter does not display aggression;
A good conqueror does not engage in battle;
A good leader does not exercise authority.
This is the value of unimportance;
This is how to win the cooperation of others;
This to how to build the same harmony that is in nature.

The generals have a saying:
"Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard."

This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.

There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.

When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield.


Strategists have a saying:
"I prefer to be able to move, rather than be in a fixed position
Prefer to retreat a foot rather than advancing an inch."
This is called progress without advancing;
Preparing without showing off;
Smashing where there is no defense;
Taking him without a fight.

There is no greater danger than under-estimating your opponent.
If I under-estimate my opponent
I will lose that which is most dear.
When opponents clash

The one who is sorry about it will be the winner.

Arguments may be won by waiting,
rather than making an aggressive move;
by withdrawing rather than advancing.

By moving without appearing to move,
by not making a show of strength,
but by conserving it well;
by capturing without attacking,
by being armed, but with no weapons,
great battles may be won.
Do not underestimate
those you enjoin in battle,
for this can result in losing
what is of greatest value.
When a battle is enjoined,
by remembering this,
the weaker may still win.