To make Sun Tzu's work on strategy easier for today's readers to understand, we developed this complete a guidebook to all his key concepts. Consisting of over two hundred and thirty articles, each article explains one strategic principle and its key relationship to related principles. Developed as a framework for a complete course of strategic studies, its articles convert each general principle into a series of steps or components that can be easily illustrated by examples. These examples are framed in the context of modern competition rather than ancient military warfare.
Why is this work necessary? Sun Tzu's The Art of War is not a "training book" in the modern Western sense. It is a list of formulas written the context of the scientific philosophy of the era. Understanding all its concepts is nearly impossible for modern readers without examples or exercises. Like Euclid's Geometry, simply reading the work gives us few useful tools. This type of work requires understanding of its context and practice in its methods.
The Rule Book is the culmination of over a decade of work breaking down Sun Tzu's principles into a series of step-by-step processes by the Institute's multiple award-winning author and founder, Gary Gagliardi.
The Rule Book consists of two hundred and thirty-two articles describing over a thousand interconnected rules. These articles are organized into nine different areas of strategic skill from understanding positioning and developing perspective to winning rewards and defending vulnerabilities. They are written in standard format including 1) the general principle, 2) the situation that is addresses, 3) the competitive opportunity, 4) the list of specific Rules translating the principles into a series of actions, and 5) an illustration of each of those rules to a specific competitive situation. Rules are written generically to apply to any competitive arena with illustrations drawn from a specific arena ((business, personal life, career, sports, relationships, etc.).
Rule Book Access
- A Rule Book article is published daily on our front page, allowing site guests to learn Sun Tzu's Rules by visiting regularly.
- Each of the nine sections of the Rule Book can be purchased as a separate eBook for download.
- To access all articles at any time on-line, you can become a SOSI Member.
- Get the complete Rule Book eBook download with a SOSI membership here.
- You can also purchase individuals rules articles for download for only .87 cents each.
Rule Book Structure
Rule Book articles are arranged in a logical structure to make it easy to find the rules you need. Nine categories of strategic skills define cycle that advances our positions: 1. understanding positions, 2. developing perspective, 3. identifying opportunities, 4. leveraging probability, 5. minimizing mistakes, 6. responding to situations, 7. creating momentum, 8. winning rewards, and 9. defending vulnerabilities. These categories flow logically from through the Progress Cycle of listen-aim-move-claim (see illustration). You can see a outline of Rule Book articles here or a dynamic list of articles here.
Rule Book Numbered Links
A number identifies where each article appears in Rule Book Structure (example: 2.1.3 Strategic Deception). When you see a link preceded by a number, it connects to a Rule Book article. Unfortunately, these links work only for SOSI members. We provide them because the interconnection of concepts is extremely important in learning Sun Tzu's system.
Below is a graphic outline of Sun Tzu's Rule Book. Click on outlines below to view the expanded graphics.