Go, Martial Arts and Military Strategy

One of the reasons I was drawn to Go was that I have a long term interest in the Martial Arts. The first time I ever heard about Go was in the “novel”, Shibumi . The lead character is a freelance assassin/espionage agent, who is also a Go Master, Master of the martial art of improvised weaponry (of course … he kills a terrorist in an aeroplane toilet with a credit card), potholer, linguist, tantric sex master (you get the picture).

Although the link between Go and combat, both small and large scale was mentioned, this was just as a context for an action story, rather than explained in detail; the one exception being the idea of eyes on the Go board ensuring the life of a group being a metaphor for the use of holding sensitive information under lockdown, as leverage against a group or government, that would be released to the press if he didn’t call a secret phone number at a certain time. (If he died or disappeared)

I my own training I have observed parallels. The structure of Moyo, could be like the physical structure of the body being used to develop an effective technique. Seizing and keeping the initiative is key to surviving a physical assault. The pincer strategy can be seen in the “ox horns” of King Shaka’s Zulu army, experienced units of hardened fighting men who would outflank an enemy army and harry them from the sides and read, while the main body of the younger warriors attacked recklessly from the front as a distraction.

So, my question is, how do you think Go strategy is related to combat and warfare? Is Go perhaps a metaphor for a “way of life” or Do?

I’d be very interested to hear from those who play Go and are also martial artists, or who have been in the military, or who have studied military strategy or history, but this is essentially a geek topic, so keyboard warriors are equally welcome to comment (as long as their point is supported by reasons or illustrated by examples). Tangents are welcome as long as they are quite interesting.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Go and War