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The Lady of the Rings

Musashi’s Book of Five Rings Strategy Interpreted for Women


A while back, I found myself in Newport, Rhode Island, driving up from NYC for a day jaunt with no rhyme or reason attached to it. As I headed down Thames Street, I noticed what had to be an interesting restaurant, The Newport Café.

Many things happen in life completely by chance. Go know! When I first met Ann Davis, I was not ready for the persona and the fire emanating from her eyes that accompanied a hard-working, nose to the grindstone type of woman. One of the reasons that I went into her establishment was that as I was driving by, a car happened to pull out of a parking spot right in front of her door.That and the promise of an exquisite stuffed lobster sucked me right in. The restaurant which boasted four stars from here and five stars from there was decorated in contemporary no matching dishes and no matching table cloths…you get the idea.

Walking in, I looked around at the décor and saw this picture of an incredible looking woman in a Victorian dress hanging over the fireplace mantle. It knocked me out. Anyway, I was shown a table and I continued to look around the room. Now you can’t make this kind of stuff up. It would be too bizarre. Lying on a table next to the old-fashioned player piano (that actually still works, leave it to Ann), was a beat up copy of my version of Musashi’s Book of Five Rings. Now what the hell was that doing here? I reached for it and began thumbing through, when I saw all kinds of underlines with questions and comments. I asked the waitress if someone had left it there, and she told me that it belonged to someone named Jose who worked in the kitchen.

“Cool,” said I, and then asked her to ask him if he would like it autographed? She just looked at me and backed away from the table, turned and quick stepped into the kitchen. Here comes a free dessert, I thought.

Instead, who comes walking out, Ann Davis in full-chef over-the-stove regalia and not at all like the picture over the mantle. A conversation over a stuffed lobster ensued, and the rest is history.

The result is now in your hands to glean from it what I consider to be one of the most lucid and approachable explanations of maintaining the perspectives of combat appropriateness from the perspective of a woman without getting into physical slaughter.

This is Ann’s story, and I feel very fortunate to have had her as a student…at least. I did the writing, but she sure as hell did the cooking.

For more info on the author and to purchase his books, visit: http://www.hanshi.com


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