The 36 Stratagems


The 36 Stratagems was a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics, war, as well as in civil interaction, often trough unorthodox or deceptive means (1). You can use these 36 Stratagems also if you need to defend you against one or multiple attackers.

The 36 stratgems  are divided into 6 chapters, containing each 6 stratagems. There are: 6 winning stratagems, 6 enemy dealing stratagems, 6 attacking stratagems, 6 chaos stratagems, 6 proximate stratagems and 6 desperate stratagems.

To have a good introduction and overview of the 36 Stratagems go to : WIKIPEDIA

The 36 Stratagems (1)

1. Winning Stratagems

 1) Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean

 2) Besiege Wèi to Zhào

 3) Kill with a borrowed knife

 4) Leisurely await for the laboured

 5) Loot a burning house

 6) Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west

2. Enemy dealing Stratagems

 1) Create something from nothing

 2) Openly repair the gallery roads, but sneak to the passage of Chengcang

 3) Watch the fire burning across the river

 4) Hide a knife behind a smile

 5) Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree

 6) Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat

3. Attacking Stratagems

 1) Stomp the grass to scare the snake

 2) Borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul

 3) Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair

 4) In order to capture, one must let loose

 5) Tossing out a brick to get a jade gem

 6) Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief

4. Chaos Stratagems

 1) Remove the firewood from under the pot

 2) Disturb the water a catch a fish

 3) Slough off the cicada’s golden shell

 4) Shut the door to catch a thief

 5) Befriend a distance state while attacking a neighbour

 6) Obtain save passage to conquer the State of Guo

5. Proximate Stratagems 

 1) Replace the beams with rotten timber

 2) Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree

 3) Feign madness but keep your balance

 4) Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended the roof

 5) Deck the tree with false blossoms

 6) Make the host and the guest exchange roles

6. Desperate Stratagems 

 1) The beauty trap

 2) The empty fort strategy

 3) Let the enemy’s own spy sow discord in the 

 4) Inflict injury on oneself to win the enemy’s trust

 5) Chain Stratagems

 6) If all else fail, retreat