Art of War Story: What Sun Tzu Did To Train Concubines

Last updated on June 2nd, 2024


Sun Tzu Story: How He Transformed Concubines Into Formidable Warriors


Sun Tzu’s Art of War Story: This is the story of one of the weakest empires of ancient China. One day a man named Sun Tzu came to the emperor’s court and cautioned him about the evil plans of the neighboring kingdom regarding the expansion of its frontiers. He implored confidently that he should be given charge of the royal armies.

Sun Tzu Story To Learn Art of War

And in return, he would not only counter the attack of the enemies but also expand the empire as well. In his heart, the emperor had no confidence in Sun Tzu, however, considering the gravity of the situation he became anxious about the future.

So the emperor told the man to prove his capability by training his concubines immediately. He ordered Sun Tzu to make his concubines march in formation and if that happens, he shall be made the commander of the royal armies.

Sun Tzu agreed with the emperor’s desire. He divided all concubines into two groups and appointed two old ladies as their leaders. After that, he ordered those two women to position their group in the formation he desired.

However, the truth was that those concubines had no interest in following his orders. They laughed, jiggled, talked, and did whatever pleased them other than following his command.

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Sun Tzu & Concubine Story To Know The Art of War

Sun Tzu was very angry over this misbehavior but he asked them once again. Unfortunately, none was interested in anything military. Then in a serious tone, Sun Tzu told them if they failed to obey his command, he would chop their head. But the threat wasn’t taken seriously.

The order was given once again, but this time the indiscipline was answered with a punishment. As promised, Sun Tzu chopped the heads of those two old women in front of other concubines without any delay or hesitation.

This severe punishment instilled a wave of fear in the mind of every concubine. Soon after that Sun Tzu quickly appointed two more concubines as leaders of those two groups. And the rest is history.

It’s said that on that day the concubines marched like never before. Some say that they marched even better than the regular soldiers. In his book ‘The Art of War’ Sun Tzu said:

Moral of The Story: “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But, if orders are clear and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.”

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