Ancient Chinese’s Best War and Trade Strategies from John Woo’s Art of Warfare in the Red Cliff


Have you ever heard of “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, the extraordinarily famous historical story of the Chinese? Why so famous? Some people claim that this non-fiction story created an abundance of success stories. How? ‘Or’ What? The believable strategies used by the characters in this story are applicable in the recent business world. These strategies are commonly referred to as “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”. Many successful conglomerates claim that their success is due to the adoption and inspiration of Sun Tzu’s Chinese strategies in the art of war. These strategies are at the heart of the content of Red Cliff I & II.

These John Woo films chronicle the war between dynasties for territorial domination at a time when mainland China was divided into three kingdoms (Wei, Shu and Wu). This film also explains the strategies on how a force of 50,000 caused disaster to the enemy force of 800,000 which was much stronger. There are three important aspects in this war: wealth, power and women. Red Cliff is divided into two parts, the first part focuses on knowing the talented characters and the second part is about strategies and its analysis and warfare. Strategies are related to certain factors that can affect the success or failure of a war, such as motivation, force size, methods of aggression, leadership, weather, etc. These strategies are considered useful not only in times of war, but also in the field of activity. Using the right strategy at the right time will yield great success. Otherwise, improper use or bad timing will cause massive disaster.

This movie is a great movie recommended for executives, management consultants, investors, business owners, economic analysts, and even military officers. Many recent strategies adopted by huge and successful companies are based on these traditional Chinese strategies. Of course, strategies are adjusted, adapted and applied according to the current situation and timeframe to achieve satisfactory success.

Is Red Cliff a true story? Well, in an interview, Woo admitted that his film is based on the official story “Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms (San Guo Zhi). However, some effects have been added, removed and changed in order to dramatize the story, like John Woo is an expert at dramatizing his films, don’t worry about the story as it is always analogous to the real one.

Globally, Red Cliff – I & II is a great movie that reflects the wartime strategies of the Chinese, the strategies that have inspired the creation of many recent business success stories.

Source by Tony West

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