31 Wise Art of War Quotes from Sun Tzu

Art Of War Quotes

Sun Tzu was the author of The Art of War. A famous Chinese military general, strategist, writer and philosopher. Here are the wisest and most poignant Art of War quotes that you can use to strategist your next move in your life or career.

Art of War Quotes

When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.

“When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.” – Sun Tzu

Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.

“Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” – Sun Tzu

Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.

“Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.” – Sun Tzu

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” – Sun Tzu

Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” – Sun Tzu

Quickness is the essence of the war.

“Quickness is the essence of the war.” – Sun Tzu

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.

“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.” – Sun Tzu

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

“To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” – Sun Tzu

Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.

“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” – Sun Tzu

If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.

“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.” – Sun Tzu

If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.

“If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.” – Sun Tzu

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu

Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.” – Sun Tzu

The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.

“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.” – Sun Tzu

Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.

“Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.” – Sun Tzu

To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.

“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” – Sun Tzu

The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

“The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” – Sun Tzu

Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.

“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.” – Sun Tzu

There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.

“There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.” – Sun Tzu

The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” – Sun Tzu

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – Sun Tzu

The wise warrior avoids the battle.

“The wise warrior avoids the battle.” – Sun Tzu

A leader leads by example, not by force.

“A leader leads by example, not by force.” – Sun Tzu

When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

“When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.” – Sun Tzu

If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

“If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.” – Sun Tzu

Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

“Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” – Sun Tzu

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” – Sun Tzu

Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull. Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.

“Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull. Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.” – Sun Tzu

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend