Sun Tzu Quotes – (Art of war Quotes)

Sun Tzu Quotes provide wisdom and advice from the legendary Chinese military general, Sun Tzu. His quotes offer guidance on everything from leadership and strategy to personal development, productivity, and how to encounter your enemy.

sun tzu quotes

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu famously said, “Victory is gained by penetrating the enemy’s strategy and disrupting his alliances.” These words of wisdom are as true today as they were over two thousand years ago. 

To win in any competition, it is essential to understand your enemy and how to outmaneuver them. Sun Tzu’s teachings provide the perfect guide to doing just that.

The Art of War is a classic Chinese military treatise that was written by Sun Tzu. The work is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare.

The book is divided into three main sections: the first section discusses the role of strategy in war, the second section discusses the use of various military units in war, and the third section discusses the conduct of war.

The Art of War has been studied and applied by both Eastern and Western military leaders for centuries. The book is considered to be the definitive work on military strategy and has been influential in both Eastern and Western military thinking.

Here are 52 Sun Tzu quotes that offer words of wisdom on war and strategy.

52 Sun Tzu Quotes

  1. “You have to believe in yourself. ”

2. “know yourself and you will win all battles”

3. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

4. “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

5. “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the

6. “opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

7. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”

8. “The wise warrior avoids the battle.”

9. “He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.”

10. “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

11. 53. “Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.”

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

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

14. “If his forces are united, separate them.”

15. “Disorder came from order, fear came from courage, weakness came from strength.”

Art of war Quotes

16. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight”

17. “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.”

18. “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.”

sun tzu art of war quotes

19. “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.”

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

21. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

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

23. “Be where your enemy is not.”

24. “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

25. “Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.”

26. “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.”

27. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”

28. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

29. “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

30. “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”

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

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

33. “One may know how to conquer without being able to do it. ”

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

35. “It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.”

36. “Great results, can be achieved with small forces.”

37. “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”

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

39. “Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.”

art of war quotes

40. “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.”

41. “One mark of a great soldier is that he fight on his own terms or fights not at all.”

More Sun Tzu Quotes on war and strategy

42. “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.”

43. “When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.”

44. “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.”

45. “Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

46. “Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm”

47. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.”

48. “Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.”

49. “If your opponent is of choleric temper,  seek to irritate him.  Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”

50. “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.”

51. “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”

52. “The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”

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