Quotes

The Art of War Quotes by Sun Tzu to help you Fight your Daily Battles

The Art of War Quotes written by Sun Tzu are considered to be one of the most influential words that has its impact not just on modern warfare, but also in culture, politics, business, and sports.

The Art of War is a creation of Sun Tzu (“Master Sun”, also spelled Sunzi), an ancient Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period.

It is believed to have a profound impact on military and political leaders such as the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, Japanese Daimyo Takeda Shingen, and American military general Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. who have drawn inspiration from the book.

Although his work received a boost in the 20th century after it was put to practical use in Western society, his military strategy has been praised and employed throughout East Asia since it came into being.

Sun Tzu is considered to be one of the greatest war leaders and strategists to have ever existed.

Read through his quotes and find your dose of motivation to fight the battles you fight everyday.

The Art of War Quotes

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  1. “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  2. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  3. “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.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  4. “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  5. “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  6. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  7. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  8. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  9. “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.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  10. “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  11. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
    ~ The Art of War Quotes
  12. Never interupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
    ~ The Art of War Quotes

The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes

  1. “The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  2. “Which of the two generals has most ability?”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  3. “On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  4. “Which army is stronger?”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  5. “In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  6. “All warfare is based on deception.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  7. “Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  8. “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  9. “If he is in superior strength, evade him.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  10. “Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  11. “If his forces are united, separate them.”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes
  12. “Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all!”
    ~ The Art of War Laying Plans Quotes

The Art of War Waging War Quotes

  1. “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes
  2. “It is only who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes
  3. “Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have
    food enough for its needs.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes
  4. “Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes
  5. “Use the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes
  6. “In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”
    ~ The Art of War Waging War Quotes

The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes

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  1. “In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is no good.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  2. “So, too, it is better to capture an army entire than to destroy it.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  3. “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  4. “Thus, the highest form of generalship is to baulk the enemy’s plans. […] The worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  5. “The skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  6. “If slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  7. “When the army is restless and distrustful, trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  8. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  9. “He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  10. “He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes
  11. “Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
    ~ The Art of War Attack By Stratagem Quotes

The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes

  1. “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  2. “One may know how to conquer without being able to able to do it.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  3. “Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  4. “The general who is skilled in defence hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  5. “To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  6. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes
  7. “He wins battles by making no mistakes.”
    ~ The Art of War Tactical Dispositions Quotes

The Art of War Energy Quotes

  1. “In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.”
    ~ The Art of War Energy Quotes
  2. “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”
    ~ The Art of War Energy Quotes
  3. “Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt in his decision.”
    ~ The Art of War Energy Quotes
  4. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.”
    ~ The Art of War Energy Quotes

The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes

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  1. “Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  2. “Therefore, the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  3. “You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  4. “You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  5. “O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy’s fate in our hands.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  6. “The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  7. “If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  8. “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let you methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  9. “So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes
  10. “He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.”
    ~ The Art of War Weak Points And Strong Quotes

The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes

  1. “The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  2. “Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  3. “We cannot enter in allegiances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbours.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  4. “In raiding and plundering be like fire, in immovability like a mountain.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  5. “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  6. “When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be divided amongst your men.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  7. “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  8. “Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning; by noon-day it has begun to flag.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  9. “A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  10. “Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:-
    this is the art of retaining self-possession.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  11. “Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes
  12. “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard. Such is the art of warfare.”
    ~ The Art of War Maneuvering Quotes

The Art of War Variation In Tactics Quotes

  1. “In a desperate position, you must fight.”
    ~ The Art of War Variation In Tactics Quotes
  2. “There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:
    Recklessness, which leads to destruction; cowardice, which leads to capture; a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; a delicacy of honour which is sensitive to shame;
    over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble. These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war. Let them be a subject of meditation.”
    ~ The Art of War Variation In Tactics Quotes

The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes

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  1. “Camp in high places, facing the sun. Do not climb heights in order to fight. So much for mountain warfare.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  2. “All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  3. “When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying on the natural strength of his position.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  4. “The sight of men whispering together in small knots or speaking in subdued tones points to disaffection amongst the rank and file.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  5. “To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  6. “If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes
  7. “Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory.”
    ~ The Art of War The Army On The March Quotes

The Art of War Terrain Quotes

  1. “Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible:
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  2. These are: (1) flight; (2) in-subordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin; (5) disorganization; (6) rout.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  3. “When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  4. “When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  5. “When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  6. “A power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances, constitutes the rest of a great general.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  7. “He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  8. “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  9. “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.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  10. “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  11. “If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder; then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes
  12. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.”
    ~ The Art of War Terrain Quotes

The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes

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  1. “Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your army continually on the move, and devise unfathomable plans.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  2. “The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  3. “It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  4. “He must be able to mystify his offers and men by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  5. “By altering his arrangements and changing his plans, he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  6. “Confront your soldiers with the deed itself; never let them know your design.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  7. “When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  8. “By persistently hanging on the enemy’s flank, we shall succeed in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  9. “This is called ability to accomplish a thing by sheer cunning.
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes
  10. “If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.”
    ~ The Art of War The Nine Situations Quotes

The Art of War The Attack By Fire Quotes

  1. “The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources.”
    ~ The Art of War The Attack By Fire Quotes
  2. “A kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.”
    ~ The Art of War The Attack By Fire Quotes

The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes

  1. “What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  2. “Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  3. “Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving spies.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  4. “Having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  5. “Hence it is that with none in the whole army are more intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. None should be more liberally rewarded. In no other business should greater secrecy by preserved.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  6. “Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  7. “Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  8. “If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  9. “The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes
  10. “Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army’s ability to move.”
    ~ The Art of War The Use Of Spies Quotes

The Art of War Quotes about Leadership

  1. “Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership
  2. “Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership
  3. “When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership
  4. “The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership
  5. “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.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership
  6. “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Leadership

The Art of War Quotes about Life

  1. “Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Life
  2. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Life
  3. “He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Life
  4. “Hence the saying: 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.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Life

The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy

  1. “Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away,
    we must make him believe we are near.”~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  2. “Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  3. “Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  4. “A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  5. “Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  6. “All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy
  7. “At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about Tactics & Strategy

The Art of War Quotes about War and Violence

  1. “Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about War and Violence
  2. “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about War and Violence
  3. “Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about War and Violence
  4. “Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.”
    ~ The Art of War Quotes about War and Violence