The 100 Best Art of War Quotes to Live by

Inside: The art of war quotes to help you win any battle; by one of the most influential strategist, philosopher and authors in military history, Sun–Tzu.

The art of war is a timeless tradition that has been practiced by various cultures throughout the world. Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese general and strategist, wrote about the principles of war in his book The Art of War.

The book is divided into 13 chapters, each covering a different aspect of war. It is full of advice on how to win battles, how to avoid losing them, using deception, and what tactics are the best way to contend with different enemies.

Sun Tzu believed that victory could be achieved through cunning and deception, as well as brute force. He described different types of warfare, including land, naval, and guerrilla warfare. He also discussed the importance of morale in battle, and how to maintain it.

One of the most common misconceptions about the Art of War is that it is exclusively about fighting against other armies. In fact, Sun–Tzu’s advice can be applied to any type of conflict, including civil wars or conflicts between groups of people.

Today, the art of war is still used by military experts to defeat their opponents and leaders throughout the world to help them win battles. Here are our latest collection of the art of war quotes to help you win any challenge in your life or career.

Sun Tzu art of war quotes

There are few things as effective as a good strategy when it comes to winning battles or achieving your goals. Unfortunately, many people resort to brute force tactics without taking the time to develop a sound strategy. These Sun Tzu art of war quotes can help you become a better strategist:

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

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
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.
Sun–Tzu

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

Art of war quotes to make you good strategist

Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.
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.
Sun–Tzu

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

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
Sun–Tzu

The Art of war quotes

If you want to be a great opportunist, learn from these art of war quotes. These quotes can help you think outside the box and take advantage of any situation. They will also help you stay calm under pressure and make the right decisions when it matters most.

To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
Sun–Tzu

For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.
Sun–Tzu

One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
Sun–Tzu

Art of war quotes to make you great opportunist

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

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.
Sun–Tzu

Disorder came from order, fear came from courage, weakness came from strength.
Sun–Tzu

Conform to the enemy’s tactics until a favorable opportunity offers; then come forth and engage in a battle that shall prove decisive.
Sun–Tzu

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
Sun–Tzu

Best art of war quotes

If you’re looking to get pumped up for your next battle, look no further than these inspiring the art of war quotes. These wise words will help you stay on top of your game, and give you the strength to win against any opponent.

Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.
Sun–Tzu

Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy’s purpose.
Sun–Tzu

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Sun–Tzu

Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.
Sun–Tzu

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.
Sun–Tzu

Art of war quotes to make you competitive

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

Conceal your dispositions, and your condition will remain secret, which leads to victory; show your dispositions, and your condition will become patent, which leads to defeat.
Sun–Tzu

Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.
Sun–Tzu

If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
Sun–Tzu

You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
Sun–Tzu

Art of war quotes know your enemy

The art of war quotes have been used by many people throughout history to spur their decision–making processes. Whether it is in the battlefield or in business, these quotes can help you stay focused and motivated.

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.
Sun–Tzu

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

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear 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.
Sun–Tzu

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

Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.
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.
Sun–Tzu

It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.
Sun–Tzu

The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.
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.
Sun–Tzu

Patience the art of war quotes

Here are art of war quotes about patience that will help you to realize the importance of this quality:

The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.
Sun–Tzu

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
Sun–Tzu

He who knows things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated.
Sun–Tzu

Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.
Sun–Tzu

Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Sun–Tzu

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.
Sun–Tzu

If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst. [One may know the condition of a whole army from the behavior of a single man.]
Sun–Tzu

When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.
Sun–Tzu

Art of war quotes strategy

Management skills are essential in any organization. To be successful, you must have strong strategic planning and execution skills. These art of war quotes will provide a perspective on how to manage effectively in challenging conditions.

When your army has crossed the border, you should burn your boats and bridges, in order to make it clear to everybody that you have no hankering after home.
Sun–Tzu

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Sun–Tzu

Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform; they entice him with something he is certain to take, and with lures of ostensible profit they await him in strength.
Sun–Tzu

It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.
Sun–Tzu

There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

Whether in an advantageous position or a disadvantageous one, the opposite state should be always present to your mind.
Sun–Tzu

He who relies solely on warlike measures shall be exterminated; he who relies solely on peaceful measures shall perish.
Sun–Tzu

So long as victory can be attained, stupid haste is preferable to clever dilatoriness.
Sun–Tzu

The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points;
Sun–Tzu

Deep art of war quotes

The art of war is not about the number of battles you win or the number of enemies you kill; it is about achieving your objectives with as minimal damage as possible to yourself and your allies. As such, emotional resilience is key in any successful campaign. Check out some inspirational art of war quotes that can help you develop that trait.

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

The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities…It is best to win without fighting.
Sun–Tzu

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Sun–Tzu

If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

Subjugating the enemy’s army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence.
Sun–Tzu

Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
Sun–Tzu

Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm
Sun–Tzu

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night.
Sun–Tzu

Quotes about art of war

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Sun–Tzu

To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.
Sun–Tzu

Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.
Sun–Tzu

All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Sun–Tzu

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.
Sun–Tzu

It is best to keep one’s own state intact; to crush the enemy’s state is only second best.
Sun–Tzu

If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.
Sun–Tzu

When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is COLLAPSE.
Sun–Tzu

If you do not take opportunity to advance and reward the deserving, your subordinates will not carry out your commands, and disaster will ensue.
Sun–Tzu

Famous art of war quotes

Self–confidence is key in any successful endeavour. These famous art of war quotes can help cultivate this inner belief and faith of strength:

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Sun–Tzu

What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.
Sun–Tzu

In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence under no circumstances can it be neglected.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
Sun–Tzu

He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
Sun–Tzu

If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is death.
Sun–Tzu

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
Sun–Tzu

In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them.
Sun–Tzu

If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away.
Sun–Tzu

Rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him.
Sun–Tzu

Leadership the art of war quotes

Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
Sun–Tzu

The worst calamities that befall an army arise from hesitation.
Sun–Tzu

Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from people, people who know the conditions of the enemy.
Sun–Tzu

The general who does not advance to seek glory, or does not withdraw to avoid punishment, but cares for only the people’s security and promotes the people’s interests, is the nation’s treasure.
Sun–Tzu

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.
Sun–Tzu

A leader leads by example not by force.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

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.
Sun–Tzu

Final thought

These the art of war quotes from Sun–Tzu emphasize the importance of knowing one’s enemy and using strategy to defeat them. They provide an excellent perspective on how to win any conflict, be it personal, sports, career or political.

Did you enjoy reading the Art of War quotes? If you enjoyed these quotes, be sure to read more of Sun–Tzu’s work! Whether you’re preparing for battle or just trying to get along with your peers, these quotes will help you succeed. So keep learning and improving, and you’ll be able to defeat your opponents in no time!

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