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Sun Tzu quotes: Art of War on Leadership, Strategy, and War (2022)

Sun Tzu Quotes Art of War

These Art of War quotes by Sun Tzu, one of China’s greatest philosophers, are great inspiration for both military victories and as a guide for survival.

Sun Tzu’s quotes are some of the most famous, most amazing sayings to ever be written. The Art of War is the book that explains how to win the mind war and the physical war. Almost any successful warrior is said to know the art of war by heart, but few really understand it fully. 

Sun Tzu’s work is a great guide for leaders, military personnel and even for everyday people who want to be successful in their lives. Sun Tzu has always had a significant place in modern culture. This book has been widely read, admired and studied over thousands of years. It is one of the most remarkable books that exist on human nature and strategy.

Check out the full list of Sun Tzu’s Art of War quotes below to help you on your life’s battle.

Also, don’t forget to read Lao Tzu Quotes.

Best Sun Tzu Quotes

1. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.

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

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

4. “Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.”

5. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

6. “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.”

7. “Great results can be achieved with small forces.”

8. “All wars are won or lost before they are ever fought.”

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

10. “Wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine.”

Sun Tzu Quotes On How To Win Life’s Battles

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

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

13. “Quickness is the essence of the war.”

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

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

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

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

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

Sun Tzu Art of War  Quotes on Leadership

19. “A leader leads by example not by force.”

20. “Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend, and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.”

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21. “If there is a disturbance in the camp, the general’s authority is weak.”

22. “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders are clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.”

23. “Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.”

24. “The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts.”

25. “The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success.”

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

27. “We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country—its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.”

28. “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 Quotes Which Are Better Known Before You Take on a Battle

29. “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”

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30. “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”

31. “If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.”

32. “Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight.”

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

34. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”

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

36. “Sweat more during peace: bleed less during war.”

37. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.”

38. “Walk in the path defined by rule, and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle.”

Sun Tzu Art of War Quotes and Strategies

39. “Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer.”

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

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

42. “Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.”

43. “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”

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

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

46. “Do not engage an enemy more powerful than you. And if it is unavoidable and you do have to engage, then make sure you engage it on your terms, not on your enemy’s terms.”

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

Quotes from Sun Tzu Art of War Book Everyone Should Know

48. “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.”

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

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

51. “Winning isn’t enough. The acme of all skills is to defeat your enemy before taking the field.”

52. “If you fight with all your might, there is a chance of life; whereas death is certain if you cling to your corner.”

53. “You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.”

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

55. “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.”

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

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

58. “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.”

59. “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.”

60. “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes a few calculations beforehand.”

Which Sun Tzu Art of War Quotes Are Your Favorites?

These Sun Tzu Art of War quotes apply not only to wartime but also to our daily struggles and conflicts in life.

The Art of War is one of the world’s most important military treatises. It’s regarded as a classic and offers many timeless lessons for anyone who would like to compete successfully against others. This book will allow you to use Sun Tzu’s principles and tactics in your own battle plan.

By reading through Sun Tzu’s indispensable quotes, we will realize that physical combat is not always the best way to achieve our objectives. Communication and negotiation are always essential in establishing law and order. However, if war is inevitable, preparation, tactics, and strategies are critical to success.

Are you ready to address your battle with ease and confidence with any of these Sun Tzu art of war quotes? Please leave a comment below.

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