Sun Tzu Quotes

What are your favorite Sun Tzu quotes?

Sun Tzu was an army general, military strategist, philosopher and writer who is probably best known by his all time classic book, The Art Of War which explains the best military strategies for winning battles and wars. The expertise of Sun Tzu is not based on theory but actual results. Sun Tzu never lost a battle, campaign or war throughout his career as a military strategist.

Here are some of the best, funny and inspirational Sun Tzu quotes on knowing the enemy, leadership, love, deception, opportunity, discipline, strategy and The Art Of War:

Inspirational Sun Tzu Quotes

Inspirational Sun Tzu Quotes

1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. -Sun Tzu

2. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. -Sun Tzu

3. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

Sun Tzu

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

5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. -Sun Tzu

Funny Sun Tzu Quotes

Funny Sun Tzu Quotes

6. Wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine. -Sun Tzu

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

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

9. Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.

Sun Tzu

10. Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust. -Sun Tzu

11. If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things. -Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu Know Your Enemy Quotes

Sun Tzu Know Your Enemy Quotes

12. To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy. -Sun Tzu

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

14. 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

15. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril. -Sun Tzu

16. 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

Sun Tzu Quotes On Leadership

Sun Tzu Quotes On Leadership

17. The wise warrior avoids the battle. -Sun Tzu

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

19. Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day. -Sun Tzu

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

21. 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

22. 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. -Sun Tzu

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

Sun Tzu

24. A leader leads by example not by force. -Sun Tzu

25. Know yourself and you will win all battles. -Sun Tzu

26. A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame. -Sun Tzu

27. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. -Sun Tzu

28. When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders. -Sun Tzu

29. 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

Sun Tzu Quotes On Love

Sun Tzu Quotes On Love

30. All is fair in love and war. -Sun Tzu

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

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu Quotes On Deception

Sun Tzu Quotes On Deception

32. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak. -Sun Tzu

33. 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

Sun Tzu Quotes On Opportunity

Sun Tzu Quotes On Opportunity

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

35. Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

Sun Tzu

36. 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

37. The opportunity 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

Sun Tzu Quotes On Discipline

Sun Tzu Quotes On Discipline

38. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success. -Sun Tzu

39. When the leader is morally weak and his discipline not strict, when his instructions and guidance are not enlightened, when there are no consistent rules, neighboring rulers will take advantage of this.

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu Quotes On Strategy

Sun Tzu Quotes On Strategy

40. Be where your enemy is not. -Sun Tzu

41. Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy. -Sun Tzu

42. Ponder and deliberate before you make a move. -Sun Tzu

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

44. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. -Sun Tzu

45. One mark of a great soldier is that he fight on his own terms or fights not at all. -Sun Tzu

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

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

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

49. 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

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

Sun Tzu

51. Never venture, never win! -Sun Tzu

52. You have to believe in yourself. -Sun Tzu

53. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. -Sun Tzu

54. Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack. -Sun Tzu

55. If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. -Sun Tzu

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

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

58. Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots. -Sun Tzu

59. 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

60. 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

Sun Tzu The Art Of War Quotes

Sun Tzu The Art Of War Quotes

61. Great results, can be achieved with small forces. -Sun Tzu

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

63. There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. -Sun Tzu

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

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

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

67. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. -Sun Tzu

68. 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

69. 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

70. If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. 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

71. If his forces are united, separate them. -Sun Tzu

72. Every battle is won before it’s ever fought. -Sun Tzu

73. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. -Sun Tzu

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

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

76. 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

77. 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

78. 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

79. 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

80. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted. -Sun Tzu