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750 Best Sun Tzu Leadership Quotes: The Art of War

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


2. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's authority is weak.


3. “In difficult ground, press on; In encircled ground, devise stratagems; In death ground, fight.”


4. “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.”


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


6. “When I have won a victory I do not repeat my tactics but respond to circumstances in an infinite variety of ways.” – Sun Tzu


7. “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.”


8. “Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business.”


9. “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.”


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


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


12. “You have to believe.”- Sun Tzu


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


14. “Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient.”


15. “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. 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.”


16. “The wise leader’s plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.”


17. “if you fight with all your might, there is a chance of life; where as death is certain if you cling to your corner”


18. “Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise; for the result is waste of time and general stagnation.”


19. “Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory is won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”


20. “The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle, the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.”


21. “Be stern in the council-chamber, [Show no weakness, and insist on your plans being ratified by the sovereign.] so that you may control the situation.”


22. “It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”


23. “Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.”


24. “It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.”


25. “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.”


26. “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.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


27. “The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favourite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: “I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?”


28. “Who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits.” — Sun Tzu


29. “He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.” – Sun Tzu


30. “The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone”


31. “Rewards for good service should not be deferred by a single day.”


32. “He who advances without seeking fame,


33. “If you know the enemy and know yourself. you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu


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


35. “Sun Tzu Wu was a native of the Ch`i State. His Art of War brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: “I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?”


36. “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


37. “Confucius said, “People may have the finest talents, but if they are arrogant and stingy, their other qualities are not worthy of consideration.”


38. “I have heard that in war haste can be folly, but have never seen delay that was wise.”


39. “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.”


40. “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.” — Sun Tzu


41. “The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.”


42. “For 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


43. “Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.”


44. “We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.”


45. “The experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered; once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


47. 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.”


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


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


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


51. “The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary.” – Sun Tzu


52. “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, The Art of War


53. “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” — Sun Tzu


54. “By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.”


55. “Solving large, difficult problems may earn you a reputation for skillful negotiation, but Sun Tzu asserts that this supposed achievement is actually a form of failure, and having true wisdom means preventing difficult problems from arising in the first place. Ironically,”


56. “The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.”


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


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


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


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


61. Who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits.”


62. “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, The Art of War


63. “Hence in the wise leader's plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.”


64. “The victorious army is victorious first and seeks battle later; the defeated army seeks battle first and seeks victory later.” — Sun Tzu


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


66. “In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack–the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.” — Sun Tzu


67. “Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise, for the result is waste of time and general stagnation.” — Sun Tzu


68. “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.”


69. “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


70. “For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.” — Sun Tzu


71. “Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day.” — Sun Tzu


72. “The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: (1) Dispersive ground; (2) facile ground; (3) contentious ground; (4) open ground; (5) ground of intersecting highways;


73. “Weapons are inauspicious instruments, not the tools of the enlightened. When there is no choice but to use them, it is best to be calm and free from greed, and not celebrate victory. Those who celebrate victory are bloodthirsty, and the bloodthirsty cannot have their way with the world.”


74. “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


75. “Don’t flail against the world, use it. Flexibility is the operative principle in the art of war.” – Sun Tzu


76. “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


77. “There are three avenues of opportunity: events, trends, and conditions. When opportunities occur through events but you are unable to respond, you are not smart. When opportunities become active through a trend and yet you cannot make plans, you are not wise. When opportunities emerge through conditions but you cannot act on them, you are not bold.”


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


79. “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu


80. “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.”


81. “[Li Ch’uan cites the case of Fu Chien, prince of Ch’in, who in 383 A.D. marched with a vast army against the Chin Emperor. When warned not to despise an enemy who could command the services of such men as Hsieh An and Huan Ch’ung, he boastfully replied: “I have the population of eight provinces at my back, infantry and horsemen to the number of one million; why, they could dam up the Yangtsze River itself by merely throwing their whips into the stream. What danger have I to fear?” Nevertheless, his forces were soon after disastrously routed at the Fei River, and he was obliged to beat a hasty retreat.] If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. [Chang Yu said: “Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.” He adds: “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.” It would be hard to find a better epitome of the root-principle of war.]”


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


83. “There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”


84. “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.]”


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


86. “We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.” — Sun Tzu


87. “Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts. Then, until death itself comes, no calamity needs to be feared.” — Sun Tzu


88. “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


89. 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.”


90. “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.”


91. “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.” — Sun Tzu


92. 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.”


93. “The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.”


94. “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


95. “Where there are repeated wars, the people are weakened; when they score repeated victories, rulers become haughty. Let haughty rulers command weakened people, and rare is the nation that will not perish as a result.”


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


97. “In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


98. “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. 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.”


99. “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.”


100. “When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.” — Sun Tzu


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


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


103. “When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away...”


104. “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, The Art of War


105. “If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way. [This extremely concise expression is intelligibly paraphrased by Chia Lin: “even though we have constructed neither wall nor ditch.” Li Ch’uan says: “we puzzle him by strange and unusual dispositions;” and Tu Mu finally clinches the meaning by three illustrative anecdotes—one of Chu-ko Liang, who when occupying Yang-p’ing and about to be attacked by Ssu-ma I, suddenly struck his colors, stopped the beating of the drums, and flung open the city gates, showing only a few men engaged in sweeping and sprinkling the ground. This unexpected proceeding had the intended effect; for Ssu-ma I, suspecting an ambush, actually drew off his army and retreated. What Sun Tzu is advocating here, therefore, is nothing more nor less than the timely use of “bluff.”]”


106. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Sun Tzu


107. “Ironically, this highest form of efficacy will often go unnoticed by many people, since the leader’s work seems so effortless and subtle.”


108. “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.” — Sun Tzu


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


110. “He who wishes to fight must first count the cost,”


111. “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


112. “Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.” — Sun Tzu


113. “Thus, the expert in battle moves the enemy and is not moved by him.” — Sun Tzu


114. “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.”


115. “Those skilled in warfare move the enemy, and are not moved by the enemy.”


116. “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 afterward looks for victory.” — Sun Tzu


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


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


119. “Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


120. “In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.”


121. “You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.”


122. “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


123. “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; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few.”


124. “Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow.” – Sun Tzu


125. “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.”


126. “Correct your mistake as soon as you have found it.” – Sun Tzu


127. “from the ancient Chinese commentators found in the Giles edition. Of these four, Giles' 1910 edition is the most scholarly and presents the reader an incredible amount of information concerning Sun Tzu's text, much more than any other translation. The Giles' edition of the ART OF WAR, as stated above, was a scholarly work. Dr. Giles was a leading sinologue at the time and an assistant in the Department”


128. “The art of war is of vital importance to the State.”


129. “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.’” To put it perhaps a little more clearly: any attack or other operation is CHENG, on which the enemy has had his attention fixed; whereas that is CH’I,” which takes him by surprise or comes from an unexpected quarter. If the enemy perceives a movement which is meant to be CH’I,” it immediately becomes CHENG.”] 4. That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg— this is effected by the science of weak points and strong. 5. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. [Chang Yu says: “Steadily develop indirect tactics, either by pounding the enemy’s flanks or falling on his rear.” A brilliant example of “indirect tactics” which decided the fortunes of a campaign was Lord Roberts’ night march round the Peiwar Kotal in the second Afghan war.76 6. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhausible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more. [Tu Yu and Chang Yu understand this of the permutations of CH’I and CHENG.” But at present Sun Tzu is not speaking of CHENG at all, unless, indeed, we suppose with Cheng Yu-hsien that a clause relating to it has fallen out of the text. Of course, as has already been pointed out, the two are so inextricably interwoven in all military operations, that they cannot really be considered apart. Here we simply have an expression, in figurative language, of the almost infinite resource of a great leader.] 7. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. 8. 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. 9. There are”


130. “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.”


131. “Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.”


132. “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.”


133. “Walk in the path defined by rule, and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


134. “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”


135. “So long as victory can be attained, stupid haste is preferable to clever dilatoriness.”


136. “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.”


137. “If you wish to feign confusion in order to lure the enemy on, you must first have perfect discipline; if you wish to display timidity in order to entrap the enemy, you must have extreme courage; if you wish to parade your weakness in order to make the enemy over-confident, you must have exceeding strength.”] 18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; [See supra, ss. 1.] concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; [The commentators strongly understand a certain Chinese word here differently than anywhere else in this chapter. Thus Tu Mu says: “seeing that we are favorably circumstanced and yet make no move, the enemy will believe that we are really afraid.”] masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.”


138. “Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.”


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


140. “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” — Sun Tzu


141. “No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


142. “Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.”


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


144. “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” – Sun Tzu


145. “The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership,”


146. “If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve.”


147. “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.” – Sun Tzu


148. “If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.”


149. “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.”


150. “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.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


151. “first lay plans which will ensure victory, and then lead your army to battle; if you will not begin with stratagem but rely on brute strength alone, victory will no longer be assured”


152. “In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


153. “Those who win every battle are not really skillful—those who render others’ armies helpless without fighting are the best of all.” — Sun Tzu


154. If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is death.”


155. “A wise general makes a point of foraging of the enemy.” — Sun Tzu


156. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” – Sun Tzu


157. “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”


158. “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.”


159. “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


160. “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


161. “It is more important to out-think your enemy than to outfight him.” — Sun Tzu


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


163. Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”


164. “If you do not take opportunity to advance and reward the deserving, your subordinates will not carry out your commands, and disaster will ensue.”


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


166. “Opportunistic relationships can hardly be kept constant. The acquaintance of honorable people, even at a distance, does not add flowers in times of warmth and does not change its leaves in times of cold: it continues unfading through the four seasons, becomes increasingly stable as it passes through ease and danger.”


167. “[Once war is declared, he will not waste precious time in waiting for reinforcements, nor will he return his army back for fresh supplies, but crosses the enemy's frontier without delay.”


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


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


170. 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.”


171. “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.”


172. “For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death.”


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


174. “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, The Art of War


175. “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.”


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


177. You have to believe in yourself.”


178. “Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.” — Sun Tzu


179. “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.”


180. “A leader leads by example, not by force.” – Sun Tzu


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


182. “In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack—the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.”


183. “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.”


184. “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.”


185. “So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and strike at what is weak.” — Sun Tzu


186. “Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear, and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


187. “as swift as wind, as gentle as forest, as fierce as fire, as unshakable as mountain”


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


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


190. “Appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak.” — Sun Tzu


191. “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


192. “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


193. “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.”


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


195. “Danger has a bracing effect.”


196. “Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons, and they will follow you into the deepest valley.”


197. “Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.


198. “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. [An aphorism which puts the whole art of war in a nutshell.]”


199. “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.”


200. “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” – Sun Tzu


201. “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


202. “If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.” — Sun Tzu


203. “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.”


204. “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.” — Sun Tzu


205. 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.”


206. “When strong, appear weak. Brave, appear fearful. Orderly, appear chaotic. Full, appear empty. Wise, appear foolish. Many, appear to be few. Advancing, appear to retreat. Moving quickly, appear to be slow. Taking, appear to leave. In one place, appear to be in another.”


207. “Sweat more during peace: bleed less during war.” — Sun Tzu


208. “When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is COLLAPSE.”


209. 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.


210. “[A] wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one’s own store.”


211. “The worst calamities that befall an army arise from hesitation.” — Sun Tzu


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


213. “My eldest brother sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so his name does not get out of the house. My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minute, so his name does not get out of the neighborhood. As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe potions, and massage skin, so from time to time my name gets out and is heard among the lords.”


214. Quickness is the essence of the war.


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


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


217. “who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits”


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


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


220. “These are: (1) the Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) the Commander; (5) method and discipline.”


221. “The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.”


222. “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.”― Sun Tzu


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


224. “Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer.” — Sun Tzu


225. “Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.” — Sun Tzu


226. “The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


227. Never venture, never win!”


228. “Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


229. “In night-fighting, then, make much use of signalfires and drums, and in fighting by day, of flags and banners, as a means of influencing the ears and eyes of your army.”


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


231. “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


232. “In a similar way, The Art of War pinpoints anger and greed as fundamental causes of defeat.”


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


234. “Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow.”


235. “Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working in the world without being affected by the world, carrying out tasks without being obstructed by tasks.”


236. 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.”


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


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


239. “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


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


241. “All warfare is based on deception.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


242. “If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


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


245. 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.”


246. “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.” — Sun Tzu


247. “Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage


248. “Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.”


249. “Accordingly, he had the two leaders beheaded, and straightway installed the pair next in order as leaders in their place. When this had been done, the drum was sounded for the drill once more; and the girls went through all the evolutions, turning to the right or to the left, marching ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound. Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: “Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey.”


250. To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.


251. “To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.”


252. “prohibit omens altogether. You can best predict your future by controlling it yourself, not by trusting luck or fate to control it.”


253. “He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.”


254. If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad.”


255. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


256. “If there is a disturbance in the camp, the general’s authority is weak.” — Sun Tzu


257. “When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover the secret system. This is called ‘divine manipulation of the threads.’ It is the sovereign’s most


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


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


260. “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.”


261. “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


262. “The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership.“


263. “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.”


264. “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” — Sun Tzu


265. “Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.” — Sun Tzu


266. “Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.”


267. “Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men. 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.”


268. “The wise warrior avoids the battle.” – Sun Tzu


269. 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.”


270. “When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is INSUBORDINATION.”


271. “The true objective of war is peace.”


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


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


274. “Quickness is the essence of the war.” — Sun Tzu


275. “He who wishes to fight must first count the cost.”


276. “The control of large numbers is possible, and like unto that of small numbers if we subdivide them.”- Sun Tzu


277. “Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand Li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armour, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.”


278. “The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man. For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death."]”


279. “Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.”


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


281. “Never venture, never win!” — Sun Tzu


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


283. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


284. “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 maybe lured into an ambush and slain.” — Sun Tzu


285. “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”


286. “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” — Sun Tzu


287. “Opportunities Multiply as They Are Seized” Explained (Sun Tzu)


288. “Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.”


289. “Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


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


292. “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” – Sun Tzu


293. “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, The Art of War


294. “One cat at the hole, and ten thousand mice dare not come out; one tiger in the valley, and ten thousand deer cannot pass through.”


295. “Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.”


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


297. “Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” — Sun Tzu


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


299. “Perhaps the most foundational of these insights is the importance of maintaining an objective emotional detachment when calculating your position relative to your adversary’s. Being ruled by your emotions, exaggerating your strengths, denying your weaknesses, and wishful thinking can only lead to catastrophe. But maintaining your impartiality will allow you to see your circumstances with clarity and will provide opportunities to make sound decisions and respond to changing circumstances appropriately.”


300. “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


301. “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


302. “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 be seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.” — Sun Tzu


303. “Traitez bien les prisonniers, nourissez-les comme vos propres soldats, afin qu'il se trouvent mieux chez vous qu'ils ne l'étaient dans leur propre camp ou dans leur patrie. (article II)”


304. “Move swift as the wind and closely formed as the wood. Attack like the fire and be still as the mountain.”


305. Wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine.”


306. “In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory.”


307. “When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.”


308. “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


309. “We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit: (1) Accessible ground; (2) entangling ground; (3)temporizing ground; (4) narrow passes; (5) precipitous heights; (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy.”


310. “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


311. “If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's authority is weak. ”


312. “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”


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


314. “Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.”


315. “It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.” – Sun Tzu


316. “Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says, “Well done!”


317. “When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half the army get across, and then deliver your attack.”


318. “Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.”


319. “and addressed them thus: “I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?”


320. “So a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape: the ability to gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius.”


321. “Know thy self, know thy enemy.”


322. “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.”


323. “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


324. “There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.”


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


326. “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


327. “By means of water, an enemy may be intercepted, but not robbed of all his belongings.”


328. “Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.”


329. “Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.”


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


331. “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.”


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


333. “Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


334. “If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless.


335. “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, The Art of War


336. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” — Sun Tzu


337. “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.”


338. “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.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


340. Igor is a SEO specialist, designer, and freelance writer. He believes that knowledge can change the world and be used to inspire and empower young people to build the life of their dreams. When he is not writing in his favorite coffee shop, Igor spends most of his time reading, traveling, producing house music, and capturing light with his camera. He is a sucker for good coffee, Indian food, and video games.


341. “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.” – Sun Tzu


342. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”


343. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack--the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.”


344. “If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


345. “He who relies solely on warlike measures shall be exterminated; he who relies solely on peaceful measures shall perish.”


346. “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 colours, 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 flavours than can ever be tasted.”


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


348. Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.”


349. “A government should not mobilize an army out of anger, military leaders should not provoke war out of wrath. Act when it is beneficial to do so, desist if not. Anger can revert to joy, wrath can revert to delight, but a nation destroyed cannot be restored to existence, and the dead cannot be restored to life.”


350. “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.”


351. “In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them; conceal your dispositions, and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the machinations of the wisest brains.”


352. “The only chance of life lies in giving up all hope of it.”


353. “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.”


354. “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


355. “Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. 21. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. 22. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.”


356. “The height of strategy is to attack your opponent’s strategy.” – Sun Tzu


357. The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”


358. “When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a military leader.”


359. “The PEOPLE being regarded as the essential part of the State, and FOOD as the people's heaven, is it not right that those in authority should value and be careful of both?"]”


360. “You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defence if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.”


361. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” — Sun Tzu


362. “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


363. “Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.”


364. “First learn to become invincible, then wait for your enemy’s moment of vulnerability.”


365. “There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:


366. “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” – Sun Tzu


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


368. “Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store.”


369. Be where your enemy is not.”


370. “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


371. “There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;


372. “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.”


373. “Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible. These are: (1) Flight; (2) insubordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin; (5) disorganization; (6) rout.”


374. “I pee in the toilets of my enemies, so that when they flush my pee comes out”


375. “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.”


376. “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.”


377. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy; do what is great while it is small.” — Sun Tzu


378. “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame.”


379. “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”


380. “Cualquiera que tenga forma puede ser definido, y cualquiera que pueda ser definido puede ser vencido.”


381. “Do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat.”


382. “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.” – Sun Tzu


383. “Weak leadership can wreck the soundest strategy; forceful execution of even a poor plan can often bring victory.” – Sun Tzu


384. “All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark.”


385. “It is unlucky to be stubborn in the face of insurmountable odds”


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


387. 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.”


388. “Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day.” – Sun Tzu


389. “To take a long and circuitous route, after enticing the enemy out of the way, and though starting after him, to contrive to reach the goal before him, shows knowledge of the artifice of deviation.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


390. “Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.” — Sun Tzu


391. “Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.“


392. “The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.” — Sun Tzu


393. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. The most difficult things in the world must be done while they are still easy, the greatest things in the world must be done while they are still small. For this reason sages never do what is great, and this is why they can achieve that greatness.”


394. “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


395. “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, The Art of War


396. “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.”


397. “The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Ch’ang mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.” — Sun Tzu


398. “All warfare is based on deception.”


399. “Never venture, never win!”


400. “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.”


401. “You have to believe in yourself.” — Sun Tzu


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


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


404. “It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.” — Sun Tzu


405. “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” — Sun Tzu


406. 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.”


407. “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


408. “The wise warrior avoids the battle.”


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


410. “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”- Sun Tzu


411. “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” — Sun Tzu


412. “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not will be victorious.” — Sun Tzu


413. “It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


414. “But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.”


415. “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


416. “The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary.” — Sun Tzu


417. “He who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease”


418. “He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation. Such is the art of maneuvering.”


419. “There are five ways of attacking with fire. The first is to burn soldiers in their camp; the second is to burn stores; the third is to burn baggage trains; the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines; the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy.”


420. “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


421. A leader leads by example, not by force. -Sun Tzu, The Art of War


422. “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 a division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.” — Sun Tzu


423. “The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain. [This sentence contains one of those highly condensed and somewhat enigmatical expressions of which Sun Tzu is so fond. This is how it is explained by Ts’ao Kung: “Make it appear that you are a long way off, then cover the distance rapidly and arrive on the scene before your opponent.” Tu Mu says: “Hoodwink the enemy, so that he may be remiss and leisurely while you are dashing along with utmost speed.” Ho Shih gives a slightly different turn: “Although you may have difficult ground to traverse and natural obstacles to encounter this is a drawback which can be turned into actual advantage by celerity of movement.” Signal examples of this saying are afforded by the two famous passages across the Alps—that of Hannibal, which laid Italy at his mercy, and that of Napoleon two thousand years later, which resulted in the great victory of Marengo.] 4. Thus, to take a long and circuitous route, after enticing the enemy out of the way, and though starting after him, to contrive to reach the goal before him, shows knowledge of the artifice of DEVIATION.”


424. “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder and crush him.” — Sun Tzu


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


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


427. “Those skilled in warfare move the enemy and are not moved by the enemy.” — Sun Tzu


428. “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


429. “[T]hat 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.”


430. “A leader leads by example not by force.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


432. “He wins his battles by making no mistakes.


433. “It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”


434. “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


435. “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.”


436. “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”– Sun Tzu


437. “The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


438. “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 defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


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


440. 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.”


441. “The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.”


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


443. “Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.”


444. “There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.”


445. “He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


446. “All wars are won or lost before they are ever fought.” — Sun Tzu


447. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu


448. “Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


449. “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.”


450. “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.”


451. “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


452. “However, this translation is, in the words of Dr. Giles, "excessively bad." He goes further in this criticism: "It is not merely a question of downright blunders, from which none can hope to be wholly exempt.”


453. “He wins his battles by making no mistakes.” — Sun Tzu


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


455. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”– Sun Tzu, The Art of War


456. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.


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


458. “By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided.”


459. “If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.” – Sun Tzu


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


461. “Every animal with blood in its veins and horns on its head will fight when it is attacked.”


462. “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”


463. “The Art of War” has shaped military thinkers over the past two millenniums. It is believed that the Samurai of ancient Japan honored the teachings of the book and used it to push for the unification of Japan.


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


465. “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


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


467. “You have to believe in yourself. ”


468. “There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:— (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier’s minds. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.”


469. “[J]ust as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.”


470. 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.”


471. “do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat”


472. “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.”


473. There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.”


474. “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.”


475. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” — Sun Tzu


476. “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.”


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


478. “In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”


479. “When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.”


480. “Whether in an advantageous position or a disadvantageous one, the opposite state should be always present to your mind.”


481. “These are the six ways of courting defeat – neglect to estimate the enemy’s strength; want of authority; defective training; unjustifiable anger; nonobservance of discipline; failure to use picked men.” – Sun Tzu


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


483. “Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.”


484. “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.”


485. “who wishes to fight must first count the cost”


486. “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” – Sun Tzu


487. “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.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


488. “Hence a commander who advances without any thought of winning personal fame and withdraws in spite of certain punishment, whose only concern is to protect his people and promote the interests of his ruler, is the nation's treasure. Because he fusses over his men as if they were infants, they will accompany him into the deepest valleys; because he fusses over his men as if they were his own beloved sons, they will die by his side. If he is generous with them and yet they do not do as he tells them, if he loves them and yet they do not obey his commands, if he is so undisciplined with them that he cannot bring them into proper order, they will be like spoiled children who can be put to no good use at all.”


489. “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, The Art of War


490. “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”


491. “Every battle is won before it is fought.”


492. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if


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


494. “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.”


495. “Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men.”


496. “[T]he skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.”


497. “If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


498. “If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is death.” — Sun Tzu


499. “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”


500. “Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.” – Sun Tzu


501. “Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.”


502. “Do not press an enemy at bay.” — Sun Tzu


503. “If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.” — Sun Tzu


504. “Asked if an army can be made to imitate the SHUAI-JAN, I should answer, Yes. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies; yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm, they will come to each other's assistance just as the left hand helps the right.”


505. “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.”


506. “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” – Sun Tzu


507. “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 Art of War


508. “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.”


509. “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


510. “Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.”


511. “Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.”


512. “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. [Tu Mu says: "Rewards”


513. “The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Ch'ang mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.”


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


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


516. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” — Sun Tzu


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


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


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


520. “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


521. “Do not press a desperate enemy.”


522. “Using order to deal with the disorderly, using calm to deal with the clamorous, is mastering the heart.” — Sun Tzu


523. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Sun Tzu


524. “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster”


525. “About Sun Tzu himself this is all that Ssu-ma Ch`ien has to tell us in this chapter. But he proceeds to give a biography of his descendant, Sun Pin, born about a hundred years after his famous ancestor's death, and also the outstanding military genius of his time.”


526. “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, The Art of War


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


528. “The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” — Sun Tzu


529. “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.”


530. “The true object of war is peace.”


531. “Conform to the enemy's tactics until a favorable opportunity offers; then come forth and engage in a battle that shall prove decisive.”


532. “The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.”


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


534. “Quickness is the essence of the war.” – Sun Tzu


535. Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.”


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


537. “licited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any”


538. “Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” – Sun Tzu


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


540. “(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. 18. 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.”


541. “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.”


542. “see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.”


543. “Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.”


544. “Some people think insufficiency means weakness and surplus means strength, but this impression is wrong.”


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


546. “There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must be not attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.”


547. “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.”


548. “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, The Art of War


549. “A battle avoided cannot be lost.”


550. “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.”


551. “A government should not mobilize an army out of anger, military leaders should not provoke war out of wrath.”


552. “The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.”


553. 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.”


554. “Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.”


555. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


556. “By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes, he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose.”


557. “Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by contentment. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being, nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. There is no instance of a nation having benefited from prolonged warfare.”


558. “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.” — Sun Tzu


559. “There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.” — Sun Tzu


560. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”– Sun Tzu


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


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


563. “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.”


564. “Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:


565. “By reinforcing every part, he weakens every part.”


566. “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War