Sun Tzu quotes

A list created by: Lee Sonogan

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Around 544-496 BC there was an ancient Chinese general who was also a writer and a philosopher. He is regarded as a legendary historical and military figure in China and East Asia. His most notable works is the book called The Art of War which I have reviewed on this blog before. (https://ungroovygords.com/2017/09/28/the-art-of-war-a-book-review/) Some skeptics who identify issues in The Art of War include terms, technology, philosophical ideas, events, and military techniques that should not have been available to Sun Tzu or Sun Wu, his orginal birth name..

  • “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, The Art of War 
  • “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision,
    to the releasing of a trigger.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “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 oficers.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull.  Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “If his forces are united, separate them.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “If quick, I survive.
    If not quick, I am lost.
    This is “death.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “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, The Art of War
  • “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
    ― Sun Tzu
  • “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
    ― Sun Tzu, A Arte da Guerra
  • “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, The Art of War
  • “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I recommend reading The Art of War. Its influence covers such topics as culture, politics, business, and sports then and in modern times. With more than one being translated from the original copy, each book of The Art of War may be slightly different and the meaning of the words are subjective because it is written in a military strategy type of way.

Here is some links to my book for sale: