Sun Tzu Quotes

Sun Tzu was an ancient chines military strategist, general and philosopher born around 544 BC in ancient China. He is credited as the author of one of the most widely influential work on military exercises and strategies, The Art of War.

There are certain misconceptions about the actual birth place of Sun Tzu. Some ancient documents states that Sun was born in Qi, whereas some claims Sun Tzu was born in Wu.

Sun Tzu’s work has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy. His military strategies and war tactics are inspirational and still implementable. He is believed to be dead on or around 496 BC.

Sun Tzu Quotes

Be where your enemy is not.
Be where your enemy is not.
- Sun Tzu
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
- Sun Tzu
If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.
If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.
- Sun Tzu
Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.
Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.
- Sun Tzu
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
- Sun Tzu
When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil....
When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.
- Sun Tzu
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
- Sun Tzu
If fighting is sure to result in victory, than you must fight...
If fighting is sure to result in victory, than 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
A wise general makes a point of foraging of the enemy.
A wise general makes a point of foraging of the enemy.
- Sun Tzu
All war is deception.
All war is deception.
- Sun Tzu
It is more important to out-think your enemy, than to outfight him.
It is more important to out-think your enemy, than to outfight him.
- Sun Tzu
Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.
Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.
- Sun Tzu
Do not press an enemy at bay.
Do not press an enemy at bay.
- Sun Tzu
Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons
Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.
- Sun Tzu
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
- Sun Tzu
Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you
Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm.
- Sun Tzu
If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.
If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.
- Sun Tzu
Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.
Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.
- Sun Tzu
So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.
So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.
- Sun Tzu
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
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
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
- Sun Tzu
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
- Sun Tzu
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.
- Sun Tzu
Know yourself and you will win all battles.
Know yourself and you will win all battles.
- Sun Tzu
Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.
Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.
- Sun Tzu
Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
- Sun Tzu
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy...
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
- Sun Tzu
Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer.
Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer.
- Sun Tzu
In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.
In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.
- Sun Tzu
The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.
The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.
- Sun Tzu
There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
- Sun Tzu
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
- Sun Tzu
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
- Sun Tzu
Quickness is the essence of the war.
Quickness is the essence of the war.
- Sun Tzu
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
- Sun Tzu
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
- Sun Tzu
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
- Sun Tzu
If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is death.
If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is “death.”
- Sun Tzu
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
- Sun Tzu
Great results, can be achieved with small forces.
Great results, can be achieved with small forces.
- Sun Tzu
If his forces are united, separate them.
If his forces are united, separate them.
- Sun Tzu
Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.
Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.
- Sun Tzu
Secret operations are essential in war
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
- Sun Tzu
The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary.
The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary.
- Sun Tzu
He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
- Sun Tzu
Sweat more during peace: bleed less during war.
Sweat more during peace; bleed less during war.
- Sun Tzu
The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.
The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.
- Sun Tzu
Sometimes we need to loss the small battles inorder to win the war.
Sometimes we need to loss the small battles in order to win the war.
- Sun Tzu
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
- Sun Tzu
Every battle is won before it's ever fought.
Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.
- Sun Tzu