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Sun Tzu Quotes

sun tzu quotes

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

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

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him.

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

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.

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.

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

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

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

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.

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.

Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.

A leader leads by example not by force.

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

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

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.

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. 

art of war

To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. 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.

One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant.

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

Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.

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

The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

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.

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