37 Greatest Sun Tzu Quotes

Sun Tzu was a Chinese military genius and philosopher who lived and lead in ancient China. He wrote one of the most acclaimed and influential military strategy books that has greatly impacted today’s world. Here is a wonderful collection of some of his most famous and ingenious quotes.

“A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates.”

“According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.”

“All warfare is based on deception.”

“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.”

“Build you opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”


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

“He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance.”

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

“He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.”

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

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

“If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.”

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

“It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.”

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

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

“No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.”

“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

“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.”

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

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.”

“Swift as the wind. Quiet as the forest. Conquer like the fire. Steady as the mountain.”

“The commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness.”

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

“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.”

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

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

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

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

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

“To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.”

“Too frequent rewards indicate that the general is at the end of his resources; too frequent punishments that he is in acute distress.”

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

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

“When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.”

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


In this amazing video, Sun Tzu’s book is evaluated, as well as his impact on China and the world.

I hope you have enjoyed this fabulous collection of Sun Tzu quotes.

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