Sun Tzu Quotes – What Did Brilliant Chinese General Say?


Sun Tzu is probably the most quoted person in the history of mankind. Of course, after Jesus, Muhammad, and other religious people. Sun Tzu was a brilliant Chinese military strategist who lived in 5th BC, in the Eastern Zhou period. It is not clear where he was born, it was either Wu or Qi state in the Zhou Kingdom. He was not only a strategist; he was a philosopher and writer as well. According to the tradition he died in 496 BC. Today, he is so respected that he has a statue even in Japan.
Sun Tzu is credited with being an author to “The Art of War” the most prominent military book. “The Art of War” is the book that has the most influence on military philosophy in both the Eastern and Western worlds. Sun Tzu focuses more on alternative kind of battles like delay, stratagem, and the use of spies, instead of direct battle. Allegedly, his real name was Sun Wu, although, he was better known as Changqing. However, his real identity is not certain, some are presuming that Sun Wu and Sun Bin are the same people, but this is not certain.
Now, we are going to present you with the best Sun Tzu quotes.

  • “All warfare is based on deception.” – Sun Tzu
  • “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Who wishes to fight must first count the cost” – Sun Tzu
  • “Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.” – Sun Tzu
  • “He will win who has the military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” – Sun Tzu
  • “When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu
  • “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” – Sun Tzu
  • “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu
  • “You have to believe in yourself.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of the trigger.” – Sun Tzu
  • “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts.” – Sun Tzu
  • “He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Sweat more during peace: bleed less during the war.” – Sun Tzu
  • “It is more important to out-think your enemy than to outfight him” – Sun Tzu
  • “The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.” – Sun Tzu
  • “When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.” – Sun Tzu
  • “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” – Sun Tzu
  • “It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.” – Sun Tzu
  • “For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.” – Sun Tzu
  • Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” – Sun Tzu
  • “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
  • “Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu