The Most Memorable Quotes from Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'

Written by Felipe Costa

ArqBahia team of authors.


The book 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu is a classic work of military strategy, written more than 2,500 years ago in China. This book is very important and has a lot of influence. It is studied and used not only in the army, but also in business, politics and personal life.

Sun Tzu teaches principles and strategies to win any confrontation in his book. Let's explore some of the most memorable quotes from this book and understand its meaning.

Art of War – Phrases

Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be in danger.

Sun Tzu

This phrase expresses the importance of knowing both the enemy's capabilities and motivations and one's own strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the context and elements of a situation helps you make informed and effective decisions. In the military field, this means studying the enemy before facing them, trying to identify their weaknesses and vulnerable points. Before launching a new product or entering a new market, it is important to research and analyze the competition.

Focus on strengths, recognize weaknesses, seize opportunities and protect against threats.

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance of focusing on one's own abilities and efforts rather than worrying exclusively about the enemy. It is important to discover our abilities and improve them as much as possible. We must also understand the opponent's weaknesses and use them to our advantage.

In war, it is important to focus on strategies that exploit the enemy's weaknesses. This is more effective than fighting equally on all sides.

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

Sun Tzu

In this passage, Sun Tzu highlights the importance of planning and strategy rather than relying solely on force and direct combat. The objective is to win the battle without having to fight a prolonged and bloody war. This can be done by using diplomacy, manipulation and other non-violent tactics to weaken the enemy's morale and will to fight. Therefore, according to Sun Tzu, the art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting.

He who strives to resolve difficulties resolves them before they arise. He who goes above and beyond to defeat his enemies triumphs before their threats come to fruition.

Sun Tzu

This phrase emphasizes the importance of preparation and planning. Sun Tzu argues that the key to success is always being prepared, even in times of apparent peace. This implies always being one step ahead, anticipating possible problems and being prepared to deal with them. In business, this means being aware of market trends, anticipating changes and being ready to act effectively when needed.

Everything is about defeating the enemy without fighting.

The true method, when you have men under your command, is to utilize the miser and the fool, the wise and the courageous, and to give each a proper responsibility.

Sun Tzu

This phrase highlights the importance of creating a solid foundation before taking any action. Before fighting, one must ensure that all conditions are favorable to victory, minimizing risks and maximizing the chances of success. In the military field, this involves creating alliances, gaining popular support, and securing adequate resources before entering combat.

In business, this can mean establishing a solid reputation, building relationships with customers and suppliers, and ensuring the availability of resources necessary to achieve success.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

Sun Tzu

This phrase means that when you take advantage of the opportunities that arise, more opportunities appear. Imagine opportunities as pieces of a puzzle. When you start putting the puzzle together, more pieces fall into place and you see more possibilities. Therefore, do not pass up opportunities that arise, as they can lead to more opportunities in the future.

It's more important to be smarter than the most powerful enemy.

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is telling us that in situations of conflict or competition, such as in business or in life, it is essential to use intelligence to overcome stronger opponents. Instead of relying solely on brute force, use your intelligence, strategy and knowledge to win. This means thinking carefully about your actions and making wise decisions.

And remember: you are your own general. So, take the initiative now, plan and march decisively towards victory.

Sun Tzu

In this phrase, Sun Tzu reminds us that we are responsible for our own life and success. Just as a general leads an army, you must lead your own journey. This means that you must be proactive, take the initiative, plan your actions and act with determination to achieve your goals, just as a general leads his troops towards victory in a battle. Don't wait for others, take control of your life and move towards your goals with confidence.


These are just some of the most memorable quotes from Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. They capture the essence of strategy and decision-making in conflict situations, offering useful insights that can be applied in different areas of life. It is important to remember that the book 'Art of War' must be read and interpreted with caution, filtering and adapting its lessons to different contexts.

The Art of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (


Rate this post

Leave a Comment