Sun Tzu or Sunzi

Sun
Tzu or Sunzi
544 B.C.
496 B.C.

Chinese Military General, Strategist and Philosopher known for authoring "The Art of War"

Author Quotes

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

According to my assessment, even if you have many more troops than others, how can that help you to victory?

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will. Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.

If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.

If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.

All war is deception.

Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

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.

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

All warfare is based on deception. A skilled general must be master of the complementary arts of simulation and dissimulation; while creating shapes to confuse and delude the enemy he conceals his true dispositions and ultimate intent. When capable he feigns incapacity; when near he makes it appear that he is far away; when far away; that he is near. Moving as intangibly as a ghost in the starlight, he is obscure, inaudible. His primary target is the mind of the opposing commander; the victorious situation, a product of his creative imagination. Attacking the mind of the enemy is an indispensable preliminary to battle.

Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.

If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

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

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem 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. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment - that which they cannot anticipate.

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack - the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like moving in a circle - you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?

The art of using troops is this:
...When ten to the enemy's one, surround him;
...When five times his strength, attack him;
...If double his strength, divide him;
...If equally matched you may engage him;
...If weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing;
...And if in all respects unequal, be capable of eluding him,
...for a small force is but booty for one more powerful.

All warfare is based upon deception.

Rapidity is the essence of war.

Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.

Author Picture
First Name
Sun
Last Name
Tzu or Sunzi
Birth Date
544 B.C.
Death Date
496 B.C.
Bio

Chinese Military General, Strategist and Philosopher known for authoring "The Art of War"