Sun Tzu also rendered as Sun Zi was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy. Aside from his legacy as the author of The Art of War, Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and the Culture of Asia as a legendary historical figure. His birth name was Sun Wu, and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzu by which he is best known in the West is an honorific which means “Master Sun.”
The Art of War is traditionally ascribed to Sun Tzu. It presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and has been frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally.
Below are some quotes from The Art of War by Sun Tzu;
1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
2. 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.
3. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
4. Know the enemy and know yourself.
5. 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.
6. If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is tempermental, 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.
7. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
8. To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
9. 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.
10. He who wishes to fight must first count the cost
11. The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.