Know thy enemy.
So morning energy is keen, midday energy slumps, evening energy recedes—therefore those skilled in use of arms avoid the keen energy and strike the slumping and receding. These are those who master energy.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.
The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone.
These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
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 he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.
Invincibility is in oneself, vulnerability in the opponent.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
You must be swift as the wind, dense as the forest, rapacious as fire, steadfast like a mountain, mysterious as night and mighty as thunder.
Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
Those skilled in warfare move the enemy, and are not moved by the enemy.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.
If they are in an awkward place together, they will surely exert their united strength to get out of it.
The art of war is of vital importance to the State.
The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
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.
EARTH comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.