Miyamoto Musashi, also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was Japan’s greatest swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer and rōnin. Inspirational Miyamoto Musashi quotes will challenge the way you think, show how to move forward and transform your whole life.
If you’re searching for profound philosophy quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of motivational Sun Tzu quotes, powerful Lao Tzu quotes, and top Confucianism quotes.
Most Famous Miyamoto Musashi Quotes
Whatever your determination or will power, it is foolish to try to change the nature of things. Things work the way they do because that is the way of things.
Nobody is strong and nobody is weak if he conceives of the body, from the head to the sole of the foot, as a unity in which a living mind circulates everywhere equally.
Do not regret what you have done.
The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win.
Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food… extricate yourself by your own wisdom.
In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.
In large-scale strategy, it is beneficial to strike at the corners of the enemy’s force. If the corners are overthrown, the spirit of the whole body will be overthrown.
Many things can cause a loss of balance. One cause is danger, another is hardship, and another is surprise.
The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.
Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.
Everything can collapse. Houses, bodies, and enemies collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged.
From one thing, know ten thousand things.
Step by step walk the thousand mile road.
Understand the harm and benefit of everything.
Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.
If we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way.
Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
No fear, no hesitation, no surprise, no doubt.
With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view… distinguish between good and evil.
A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.
The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant.
Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy. From this example, the principle can be seen.
It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet.
Fixation is the way to death. Fluidity is the way to life.
Language does not extend to explaining the way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively.
Aspire to be like Mt. Fuji, with such a broad and solid foundation that the strongest earthquake cannot move you, and so tall that the greatest enterprises of common men seem insignificant from your lofty perspective.
The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.
Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.
There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within.
If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains.
To win any battle, you must fight as if you are already dead.
Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.
Inspirational Miyamoto Musashi Quotes
The principle is ‘strategy by means of the long sword’. If he attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men.
You must not be influenced by the opponent.
If you wish to control others you must first control yourself.
When the enemy starts to collapse you must pursue him without letting the chance go. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies’ collapse, they may recover.
Do nothing which is of no use.
Do not let the body be dragged along by mind nor be dragged along by the body.
Once at the enemy, you should not aspire just to strike him, but to cling after the attack. You must study this deeply.
Never accept an inferior position to anyone. It is the strongest spirit that wins, not the most expensive sword.
It may seem difficult at first but everything is difficult at first.
Control your anger. If you hold anger toward others, they have control over you. Your opponent can dominate and defeat you if you allow him to get you irritated.
Determine that today you will overcome yourself of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill, and later you will win over those of greater skill.
The warrior is different in that studying the Way of strategy is based on overcoming men.
If you do not look at things on a large scale, it will be difficult to master strategy.
Immature strategy is the cause of grief.
To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts.
Strategy is the craft of the warrior.
When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly… attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last.
It shows the inferior strategy of a weak spirit that men should be dependent on the length of their sword, fighting from a distance without the benefit of strategy.
Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior.
Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast.
The spirit of my school is to win through the wisdom of strategy, paying no attention to trifles. Study this well.
When you have attained the way of strategy there will be nothing that you cannot understand. You will see the way in everything.
The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy’s useful actions but allow his useless actions.
There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.
In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm.