For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

Sun-Tzu (fl. 6th C. AD) Chinese general and philosopher [a.k.a. Sun Wu]
The Art of War, ch. 3

Alt. trans.:

  • "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting"
  • "The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities .... It is best to win without fighting."
Added on 3-Dec-09 | Last updated 17-Jul-14
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