Over the years whilst studying and training in martial arts you come across some great martial arts wise proverbs that cause you to think much more deeply and help to inspire you like the ones listed below.
The best martial arts proverbs are the ones that not only help you to improve your martial arts expertise, they also effect the way you deal with many of life's greatest challenges in a very positive and empowering way.
Feel free to leave a comment or share with others any wise martial arts proverbs that may have helped you to add more meaning and enjoyment to your martial arts journey.
Full acknowledgment and recognition goes out to both the anonymous and well known wise authors as listed below.
Anonymous, Bhagavad Gita, Bruce Lee, Chinese Adage proverbs, Chuang Tzu, Daisetsu Suzuki, I Chang, Jim Lau, Kwai-Koo-Tsu, Lao-Tzu, Master Peter Burke, Napoleon Bonaparte, Samurai Maxims, Sun-Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Tsutomu Oshima, Takuan, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Saint Francis of Assissi, Koichi Tohei, Pope Boniface VIII, R. W. Emerson, Mahatma Ghandi, Books of Han Dynasty, Anecdote famous in judo circles, Confucius & Zen riddle.
'How long must I study to become the finest Karateka in the land?' the young boy asks.
'Ten years at least,' the master answers.
'Ten years is a long time,' said the boy. 'What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?'
'Twenty years,' replied the master.
'Twenty years! What if I practice day and night with all my effort?'
'Thirty years,' was the master's reply.
'How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?' the boy asked.
'The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed on your destination, there is only one eye with which to find your way.'
A Zen master out for a walk with one of his students pointed out a fox chasing a rabbit. 'According to an ancient fable, the rabbit will get away from the fox,' the master said.
'Not so,' replied the student. 'The fox is faster.'
'But the rabbit will elude him,' insisted the master.
'Why are you so certain?' asked the student.
'Because the fox is running for his dinner and the rabbit is running for his life,' answered the master.
The Master was pulling out of a parking lot when a car came speeding around the corner and there was a fender bender. The driver of the other vehicle got out and was very upset at who had caused the accident.
The Master: 'If I am at fault, I apologize. If you are at fault, I have already forgotten."
For the uncontrolled there is no wisdom, nor for the uncontrolled is there the power of concentration and for him without concentration there is no peace.
Bruce Lee 1
Empty your cup so that it may be filled become devoid to gain totality.
Bruce Lee 2
You and your opponent are one. There is a coexisting relationship between you. You coexist with your opponent and become his complement, absorbing his attack and using his force to overcome him.
Bruce Lee 3
The outstanding characteristic of the expert athlete is his ease of movement, even during maximal effort. You are never set or tensed, but ready and flexible.
The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
Bruce Lee 4
Knowing is not enough we must apply. Willing is not enough we must do.
- Bruce Lee 1940-1973
Control your emotion or it will control you.
Chinese Proverb 1
The man who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
Chinese Proverb 2
If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. - Chinese proverb
A fine sailor was never made on calm seas.
Chinese Proverb 3
Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.
Chinese Proverb 4
A peasant must stand for a long time on hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.
Chinese Proverb 4
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, he who doesn't ask remains a fool forever.
Chinese Proverb 5
Don't curse the darkness. Light a candle.
Chuang Tzu 1
The mind of a perfect man is like a mirror. It grasps nothing. It expects nothing. It reflects but does not hold. Therefore, the perfect man can act without effort.
Chuang Tzu 2
Those who realize their folly are not true fools.
Chuang Tzu 3
Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centred by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
- Chuang-Tzu, 300 B.C.
Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.
Before a brilliant person begins something great, he must look foolish to the crowd.
- I Chang, 1200 B.C.
I can defeat you physically with or without a reason. But I can only defeat your mind with a reason.
Patience, the essential quality of man.
Softness triumphs over hardness, feebleness over strength. What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immovable. This is the principle of controllong things by going along with them, of mastery through adaptation.
THE WAY OF LIFE... A man is born gentle and weak. At his death he is hard and stiff. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death they are withered and dry. Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life. Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle. The hard and the strong will fall. The soft and weak will overcome.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.
- Lao-Tzu 600 B.C.
Master Peter Burke
Success lies not in the defeat of your opponent but in the strengths your adversary helps you to attain.
Napoleon Bonaparte 1
Imagination rules the world.
Napoleon Bonaparte 2
Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
- Napoleon Bonaparte 1808-1873
Samurai Maxim 1
A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action.
Samurai Maxim 2
The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.
Samurai Maxim 3
To know and to act are one of the same.
To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.
- Sun-Tzu 600 B.C.
Tao Te Ching
The Master always teaches without teaching.
In disagreements, fight fairly without name calling.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Tao Te Ching, 72
In order to achieve victory you must place yourself in your opponent's skin. If you don't understand yourself, you will lose one hundred percent of the time. If you understand yourself, you will win fifty percent of the time. If you understand yourself and your opponent you will win one hundred percent of the time.
The mind should be nowhere in particular.
Sister Elizabeth Kenny
It's better to be a lion for a day, than a sheep all your life
Saint Francis of Assissi
Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Power of mind is infinite while brawn is limited.
Pope Boniface VIII
Anything done for another is done for oneself.
R. W. Emerson
To be great is to be misunderstood.
Truth never damages a cause that is just.
Books of Han Dynasty
Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
Anecdote famous in judo circles
Asked his impression of the match after being defeated by the master, a ranking judoka once said, 'It was like fighting an empty jacket.
Greatness is not achieved by never falling, but by rising every time we fall.
When you seek it, you cannot find it.