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Unsplash | A man performing a martial arts move
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49 Martial Arts Quotes to Instil Discipline and Tranquility

Dayna Remus
Jan 13, 2023
04:00 P.M.
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Martial arts is not just a physical practice but a spiritual one and a tool for learning psychological discipline. Read the 49 quotes below to discover more.

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Many of us know martial arts through on-screen fighting. Legends in this area include Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

The form of combat is aesthetically pleasing and seems focused on fighting one's opponent. However, martial arts are used for a more profound spiritual journey, with core values such as perseverance, integrity, and focus.

Dive deeper into this art by reading the 49 quotes below.

Bruce Lee’s quote: "Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail." | Image: AmoDays

Bruce Lee’s quote: "Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail." | Image: AmoDays

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Motivational Martial Arts Quotes

"‎The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus." — Bruce Lee

"You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great." — Zig Ziglar

"Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality." — Bruce Lee

"Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail." — Bruce Lee

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried." — Steven McCranie

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Strategic and Educational Martial Arts Quotes

Jackie Chan’s quote: "The best fights are the ones we avoid." | Image: AmoDays

Jackie Chan’s quote: "The best fights are the ones we avoid." | Image: AmoDays

"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes." — Gautama Buddha

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"The warrior learns of the spiritual realm by dwelling on the cutting edge of the sword, standing at the edge of the fire pit, venturing right up to the edge of starvation if necessary. Vibrant and intense living is the warrior's form of worship." ― Stephen K. Hayes

"Someone said to me the other day, 'You speak of peace because you are afraid to fight.' I smiled and replied, 'You are absolutely right; I am terrified of fighting; you know why? Because if I raise my hands at someone, there'll be no trace of them left.' It's ridiculously easily to take life, especially for a biologist with martial arts training, but what makes a human is the capacity to give life." ― Abhijit Naskar

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"The best fights are the ones we avoid." — Jackie Chan

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." — Confucius

Richard Marcinko’s quote: "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat." | Image: AmoDays

Richard Marcinko’s quote: "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat." | Image: AmoDays

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"The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy's cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him." ― Miyamoto Musashi

"A punch should stay like a treasure in the sleeve. It should not be used indiscriminately." — Chotoku Kyan

"When it comes to technique, work on it over and over again until you have mastered it." — Saenchai

"I had a really long and great career, and I believe I left a deep mark in the martial arts. I have no regrets." — Mirko Cro Cop

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"The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions." ― Miyamoto Musashi

Bruce Lee’s quote: "Empty your mind; be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." | Image: AmoDays

Bruce Lee’s quote: "Empty your mind; be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." | Image: AmoDays

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"Of old, the expert in battle would first make himself invincible and then wait for his enemy to expose his vulnerability." — Sun Tzu

"Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it...Don't allow his anger to become your anger." ― Bohdi Sanders

"Never depart from the way of martial arts." — Miyamoto Musashi

"You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war." — Napoleon Bonaparte

"Know your enemy, know his sword." ― Miyamoto Musashi

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Lao Tzu quote: "The best fighter is never angry." | Image: AmoDays

Lao Tzu quote: "The best fighter is never angry." | Image: AmoDays

"Train to be able to defend yourself against any attack, and at the same time, retain your good heart towards other people. Don't allow bad people to turn your heart hard, but always be ready to defend yourself should you have to." ― Bohdi Sanders

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"In the middle of chaos lies opportunity." ― Bruce Lee

"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." ― Bruce Lee

"The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment." ― Bruce Lee

"The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat." — Richard Marcinko

Anderson Silva’s quote: "When I started training martial arts, I learned about respect." | Image: AmoDays

Anderson Silva’s quote: "When I started training martial arts, I learned about respect." | Image: AmoDays

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"Empty your mind; be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." ― Bruce Lee

"The best fighter is never angry." ― Lao Tzu

Practical Experiences with Martial Arts Quotes

"Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn karate and become world champion." — Chuck Norris

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"Martial arts was really the first thing in my life that I followed through on and accomplished a degree of proficiency for." — Chuck Norris

"When I started training martial arts, I learned about respect." — Anderson Silva

Chuck Norris’ quote: "Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn karate and become world champion." | Image: AmoDays

Chuck Norris’ quote: "Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn karate and become world champion." | Image: AmoDays

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"As a six-time world karate champion and then a movie star, I put too much trust in who I was, what I could do, and what I acquired. I forgot how much I needed others, and especially God." — Chuck Norris

"From 1964 to 1968, I won many state, national, and international amateur karate titles." — Chuck Norris

Quotes about True Martial Arts

"When you are learning about a martial art, it is about respect." — Jackie Chan

"An important teaching of martial arts is that the whole world is a dojo. What we learn in here can be applied out there. And vice versa.” ― Sol Luckman

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"The Chinese words 'kung fu' translate[s] more or less as 'A man hard at work over a long time.' If you want to unlock the full power of kung fu, it is not going to be easy: you are going to have to work, you are going to have to sacrifice, and you are going to have to sufferover a long time. There really is no such thing as a free lunch." ― Master Iain Armstrong

Jackie Chan’s quote: "When you are learning about a martial art, it is about respect." | Image: AmoDays

Jackie Chan’s quote: "When you are learning about a martial art, it is about respect." | Image: AmoDays

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"The martial arts are non-combative because these martial artists think actual fighting doesn't express goodness or mystic insight." — Keith Vargo

"The secret to martial arts is not style but training." ― Abhijit Naskar

"Only after several years of training did I come to realize that the deepest purpose of the martial arts is to serve as a vehicle for personal spiritual development." — Joe Hyams

"To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is." ― Bruce Lee

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"The practice of a martial art should be a practice of lovefor the preservation of life, for the preservation of body, and for the preservation of family and friends." — Dan Inosanto

Keith Vargo’s quote: "The martial arts are non-combative because these martial artists think actual fighting doesn't express goodness or mystic insight." | Image: AmoDays

Keith Vargo’s quote: "The martial arts are non-combative because these martial artists think actual fighting doesn't express goodness or mystic insight." | Image: AmoDays

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"Imagine if every child learned the respect, courtesy, and discipline that martial arts teaches. The world would be a different place." — Chris Wahmond

"In the martial arts, the relationship of master and disciple is a peculiar one." — Tri Thong Dang

"True martial arts is universal, simple, and practical. Anything else is too complex to be used in combat." — Soke Behzad Ahmadi

"A student's mentality in learning martial arts is to overcome one's problems." — Ip Chun

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Hard-Hitting Quotes

"I don't count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they're the only ones that count." — Muhammad Ali

"I don't train so I could fight; I train so I could restrain someone from fighting." ― Abhijit Naskar

Ip Chun’s quote: "A student's mentality in learning martial arts is to overcome one's problems." | Image: AmoDays

Ip Chun’s quote: "A student's mentality in learning martial arts is to overcome one's problems." | Image: AmoDays

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"I so admire the discipline, the work ethic, and the sacrifices fighters make to master all aspects of mixed martial arts." — Tami Hoag

"I've got a bulletin for you, folks. I am no superman. I realize that now, but I didn't always." — Chuck Norris

"I don't initiate violence; I retaliate." — Chuck Norris

Muhammad Ali’s quote: "I don't count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they're the only ones that count." | Image: AmoDays

Muhammad Ali’s quote: "I don't count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they're the only ones that count." | Image: AmoDays

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When one looks at the purported history of martial arts, one can see its spiritual origins. In 527 A.D., Bodhidharma, an Indian monk, took on the job of helping Chinese monks improve physically and mentally.

In this training, one of the techniques he included was teaching them defense strategies used by warriors in his home country— and so the beginning of martial arts was born.

One of the teachings of martial arts is to learn how to surrender and go with the flow. Read these 79 water quotes that teach us about the flow of life to gain some insight into what this means.

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