Martial Arts Quotes

This collection of martial arts quotes was created to become a source of inspiration for leaders. We all admire the hard work, dedication, strong character, persistence, integrity, honesty, and humanity of martial arts masters, artists, and practitioners. Their quotes and sayings should be a source of learning for those who aspire to become better leaders.


Have you thought about using martial arts quotes as a source of learning leadership skills?

The 25 martial arts quotes in this list will inspire you to develop your leadership skills and become a better leader.


The warrior guided by the spirit serves humanity, the warrior without, serves the ego.
― Soke Behzad Ahmadi

Martial arts is not about fighting; it’s about building character.
― Bo Bennett

Your technique means nothing if you’re not using your talents for the betterment of humanity.
― Gene Dunn


Martial Arts Quotes - Technique


Protecting yourself is self-defense. Protecting others is warriorship.
― Bohdi Sanders

For me, the martial arts is a search for something inside. It’s not just a physical discipline.
― Brandon Lee

The essence of warrior traits are demonstrated by: integrity with self, and honesty with others.
― Soke Behzad Ahmadi

I can show you the path but I can not walk it for you.
― Master Iain Armstrong


There’s a part of martial arts where we need humility and respect.
― Eddie Alvarez

The best fighter is never angry.
― Lao Tzu

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

A black belt is nothing more than a belt, a piece of cloth. Your ultimate goal should not be to get your black belt. Your ultimate goal should be to be a black belt. Being a black belt is a state of mind, a way of life.
― Bohdi Sanders

Even a low class warrior can surpass an elite, with enough hard work.
― Goku


Martial arts quotes - Persistence


Martial Arts does not teach you how to fight, it teaches you why not to.
― Lakshya Bharadwaj

Autopilot is great, and removal of thought is one of the highest ideals of training. But removal of thought in the moment must be preceded by purposeful thought beforehand.
― Chris Matakas

Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.
― Bruce Lee

True mastery, it turns out, is not found in accumulating each and every tool under the sun. True mastery is learning that there are really only a handful of tools, and it is the proper application with correct timing and setting that makes them so useful.
― Chris Matakas

The Chinese words ‘kung fu’ translate 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 suffer – over a long time. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.
― Master Iain Armstrong

The true work of the martial arts is progress, not perfection.
― Gene Dunn


Only hardness or only softness creates an inability to deal effectively with the fluctuations of life.
― Seikichi Toguchi

To achieve anything we must grind, but to enjoy anything we must flow.
― Chris Matakas

Your anger is your First Enemy.
― Mohamed Othman

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter! Try again. Fail again. Fail better!
Understand? Good. Play.
― Masaaki Hatsumi

Never forget that, at the most, the teacher can give you fifteen percent of the art. The rest you have to get for yourself through practise and hard work. I can show you the path but I can not walk it for you.
― Master Tan Soh Tin

Whatever is going on inside your head has everything to do with how well you end up performing.
― D.C. Gonzalez

And one quote from an ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. The quote works well for both martial artists and leaders:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
― Aristotle

Martial arts quotes - Aristotle




Books to read

D. C. Gonzalez – The Art of Mental Training – A Guide to Performance Excellence

Josh Waitzkin – The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

Joe Hyams – Zen in the Martial Arts