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quotations about martial arts

Martial Arts quote

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, "I" do not hit, "it" hits all by itself.

BRUCE LEE, Enter the Dragon

In their pure form, the martial arts demand the intense awareness of the meditative mind, and have nothing to do with anger or wanton aggression. A practitioner is taught from the outset that the skills must never be used for personal gain, but only in self-defence or in the protection of others -- and even then only enough force as is absolutely necessary should be used.

DAVID FONTANA, Learn to Meditate

Never take your eyes off your opponent ... even when you're bowing!

BRUCE LEE, Enter the Dragon

Masters of the martial arts believe that a strong body and mind go together: you can't improve one without working on the other.

LAURA SCANDIFFIO, The Martial Arts Book

In the martial arts, the relationship of Master and disciple is a peculiar one. At the beginning, we may find the training not alluring and exciting, but boring. We would be wise to remember that the beginning is but the foundation of what can become a great edifice.

TRI THONG DANG, Beyond the Known

When you have had the experience of defeating one or two opponents, you will come to understand what constitutes good and bad in the martial arts. Gradually, with practice and experience in handling opponents ... you will become able to discern the psychology of your opponents through fighting a variety of different people.

KAZUMI TABATA, Secret Tactics

I don't doubt that at the dawn of martial arts, the main goal was to beat up one's opponents in the most effective way possible. But then, indirectly, the alchemy of martial arts began to strike some chords deep within the spirit of many individuals, transforming living war-machines into poets, artists, and philosophers.

DANIELE BOLELLI, On the Warrior's Path

The purpose of refinement of consciousness through martial arts is to develop the latent abilities of the human body and brain, to cultivate supranormal capacities in the human body and supranormal powers of consciousness.

SHI MING, Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts

When you're talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you'd better train every part of your body!

BRUCE LEE, Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview, 1971

Achieving a state devoid of doubt is the essence of martial arts.

KAZUMI TABATA, Secret Tactics

Rather than being confined to a separate dimension, martial arts should be an extension of our way of living, of our philosophies, of the way we educate our children, of the job we devote so much of our time to, of the relationships we cultivate, and of the choices we make every day.

DANIELE BOLELLI, On the Warrior's Path

In martial arts, as in life, you quickly learn not to think too much. You have to do. While you're thinking, you open spaces where an opponent can successfully strike at you. The more you think, the more vulnerable you become.


My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.

BRUCE LEE, Enter the Dragon

Exchanging blows generously, which is not uncommon in some other martial arts, is unthinkable in Shaolin philosophy, because a Shaolin disciple always assumes that an opponent is competent and able to inflict damage with just one blow.

WONG KIEW KIT, Art of Shaolin Kung Fu

While this may not be popular among martial artists, it is my belief that one day courts will extend "concealed deadly weapon" laws to equate "concealment" with "nondisclosure" of the fighting prowess of a true martial arts expert.

CARL BROWN, The Law and Martial Arts

Martial Arts quote

In ancient times, there were no martial arts schools as we now know them. Instruction took place wherever and whenever a teacher decided to practice or to share his wisdom -- whether in an open field or deep within a fog-shrouded mountain. Some martial arts masters claimed that the only school was on the battlefield.


Boards don't hit back.

BRUCE LEE, Enter the Dragon

One of the greatest gifts of the martial arts is that they ultimately guide us to new levels of spirituality.


Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely -- lay your life before him.

BRUCE LEE, attributed, Bruce Lee: Artist of Life


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