Lessons from the Masters

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There are many martial arts quotes that will make you reflect on your own journey. Some inspire even those who are not practitioners of any martial art. The lessons they teach are often universal. And most of them require a deeper understanding that may be achieved by walking the path. The following are some of the best quotes about martial arts that will make you think about your own journey.

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself” – Chinese Proverb

“When the student is ready, the Master appears.” – Buddhist Proverb

“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, The Book of Five Rings

“The true work of the martial arts is progress, not perfection” – Gene Dunn

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

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

“He who is taught only by himself has a fool for a master. “ – Ben Jonson

“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.” – Matsu Basho

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. “ – Bruce Lee

“Some Warriors look fierce, but are mild. Some seem timid, but are vicious. Look beyond appearances; position yourself for the advantage.” – Deng Ming-Dao

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

“Mental bearing (calmness), not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai. A Samurai therefore should neither be pompous nor arrogant.” – Tsukahara Bokuden.

“One finds life through conquering the fear of death within one’s mind. Empty the mind of all forms of attachment, make a go-for-broke charge and conquer the opponent with one decisive slash.” – Togo Shigekata.

“The undisturbed mind is like the calm body water reflecting the brilliance of the moon. Empty the mind and you will realize the undisturbed mind.” – Yagyu Jubei

“To practice Zen or the Martial Arts, you must live intensely, wholeheartedly, without reserve – as if you might die in the next instant” – Taisen Deshimaru

“Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really NO PATH.” – Ueshiba Morihei

“To all those whose progress remains hampered by ego-related distractions, let humility – the spiritual cornerstone upon which Karate rests – serve to remind one to place virtue before vice, values before vanity and principles before personalities.” – Sokon ‘Bushi’ Matsumura

“Nothing is more harmful to the world than a martial art that is not effective in actual self-defense.” – Choki Motobu