65+ Inspirational Miyamoto Musashi Quotes: Legendary Swordsman

Daniel Muraga

As humans, we are constantly seeking inspiration and guidance on our journey through life. We look to the great thinkers and teachers of the past for wisdom and insight, hoping to gain new perspectives to help us navigate the present challenges.

One such teacher is Miyamoto Musashi, a famous Japanese swordsman, and philosopher who taught people how to be better at many things, like fighting and thinking. From the importance of discipline and integrity to the power of intuition and minimalism, Musashi’s teachings are as relevant today as they were centuries ago.

In this article, we’ll explore some of Miyamoto Musashi’s most famous quotes, and delve into the deeper meanings behind his words.  We’ll explore ideas like honesty and discipline, trusting your instincts, and focusing on important matters.

You can also take a look at the book of five rings quotes.

Who is Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi was a legendary Japanese swordsman and philosopher who lived in the 17th century. He is famous for his unique fighting style and his teachings on strategy and philosophy, which have been influential in many fields, including martial arts, business, and self-improvement.

Here are some well-known facts about Musashi:

  • He was born in 1584 in the Harima Province of Japan, and his birth name was Shinmen Takezo.
  • He is said to have fought over 60 duels in his lifetime, winning all of them.
  • Musashi developed a unique style of sword fighting known as “Niten Ichi-Ryu” which involved the use of two swords.
  • He wrote “The Book of Five Rings” a classic text on strategy and martial arts, which is still studied by martial artists and business leaders today.
  • Musashi retired from dueling in his later years and became a Buddhist monk, dedicating himself to meditation and spiritual practice.
  • He died in 1645 at the age of 61.

Famous Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Do not let your mind be clouded by things unnecessary. Simplify your life and remove distractions.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.

Observe their attacking order, and go to meet first those who attack first.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

You can only fight the way you practice.

You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Do nothing that is of no use.

Know that there are no other forms apart from these five in the School of the Two Swords.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.

If you wish to control others you must first control yourself.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Fixation is the way to death. Fluidity is the way to live.

Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.

This Fudo Myo-o, whose name means “Immovable Wisdom King,” is represented with a sword to cut through our ignorance and a rope to bind up our emotions.

To win any battle, you must fight as if you are already dead.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make the fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

Anger. Control your anger. If you hold anger toward others, they have control over you. Your opponent can dominate and defeat you if you allow him to get you irritated.

Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Determine that today you will overcome yourself of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill, and later you will win over those of greater skill.

Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.

Immature strategy is the cause of grief.” That was a true saying.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

In sum, it is not good to let the hand or the sword become fixed or frozen.87 A fixed hand is a dead hand; a hand that does not become fixed is alive. It is necessary to master this well.

No Fear, No Hesitation, No Surprise, No Doubt

In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

The essential is to think that anything you are doing has to become the occasion for slashing. You must examine this well.

Do not regret what you have done.

A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant.

In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

You win battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing that the enemy does not expect.

All men are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them.

What I call the void is where nothing exists. It is about things outside man’s knowledge. Of course, the void does not exist. By knowing what exists, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.

If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

Guard. It is in this sense that I recommend the guard without a guard. Whatever the situation is, you hold the sword so that you can slash your opponent.

In time, all things work to your advantage when you pursue them with an open heart.

Inspiring Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

True warriors are fierce because their training is fierce.

Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself with your own wisdom.

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win.

It is necessary to know ten thousand things by knowing one well. If you are to practice the way of strategy, nothing must escape your eyes Reflect well on this.

Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast….Of course, slowness is bad. Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy.

When you attack the enemy, your spirit must go to the extent of pulling the stakes out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds.

Do not let the body be dragged along by the mind nor the mind be dragged along by the body.

You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.

Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.

It is said the warrior is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.

Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor.

Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.

If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains.

If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him. More than anything, you must be thinking of carrying your movement through to cutting him.

If you are not progressing along the true way, a slight twist in the mind can become a major twist. This must be pondered well.

A warrior has no confusion in his mind…This is true emptiness.

You can only fight the way you practice.

Nobody is strong and nobody is weak if he conceives of the body, from the head to the sole of the foot, as a unity in which a living mind circulates everywhere equally.

Immature strategy is the cause of grief.

The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.

A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.

Do not think dishonestly… Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything. Perceive those things which cannot be seen. Pay attention even to trifles. Do nothing which is of no use.

You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.

When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.

Step by step walk the thousand-mile road.

Whatever your determination or willpower, it is foolish to try to change the nature of things. Things work the way they do because that is the way of things.

A thousand days of training to develop, ten thousand days of training to polish. You must examine all this well.

The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time and teaching them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.

Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

Become acquainted with every art.

The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy’s useful actions but allow his useless actions.

There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.

I dreamt of worldly success once.

A bullet from a gun does not make a distinction between practice and combat. You are training to be one and the same way in your life

When in a fight to the death, one wants to employ all one’s weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one’s sword still sheathed is most regrettable.

If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.

Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the ways of different arts one by one.

Under the sword lifted high, There is hell making you tremble. But go ahead, And you have the land of bliss.

It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things, and the deepest things.

No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible.

When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy…attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last.

Did you find Miyamoto Musashi quotes inspiring?

Did you find Miyamoto Musashi’s quotes inspiring? Which ones resonated with you the most? Perhaps you found a new perspective on strategy, martial arts, or life that you hadn’t considered before. Or maybe you feel motivated to apply his teachings to your own pursuits and challenges.

Whatever your takeaways may be, I invite you to reflect on them and share your thoughts in the comments below.

As Musashi wrote, “Do not let your mind be clouded by things unnecessary. Simplify your life and remove distractions.” Take a moment to think about the lessons you learned from these quotes, and consider how you can apply them to your own life.

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Daniel is an experienced content writer and digital marketer with a mission of making boring blogs sparkle by leveraging the power of SEO. He helps both small and large businesses stop joking around with content marketing and start realizing solid ROI. When not working, he is out there communing with nature.