93 Inspirational Miyamoto Musashi Quotes on Success

Miyamoto Musashi, born Miyamoto Masana and artistically known as Niten, was a well-known Japanese soldier-artist from the early Edo period (1603–1867).

Starting his fighting career at 13, he became a rōnin (masterless samurai) after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

Musashi developed the nitō ichi-ryū, a dual-sword fencing style and was considered a kensai (“sword saint”).

He claimed victory in over 60 duels, notably defeating rival Sasaki Kojirō in 1612 using a wooden sword fashioned from an oar.


Post this duel, he mainly focused on teaching and aiding in the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637.

Musashi wrote the influential strategy book, “Gorin no sho” (The Book of Five Rings).

Besides being a swordsman, he was also an accomplished ink painter, remembered for his bird paintings like “Shrike Perched in a Dead Tree”.

I’ve prepared a list of Miyamoto Musashi’s most famous quotes for your information.

Best Miyamoto Musashi Quotes on Success, Self-Mastery, and Battle


1. “Do nothing that is of no use.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

2. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

3. “If you wish to control others you must first control yourself.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

4. “You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

5. “You can only fight the way you practice.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

6. “Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

7. “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

8. “The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).


9. “To win any battle, you must fight as if you are already dead.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

10. “It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

11. “It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

12. “No Fear, No Hesitation, No Surprise, No Doubt.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

13. “All men are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Top Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

14. “If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

15. “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

16. “In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

17. “The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

18. “Respect the gods, without relying on their help.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

19. “Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

20. “The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

21. “Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).


22. “Fixation is the way to death. Fluidity is the way to life.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

23. “If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

24. “In large-scale strategy, it is beneficial to strike at the corners of the enemy’s force, If the corners are overthrown, the spirit of the whole body will be overthrown.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Short Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

25. “The way is in training.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

26. “Never stray from the Way.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

27. “Do not regret what you have done.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

28. “The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

29. “Know your enemy, know his sword.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

30. “Accept everything just the way it is.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

31. “True warriors are fierce because their training is fierce.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

32. “Determine that today you will overcome your self of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill, and later you will win over those of greater skill.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

33. “The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

34. “Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

35. “As far as I’m concerned, I regret nothing.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

36. “Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

37. “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).

38. “Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

39. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

40. “You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

41. “In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

42. “Unless you really understand others, you can hardly attain your own self-understanding.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

43. “There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

44. “It is imperative to master the principles of the art of war and learn to be unmoved in mind even in the heat of the battle.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Famous Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

45. “In time, all things work to your advantage when you pursue them with an open heart.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

46. “Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

47. “Perception is strong and sight weak. 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).

48. “See to it that you temper yourself with one thousand days of practice, and refine yourself with ten thousand days of training.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

49. “Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the ways of different arts one by one.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

50. “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 by your own wisdom.”

51. “Approach the enemy with the attitude of defeating him without delay.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

52. “In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

53. “Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).


54. “One must make the warrior walk his everyday walk.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

55. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

56. “No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

57. “Immature strategy is the cause of grief.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

58. “Do not let the body be dragged along by mind nor the mind be dragged along by the body.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

59. “If the enemy stays spirited it is difficult to crush him.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

60. “It is said the warrior is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Inspiring Miyamoto Musashi Quotes

61. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

62. “If you want to learn the craft of war, ponder over this book. The teacher is as a needle, the disciple is as thread. You must practice constantly.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

63. “Crossing at a ford occurs often in a man’s lifetime. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbor, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favor of the day.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

64. “Fixed formation is bad. Study this well.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

65. “Speed is not part of the true Way of strategy. Speed implies that things seem fast or slow, according to whether or not they are in rhythm. Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

66. “Also by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit. When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

67. “If you do not look at things on a large scale, it will be difficult to master strategy.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).


68. “Do not act following customary beliefs.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

69. “When the enemy starts to collapse you must pursue him without the chance of letting go. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies collapse, they may recover.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

70. “Pay attention even to life’s trifles.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes for Motivation

71. “To become the enemy, see yourself as the enemy of the enemy.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

72. “In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

73. “People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment…” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

74. “If you learn indoor techniques, you will think narrowly and forget the true Way. Thus you will have difficulty in actual encounters.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

75. “When you have attained the way of strategy there will be nothing that you cannot understand. You will see the way in everything.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

76. “This is truth: When you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon as yet undrawn.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

77. “Do not let your opponent see your spirit.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

78. “When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

79. “If there is a Way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honor, it is the Way of Strategy.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

80. “With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

81. “The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist makes small things into big things, like building a great Buddha from a one-foot model.”

82. “All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

83. “By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

84. “To cut and slash are two different things. Cutting, whatever form of cutting it is, is decisive, with a resolute spirit. Slashing is nothing more than touching the enemy.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

85. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

86. “From inside fortifications, the gun has no equal among weapons. It is the supreme weapon on the field before the ranks clash, but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

87. “The Way of the warrior does not include other ways, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, certain traditions, artistic accomplishments, and dancing. But even though these are not part of the Way, if you know the Way broadly, you will see it in everything.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

88. “Cutting down the enemy is the way of strategy, and there is no need for many refinements of it.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

89. “In contests of strategy it is bad to be led about by the enemy. You must always be able to lead the enemy about.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

90. “Always return your weapon along the same path it traveled out on. In this way, you can use it again without having to relocate and rethink our attitude.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

91. “When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

92. “The warrior is different in that studying the Way of strategy is based on overcoming men.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

93. “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.” ~ (Miyamoto Musashi).

Short Biography of Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), a legendary Japanese swordsman and rōnin, was famous for his unparalleled skill in dual sword fighting and an undefeated streak in 61 duels.


Known also as Shinmen Takezō, he founded the Niten Ichi-ryū swordsmanship style.

Full Name Miyamoto Musashi
Native Name 宮本武蔵
Birth Name Shinmen Bennosuke
Other Names Niten Dōraku; Shinmen Musashi no Kami Fujiwara no Harunobu
Born c. 1584 Harima Province or Mimasaka Province, Japan
Died 13 June 1645 (aged 60–61) Higo Province, Japan
Residence Japan
Style Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū Kenjutsu (二天一流), Enmei-ryu (圓明流), (二天流)
Children Mikinosuke (adopted), Kurōtarō (adopted), Iori (adopted), Yoemon (adopted)
Notable Students Takemura Yoemon; Terao Magonojō; Terao Motomenosuke; Furuhashi Sōzaemon

In his later years, he wrote “The Book of Five Rings,” detailing his fighting technique, and “Dokkōdō,” expressing his life philosophy through brief, impactful phrases.

Musashi’s legacy continues with the Miyamoto Musashi Budokan, a training center in Okayama, Japan.

Quick Facts about Miyamoto Musashi

  • Miyamoto Musashi was born in 1584 in Harima Province, Japan.
  • He was also known by names such as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke, and Niten Dōraku.
  • Musashi began his training in swordsmanship early and won his first duel at the age of 13.
  • Over his lifetime, Musashi fought and won 61 duels, the most famous being against Sasaki Kojirō.
  • He founded the Niten Ichi-ryū, a two-sword fighting style, also known as nitōichi or niten’ichi.
  • Musashi authored “The Book of Five Rings,” a classic on strategy and fighting.
  • He also wrote “Dokkōdō” (The Path of Aloneness), expressing his life philosophy through 21 precepts.
  • Musashi was undefeated in duels throughout his life.
  • His father, Shinmen Munisai, was an accomplished martial artist and master of sword and jutte.
  • Musashi’s family lineage claimed descent from the Fujiwara clan.
  • He created and refined a two-sword kenjutsu technique inspired by the movements of temple drummers.
  • Musashi died of what is believed to be thoracic cancer in 1645 at the age of 61.
  • He spent his final years as a hermit, living in a cave called Reigandō.
  • Musashi was skilled in other arts, including painting, sculpting, and calligraphy.
  • He never lost a duel, maintaining an unbeaten record against numerous adversaries.
  • His first successful duel was against Arima Kihei, who used the Kashima Shintō-ryū style.
  • Musashi’s philosophy was influenced by Zen Buddhism, which he studied deeply.
  • He was also known for his strategic mind and philosophical writings.
  • Musashi’s teachings included the use of throwing weapons and the strategic use of the jutte.
  • He was a master in combat, utilizing both a large sword and a companion sword simultaneously.
  • Musashi’s duel with Sasaki Kojirō is one of the most storied in Japanese history.
  • He intentionally arrived late to his duel with Kojirō, using psychological warfare.
  • Musashi carved a wooden sword from an oar on his way to fight Kojirō.
  • At 60, Musashi retired from public life to write and meditate.
  • He bequeathed his writings and belongings to his closest students before his death.
  • Musashi believed that understanding multiple professions enriched the capabilities of a samurai.
  • His approach to combat was straightforward and practical, often eschewing unnecessary frills.
  • The Miyamoto Musashi Budokan training center in Okayama, Japan, is dedicated to his legacy.
  • Musashi’s grave is located in Ōhara-chō, Mimasaka Province.
  • He left a significant impact on Japanese martial arts and philosophy that continues to be studied and admired today.

Top Questions about Miyamoto Musashi

Q: What was the name of the style of swordsmanship founded by Miyamoto Musashi, and what does it involve?

A: Miyamoto Musashi founded the Niten Ichi-ryū, or Nito Ichi-ryū, style of swordsmanship, which involves using two swords simultaneously. This technique is also known as “two heavens as one” or “two swords as one.”

Q: At what age did Miyamoto Musashi win his first duel, and who was his opponent?

A: Musashi won his first duel at the age of 13. His opponent was Arima Kihei, a practitioner of the Kashima Shintō-ryū style.

Q: What philosophical text did Musashi author in his final years, and to whom did he bequeath it?

A: In his final years, Musashi authored “The Book of Five Rings” and “Dokkōdō (The Path of Aloneness).” He bequeathed these texts to Terao Magonojō, his most important student, seven days before his death.

Q: How did Musashi’s duel with Sasaki Kojirō conclude, and what was significant about the weapon he used?

A: Musashi defeated Sasaki Kojirō by striking true with a wooden sword, which he had crafted from an oar during his late arrival to the duel. This act not only showcased his ingenuity but also his disrespect by intentionally arriving late and using an improvised weapon.

Q: What was the underlying reason for Musashi’s duel with Sasaki Kojirō according to some historical interpretations?

A: Some historians believe that the duel between Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō was politically motivated, possibly as a means to consolidate power for Hosokawa Tadaoki, under whom Kojirō served.

Q: Describe the circumstances surrounding Miyamoto Musashi’s death.

A: Miyamoto Musashi died of what is believed to be thoracic cancer in 1645. He passed away peacefully in Reigandō cave after completing his philosophical work, “Dokkōdō.” At the moment of his death, he maintained a dignified posture, seated with one knee raised, holding a sword and a cane.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar