The Best Martial Art Quotes

“Looking Back to the Past While Moving Ahead to the Future.”

That quote use to be on almost every flier I ever gave out for my school.  I thought it was very important to maintain our connection to the past without getting stuck in it and I wanted everyone to know that.  On a personal training level I also wanted to live by that quote.  For the most part I think I have.  I still teach relevant material that I learned when I was a child but I also teach material that I have recently “adjusted” to how I know it should be taught now.  I am, for the most part, not saying that the material I use to teach was wrong.  It is simply wrong for the type of students I have today.  Gone are the students that are happy standing in a horseback stance for 45 minutes doing front punches.  “The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” — Robert Jordan

This week I have been spending a lot of time cleaning in order to get ready for the arrival of my students.  While cleaning I happened to see one of my first journals.  For those of you that don’t know, I journal everything.  Studying a lot of martial arts can be very difficult in the beginning if journals are not kept.  One art tends to blend into another art.  What a mess.  Anyway, I opened the journal and realized it was filled with quotes that I thought, at the time (keep in mind I was a child), where important/significant/worth saving.  In this post I would like share some of these with you so that you.

The first entry was in December, 1979. (Quotes are not in order, a lot are skipped – the journal is an inch thick and filled with quotes.  A lot of these quotes were taken from movies.  I loved martial art movies as a child.)

  • If there is no contention, there is neither defeat nor victory.  The supple willow does not contend against the storm, yet it survives.
  • When you can learn to understand your own motives and the motives of your enemies, then you can not help but win.
  • True insight can not be gained by specialized knowledge, by victory or defeat, by doctrine or dogma.  It can only be achieved by the illumination of ones own inner self.  Therefore, it does not matter who wins or looses,
  • When one eye is fixed on the destination you have only one eye to search for the way.  Concentrate on the now.
  • However solid a building may appear, it is worthless if its foundations have not been well laid.
  • One can become like a centipede that, in trying to figure out which foot moved when, ended up in a heap – paralyzed.
  • The tree which the arms cannot encircle grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine stories high rose from a small heap of earth; the journey of a thousand miles began with the first step. – Lao Tzu
  • He who reigns within himself and rules passion, desires and fears is more than a king. – John Milton
  • Ours is an age in which partial truths are tirelessly transformed into total falsehoods and then acclaimed as revolutionary revelations – Thomas Szasz
  • Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic. – Thomas Szasz
  • How wondrously supernatural, and how miraculous this!  I draw water and I carry wood! – P’ang-Yun
  • We receive three educations; one from our parents, one from our schoolmasters and one from the world.  The third contradicts all that the first two teach us. – Montesquieu
  • Anything that is deliberate, twisted, created as a trap and a mystery, must be discovered at last.  Everything that is done naturally remains mysterious. – Robert Browning
  • The only true law is that which leads to freedom, there is no other.  The only difference between the master and the student is that the master has begun to understand what he really is and has begun to practice it. – Richard Bach
  • One is taught in accordance to one’s fitness to learn.
  • Development of the mind can be achieved only when the body had been disciplined.
  • Seek not to know the answer but to understand the question.
  • … there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women. – Booker T. Washington
  • … the thing to do, when one feels sure that he has said or done the right thing, and is condemned, is to stand still and keep quiet.  If he is right, time will show it. – Booker T. Washington
  • If on a journey, you wish to rest in the shade, sit under the shadow of the big tree.
  • Learn the ways to preserve rather than destroy.  Avoid rather than check; check rather than hurt; hurt rather than maim; maim rather that kill; for all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.
  • The way of the monkey is to play the fool.  While you laugh at his antics, he bites you from behind.  Unmask his ego and you expose a coward, disguised as a monkey.
  • He is dead already. – Master Gallano

Something to think about…

by Master Sean Pearson


  1. I have only read the first 2 lines of this post and I have to say, that I am right now working on the fliers for my classes at the City Health Club, and about 2 minutes ago I thought of “Looking back to the past while moving ahead to the future,” and I thought I should put that on the top of my flier. Nice…

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