Motivational Words to Everyone Who’s Learning Martial Arts

As we always say here at Wellesley Martial Arts Training Center, learning martial arts in not just about physical strength. It also encourages students to broaden their minds and learn patience, determination, and even resilience.

To any of you who want to be inspired as you learn martial arts, here’s a compilation of the best quotes that people (including well-known martial artists) have said about martial art. Here they are:

“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


“The best fighter is never angry.”

- Lao Tzu


“The most difficult part ot traditional taekwondo is not learning

the first kick or punch. It is not struggling to remember the

motions of a poomsae or becoming aquainted with Korean culture.

Rather, it is taking the first step across the threshold of the dojang

door. This is where roads diverge, where choices are made that

will resonate throughout a lifetime.”

- Doug Cook, Taekwondo: A Path to Excellence


“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”

- Zhuangzi, Nan-Hua-Ch'en-Ching, or, the Treatise of the transcendent master from Nan-Hua

“Martial Arts does not teach you how to fight, it teaches you why not to.”

- Lakshya Bharadwaj


“A Black Belt should be...

...a REFLECTION of what IS inside

...NOT the PROOF of it!”

- Robert Dallmann, The Definitive History of Bushido Kai


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

- Gene Dunn


“Consistently failing is nothing more than an indication that you are progressing. The more we fail the farther we will see. Failure is not an option; it is the only option. A master is a master because he has had the courage to fail and the wisdom to learn from it.”

- Chris Matakas, The Tao of Jiu Jitsu