3.18

Chapter: Attack by Stratagem 3.18
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Translation:

Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

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Commentary

Self-belief without self-knowledge is a dangerous thing. Knowing yourself without knowing the other side is also dangerous.

With full knowledge, you can always win. With weak knowledge you can always fail. Be honest with yourself and know the enemy better than he knows himself.

Chang Yu said: “Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.”