Who’s Line Is It Anyway?

We have covered several topics here at Zen over the last year; from sports psychology and coaching to individual motivation and skill set training, we have always tried to speak on topics that commonly occur in the paintball community. Some have been advanced and others pretty basic.  Usually the topics are derived from a conversation I may have had recently, from an email I received from a player or coach, or from a question I received at a clinic I recently taught.  Either way, it usually strikes when it strikes (hence a topic only once a month).

My wife says I need to write down some of my “Biancanisms”, phrases I have come to use often over the course of my paintball career. “The guy who keeps his head in a gunfight usually keeps his head” or “What makes the grass grow?  Blood! Blood! Blood!”.  Silly stuff that, when said in the moment may sound profound or motivational but is really just common sense (except for the blood part…maybe).  At one point, she wanted me to make T-shirts.  Come to think of it, that might have been fun.


I am also fond of quoting great men and women. For instance, Benjamin Franklin has one of my favorites, “Well done is better than well said.”

Anyway, I thought I might put together a list of some of my favorite quotes. Perhaps some you will be familiar with, perhaps not.  But it should be a fun little jaunt.  Who knows, maybe you will find a gem among these that will help you? I know I did.

So let’s begin with my man, Bruce Lee.  Next to my own father, grandfather and brothers, this man (and one other who we will get to at the end of this post) has had a tremendous impact on me.  I could probably write a book on him but in the interest of expediency, we are going to try and keep this post to a reasonable length. Enjoy!


  • “I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once but the man who practiced one kick 10000 times.” – Bruce Lee
  • “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee
  • “Knowing is not enough, we must apply what we know. Willing is not enough, we must act!” – Bruce Lee
  • “If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee


Let’s move on to a man who was very much about family. Considered one of the most influential figures throughout history, if you read just a little of Confucius’ work, you realize he was very much about The Golden Rule or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  He was also very much about personal responsibility which I dig.

  • “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying stones.” – Confucius
  • “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance” – Confucius
  • “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself” – Confucius
  • “We learn wisdom by 3 methods. The noblest is by reflection, the easiest by imitation, and by experience which is the bitterest.” – Confucius
  • “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” – Confucius


One of my favorite books of all time and one I have given as a gift to good friends is The Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. He was a Japanese swordsman and philosopher.  Google him.  I promise you will be impressed and probably learn something too.

  • “Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” – Miyamoto Musashi
  • “You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect.” – Miyamoto Musashi
  • “Do nothing which is of no use.” – Miyamoto Musashi



While The Five Rings is a book I have given as a gift of late, when we talk about influential books, I would be quite remiss not to mention the author of The Art of War. Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher from China. The Art of War is probably one of the most influential books in the world next to the Bible.

  • “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” – Sun Tzu
  • “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” -Sun Tzu
  • “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” – Sun Tzu


Okay, let’s leave the Eastern Philosophies as they are chalk full of great quotes and could very well be written about until we ran out of bandwidth. Let’s give a little love to some American warriors.  You don’t become the great nation we have become without having a few badass men among us.  Probably one of the most prominent would be a man from California, who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics, graduated the Virginia Military Academy and West Point.  Of course, I am referring to none other than George S Patton!  And if you pay attention, you will notice some similarities between him and his eastern warrior brethren.

  • “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton
  • “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.” – George S. Patton
  • “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” – George S. Patton
  • “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” – George S. Patton
  • “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” – George S. Patton
  • “There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.” – George S. Patton
  • “Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.” – George S. Patton


Alright, this next person doesn’t need an introduction.  Though not a true warrior in the sense of the word, he played one on TV.  Born Marion Mitchell Morrison, but who is commonly referred to as The Duke, John Wayne influenced an entire generation of men, especially those in my household.  This blog post on this topic would not be complete without a few from the man.

  • “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.” – John Wayne
  • “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” – John Wayne
  • “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
  • “Don’t pick a fight, but if you do, make damn sure you win.” – John Wayne
  • “I’m only responsible for what I say, not what you understand.” – John Wayne
  • “Sure I wave the American Flag! Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, ever will be.” – John Wayne

John_Wayne - the searchers

Here are a few honorable mentions:

  • “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” – Tecumseh
  • “Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.” – Tecumseh
  • “You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land war in Asia. And only slightly less well known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” – Vizzini


That should wrap it up. Until next year, be water my friends.


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