49 voters

The Best Quotes From 'The Art of Self-Defense'

Updated July 17, 2019 277 votes 49 voters 2.6k views22 items

Choosing the best quote from The Art of Self-Defense is not an easy task. The movie is sharply written, containing literally dozens of clever one liners and funny lines. It's the kind of picture where you find yourself trying to work the dialogue into everyday life because it's just that good.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Casey Davies, a timid office worker. While walking home from the supermarket late one night, he is savagely beaten by a motorcycle gang. Traumatized and terrified, he decides to take a karate class so that he can learn to defend himself. His teacher is the mysterious Sensei (Alesasndro Nivola), a guy who you quickly sense is not quite as on-the-level as he claims to be. Over the course of his lessons, Casey develops confidence. However, that confidence turns into toxic masculinity, as he tries to take his behavior in the dojo out into the real world. He even throat-punches his boss after being given an innocuous direction. Imogen Poots co-stars as Anna, one of Sensei's best students who instructs the children's class.

All the amazing The Art of Self-Defense quotes were written by Riley Stearns, who also directed. Although the movie is exceptionally funny, it has something valid to say about the way some people equate being a man with being able to beat someone up.

Vote up the most memorable The Art of Self-Defense quotes from the list below, regardless of which character speaks them. 

  • 1


    Sensei: What's your favorite style of music?

    Casey Davies: Adult contemporary.

    Sensei: No. It should be metal. You ever listen to metal?

    Casey Davies: You mean like hard rock? 

    Sensei: Metal is much more aggressive than hard rock. From now on, you listen to metal. 

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  • 2

    Your Belt

    Sensei: This is your belt. It is yours. It is sacred. There'll be a $15 charge to replace a lost belt. 

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  • 3

    Rule #8

    Anna: Students, what is rule #8?

    Class: Tap or take a nap. 

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  • 4

    What Intimidates Me

    Casey Davies: I want to be what intimidates me. 

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