book review martial arts

Collect the Best Martial Arts books in 2023

Martial Arts Books are an underestimated way to improve your craft and fighting skills. Most of your work happens in the gym and between you, your fellow practitioners and your master. This is the traditional way of martial arts and the predominant model for transferring knowledge. As every practitioner is different, some of us need additional input on top of our practice to make the most progress. For me, and many others, books are there to provide this additional input.

This list is not complete. I will add good stuff whenever I read more about martial arts that I consider worth reading. The links below are amazon affiliate links.

For the sake of this blog, I will categorize the books into the following:

  1. Technique
  2. Mindset and Philosophy
  3. Science
  4. Fiction

Books about martial arts techniques

The books in this section explain techniques and deliver knowledge directly related to applying a martial art or a self-defence system.

Books about mindset and philosophy

Below you’ll find books from philosophers and great martial artists that primarily talk about backgrounds and philosophy.

Books about the science behind the arts

Understand the science behind your craft. Many traditional martial arts don’t explain the mechanics and principles behind the techniques. These books can provide the missing puzzle part if you are interested in it.

Fiction from the martial arts world

For those who enjoy a good story from worlds where fighting is part of daily life.

book review

The best business mindset books

Public education is presented as a foundation for success in life. Still, it doesn’t prepare students for careers in business and entrepreneurship. Witnessing the development in the past years, I can’t get rid of the impression it’s on purpose. It seems to me our youth is moulded into a working-class caste, similar to the dystopian novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I went through the same public education. I was in schools considered good and still did not learn many skills I use today. Luckily, my years were about engineering, so I got a sense of math and logic. The worst thing: not once were we encouraged to question the assignment. Not once were we explained why we learned, what we learned. It was always about getting a task, completing it as well as possible and being rewarded. A mindset that is perfect for workers. Not so for people who want to take their lives into their own hands. Not being taught these options is a grave systemic disadvantage for everyone who does not have the opportunity to attend expensive private schools.

This is one of the reasons why wealthy families often stay wealthy and low-income families remain poor. Knowledge and financial literacy do not transcend the borders of the castes. Nowadays, the information that is needed to overcome this is readily available. Sadly, the mindset of acquiring this information is not part of the curriculum of public schools. So everybody is responsible for bringing that knowledge into his family so they know that there is another way.

Here are a few points why public schools 

  1. Lack of emphasis on real-world skills: Public education focuses on theoretical knowledge rather than practical skills needed in the business world. This leaves students ill-prepared to run a business or start a company.
  2. Limited exposure to entrepreneurship: Many public schools do not offer courses or programs designed to teach students about entrepreneurship. Students don’t have access to resources or mentorship that would help them learn about this field.
  3. No access to networking opportunities. Public schools may not have the same resources or connections to the business world as private schools or specialized programs. This makes it more difficult for students to build the networks and relationships crucial for starting and growing a business.
  4. Limited opportunities for hands-on experience: Public schools may not provide students with opportunities to work on real-world projects or internships, which can be essential for gaining the skills and experience needed to start a business.
  5. Lack of diversity: Public education is not tailored to individual needs. It’s a one size fits all approach, which does not cater to the diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests of students. 
  6. Lack of inspiration: Public education does not provide the necessary inspiration to pursue business and entrepreneurship, it may not foster the creativity and innovation needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
  7. No encouragement of critical and out-of-the-box thinking: the whole process of how the material is taught and tested does not encourage creative thinking but following a predetermined workflow.

Today it is easy to start getting a glimpse into the world of entrepreneurs with a few books. These are the ones I recommend reading to get you started.

Robert Kyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad

While it is most likely fiction and not a real story, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kyosaki shows the different mindsets of employees vs entrepreneurs. It presents the reader with young Robert, who was raised with influences from both sides. It is easy to read and makes its point very clear, as it always presents both sides of the coin. Is this a comprehensive introduction that will tell you everything about business? No, but it is a very easily understandable start on your journey to get rid of the mentality that slaving away in a job is the best way to provide for you and your family.

Seth Godin’s Tribes

Tribes” is a book by marketing expert Seth Godin that explores the concept of tribes and how they can be used to create change and build a movement. The book shows that the internet and social media made it easier for people to form tribes around shared interests and that leaders of these tribes have the power to create change in their communities and the world. He encourages readers to embrace their leadership potential and create a tribe around their ideas, products, or services.

The Practise by Seth Godin

The Practice” is another book by Seth Godin. It features the idea of becoming great at something through consistent and deliberate practice. Success is not just about talent or luck but about consistently putting in the time and effort to improve. Godin encourages readers to find their “art” and practice it daily. He also touches on the importance of setting goals, getting feedback, and learning from failure as part of mastery.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

“The Creative Habit” complements “The Practice” as it explores the idea of developing a daily creative practice and the habits essential for creativity and success. It covers key concepts such as setting goals, overcoming obstacles, and the role of discipline and routine in the creative process. It also provides practical exercises and strategies to help readers cultivate their own creative habits and achieve their goals.

Rework: Change the Way your Work forever by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

Rework” is a book by entrepreneurs David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried that offers a different perspective on how to run a business and do work. The book argues that traditional business practices and models are often slow, inefficient, and unnecessary. Instead, the authors propose a new approach to work that emphasizes flexibility, simplicity, and staying small. They advocate for ideas such as working smarter, not harder, embracing constraints, and saying no to unimportant tasks. The book is written in a conversational and easy-to-digest style and is filled with practical advice and real-life examples of companies that have succeeded by breaking the rules and doing things differently.

These books give you a glimpse into a world beyond slave mentality and the rat race. Embrace their ideas, and your subconsciousness will see opportunities that work for you.

Book links in this article are affiliate links which will take you to Amazon.

book review

Best books about society in 2023

Strange times, that’s for sure. We are confused. Some of us scream for more personal responsibility and freedom, while others want stronger government intervention and control.

I did not publish a lot recently. Life kept me busy with things that were not related to dance. I also took the time to read and think a lot. Some books were more thought-provoking than others. Here are some that I want to recommend if you are looking for stuff to read.

  1. 1984. George Orwell. (there are also two graphic novels available, and you might consider grabbing Animal Farm as well)
  2. Schöne Neue Welt. Aldous Huxley. (Original title: Brave New World)
  3. Die gefährliste aller Religionen. Larken Rose. (Original title: The Most Dangerous Superstition)
  4. Psychologie der Massen. Gustave Le Bon. (Original title: Psychologie des Foules, French. Psychology of Crowds, English)
  5. Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury.
  6. Beyond Freedom and Dignity. B. Skinner.
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood.

If you are reading them in 2023, I guarantee a mind-bending journey.

I also have a more extensive list of book recommendations for various topics.

The links in this article are affiliate links, which will take you to Amazon.

book review

1984: the book you need to read now

George Orwell’s 1984 (also Nineteen Eighty-Four) is a literary memorial of dangers that lurk within governments and, more generally, all power structures that might seek to censor information. Rumour has it that 1984 is awaiting a rewrite as some audiences could find its content disturbing. Today we are talking about reasons you should or shouldn’t read 1984 by George Orwell.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten”

– George Orwell

Below I will share the hard facts about the book, 10 reasons to read the book, 10 points that could make you reconsider putting it on your reading list and some spicy facts about the title.

What you need to know about 1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four (mostly spelled 1984) is a novel and cautionary tale by George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair. The book is a dystopia around the topics of censorship, totalitarianism, mass surveillance and the consequences. Orwell asks questions about truth and manipulation in politics and society.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was initially published in 1949 by Secker & Warburg and translated into 65 languages.

Interesting Facts

  • Penguin books censored the cover in a clever way, which was not received too well.
  • There were rumours about a feminist rewrite of the story. This is not a thing. What is true is that there will be another book telling the story from Julia’s point of view. Julia is the love interest of the protagonist Winston from the original 1984.
  • During World War 2, Orwell worked as a propagandist for the BBC. Some say seeing this propaganda work up close led to the creation of 1984.
  • An alternative title for the book was “The last man in Europe.”
  • Another Rumour is that Orwell was under government surveillance while writing 1984, after he published The Road To Wigan Pier.
  • Orwell borrowed Japanese propaganda for his novel. The “Thought Police” is based on the Japanese wartime secret police who arrested Japanese citizens for having “unpatriotic thoughts.” Their official name was the Kempeitai, and they named their pursuit the “Thought War.”

Reasons to read 1984

  1. You will finally know what the term “Orwellian” means.
  2. You can appreciate that something originally published in 1949 as a dystopia has become reality in 2022. That is either very dark British humour or someone used the warning as a manual.
  3. You will not only be in the know when someone uses the term Big Brother but know its exact origins.
  4. You know that the government and media are lying to us, and love to read a good story to confirm that bias. Some might substitute the word bias in the sentence before with truth or knowledge.
  5. You want to know how the current development in our society turns out. Old George did not have a crystal ball, but it looks like he knew things.

Reasons to avoid reading 1984

  1. You trust your government, think it is transparent with information and think it always works for the best of the people.
  2. Are you easily depressed when thinking about the state of the world? You better skip this one and sleep well.

If you are still not convinced that you need to read Nineteen Eighty-Four, grab a copy of Brave New World or Animal Farm instead. 📚

The book links in this article are affiliate links which will take you to Amazon.