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:
- Mindset and Philosophy
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.
- Kodokan Judo Throwing Techniques.
- Atemi Waza: Kodokan Judo.
- Art and Science of Staff Fighting.
- Art and Science of Stick Fighting.
- Art and Science of Self Defense.
- Karate: The Art of Empty Hand Fighting.
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.
- Karate Science. Swanson.
- The Judo Advantage. Scott.
- Tai Chi Concepts and Experiments. Chukrow.
- Fight Like A Physicist. Thalken.
Fiction from the martial arts world
For those who enjoy a good story from worlds where fighting is part of daily life.