There are some must reads if you’re a dedicated Karate student. Think of it as a right of passage. A way for you to be able to speak intelligently about Karate as a subject matter – besides, everyone else who is anybody else has probably already read this stuff, so you’re playing catch-up at this point. There is no mercy for those who remain un-informed, so consider this your Coles notes to learning how to speak (at least somewhat intelligently) about your craft. You don’t have to thank me for this insanely amazing information – although you can if you really want to. Please make certified cheques out to.. bah – just kidding.
1.) There are books and then there are bibles. This book is a bible. It’s basically the mecca of martial arts theory and philosophy. If you want to learn from the best, then it’s only natural to get the information straight from the horses’ mouth. And who is a better resource when it comes to ‘the way of the warrior’ than Miyamoto Musashi. The guy quite literally (and figuratively) wrote the book on fighting. He was after all an actual self-trained samurai and perhaps Japan’s most notable figure on the topic of martial arts combat. Check out his book, “The Book of Five Rings” Musashi was not only a highly regarded expert in the field of killing, with over 20 confirmed murders (Yes, he was an incredibly violent man – who’d most definitely be in jail if he were alive today), he was also a well-respected artist credited with the creation of a couple of the most beautiful and renowned pieces of Japanese art to be produced during the period in which he lived. If you want to learn about what being a warrior is really all about, then it’s a must read. Interestingly, the book is still used today – naturally by martial arts students all over the world, but also by large corporations. What? Yeah – there’s no better way to train your executive sales team then to teach them how to be modern-day warriors on the battlefield of modern economy.
2.) Bruce Lee. It goes without saying that Bruce Lee was mainly responsible for bridging the gap between ancient chinese martial arts and the modern world (read the USA). A living legend in his craft, Bruce Lee was not only a phenomenal martial artist, but he also understood how to generate broad appeal and communicate the wonderment of martial arts to the North American market. afterall, he spent much of his life as sort of embassador of China. Through martial arts, he was able to educate the Western world about some of the ways of what was at the time a mysterious part of the world – China. He also wrote some books… over 70 to be exact. Of these creations, perhaps his most creative work was Bruce Lee: Wisdom Of The Way. Get ready for a great read, this book combines no bulls*it tatical information with surprisingly insightful philosophy
3.) Lastly, every martial artist needs a book that combines insightful information, but put into context for the modern day martial artist. After all – a lot has changed since the barbarism of Feudal Japan. I mean, we can’t just go around beheading our enemies because they disrespected us in public – that would be cool! …err – I mean bad behaviour. So, in light of modern-day law, a martial artist has to curb his flair for the dramatic and find some kind of balance. This is where Living The Martial Way: A Manual For The Way A Modern Warrior Should Think come in. Think it as your best friend when it comes to understanding how to best incorporate the values of martial arts into our modern society. It’s a pretty good read – considered by many to be a necessary addition to any collection which yearns to be taken seriously.
There are of course thousands of books one ‘could’ read, but the three above you definitely ‘should’ read.