Gonna be some different opinions on the Eight best Martial Arts books, but I would start off with Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. Written by Adele Westbrook and Oliver Ratt, the writing is very descriptive, and the illustrations are possibly the best martial arts illustrations ever drawn. A large book, it covers the art in depth, and one gets the feel of how energy actually swirls in the doing of the art.
The name of this piece of literature is Uechi Ryu Karate Kung Fu. It seems like it is always out of print, but it was one of the first martial arts books in the United States. It describes the entire system, and is rich with anecdotes, in fact, you’ll see where some of the martial arts legends really came from in this serious bit of work.
Tai Chi Touchstones, by Douglas Wile, has some wonderful pics of old Master Yang himself. The real joy of this tome is the many songs and poems. These works of art are rich with and accurately convey the moves and strategies of the Grand Ultimate Fist.
The Master Instructor Course is one of the great secrets of the Martial Arts, it seems like hardly anybody has ever heard of this one. Written by A Case, it is actually a CD/DVD course, and the author doesn’t sell the book by itself anymore. You blink your eyes when the author claims to have the secrets of perfect form and perfect technique, but man, does he deliver!
The 25 Shotokan Kata is a great book which analyzes kata in draftsman detail. Every move is drawn out in precise detail, and it makes it very easy to learn any of the great Shotokan katas. The only drawback is that some of the forms are presented with classical lines, and not functional lines, but this can be fixed if one has read The Master Instructor Course.
Zen Flesh Zen Bones has been around forever, and it is a collection of zen parables and anecdotes. These stories give the flavor of a culture and an art, and of the true fighting spirit of the martial arts. Reading this book while practicing the martial arts one can actually feel the spirit of zen sink into one’s very bones.
No list would be complete without the pivotal work by the greatest swordsman in history, Miyamoto Musashi. This book can be taken on a personal combat level, or on a grand strategic level. It provides a philosophy which is life changing, and it is used by people in all walks of life to conduct their lives.
The Art of War is the bible of combat. No army has ever won a battle, let alone a war, without following the exact principles laid out in this masterwork. Anybody who has ever read this ultimate epistle knows that now is the time to end this list of the best Martial Arts books in the world.
If you like martial arts books you will want to drop by 25 Martial Arts Books for $10.