Best Martial Arts Books – Top 5


Top 5 Martial Arts Books

By The Modern Martial Artist

1. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do


The principles in The Tao of JKD  have inspired thousands. The techniques are praised and used to great effect by such fighters as Bas Rutten, Anderson Silva, and Manny Pacquiao.

One of the most innovative books in fighting, Bruce Lee presents a comprehensive analysis on the science and strategy of his martial art.

 From fitness advice, to wisdom, philosophy, and complex strategy, this book has something for every competitor looking to improve their skills.


2.Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense

jack-dempsey-champion-fightingChampionship Fighting inspired many principles in the book above. Bruce Lee used Jacked Dempsey’s famous “Falling Step” as the foundation for his own punches.

Its not hard to see why. Dempsey could effortlessly knock out opponents much bigger than himself. He was a genius when it came to power generation.

You can see his innovations used by almost every power puncher today. However, no one has ever really managed to pull off his famous “Dempsey Roll” quite as well as he could.


3. Bas Rutten’s Big Book of Combat

bas-rutten-fighting-book-how-toBas Rutten was just awesome. He could do anything: Punch, kick, wrestle, grapple, and of course, a full on straddle jump to celebrate his victories.

A practical, no nonsense fighter, Bas used what worked. Rather it was “slap palms” to the chin or round kicks to the gut, the guy got the job done.

If you are interested in self defense, seriously competing in MMA, or getting far more power in your strikes, this comprehensive Big Book of Combat can help get you there.

4. Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living


“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Stan Lee

Being a martial artist means that you need to think, deeply, about how to use your power. If a normal person punches someone, they might, if lucky, knock them out. If Tyson punches someone, he could kill them. That is why books on martial arts philosophy are essential to your growth as a fighter and as a well rounded human being.

“Abandon your search for Sainthood, and embrace your humanity.” -Bruce Lee

Practical and truly insightful, Striking Thoughts is wisdom to live by.


5. The Art of War

the-art-of-war-philosophyWritten over 2,500 years ago, this book has stood the test of time. Still required reading for military recruits to this day, Sun Tzu lays out basic principles that will help you conquer your opponents and your own life.

Used heavily by savvy businesses, The Art of War is full of wisdom that can transfer over to almost any aspect of your life where you are looking to gain an edge over your competition.

If you are looking to become a leader and wish to do so as effectively as possible, this book is the gold standard.


Books by David Christian of The Modern Martial Artist

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1 Comment

  1. You really really really want to add “The Book of Martial Power” by Stephan J Pearlman. Explains the principles behind martial arts that are encoded within every style. This book is integral to my work in reviving Historical European Martial Arts and has allowed me to make great strides in my studies overall with very little outside instruction

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