Budo books

Budo books

Of course, when it comes to learning a martial art, nothing beats hard practise. But sometimes – if you suffer from an injury, for example, or you forgot a certain term – it might be really nice to cuddle up on the couch with a beautiful book about your favourite fighting style. For inspiration, here is a list of the books that I have read or plan to read in 2019. Enjoy and please let me know if you have any additions.

Martial Arts in General:

Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

The Way to Black Belt: A Comprehensive Guide to Rapid, Rock-Solid Results by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder

Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts by Sang H. Kim

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins (it says Judo in the title, but from what I got from the snopsis, it’s a book about communication and avoiding fights rather than Judo itself)

The Way of the Warrior: Martial Arts and Fighting Styles from Around the World by Chris Crudelli (this is an encyclopedia of more that 300 martial arts styles around the world)

Budo (Japanese Martial Arts):

The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba

Falling Hard: A Journey Into the World of Judo by Mark Law

Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police by Robert Twigger  

Karatedo: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi


Introduction to Karate by Shingo Ohgami

Karate Katas of Wadoryu by Shingo Ohgami


Kendo – Approaches for All Levels by Sotaro Honda

Kendo: A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Swordsmanship by Geoff Salmon


Kobudo 1: Bo, Sai by Roland Habersetzer

Bushido / Samurai:

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

The Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era by Eiji Yoshikawa

Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai by Dave Lowry

Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts):

The Tao of Jeet Kun Do by Bruce Lee

Musul (Korean Martial Arts):

A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do by Alex Gillis

Self Defense:

The Little Black Book of Violence: What Every Young Man Needs to Know About Fighting by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder

Facing Violence: Praparing for the Unexpected by Rory Miller

Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence by 

Performance and Health:

A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior by Tom Bisio 

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by Dr. Kelly Starret


Donn F. Draeger (mostly books about Budo, but other styles too)

Mark V. Wiley (mostly books about Filipino martial arts, or health)

Masutatsu Oyama/Mas Oyama (Karate)

My name is Martine and I am writing my PhD about the Cyborg Mermaid. On this website, you’ll find blogs about autism, cyborgs, fan fiction, King Alfred of Wessex, mermaids, music & musicology, martial arts, (neuro)psychology, video games, and random nerdiness.

2 Comments on “Budo books

  1. Ha Martine
    Mooi werk!
    Ben je geblesseerd dan?

    In dat geval beterschap gewenst!

    En een gelukkig 2019!

    • Dank je wel! 🙂 Ik lees je berichtje nu pas – ‘t was ondergesneeuwd in de spam – maar idd, ik had een gebroken (kleine) teen, dus heb dik een maand geen budo kunnen doen… 🙁 Maar nu ben ik er weer! Beste wensen van Martine

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