Recommended Reading List

Part of the definition of being a professional is constantly researching about and educating yourself about your chosen profession.  The same is true regarding being a martial arts professional.  Although you can learn most of the physical aspects while training in the dojo, you can learn so much more if you take it upon yourself to study what has been written by others who have traveled the same path.  Although this material is not required*, it is highly recommended because it will give the serious student a much broader picture of the martial arts as a whole, as well as a much deeper understanding of the historical, psychological, and philosophical attributes as well.  Bear in mind that some of the material discussed in the books will surround the practice of Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shintoism, and Taoism.  As Christians, we know these are false religions, however, it is important to study their influence on the martial arts in order to truly develop the deeper understanding which we seek.  Most of the material is completely separated from any religious beliefs or overtones, however, keep in mind that when you are reading about a religious belief that contradicts the teachings of the Holy Bible, you are not studying that religion, but rather ABOUT that religion.  This deeper and broader understanding may one day help you to witness to those in need as well.  This list is not exhaustive, and you may certainly find other books not listed that will be helpful to you in your journey (please inform your Sensei if you have found other good books that would be beneficial to other students).  Accordingly, this list may be added to from time to time.


* This material is required for those students attaining any rank beyond Shodan, and is required for ALL students studying through the American Martial Arts College.


The Holy Bible (numerous authors, compiled by God)

The Tiger's Eye, The Bird's Fist, A Beginner's Guide (Louise Rafkin)

The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate (Gichin Funakoshi)

Karate-Do, My Way of Life (Gichin Funakoshi)

The Karate Dojo, Traditions and Tales of a Martial Art (Peter Urban)

Karate-Do Nyumon (Gichin Funakoshi)

The Secret Art of Health and Fitness (Claudio Idewab)

Traditions (Dave Lowry)

The Classical Man (Richard Kim)

The Warrior's Heart Revealed (Daryl Covington and Joseph Lumpkin)

In the Dojo (Dave Lowry)

Moving Zen (C.W. Nichol)

The Best of Dave Lowry (Black Belt Presents)

Moving Towards Stillness (Dave Lowry)

Kodo: Ancient Ways (Kensho Furuya)

Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters (Shoshin Nagamine)

The Kyokushin Way (Masutatsu Oyama)

Oyama, The Legend, The Legacy (Michael J. Lorden)

Budoshoshinshu, The Warrior's Primer (William Scott Wilson)

The Weaponless Warriors (Richard Kim)

Bushido, The Warrior's Code (Inazo Nitobe)

Book of Five Rings (Miyamoto Musashi)

The Art of War (Sun Tzu)

Beyond the Known, The Ultimate Goal of the Martial Arts (Tri Throng Dang)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Karate (Randall Hassell)

Autumn Lighting (Dave Lowry)

Clouds in the West (Dave Lowry)

Persimmon Wind (Dave Lowry)

Sword and Brush (Dave lowry)

Wisdom's Way, 101 Tales of Chinese Wit (Walton Lee)

Strike Like Lighting (C.V. Rhoades)

Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox (Pascal Fauliot)

The Lone Samurai, The Life of Miyamoto Musashi (William Scott Wilson)

Be Like Water, Practical Wisdom fro the Martial Arts (Joseph Cardillo)

Martial Arts the Christian Way (Wendy Williamson)

Zen in the Martial Arts (Joe Hyams)

The Unfettered Mind (Takuan Soho)

The Martial Spirit, Herman Kauz

A Path to Liberation, Herman Kauz

The Sword and the Mind (Hiroaki Sato)

Bubishi, The Bible of Karate (Patrick McCarthy)

The Overlook Martial Arts Reader (Randy Nelson)

The Spirit of Budo (Trevor Leggett)

The Way of the Warrior, Paradox of the Martial Arts (Howard Reid)

Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts (Donn F. Draeger)

Shotokan's Secret, The Hidden Truth (Brude D. Clayton)

The Law and the Martial Arts (Carl Brown)

The Way of Kata (Lawrence A. Kane)

Shihan-Te, The Bunkai of Karate Kata (Darrell Craig)

Martial Arts Instructor's Desk Reference (Sang H. Kim)

Martial Arts Teachers on Teaching (Carol A. Wiley)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Martial Arts Cezar Borkowski)

Black belt Management (John Graden)

How to Open and Run a Successful Martial Arts School (John Graden)

Starting and Running Your Own Martial Arts School (Karen Levitz Vactor)

Teaching Martial Arts (Sang H. Kim)

Secret Tactics (Kazumi Tabata)

Legends of the Martial Arts Masters (Susan Peterson)

Bare Essentials for Martial Art Injury Care and Prevention (Trish Bare Grounds)

The Science of Martial Arts Training (Charles I. Staley)