The most influential books you've read on MA

PeaceWarrior

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I have a few good books on MA, but I was interested in finding some more reading material for my ever-inquiring mind to devour. So, if you would please, name the best/most influential martial arts books you have read, plus a short description of the book and what it means to you. Heres mine:

The art of Peace, by Morihei Ueshiba - Excellent spiritual lessons by my favorite martial artist. Changed the way I looked at MA and life.

Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power, by Peter Ralston - Very, very good book. Breaks down many principles for internal arts and has some rather esoteric but deep insights on 'zen' in combat. I have found it extremely useful and each time I read it I find something new to learn.

Kung Fu Meditations & Chinese Proverbial Wisdom, adapted by Ellen Kei Hua - A neat little book with meditations from the tao te ching and chinese sayings. Easy book to carry, very cool.

Kodo Ancient Ways: Lessons in the Spiritual Life of the Martial Artist by Kensho Furuya - A book by a great Aikidoist, has many good stories and nuggets of wisdom for living a balanced and fulfilling life in MA.
 

Xue Sheng

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1) Tung Ying Chieh's Red Book by Tung Ying Chieh
(EDIT: Translation by Alex Dong)

2) Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on taijiquan by Cheng Manching
 

Nemesis

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check out Canon of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune, covers a lot of technics and it織s counters and a lot of good advices. All this with tons of photos him demonstrating is work.
I also like Bruce Lee織s Tao of Jeet Kune Do.
 

exile

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No question, for me it's Iain Abernethy's wonderful book, Bunkai Jutsu: the Practical Applications of Karate Kata. Simon John O'Neil's twelve newsletters (adding up to quite a respectable-sized book themselves) on the combat aspects of TKD run a very honorable second.
 

Hand Sword

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I don't mean this to be funny, and I didn't even know it came from comic books, back in the day, until I noticed that here on MT (I didn't get it that way). But, in all honesty, I would say, The World's deadliest Fighting Secrets by Count Dante'. The opening philosophy was, and always Has been a part of my way of thinking, and it was the very beginning of my martial art journey, as a young kid, in the late 70's early 80's, when my dad came home from chinatown, with it, and said, never show this to your friends, and put it, in a special spot.
 

RyuKyuBushi

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1 - Ryu Te No Michi : By Taika Seiyu Oyata
2- Living The Martial Way : By Forest Morgan
3- Quest Ancient ways : By Steve Stark
 

Grenadier

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Karate, My Life. Hirokazu Kanazawa's book.

It is very well written, and shows people that he's not one to suffer from elitism, and that he's a very down-to-earth fellow.

He does go into some of the details about what happened between him and the JKA, but really says nothing negative about them.
 

SFC JeffJ

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Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere and Center: the Power of Aikido were very important on how I look at technique. On Fencing, by Aldo Nadi is a great one as well.

Jeff
 

Shotgun Buddha

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Oddly enough the two books which I've found most useful with regards my martial arts training weren't actually on the subject of martial arts themselves.

1. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

This mostly concerns how the mind and body react under threat or stress, and how the body memorizes reactions for dealing with situations. Its avery useful book, and pretty entertaining too, and good food for thought for how to suit ones training for survival.

2. On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by David Grossman

A brilliant book concerning how minds are conditioned for and affected by violence, and the various ways this influences the individual and society.
Its very much worth reading.
 

exile

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2. On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by David Grossman

A brilliant book concerning how minds are conditioned for and affected by violence, and the various ways this influences the individual and society.
Its very much worth reading.

I'd not heard of the Gonsalves book; sounds worth reading. But anything by Grossman is excellent, and On Killing is brilliant. It's certainly not the whole story behind the way casual recreational violence has become relatively commonplace, but it sheds some very important light on the `how' side of the question---how do people get to have so little empathy with others that they view them as appropriate targets for often lethal violence motivated by nothing but boredom, bad moods and so on?
 

SFC JeffJ

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I haven't read "On Killing" but I learned a lot from "On Combat" back in the day.

Jeff
 

HKphooey

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2. On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by David Grossman

A brilliant book concerning how minds are conditioned for and affected by violence, and the various ways this influences the individual and society.
Its very much worth reading.

Awesome book!!!!!

Mine would be all books the GM Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Series (1-5).
 

Shotgun Buddha

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I'd not heard of the Gonsalves book; sounds worth reading. But anything by Grossman is excellent, and On Killing is brilliant. It's certainly not the whole story behind the way casual recreational violence has become relatively commonplace, but it sheds some very important light on the `how' side of the question---how do people get to have so little empathy with others that they view them as appropriate targets for often lethal violence motivated by nothing but boredom, bad moods and so on?

The bits about video games and operant conditioing are really interesting.
Although they remind me of the movie Toys in a horribly frightening way...
 

CoryKS

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1. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

This mostly concerns how the mind and body react under threat or stress, and how the body memorizes reactions for dealing with situations. Its avery useful book, and pretty entertaining too, and good food for thought for how to suit ones training for survival.

I agree, this is a very good book.
 

MSTCNC

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A most excellent choice for a thread topic, PeaceWarrior! THANK YOU! :ultracool

Zen in the Martial Arts (1982 Bantam) has been in my personal library since it was new on the bookstore shelf... and I recently reserved a full set (1-5) of GM Parkers II series (to replace the first two volumes I had as a teen... and later gave away when I stopped EPAK to walk other paths)...

ShotgunBuddha - I will also look into the books that you mentioned... as well as those in the related discussion (On Combat, etc)... Thank you!

The two that come right off the top of my head are Karate-Do Kyohan by Funakoshi Sensei... and a great basic anatomy/physiology book who's title eludes me at the moment...

So, like BigNick, I'll sort through my library for a few entries... and will get back to everyone!

A new Word document entitled Martial Talk Book List has been established on my computer... and I've already weeded out a list of books from this thread! It should prove to be an interesting list and discussion thread as it progresses... and I look forward to it!

Again... GOOD IDEA, PeaceWarrior! THANK YOU! :asian:

Yours in the arts,

Andrew
 

Grenadier

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I don't mean this to be funny, and I didn't even know it came from comic books, back in the day, until I noticed that here on MT (I didn't get it that way). But, in all honesty, I would say, The World's deadliest Fighting Secrets by Count Dante'.

John Keehan (aka 'Count Juan Raphael Dante') was actually a very talented martial artist, and had many good insights into the world of martial arts. He was quite intelligent. After all, he did help co-found the USKA. Even though he was quite intelligent, wisdom was never his forte.

It's a shame that his actions with the dojo wars led him to live a life of infamy, and eventually (indirectly) his death.
 

TraditionalTKD

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Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art and Advancing in Tae Kwon Do by Richard Chun. Both very good at explaining the techniques and philosophy of traditional Tae Kwon Do. Also talks about the physics behind Tae Kwon Do.

Living the Martial Way by Forest Morgan. Excellent book for anyone who wants to practice martial arts as opposed to play martial arts. In other words, if Tae Kwon Do (or another style) is more than something you do to kill time on non-bowling nights, this book is for you.
 
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