This section looks at the best martial arts philosophy books (based on visitor purchases). They cover the martial arts as a way of life, zen, the martial “spirit”, etc. Ranking based on purchases by Black Belt Wiki visitors. If you are looking for instructional martial arts books (i.e. books on Krav Maga techniques), please visit our section on the Best Martial Arts Books. At no extra cost to you, we make a small commission if you buy products via the links on this page. Thank you for your support!
Top 10 Martial Arts Philosophy Books – Ranking Based on Visitor Purchases
- Tao of Jeet Kune Do – This book focuses on the philosophy behind Jeet Kune Do, the martial arts style created by Bruce Lee.
- Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think – This book provides a “step-by-step approach to applying the Japanese warrior’s mind set to martial training and daily life.”
- Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior – This book shows “honor, perseverance, and dedication will enhance your daily life”.
- The Book of Five Rings – A legendary book on martial arts strategy and tactics by Japan’s most famous swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi.
- The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido – This popular Aikido book discusses how the “real way of the warrior is based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature”.
- The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate: The Spiritual Legacy of the Master – This book is focused on the main principles and philosophical concepts that guide the training of Shotokan students.
- Zen in the Martial Arts – The author shows how the “daily application of Zen principles not only developed his physical expertise but gave him the mental discipline to control his personal problems-self-image, work pressure, competition”.
- The Art of War – The famous book on strategy and tactics from Sun Tzu (China’s best known strategist).
- The Essence of Karate – In this book, Gichin Funakoshi (the founder of Shotokan Karate) discusses the “philosophical and spiritual underpinnings” of Shotokan Karate.
- Nintai: Philosophical Lessons in Okinawan Karate