Recommended Books

While you can't learn martial arts exclusively from books, you can improve upon your skills by reading. While reading training books can teach you techniques that can later be drilled and reinforces moves learned in class/training, that is only part of the equation. Books provide you with concepts and deeper understanding of the why and sometimes how of training for whatever style you are focused on whether that is self defense, developing as a better artist or inside the octagon.

With that, here are some of the training books I've read, broken down by topic. Each topic is listed in the order I enjoyed them most. Of note, just because a book is listed at the bottom doesn't necessarily mean it is bad, it just means that I enjoyed some of the other books on the same topic a little more.


1.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker 
2. When Violence is the Answer by Tim Larkin
3. Facing Violence by Rory Miller
4. Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller
5. On Combat by Dave Grossman 
6. On Killing by Dave Grossman 
7. Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne
8. The Fighter's Mind by Sam Sheridan
9. Training the Samurai Mind

Mixed Martial Arts

1. Beast by Doug Merlino
2. Blood in the Cage by L. Jon Wertheim
3. Double End Bag Workout by Sammy Franco
4. Solo Training for Mixed Martial Arts by Gavin Boardman
5. Mixed Martial Arts: The Basics of BJJ and MMA by Debbie Nicholson


1. Pankration: The Original Mixed Martial Art by Jim Arvanitis (also published under Game of Gods)
2. Pankration: The Unchained Combat Sport of Ancient Greece by Jim Arvanitis
3. Taking it to the Streets by Jim Arvantis
4. Ancient Greek Martial Arts by Jim Arvanitis
5. Ano Pankration: Standup Tools and Tactics for All Powers Combat by Jim Arvanitis
6. Pankration: Grappling and Ground Fundamentals by Jim Arvanitis
7. Combat, Conditioning and Collected Knowledge by Jim Arvanitis

Jiu Jitsu

Muay Thai

1. Muay Thai- The Complete Beginners Guide by Alex Prewitt
2. How to Win Your First Fight (MMA, Muay Thai, Sanda) by Alex Chuen

Jeet Kune Do & Bruce Lee

1. Bruce Lee by Matthew Polly
2. Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee
3. The Warrior Within by John Little
4. JKD Infighting by Jason Korol
5. Striking Distance by Charles Russo
6. Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do: Commentaries on the Martial Way by Bruce Lee
7. Jeet Kune Do for Beginners by Hua Cheng Fu
8. Jeet Kune Do for Beginners by T. Diaz

Wing Chun

Kali & Knife Fighting

1. Knife Training Methods for Self Defense by Tommy Clinton

2. Knife Fighting: A Practical Course by Michael Janich

3. Tactical Knife Fighting by Daniel Colter

4. Sword Skills: Movements and Cutting Patterns for the Blade Fighter by Chuck Callaway

5. Warrior's Guide to Knife Fighting by Dr. John La Tourrette

6. Knives, Knife Fighting & Related Hassels by Marc MacYoung

7. Knife Fighting Tutorial by Steven Brown

8. Knife Fighting: A Beginners Guide by Tim Delavier

Movie & TV Shows

1. Quest for the Dragon Star by Kristopher Landis
2. Never Grow Up by Long Ch'eng, (Jackie Chan)