Reading recommendations

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Gray, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Gray

    Gray New Member

    Hey all. To keep this short, I'd really appreciate it if some of you out there could suggest some reading material for me. I'm looking for philosophical books/texts that can relate to the martial arts (any style), or everyday life. I read up on Taoism and Buddhism frequently, and although I am not religious I definitely feel the philosophical content has been beneficial. So, I'd like some suggestions from you guys for good philosophical reading material!

    Note: Don't bother suggesting anything existential/nihilistic/postmodern, please >_<
  2. |MT|omar

    |MT|omar Thai Boxer

    This isn't exactly reading material but i'll tell u anyway... i bough a DVD called 'The Warrior Within' basically its a tribute to Bruce Lee, told by many of his past studnets who became famous thanks to his teaching. What it does is, it explains many of more common martial arts, they ways or training, history etc etc. i found it pretty good to watch

    But yeah, sorry it isnt really a book, there might be a book version of the DVD though, i donno
  3. |MT|omar

    |MT|omar Thai Boxer

    Sorry i just read that u wanted it to be something 'phylosopical' well what i just said above doesn't really cover phylosophy... sorry bout that buddy
  4. Gray

    Gray New Member

    No worries, thanks for replying anyhow. :)
  5. ImperialDragon

    ImperialDragon Banned Banned

    Forgive spelling (Google mania - lost interest)...

    There are no secrets - Wolfe Lowenthale
    The art of War - Whatsisname
    Zen Mind, Begginers Mind - Shenrin Suzuki
    Zen in the Martial Arts - Taison Deshimaru
  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Don't forget to read the stickied thread "If I had only known about this" at the top of this forum. Some books are mentioned there.
  7. Cuchulain82

    Cuchulain82 Custodia Legis

    That is excellent advice aiki.

    As for books, I always recommend Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Why are you only interested in books that relate to MA, if you don't mind my asking?
  8. Gray

    Gray New Member

    Cuchulain82- I'm curious about the applications of philosophy in the martial arts.
  9. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    A book of Five Rings [Go Rin No Sho] - Victor Harris
    The Knight in Rusty Armor - Robert Fisher
    Bones of the Master - George Crane
    The Sword of No Sword - John Stevens
    The Art of Peace - Morihei Ueshiba
    Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man And Life's Greatest Lesson - Mitch Albom
    Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature -Chih Chung Tsai, Brian Bruya [Translator]

    Hey Cuch, I've just started in on ZMM. After only 3 chapters I get the sense I'm going to like it a lot :)

  10. Cuchulain82

    Cuchulain82 Custodia Legis


    You know Gray, wanting to apply philosophy to MA is, I think, a fine reason to want to take a look at philosophy. However, most philosophers would probably say that it is the other way around- MA comes from/with a philosophy. But I digress...

    I guess that the only thing I would say is to be careful that you don't limit yourself, and that you don't end up reading lousy philosophy. For example, I took a look recently at a copy of the Tao Te Ching that was translated by a martial arts 'master'. The Tao is one of the seminal works in all of (Eastern) philosophy, and this translation was awful. I don't even really want to get in to details of why, but imo it was not worth reading.

    The real trick with reading philosophy is this: it is very hard to get started unless you are in a class. However, I think it is worth it. If you can take a class, that is good. If not, that is okay too. If you're just getting started, you might want to think about trying some of the Greeks, either Plato or Aristotle. Plato's Republic and Symposium are both good choices, and you could also try Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Is there anything in particular (a specific author, region, branch of philosophy, topic, etc.) that you're interested in besides just generally saying 'Martial Arts'? Many people around here seem to focus solely on Eastern Philosophy, but I think that is a mistake.


    You're gonna like it! It is a little dated now, but it is so easy to access! When you read ZMM it helps you to start thinking about big ideas but it doesn't overwhelm you. Tell me how you're finding it as you keep reading...
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  11. Jointlock

    Jointlock Valued Member

    The book that has influenced me the most is: "Living the Martial way" by Forrest Morgan. Granted it's not sit down and contemplate philosophy book, but it reflects the mindset of the "modern" martial artist. Every time I read it (I've probably read it 5 times) it makes me reevaluate my training and I end up training harder. In fact I might go home and read it tonight.

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