Reading: One of Our Most Valuable Tools


Because there is such a tremendous amount of information now available about a wide range of aspects related to the martial arts, it is an especially good time to be a martial artist. Probably the best, most accessible of this information is the large number of books now available on a variety of subjects.

Throughout most of the reported 2,000 to 5,000 year history of the empty-handed fighting arts, there has never been a tradition of martial arts masters recording their techniques, tactics, and strategies in some written form. Plus, it was common in many martial arts for top masters to only teach their techniques, tactics, and strategies to one or two personal disciples. Also, some masters unfortunately died without ever having passed on to anyone the knowledge they spent their entire lifetimes acquiring.

Another reason that little martial arts knowledge was ever written down was the highly secretive nature of the subject matter. Since people’s lives depended upon the information, it was critical it remained secret, just as secret as military information today.

Yet another reason that a lot of martial arts information was not written down was due to the fact that these arts were banned during many periods of time. So, it would have been very risky for masters during these times to put such information into writing.

But, fortunately for you, all of this has changed. There are now books available on a wide range of martial arts subjects. There are books on self defense. There are books on specific arts and styles. There are books on martial arts weapons. There are books on martial arts philosophy as well as the philosophy that formed the bases for the cultural heritage from which your art arose. There are books on the history of the martial arts. There are books on the scientific basis of various arts. There are books on the personal experiences of other martial artists.

Books can teach you things you never knew and take you to places you have never been – even to places that no longer exist or never existed. They can help expand your knowledge and accelerate your advancement in rank in the martial arts.

So pick up a martial arts book today and extend your knowledge outside the dojo as well as inside it.