Martial arts is about more than just training time in the dojo. It’s a way of life. The cross-training, nutrition and studying that goes with learning a martial art is all-consuming for many martial artists.
Of the many great martial arts and fitness books on the market, I find myself going back to the same resources for guidance and support in my training: The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, The Martial Arts Athlete and Ultimate Warrior Workouts.
Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee
You could spend a life time studying this book and still find new insights into technique, training and martial arts philosophy. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do is a collection of Bruce Lee’s knowledge, passion, experiences and guidance. It does not read like a “how-to” book but more like a notebook or sketch book of thoughts and insights.
The Tao of Jeet Kune Do is a gift from one of the world’s greatest martial artists. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest that you do. It will blow your mind.
The Martial Arts Athlete by Tom Seabourne, PhD
Today, P90X and Insanity workouts are popular in martial arts schools for cardio training. However, before “muscle confusion” and Cross-Fit were invented, cross-training techniques with calisthenics and plyometrics was already covered by Seabourne’s book, The Martial Arts Athlete.
While this book is not flashy, the physical training techniques described by Seabourne are spot on. In addition to physical conditioning, the book also shares lessons in mental conditioning, committing to your training and basic sports nutrition.
Seabourne’s approach in The Martial Arts Athlete is to make you feel like success in martial arts is possible with hard work and commitment. If you are just starting out on your martial arts journey, this is a very thought-provoking read.
Ultimate Warrior Workouts by Martin Rooney
If you are looking for the most hardcore martial arts workouts on the planet, Martin Rooney’s Ultimate Warrior Workouts is for you. Rooney is a world-renowned fitness expert and martial artist who has a reputation for training champion fighters and his workouts are no joke.
Ultimate Warrior Workouts takes you through exercise techniques inspired by 9 common martial arts systems common to champion MMA fighters. To get an idea of how advanced the techniques in this book are - the first chapter introduces you to 12 different pull-up techniques, including the Human Flag.
Following several chapters of techniques, the book gives guidance for nutrition and 24 weeks of “Warrior Workouts” with each 8 week block of workouts intended to raise your fitness level.
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