Best Non-Martial Arts Books for Martial Artists

You undoubtedly have 3 copies of “Book of 5 Rings” and “Tao of Martial Arts.” It goes without saying, “Strikes” and “Let Every Breath” is on the bookshelf.  These are the obvious ones for every Systema practitioner.

Here are others, though not always directly related to Systema (or even martial arts), they can hugely impact you and improve your overall skills in our art and in our lives.

The Dip by Seth Godin. Everyone who has run a school has had students quit. Sometimes it is for the better and at other times a disappointment. Most of the time it is neither. In this small book, the author talks about when quitting is a good thing and when it is the worst decision to make.  The patterns will surprise you.

War of Art.  This is one of my all-time favorites and a MUST READ. Short and sweet, the author does an incredible job of explaining how resistance can be the most challenging obstacle to overcome. And when you do, it can be the greatest thing in your life.

The Principles of Effortless Power.  One of the best books not only on the subject of internal power but martial arts in general. It changed my way of viewing both subjects.  This book will teach you how to use structure and breath to maximize power and tap into the “untapped.”

The Power of Habit. This book explains the WHYs of habits and most importantly, what we can do to change the unwanted ones and implement the ones that we desire. 66 days is the “magic” number to make or break a habit.

Pure. Not for the feint of heart. Pure was written by my friend, Stephen Russell, better known as the Barefoot Doctor. A Taoist master, this book goes to the edges of life and presents methods for creating your destiny. Stephen has a unique way of making changes painless and enjoyable. Warning: Your life will never be the same.  My favorite book on the planet.

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