These days, mixed martial arts is all over television, but if you can’t seem to get enough of the sport simply by watching bouts, there are plenty of well-written books to consider. Some will help you improve your own skills, and others delve into the history of this popular sport.
You can’t really have an MMA library without a few great books about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and its most famous family, the Gracie family. For a look back at the history of the family, consider the book “The Gracie Way,” which was written by insider Kid Peligro. Writer John Danaher along with Renzo Gracie and Royler Gracie penned another popular book about this martial art, “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique.”
World-renowned fighter B.J. Penn has written several books about MMA, most notably “Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge.” If you want to know how to become a professional MMA fighter, this book should be part of your library. Penn describes his own style of fighting, but also leads others to the goal of utilizing their strengths while incorporating other fighting techniques into a fluid game plan. Also consider taking a look at his autobiography, “Why I Fight.”
If you love watching the fights, but don’t really know much about the history of the sport, consider buying “Blood in the Cage.” This book not only looks back at MMA in its earliest days to the present, but also is a comprehensive look at the career of Pat “The Croatian Sensation” Miletich, who was the first fighter in UFC to claim the welterweight championship.
Randy Couture entered the Octagon during UFC 13 and has held the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight titles. He has written several MMA manuals, the best of which is probably “Xtreme Fighting: The Fighter’s Ultimate Fitness Manual.” However, his autobiography “Becoming the Natural,” is not only a great look at Couture’s legendary history, but also a look at the past decade or so of mixed martial arts.
For a more philosophical look at martial arts in general, consider reading something by the master himself, Bruce Lee. Lee always maintained that the best fighters were those who could adapt to multiple fighting styles. In addition, his own form of martial arts, detailed in “Tao of Jeet Kune Do,” is both about martial arts and a way of life.
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