Learning martial arts is a great way to develop your body and to acquire better discipline. It’s also very practical, as it gives you the self-confidence of being physically and mentally prepared to defend yourself in case you are under threat of being attacked or assaulted. If you’re looking to know how to buy books for martial arts training, here are some helpful pointers for you:
- Determine the branch of martial arts that you’re interested in learning. Know that the term martial arts covers a broad range of systems and practices. Just a few of the most popular are as follows: karate, judo, kickboxing, jujutsu, and tae kwan do. Even within these forms of martial arts are different styles and techniques. That’s why it’s very important that once you’ve determined which specific martial art you’d like to specialize in, you should also do some research on which specifics of it you’d like to practice.
- Find out your level of expertise. If you are just a beginner in the field, it’s best that you buy books that talk about the fundamental moves and stances, and which have an introduction of basic terminology. If you already have some basic knowledge but you want to improve your game plan, then you could find a book that talk about strategies and plans of attack and defense. However, if your main purposes for learning would be to know about the background and history of martial arts (for example, you need to write a research paper about it), then you wouldn’t really need the specifics on how to execute the styles. Buy a book that discusses the history, development, theoretical backgrounds and facts about it.
- Inquire for recommendations at a martial arts school. If you live near a martial arts school, take the time to ask for the teacher's recommendations of reference materials. Many dojos give free sample training; you could take advantage of such training, just so you would be able to get a feel for the techniques. Once you look them up in the book, you’d be able to relate to the text and illustrations better (since you’ve tried them out for yourself).
- Buy a video in conjunction with the book. If you’re really interested in learning martial arts, know that the book would probably not be sufficient as your sole reference. Since martial arts is very high on movement, you’d need to be able to see for yourself the actual execution of the styles and stances. A book would be able to give illustrations and explanations, and even step-by-step how-tos, but it’s still best that you see each movement as it is actually performed. As much as possible, try to look for a book that comes with a CD.
There you have it! These are just some of the useful pointers to remember when buying books for martial arts training. Another tip is that if you’re not particularly sure yet as to which branch of martial art you’d like to learn more of, you could opt to rent books first from your local library. Through this, you’d be able to “shop around” for the style that best captures your interest, and you would be able to save money in the process. Good luck!