10 Books Every Warrior Should Read

I am what you would call an avid reader. Some would even say my reading habit borders on a reading obsession since at any one time I can be found to have at least three, sometimes four books going simultaneously. I have several on my nightstand next to my bed, a couple on the coffee table downstairs, one or two on the kitchen counter and, of course, my bathroom book.

Usually I am reading one book on fitness or health, one book on business, and one fiction.  I also continuously have audio books playing in my car anytime I drive, creating a mobile library.

Great warriors train all the time. Reading is a form of training that must be practiced by the warrior on a daily basis. Feeding and training the mind is just as important as feeding and training the body. Remember – knowledge is power!

Here are 10 books that are a must in every warrior’s library. Expand your mind and pick up these books!

Also, if you have any recommendations, be sure to let me know in the Comments section below – I am always on the look out for new books to add to my collection.

 

1) The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield

WARS CHANGE, WARRIORS DON’T We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. Do we fight by a code? If so, what is it? What is the Warrior Ethos? Where did it come from? What form does it take today? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives?

2) The Ethical Warrior: Values, Morals and Ethics – For Life, Work and Service by Jack Hoban

Jack Hoban was shaped by service in the U.S. Marine Corps, a life-changing epiphany at a Cold War bar, and mentorship under two masters: The 34th generation grandmaster of the shadowy art of the Ninja and a sage of the Natural Law who may just have deciphered the meaning of life. He now delivers a revolutionary view of moral values for our time epitomized by the Ethical Warrior – protector of self and others as equal human beings. Hoban’s methodology reaches from the Greek ancients to the counterinsurgency efforts of today’s Marines to provide ethical clarity and confidence in our moral actions.

Having been exposed to both Dr. Humphrey’s and Jack’s teaching on this since I began studying Bujinkan martial arts back in 1989, I cannot recommend this book enough!!

3) The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

Composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. For Musashi, the way of the martial arts was a mastery of the mind rather than simply technical prowess—and it is this path to mastery that is the core teaching in The Book of Five Rings. This brilliant manifesto is written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life.

The classic book on strategy by Japan’s most famous swordsman. This book is one I read over again every few years and constantly find more nuance and deeper understanding as my training and years of experience grow.

4) Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Lutrell

This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.

5) The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library Paperbacks) by Edmund Morris

This book tells the story of TR’s irresistible rise to power. (He himself compared his trajectory to that of a rocket.) It is, in effect, the biography of seven men—a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician—who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in our history. Rarely has any public figure exercised such a charismatic hold on the popular imagination. Edith Wharton likened TR’s vitality to radium. H. G. Wells said that he was  “a very symbol of the creative will in man.” Walter Lippmann characterized him simply as our only “lovable” chief executive.

6) Eric Greitens: Resilience : Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (Hardcover); 2015 Edition by Eric Greitens

Eric’s letters—drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers—are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Greitens shows how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.

7) Meditations (Penguin Classics) by Marcus Aurelius (1995) Mass Market Paperback by Marcus Aurelius

One of the world’s most celebrated and persuasive books, Meditations, by the Roman ruler Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121– 180), fuses the stoic statutes he used to adapt to his life as a warrior and manager of a domain. Rising to the royal position of authority in A.D. 161, Aurelius discovered his rule assailed by catastrophic events and war. In the wake of these difficulties, he set down a progression of private reflections, plotting a logic of sense of duty regarding prudence above joy and peacefulness above joy. Mirroring the sovereign’s own particular honorable and generous set of accepted rules, this persuasive and moving work draws and advances the convention of Stoicism, which focused on the look for internal peace and moral sureness in a clearly confused world.

8) Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level (Third Edition) by Mark Divine

You are capable of twenty times more than what you believe. Are you living in your 20X factor?  Or have you settled for a lesser productivity taught by society, your upbringing, or the things you believe about yourself?  I want to wake up the authentic, connected warrior within you.

But waking up to a bigger reality is only the first step.  The next step is learning to win in your mind before you ever enter the battlefield of life.  Unbeatable Mind will teach you to starve your fear, overcome negativity and connect with a deeper and heightened sensitivity to what’s going on around you.  You’ll clear emotional blocks, step into the shoes of self-mastery, and become the leader of others you know you were made to be.

9) Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein: The Mighty Atom by Ed Spielman (1-Mar-1998) Paperback by Ed Spielman

The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein, World’s Strongest Man is a fully-documented and illustrated biography that also details the methods Greenstein used to train himself for the “impossible”. As a vaudeville star, he bit through iron bars, crushed steel spikes in his hands, and held back airplanes tied to his hair. These feats were all the more amazing because he stood only five feet four inches and weighed in at just 145 pounds. But The Mighty Atom had developed his own technique for tapping into the “life-force; ” a technique that encompassed Asian methods of concentration, Jewish mystical writings, and a then-unheard-of vegetarian natural diet. He unlearned the subconscious mechanism that forces us to stop when we think we have reached our physical limits. Each time he broke an iron chain, he revealed the enormous potential of the life-force. That potential exists inside every one of us and, as The Mighty Atom showed, it is within our grasp.

This is literally one of my all-time favorite books!

10) The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman by Takuan Soho

Here’s the classic samurai-era text that fused Japanese swordsmanship with Zen, and influenced the direction that the art has taken ever since. Written by the 17th-century Zen master Takuan Soho (1573–1645), The Unfettered Mind is a book of advice on swordsmanship and the cultivation of right mind and intention. It was written as a guide for the samurai Yagyu Munenori, who was a great swordsman and rival to the legendary Miyamoto Musashi.

 

MEN – Pick up a free copy of my book, Dad Strength HERE <<===

Jon

Jon Haas, "The Warrior Coach" has been training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shihan. He has also trained in Okinawan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Russian Systema, BJJ, Krav Maga, as well as Internal Martial Arts of Yiquan and Aiki.He is a certified Underground Strength Coach-Level 2, a certified Personal Trainer as well as founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems. In 2008, Jon wrote the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, and since then has created numerous other online training and coaching programs helping people around the world become the strongest, most capable versions of themselves!

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Jon

Jon Haas, "The Warrior Coach" has been training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shihan. He has also trained in Okinawan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Russian Systema, BJJ, Krav Maga, as well as Internal Martial Arts of Yiquan and Aiki.He is a certified Underground Strength Coach-Level 2, a certified Personal Trainer as well as founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems. In 2008, Jon wrote the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, and since then has created numerous other online training and coaching programs helping people around the world become the strongest, most capable versions of themselves!

2 Comments

  • Nathaniel

    February 2, 2018

    I am very surprised not to see the Art of War on this list!

  • Jon

    February 13, 2018

    That’s a great one too! The list isn’t all encompassing…

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