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Why Do YOU Want to Start Martial Arts?

“I want to learn to defend myself!”

“I want to get in shape!”

“I want to improve my mental focus!”

Japanese Martial Arts

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Fitness • Focus • Self-Defense

(734) 720-0330

info@japanesemartialartscenter.com

Commonly Asked Questions on Self-Defense (Ann Arbor, MI)

Is Judo effective when it comes to self-defense?

Yes!

But first you have to get good at it. Judo means "gentle way", not because it is an easy martial art, but because everyone can partake and benefit from training. Judo focuses on using efficiency and technique in overcoming an opponent, rather than brute strength.

Judo was first established as an effective martial art when judoka dominated other reputable martial art styles in a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Academy tournament. From hybrid martial arts to street fighting, Judo holds its reputation as an effective martial arts style.


 

Standing choke demonstration in Nihon Jujutsu

Is Nihon Jujutsu effective when it comes to self-defense?

Yes!

But first you have to get good at it. Nihon Jujutsu is a system of self-defense techniques that uses modern and historical Japanese martial arts.

Nihon Jujutsu was forged from the most effective self-defense Japanese martial arts of its time: Judo, Karate, Aikido, and Taihojutsu (Japanese police immobilization and arresting techniques). "The founder of Nihon Jujutsu, Sato Shizuya, established this system based on his extensive studies with leading Japanese budoka (traditional martial artists), many of whom introduced ancient bujutsu methods into modern budo" (Source).

 


In a confrontational situation, what is the best outcome?

The best outcome for any confrontation is to avoid the situation. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says, "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."

What does this mean in the broader discussion on sexual violence?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize implementing programs that proactively prevent violence. In one paper, the researchers found that rape is more common in cultures that promote male sexual entitlement and support an ideology of male superiority (Dahlberg and Krug 2002). Martial arts promote respectful and inclusive environments where gender is never a deterrent from promotions or leadership.

Martial arts isn't the ultimate solution against a cultural problem. However, it is one step in the right direction. Further, there are many benefits of training other than direct self-defense that can help navigate the dangers of the world, such as calmness, strength, judgment, and poise.

What happens if an attack cannot be avoided?

According to a recent Canadian survey, a 12-hour "resistance" program lowered the incident of reported rape among women over 30%. A lead researcher, Charlene Senn, says, "There are no quick fixes. We need multiple strategies. But we know that giving… the right skills… does decrease their experience with sexual violence. This is our best short-term strategy while we wait for cultural change."



Does learning these skills mean that I am to blame if I am attacked and cannot defend myself?

No. The only person to blame is the attacker.

Learning self-defense increases the probability of being able to stop an attack. It doesn't completely mitigate that risk, especially since attacks often involve complicated, psychological factors.

 


Who needs to learn self-defense?

Everyone!

Unfortunately, some groups of people are more likely to be exposed to attacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics;
    ⁃    
    ⁃    15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
    ⁃    1 out of every 6 American women has been a victim of attempted or complete rape.
    ⁃    1 out of 33 American men have experienced attempted or complete rape in their lifetime.
    ⁃    Female college students are 1.2 times more likely to experience rape or sexual assault than college-age non-student females.

For more information on martial arts and self-defense, Ann Arbor Japanese Martial Arts Center can be contacted at info@japanesemartialartscenter.com.

Serving Southeast Michigan:

JMAC students come to practice from throughout Southeast Michigan, from such areas as:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Birmingham
  • Bloomfield
  • Brighton
  • Canton
  • Chelsea
  • Clinton Township
  • Detroit
  • Dexter
  • Dundee
  • Fenton
  • Fowlerville
  • Grass Lake
  • Howell
  • Inkster
  • Jackson
  • Lansing
  • Livonia
  • Manchester
  • Milan
  • Milford
  • Monroe
  • Novi
  • Okemos
  • Pinckney
  • Plymouth
  • Rochester
  • Romulus
  • Saline
  • Southfield
  • Tecumseh
  • Troy
  • Whitmore Lake
  • Wixom
  • Ypsilanti
  • University of Michigan
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Michigan State University
  • Washtenaw Community College
  • Oakland Community College
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Ann Arbor - Martial Arts Mecca

For the prospective martial arts student, Ann Arbor is a mecca in the Midwest. More than any other location in Michigan, Ann Arbor has a wide variety of martial arts styles taught by many well respected sensei (teachers). You can find training opportunities at community centers, college and university gyms, health clubs, fitness centers and dojos (training halls). Among the styles available are: aikido, iaido, judo, jiu-jitsu (also called jujutsu), karate, kendo, kung fu, MMA (mixed martial arts, sometimes called BJJ) tae kwon do, tai chi, and many westernized martial arts systems. At JMAC, we offer world class instruction in judo, jiu-jitsu, iaido (Japanese swordsmanship), and karate for kids.

Aikido

Aikido is a martial arts descended from jiu-jitsu. It includes joint locks, throws, takedowns, and pins. The philosophy of aikido is a peaceful one - to use the attacker’s energy to neutralize his or her attack without causing injury. Aikido is taught in several forms, such as Aikikai, Ki Society, and Yoshinkan. Aikido was founded by Ueshiba Morihei, who studied with Takeda Sokaku, the most famous practitioner of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. Its principles can be found in almost every Japanese martial art, especially jiu-jitsu and judo. Read more about the physical and philosophical principles of Nihon Jujutsu.

Iaido in Ann Arbor

Iaido is Japanese sword drawing. It was created by the Samurai to defend against surprise attacks by an armed opponent. Most iaido involves the practice of pre-arranged forms, which are excellent tools for training the body, improving concentration, and entering into a meditative state. Finding a talented instructor in iaido with legitimate credentials is rare … in the Midwest it’s practically unheard of. For those with a desire to compete in swordsmanship for sport, kendo is the activity of choice. Those who are willing to endure an occasional whack on the head may pursue bokken kumite (sparring with wooden swords) with our director’s authorization once they reach black belt at JMAC. Read more about iaido at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Judo

Judo was founded by Professor Jigoro Kano. It is both a martial art and an Olympic sport. It includes throws, pins, joint locks, and chokes. It is among the most vigorous of martial arts and is very popular with children as well as adults. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers classes in judo for children as young as 6 years old, and for adults (starting at age 16). One fact not widely known is that sport judo is a narrow cross section of the complete art of judo. Proponents of the entire art, such as Satoh Tadayuki Sensei of Waseda University in Tokyo, recognize that the founder’s vision encompassed not only “judo” throws, but joint locks, takedowns, redirection, strikes, vital points, dynamic ukemi, kata, and weapons. Judo training at JMAC includes many of these opportunities. Read more about Judo at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Jiu-Jitsu (Jujitsu / Jujutsu)

Jujutsu - which is also written "jujitsu" and "jiu jitsu" - is the ancestor martial art of aikido and judo. Although it includes many of the techniques found in aikido, as well as many more combative techniques that did not find their way into aikido, the philosophy of jujutsu is more practical. Techniques are applied more directly, with a greater emphasis on pain compliance. Those who study jiu-jitsu over the long term improve their fitness, concentration, and ability to defend themselves. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers serious jiu-jitsu classes for adults starting at age 16. You can learn more about the differences between Japanese jujutsu and Brazilian jiujitsu.

Karate – Kids Karate in Ann Arbor

Karate involves mainly strikes, kicks, and blocks. It was originally developed in the Ryukyu Islands (now Okinawa), and was later exported to Japan before finding its way around the world. Karate is an excellent martial art for those who prefer striking, and helps develop physical strength, stamina, and confidence. There are many forms of karate taught around the world today, including Shotokan, Shorin-ryu, Chito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, and Kyokushinkai. If you’re looking for a way to help your child learn enthusiasm, fitness, discipline, and manners while having a lot of fun, consider the kids karate program at JMAC. We have an incredible core of talented instructors who have made it their business to inspire kids to be their best. Read more about our karate program for kids.

Kendo

Kendo is a sport descended from Japanese swordsmanship. In Kendo, participants wear padded armor and attempt to score points by striking vital points with bamboo swords called "shinai." Practice is fast paced, involves much spirited shouting, and is a lot of fun. The Japanese Martial Arts Center does not offer kendo, but can refer you to a reputable kendo instructor in the area.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that actually includes many sub-styles. Like karate, kung fu involves strikes, kicks, and blocks, but also includes many esoteric motions that can be applied to take down or otherwise defeat an opponent. Kung fu often appeals to imaginative people because of the many references to animal forms, but it is also a very challenging and practical martial art.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

MMA (mixed martial arts) to a modern competition-based collection of techniques. Most MMA schools teach striking as well as grappling. Although not a traditional martial art - and thus lacking many of the character development and spiritual aspects of ancient Asian arts - MMA is nevertheless a fantastic form of exercise and a lot of fun. Because many MMA fighters have employed judo and jujutsu successfully, the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers private instruction to top-level competitors as well as occasional workshops for our members.

Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is the Korean counterpart to Japanese karate. As a striking art, it includes punches, kicks, and blocks, but typically Tae Kwon Do emphasizes more kicking than does karate. Competition (usually for points rather than full contact) is very common among Tae Kwon Do practitioners. It is an excellent form of exercise, but seems more susceptible to commercialization than more traditional arts such as aikido and iaido.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is another form of Chinese martial art. It is usually taught with slow, controlled movements and deep stances. There are many health benefits associated with Tai Chi, including strong bones, cardiovascular health, and calmness.

Getting Started in Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

If you are considering taking up martial arts, you will find many superb opportunities in and around Ann Arbor, including outlying cities such as Brighton, Canton, Howell, Northville, and Plymouth. Students from the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Cleary College, and even Michigan State University have supplemented their education with martial arts and found that the physical activity helps them concentrate on their studies. We think the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers the best programs in Michigan, but we’re interested in people who are willing to work hard and do what it takes to become truly accomplished. We encourage you to look around to find the martial arts club or school that best meets your needs.