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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

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Smarter, Happier, Healthier Kids! The Advantages of Enrolling Your Child in a Martial Arts Class (Ann Arbor)

Do you ever wonder what kind of advantages you afford you child when you enroll him or her in a martial arts class? Ann Arbor has many resources that promote the learning and development of kids, including your local dojo! Check out these fun factoids to learn how martial arts benefit your kid!

 

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), these are the following guidelines for daily activity. Visual created by the Japanese Martial Arts Center.

Physical Health Benefits

A martial arts class is a great way to get exercise in! According to Kids Health, kids who regularly exercise will:

  • Have stronger muscles and bones
  • Have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
  • Be less likely to be overweight
  • Decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels

Better Sleep

According to a study, children who exercise less during the day take longer to fall asleep at night. In the Archives of Disease in Childhood, it was reported that every hour of the day children are inactive adds three minutes to the time it takes them to sleep.

JMAC martial arts kid demonstrating an empei

 

Researchers also found that the faster children fall asleep, the longer they stay asleep. Poor sleeping habits were linked with increased risk of obesity and inferior school performance.

 

Positive Peer Pressure

One study found that girls and minorities are the most likely to be obese and inactive. In a martial arts program, students of ALL backgrounds are encouraged to practice. Children are invited to work in an inclusive and open environment!

 

Another study found that when students have fun with their peers, they’re more likely to exercise. We’re not sure how to measure our students’ happiness, but we have some pretty anecdotal evidence.

 

Less Likely to Become Obese When They're Adolescents and Adults

Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult. 

 

A belt promotion during our martial arts class (Ann Arbor)

Less Likely to Become Sick

In the International Journal of Sport Psychology, researchers found that exercise contributed to disease prevention and health promotion.

 

Better Focus and Memory in School

Countless studies have found that martial arts and exercise increase academic achievement. Kids have better memory, focus, and concentration. Improved results happened regardless of the child’s age, gender, ethnicity, or health status.

 

They also learn a different language. Learning a second language at an earlier age means cognitive benefits!

 

Improved Mental Health

Martial arts help make your kid feel happier! Exercise is beneficial for cognition, because this study found that:

  • There is increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain
  • Increased levels of norepinephrine and endorphins, chemicals in the brain that signal positive emotions
  • Increased growth factors that help to create new nerve cells and support synaptic plasticity, or in other words, better brain growth
Mini martial artist with a big grin! :)

Self-Defense and Conflict Management

From stage fright to bullying, our martial arts students learn how to deal with conflict. A group of girls was bullying one of our students and her mom came to us. Two of our instructors sat down with her and gave her some strategies on dealing with the harassment. Physical protection is the last resort, but we taught her some techniques that might improve her chances of self-protection.

 

A No-Television Zone

Children spend a whopping average of three to four hours in front of the television per day. That means that by the time they graduate high school, they have spent more time watching television than in the classroom.

 

Children that are in martial arts spend between 2-5 hours per week practicing in the dojo. That’s between 104-260 hours in a year doing something healthy.

 

If this sounds like something that could benefit your child, you have the opportunity to enroll in a martial arts class, Ann Arbor-based, and kid friendly! We have Judo and Karate classes for kids between the ages 6-12. Teenagers are welcome to join our adult classes in Judo, Nihon Jujutsu, and Iaido. For more information, visit http://japanesemartialartscenter.com/ or email 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
Directions to JMAC

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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.