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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

Get Started Today!

Fitness • Focus • Self-Defense

(734) 720-0330


Real World Personal Defense Courses

Are you concerned about you or your loved ones being threatened, mugged or attacked?

Do you worry about active shooter situations or terrorist attacks?

If so, you may be ready to learn no-nonsense self-defense in a clean, professional environment.

Traditional martial arts get you fitter, more focused and more effective. But there can be a huge difference between personal development in the long term and what you need when you're violently attacked tomorrow at the mall, in a theater or at a restaurant!

JMAC has teamed up with the Ann Arbor Arms Academy to offer practical self-defense classes to help you defend yourself and your loved ones. 


Responsibly Armed Series

Preparing for the Worst

What can you do before, during & after you successfully defend yourself with a firearm? This two-hour seminar examines your rights, responsibilities and current Michigan laws on deadly force. Be armed with the knowledge you need to maximize your success before, during and after a deadly force encounter! 

Avoid & Evade

A discussion of the many facets of self-defense and how NOT to find yourself in a worst case scenario. What drives your self-defense choices? Gain an understanding of key defensive elements such as distance, threat assessment and defensive tactics. Awareness, skills, strategy and the right mindset may keep you and your loved ones from a life changing attack! An eye-opening 2-hour seminar perfect for college bound students and adults of any age.


Less Lethal Options

Beginner - Intro to Less Lethal Options

When a firearm is not an option what can you do to keep yourself safe? This 2-hour seminar offers a review of less lethal personal protection tools, as well as the proper mindset and training you need to to put them in place in your lifestyle. Products covered include: tactical pen, kubotan, monkey fist, bullet proof backpack, empty hand options.

Beginner - Defending Against an Unarmed Attacker

You put a lot of time into making ready for an armed self-defense situation. Are you also prepared for those times when you can’t be armed, or when you lose your weapon in the midst of a conflict? Make yourself ready for every situation … learn the essentials of unarmed personal defense: balance, movement, distance, leverage, striking and, most important – mindset.

Intermediate - Short Stick        

Walk softly and carry a short stick! A 3-hour class introducing techniques and proper mindset for the effective use of tactical pens, kubotans and other "short stick self-defense tools. Products covered include: tactical pen, kubotan, knife.

Intermediate - Monkey Fist

Your keychain can save your life! A 2-hour class introducing students to the effective use of the “monkey fist” keychain. “Monkey Fist” techniques utilize a very different approach both physically and tactical from other less lethal options or short stick products. Learn how to make serious use of this comically named life saving product.

Intermediate 3 - Defending Against Stick & Knife Attacks

You may put a lot of time into making ready for an armed self-defense situation. Are you also prepared for those times when you can’t be armed, or when you lose your weapon in the midst of a conflict? Make yourself ready for every situation. Learn the essentials of unarmed personal defense: balance, movement, distance, leverage, striking and, most important – mindset. 

Advanced – Essential Edged Weapon Defense

A 3-hour (classroom & hands-on) class using Benchmade training knives. The mindset and techniques you need to deploy a pocket knife for self defense in your daily life. Combative with Edged Weapons are no joking matter. We discuss the extreme and serous realities of knife fights along with a heavy dose of myth busting. A fun, physical and challenging class!

Advanced - Defending Against Firearms Attacks

You put a lot of time into making ready for an armed self-defense situation. Are you also prepared for those time when you can't be armed, or when you lose your weapon in the midst of a conflict? Make yourself ready for every situation ... learn the essentials of unarmed personal defense: balance, movement, distance, leverage, striking and, most important, mindset.


Spaces are limited. Contact JMAC or Ann Arbor Arms to sign up or learn more!

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 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 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.