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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


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Get more fit, more focused, and more confident. Visit JMAC today to watch a class and learn how easy it is to get started!

About Us


This is your chance to join a group of dedicated martial artists focused on real personal change! Embark on your spiritual journey ... stop in to watch a class today!



We're happy to answer your questions or help you get started. If you're looking for a serious, abundant place to learn martial arts, JMAC is your first choice!

Site Map


World class training in Ann Arbor? You can find it at JMAC. Call or email today to find out how easy it is to get started.

Safe, systematic instruction for beginners!


If you're a beginner or never studied martial arts, we'll help you get started safely. Free intro lessons and systematic training for new students.

Martial Arts for Women in Ann Arbor


Women make great martial artists! There's no macho posturing or dirty locker rooms at JMAC. Call or stop in today to learn how to get started!

The JMAC Approach


At JMAC, you'll learn how to harness your energy and improve your focus ... for great results! Learn better focus and how to be more effective throughout your life.



Are you looking for "cheap"? We're not for you. But if you're looking for "serious," "passionate," or "world-class," then call JMAC today!


Are you driven? Do you seek the deepest, the brightest, the most profound? Prove yourself first, then ask about our ultimate insider program.

Frequently Asked Questions


Get answers to some of the most common questions asked about martial arts training. Trying to decide if martial arts training is right for you? We're happy to help answer your questions!



JMAC is conveniently located just off I-94 on South State at 2875 Boardwalk, Suite H, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 . Ample free parking and an abundance of expert knowledge to help you improve!



Plenty of evening & weekend classes make it easy for you get in to train. Check out our schedule, come in to watch. Arrange for your free intro lessons!

Code of Conduct


To be great, you must have great determination and high standards. Here are the expectations at JMAC - the mindset it takes to truly realize your potential.

Visit Us!


You're more than a name here at JMAC - you're a candidate for greatness. Visit us to learn more, or to watch a class, and we'll explain what it takes to get started. No risk, no obligation.



Some links to sites we find helpful or who are simply kind enough to link to us. Please report any spam or suspicious sites to us!



You might be surprised how often people mis-spell words in the martial arts. We've provided this list of misspellings to help you get to the right place when you're after a martial arts concept or simply want more information.

Ann Arbor Martial Arts


Interested in learning more about martial arts? Feel free to email or call us, or stop by JMAC today! You can watch with no obligation and intro lessons are free!

Why Train in Martial Arts?


There are many great reasons to train in martial arts. Find yours at the Japanese Martial Arts Center!

The Exceptional Martial Artist


Do you have a calling to become exceptional? Ready for hard work? Learn how to become an exceptional martial artist in one of our special events.

JMAC Calendar


Not everybody has what it takes to become exceptional in the martial arts, but if you want to give yourself the best chance, stop in to watch a class at JMAC today!

Rear Naked Choke | Hadaka-jime


This no gi technique is an intersection between a traditional Japanese choke and popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission.

Triangle Choke | Sankaku-jime


This classic no gi technique is an intersection between a traditional Japanese choke and popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission.

Front Arm Triangle | Mae-hadaka-jime


This no gi technique is an intersection between a traditional Japanese choke and popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission. It is used in MMA, wrestling, and many other martial arts.

Ezekiel Choke | Sode-guruma-jime


This gi choke looks like a wheel. It is usually done on the trachea.

Single Wing Choke | Kata-ha-jime


In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this is referred to as the "side-mounted stranglehold".

Sliding Collar Choke | Okuri-eri-jime


This choke is ubiquituous in every grappling sport that involves a gi.

Gyaku-juji-jime | Reverse Cross Lock


Gyaku-juji-jime is one of the easiest chokes to use on the ground, but hard to learn.

Kata-juji-jime | Front Lapel Stranglehold


This choke is in the same family as gyaku-juji-jime. It is also a choke that both novice and advanced ground players need to know.

Jigoku-jime | Hell Strangle


This is the Hell Choke, or Crucifix. If you can get this choke, it's a great way to immobolize an opponent on the ground.

I AM JMAC: Matthew


“Karate is fun to do and learn, but you can’t mess around all the time” he says, smiling. “We work on stuff, but also have fun. There’s a lot of time where you have to be serious about what you’re learning."



“I didn’t know very much about iaido at the beginning and found it interesting in so many different ways, including philosophically and the exactitude of it."

I AM JMAC: Andrew


There was a clear distinction in my happiness when I was training and when I wasn’t.” He smiles, “Yes, martial arts will make you happier.”

I AM JMAC: Haruka


“When I’m at kids karate class, it benefits me to watch not just what the teacher is doing, but how the teacher is teaching other students. "

I AM JMAC: Andy, "Bossory"


"I did the intro classes, picked it up, and kept going. One of the things that is really cool here is the authentic budo experience. The mutual welfare and respect really shows here. All the things that make a good place to train hold true here - Your willingness to help your partners, betterment of them, yourself, the dojo, and the level of the instruction is incredible."

I AM JMAC: Amber


“It’s a whole lot of stepping out of my comfort zone and I’ve been pleased with the outcomes every single time. I’ve not been disappointed here, not once.”

I AM JMAC: Nicklaus Suino Sensei, Director


We officially opened JMAC in June of 2006. From the beginning we were embraced by the community. We've lived in three locations. In 2018, we will celebrate twelve years of exceptional training in traditional Japanese Martial Arts.

Jujutsu Kenshukai at JMAC


Raise your Nihon Jujutsu game by focusing in on a few key aspects in this intensive training session!


Looking for world-class instruction in martial arts? At JMAC, our credentials are second-to-none, our passion for martial arts is boundless. We want to help you on your path to success!

Nicklaus Suino Sensei


Suino-Sensei is one of the most highly-credentialed martial artists in the world, whose instruction is sought out by martial artists everywhere. Join JMAC and get first hand instruction from one of the greats!

John Gage Sensei


Leader of the Nihon Jujutsu system founded by Sato Shizuya. Head of the American Embassy Judo Club in Tokyo. Advisor to JMAC. John Gage Sensei.

Daniel Holland Sensei


Holland-Sensei is one of the most upbeat, yet profound martial artists to be found anywhere. Your viewpoint of martial arts will never be the same!

Stephen Morris Sensei


Twenty-five years of judo experience, multiple competition and kata wins. Learn from a National Champion!

Dana Jackson Sensei


"I'm inspired to train harder and learn more about judo every time I go to a class taught by Jackson-Sensei!"

Martial Arts For Kids


Your child can learn focus, get fit, and develop self confidence at JMAC. Safe, highly effective training. Call us to arrange a visit today!

Have You Considered Kids Judo as a Way to Help Your Child Thrive?


Judo means “the way of adaptability.” Kids learn throws, takedowns and pins. As they stick with judo, their balance gets better, they get calmer, and they get more comfortable with movement. Our classes teach Japanese etiquette, respect, basic movement skills, competition, and social skills.

Little Dragons: The FUNdamentals of Martial Arts


From age 4-6, kids attend our “Little Dragons” class. We work on the FUNdamentals of judo and karate (stances, punches, falling safely) while recognizing that our smallest students have to enjoy, engage, and connect with what they’re doing. We strive to make the class fun and high-energy, making sure each student has a chance for one-on-one time with the instructors while they learn AWESOME judo and karate moves.

Set Your Child Up for Success with Kids Karate!


One thing we’ve learned … karate can be transformative for young bodies and minds. But too much emphasis on stern discipline and hard-core training can take the fun out of it for kids. If you could stop in and watch a kids karate class, you’d see how we balance fun for the students with learning and teaching. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s hidden inside games or activities.

Practice for life! Origins of Nihon Jujutsu


Choosing the right martial art style and the right dojo can be overwhelming. You can simplify it by asking three questions: Is it safe? Is it systematic? Is it supportive?

What's the Difference Between Nihon Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?


There are differences and similiarites that distinguish the two martial arts. These differences can be found in the spelling, history, and techniques.

Ann Arbor Aikido Seminar with Satoh Tadayuki-Sensei


The struggle is real.  Many martial artists find it difficult to move beyond basic techniques into free form practice. They wonder how others manage to “flip the switch” to safe, effective high-level randori, or free practice.Join us at JMAC in Ann Arbor on March 16, 17 & 18, 2018, to explore the integration of Aikido, Judo, & Jujutsu with Satoh Tadayuki Sensei.

Ju Nana Hon (Basic 17 Techniques) Randori no Kata Ann Arbor Aikido Seminar


Fortunately for us, Tomiki Sensei created Randori no Kata, a framework of 17 techniques (waza) that are deemed appropriate for randori (free form practice).  Join us at JMAC in Ann Arbor on March 16, 17 & 18, 2018, to explore the integration of Aikido, Judo, & Jujutsu with Satoh Tadayuki Sensei.

Tomiki Aikido Foundations Right Here in Ann Arbor


To fully understand the common skillsets shared by judo, jujutsu, aikido, look no further than their evolution from their common ancestor - ancient jujitsu.

Real World Personal Defense Courses


Want to learn real world self defense without hype in a clean professional environment?

Ann Arbor Jujutsu Practitioner Combines Martial Arts and Leadership Research | Andrea Derler


Interview with PhD candidate and Nihon Jujutsu black belt, Andrea Derler, leads to intriguing insights on martial arts and the business world!

Happy Children’s Day! (Reasons Why We Love Our Ann Arbor Kids Karate and Judo Students)


Interested in learning more about kids martial arts programs? Feel free to email or call us, or stop by JMAC today! You can watch with no obligation and intro lessons are free!

Martial Arts Ann Arbor


Learn how to navigate martial arts Ann Arbor has to offer. Investigate fun and exciting opportunities from world-class ranked instructors.

The Odds of Earning a Black Belt in a Martial Arts Class (Ann Arbor)


Learn the actual value and merit of your belt if you study in a martial arts class, Ann Arbor, MI

Martial Arts Fitness in Ann Arbor | Fitness for People Over 50


Learn how martial arts can help you achieve your fitness goals. Find the best martial arts fitness programs at the Japanese Martial Arts Center today!

Stress Relieving Martial Artist Quotes from Judo to Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor, MI)


From famous MMA stars to Jiu Jitsu practitioners, here are some quips that should lighten the load on your shoulders.

What is a Tenugui?


Discover the history, usage, and meaning behind the beautiful Japanese tenugui.

Judo Fitness (Ann Arbor) - Combination Series 1


Dana Jackson shows judo combinations at our Ann Arbor martial arts dojo.

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


Science-based reasons on why enrolling your child gives him or her a head start with her academics and future endeavors!

Martial Arts Fitness | How Martial Artists Around the World Eat


From Shaolin Monks to MMA stars, learn how martial artists around the world eat to gain optimal speed, strength, and agility. This is the basis of martial arts fitness!

The Connection Between the Founder of Judo and an Ann Arbor Martial Arts Dojo


Learn how the Japanese Martial Arts Center has a legacy that decends from Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo.

How to Prevent Choking Under Pressure | Psychology & Martial Arts (Ann Arbor, MI)


Psychology tips to help students at our martial arts, Ann Arbor-based dojo, perform their very best when under pressure.

Japanese Martial Art Highlights for 2014: The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre


These are the highlights in Japanese Martial Arts, from the best to the craziest fights!

An Interview with Warrington Hudlin


The following interview discusses martial arts and filmography with Warrington Hudlin, who is a director, producer, Yale graduate, film curator, and martial arts aficionado.

Ann Arbor | Jiu Jitsu, Nihon Jujutsu & Judo Words You Want to Know


柔道 means "gentle way". Judo is a self-defense, combat, and Olympic martial art. It was founded in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. The purpose of Judo is manifest in the mottoes Kano came up with: "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit".

Ann Arbor | Karate Words You Want to Know


These Japanese words are commonly used during our Ann Arbor Karate classes.

Ann Arbor | Martial Arts Etiquette


The purpose of etiquette in our Ann Arbor martial arts dojo ensures the safety of those training and enhances the quality of training.

Ann Arbor | Martial Arts Words You Want to Know


These Japanese words are commonly spoken at the dojo. Not only do they carry a deep historical significance, but enhance the overall quality of the Ann Arbor martial arts dojo experience!

How to Stay Relaxed During Judo and Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor)


These techniques can optimize your standing work and groundwork for Judo and Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor, MI).

The Age Martial Art Masters Started Training


From Toshihiko Koga to Bruce Lee, this list covers the ages these masters started training.

Interview with Highest Ranking Jujutsu Martial Artist | Trends Between European and Japanese Martial Arts


John Gage Sensei is teaching at an international seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark. He offers some quick words on trends between Japanese and European martial arts.

Badass Chokeholds | Intersections Between Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor)


These chokeholds and strangles are in the arsenal of every good ground fighter. Pump up your game and add these babies to your repertoire! These nine chokes are originally Judo chokes, but have been adapted in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor).

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


Is Judo effective? Is Nihon Jujutsu effective? Who would benefit from taking martial arts?

It's About the Martial Arts Training, Not the Rank


Exceptional martial artists know that the momentary joy of getting a new belt or certificate fades. Don’t go for that.

Finding a Martial Arts Role Model


Find a great role model for your martial arts instruction.

Visualize During Your Martial Arts Classes


Don't immediately do. Visualize yourself doing the martial arts.

Get Inspired Again in Martial Arts | Ann Arbor


Do you remember what got you excited about martial arts in the first place?

Martial Arts and the Magic of Persistance


Sometimes just sticking with a thing is enough to separate yourself from the crowd.

Martial Arts Training in the Land of the Living


Train with those that are not small in character, technique, and aspirations. Consider your dojo carefully.

The Mind is Upright


It is said that the sword is like the mind, and if the sword is upright, the mind is upright.

JMAC closed August 10-12


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed August 10-13.

Joint Murph Workout - August 19


Get in shape. Tell your friends. Create a team. Raise money for Fisher House!

Closed Labor Day Weekend - Aug 31 - Sept 3


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed Labor Day Weekend, Friday-Monday.

Personal Best Month at JMAC


Choose a technique or exercise and work toward your best ever this month. September 2017!

Fall 2017 Special Rates


Have you been wondering how to get more fit, more focused, or how to learn self defense?

Welcome Back Students


Welcome back to Ann Arbor, UM, EMU, WCC and all the great students who help make Ann Arbor a thriving, diverse city.

Iaido Kenshukai - no regular classes


Iaido Kenshukai all day - no regular classes.

Test Prep Day


Test prep day preceding testing week.

No Classes


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed on February 26-27

Tough Mudder


Join Team JMAC as we go through our THIRD Tough Mudder!

Subaru Down and Dirty Mud Run!


Join us on August 23 as we go through the Down and Dirty Mud Run!



The Iaido class at the Japanese Martial Arts Center is going to cut mats!

The Crucible


The Crucible is a 12-hour training session that will push your physical or mental capacities. Are you ready?

SMAA Certificate Presentations


Members of the Japanese Martial Arts Center are being given a formal presentation of their recent SMAA certificates!

Unarmed Self Defense


Prepare yourself with the essentials of unarmed defense.

Closed Easter Weekend


Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed Saturday, March 26 to Sunday, March 27.

Monkey Fist Defense


Your keychain can save your life!

Spring Break - No Kids Classes


No kids karate or judo for Spring Break, April 5-7, 2016.

Train with Alain Michaud Sensei


Extraordinary opportunity to study with Alain Michaud Sensei

Short Stick Defense


Walk softly and carry a short stick!

Intro to Less Lethal


An intro into less lethal ways to defend yourself.

Nobetsu Tadanori Sensei Seminar


Karate Seminar with Nobetsu Tadanori Sensei

Essential Edged Weapons Defense


Combatives with Edged Weapons are no joking matter!

Defense Against Firearms Attacks


A focused look at what options you have when an armed attacker with a gun is up close and personal.

Thanksgiving Break


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed from Thursday, Nov 24 to Monday, Nov 27.

JMAC is Closed for Christmas Break


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed from 12/23 - 12/26 for Christmas.

JMAC is Closed for New Year Holiday


The Japanese Martial Arts Center is closed from 12/30 - 1/2 for the New Years Holiday.

Critical Self Defense class


Get prepared for the speed and level of violence of an attack on you or your loved ones.

JMAC Open House


JMAC is having an open house. Celebrate our new location and hang out with friends.

Judo Kenshukai - no regular adult classes


Judo Kenshukai - no regular adult classes.

Little Dragons Testing


The Little Dragons class is testing on Feb 22 at 5:30pm.

Kids Karate Testing


The Kids Karate class is testing on Feb 23 at 5pm.

Jujutsu Kenshukai - no regular classes


Jujutsu Kenshukai all day - no regular classes.

Testing - Kids Judo


Kids Judo class will have a test on Sunday, March 4 at 1pm.

Testing - Iaido


The Iaido class at the Japanese Martial Arts Center is testing on March 21 at 6pm.

Testing - Adult Judo


The Adult Judo class at the Japanese Martial Arts Center is testing on March 22 at 6pm.

Testing - Nihon Jujutsu


The Nihon Jujutsu class is testing on March 23 at 6:30pm

JMAC hosts Yahagi Sensei seminar


JMAC is proud to host Yahagi Sensei for the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu Kenjutsu Seminar

Karate Kenshukai - no regular classes


Karate Kenshukai all day - no regular classes.

Yoga for Martial Artists & Athletes


Yoga for Martial Artists and Athletes with Ita Reyes E-RYT.

Nage no Kata workshop


Nage no Kata workshop with Francis Glaze Sensei for current judo members at 3pm.

Women's Self Defense Class


Ready to learn how NOT to be a victim of a violent attack and what to do if one occurs?

JMAC Recovery Workshop


Recover workshop for martial artists with chiropractor, Dr Andrew Gessert, at 3pm.

Closed Memorial Day Weekend


The Japanese Martial Arts Center will be closed Memorial Day Weekend, 5/26-5/29

In-Class Testing for the Week


There will be in-class testing June 6-9, based on invitation only (and maybe by surprise).

Black Belt Demo & Anniversary Potluck


Come join us for a variety of black belt demonstrations and our anniversary potluck afterwards (bring a dish to share).

Closed for the Day


No regular classes today. You can catch us at Top of the Park for some karate though.

Karate at Ann Arbor Summer Festival


Karate at A2 Summer Fesival with JMAC, June 14 @ 5pm

Judo/Jujutsu Kenshukai - no regular adult classes


Judo/Jujutsu Kenshukai @ 6pm - no regular adult classes. Kids Karate is as scheduled.

Closed 4th of July weekend


Japanese Martial Arts Center will be closed for the 4th of July holiday weekend, July 1-4.

Styles Taught at JMAC


Not every style suits every person - learn more about what makes a certain style best for you. Stop in or call to watch a class at the Japanese Martial Arts Center.



Learn incredible focus through iaido (swordsmanship) practice, a martial art with roots dating back to the Samurai era in Japan. Our chief instructor is one of the world's most respected swordsmanship ... right in your backyard!



A great way to get fit, compete, and learn self-defense. JMAC has an incredible sprung floor and world class instruction to help you stay healthy and reach your goals effectively!



Japanese jujitsu helps you learn self-defense, get focused, and get more fit. The world's top Nihon Jujutsu instructor leads the program at JMAC!



Karate is a great way for kids to build strength, focus, confidence, and social skills. At JMAC, your child will have a great time while improving him or herself in many ways.

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

Links | Site Map | Misspellings
Judo | Jujutsu | Iaido | Karate | Ann Arbor Martial Arts

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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.