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Women in the martial arts

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

info@japanesemartialartscenter.com

Martial Arts for Women in Ann Arbor

We’ve worked with a lot of great female martial artists over the years, and many have really seized the chance to master a traditional Japanese martial art. But for many women, concern about going into an unfamiliar dojo can be huge. We’ve listened, and some of the issues women have mentioned to us are:

“Will I be able to do martial arts?”

“Is your dojo full of macho men?”

Or sometimes just really simple questions like:

“Will I be welcomed by the others?”

Or “Is your dojo a clean, welcoming place?”

Many women who joined us started out with these worries or other concerns about taking up martial arts. Our guess is that it would be helpful if you could stop in and watch a class without being pressured, to ensure it's safe and welcoming.

Would it also be helpful if you knew that we’ve had girls as young as six and women as old as sixty-five train successfully at our dojo, and among our ranks are women who achieved not just black belt, but higher levels of black belt? We create a tough but reasonable environment that helps both men and women achieve their goals, and we’d be very interested in learning what concerns you about starting out in the martial arts.

You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of a good martial arts program: greater confidence, improved mental focus, an understanding of Japanese budo culture, and the ability to defend yourself. Wouldn’t you like to experience the relaxed confidence of someone whose physical and mental balance functions at a high level, who sweats with confidence and joy while building expert skills, and who can move with power and grace? We think that sounds GREAT!

The Mastery Process - Women in the Martial Arts

Our entire curriculum is centered around the mastery process. We're interested in developing all our students, and since each person comes to us with abilities, there’s no “one size fits all” approach at JMAC. We pay attention to what you do well, assist you at improving moves you find difficult, and offer guidance about what you can outside the dojo to improve your mental and physical fitness. We don’t tolerate bullying. Our mission is to create an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and development. Our standards are high, but we’re here to help you achieve!

You start out at JMAC by watching a class. If the training is something you'd like to try, you can arrange two private intro lessons with no cost or obligation. In those lessons, we’ll teach you the basic etiquette of Japanese martial arts as well as a few fundamentals of your martial art. After you’ve completed those lessons we’ll explain what it takes to get started. There's no pressure  - we only want students at JMAC who truly want to be here, who are seriously interested in self-improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a woman, do I have to get in shape before I start?

No! Our program is systematic, so you’ll build fitness as you make progress through the ranks. As you learn more and more, you’ll have the chance to come to more classes and to train harder. We also give you opportunities to train outside class. The key is to start – you’ll get in shape over time!

Is there a glass ceiling in the martial arts?

Not at JMAC! We promote on the basis of accomplishment and positive attitude. As we mentioned above, we’ve had some great female black belts over the years. Come in, train hard and with joy, be a cooperative member of our martial arts community, and you'll go far!

Will I get locked into a long contract when I start?

No! After your intro lessons, we’ll ask you to sign up for a membership. The membership is for one year, but you can opt out any time within 60 days. That 60-day period gives you time to make sure training at JMAC is what you’re hoping for. It also gives us a chance to assess you and let you know whether our program will be a good fit for you.

The First Step

If you think you'd like to get started in martial arts, come watch a class! Call us at (734) 645-6441 to arrange a time to visit or get your questions answered. If you’re more comfortable with email, you can reach us at info@japanesemartialartscenter.com.

We’d be happy to help you decide whether martial arts at JMAC is right for you!

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.