Martial Arts Ann Arbor - Jujutsu | Jujitsu | Jiu-Jitsu

Kids Karate: One Dad’s Take on His Daughters Training at JMAC

Kentaro, father of JMAC student Haruka, shares his thoughts on her training at JMAC:

“I have found that the way that they teach is very good and I’m very impressed with the instructors.”

“There have been some occasions where Haruka was invited to events at other martial arts schools and I found JMAC to be more organized and clean. It seems too, that the focus at JMAC is to teach kids martial arts in a manner that is fun for them without compromising safety and Japanese tradition. This is not always the case at other schools. It’s important that the kids are learning martial arts and not just playing.”

Read the entire interview here!

Kids Karate: Haruka Describes Her Training at JMAC

In an interview, JMAC student, Haruka, and her dad, Kentaro discuss training at JMAC. Haruka describes how her training has carried over into her everyday life:

“In school, it has helped me put a lot more focus and effort into one thing and to not procrastinate.  Although, I still procrastinate,” she adds.

“And, this is a basic thing”, she says, “when it gets cold and icy outside and I fall, with the practice of falling in class, I just fall easier and don’t hurt myself.”

“I think that even though it’s self-defense, it’s not just preparing for if someone attacks you, but more so about how you would mentally prepare yourself to work hard.”

“When I’m at karate class, it benefits me to watch not just what the teacher is doing, but how the teacher is teaching other students.  It’s an extra something when you get to understand what another student’s difficulty is as it helps you to better understand what you are doing.  When you understand what you are doing right, it helps you understand more of it. And watching other people in sparring, you notice their reactions, strengths, and weaknesses that you could use when you are sparring them.”

Read the entire interview here!

Playing Judo: This Dad Makes Martial Arts Fun for Kids!

“First, I have kids that age so I’m dialed in.  Second, we keep it fun and interesting with things they want to do at that age.  They love running around and we try to organize the chaos, we keep it simple where they are achieving things.” It’s obvious that Andy is passionate about this program as he continues “They get a big kick out of it.  They love judo tag, which is tag, but you have to do a movement before you get up! They love it!  They get all excited about all the different movements.  I think they like it because they are learning cool stuff and making progress.”

He thoughtfully adds, “Most of them have made a lot of progress – They have better focus, listening, and attention. And you can see the motor skills improving in all of them. We have some of our older students that are doing phenomenal! The improvement is very noticeable. They are almost ready to graduate to the kids karate or judo class.” 

I am JMAC: Andy’s Insights on the Importance of Breathwork in Martial Arts


“A commonality in all the arts is that the breathwork is so hard to do.  Until you have a solid mastery of technique it’s difficult to focus on breathing.  When you start moving around and doing randori, breathwork is out the window until it’s engrained. You have to be constantly aware of it.  It’s not easy.”

What are the benefits of breathwork? “It’s good for energy conservation.  I’ve noticed it in other arts like judo. People like Holland Sensei or Jackson Sensei who have a really good handle on their breathing and moving, waste so much less energy than us lesser mortals.” He breaks into a smile and continues, “It’s funny, while I’m gasping for breath they have slow easy breathing with their motions and a full energy reserve left.” He explains that “breathing is a huge way for them to relax, be more efficient with their movements, be more aware of what’s going on, maintain a better sense of control in self, and better presence in the moment.  This is why it’s so difficult to do, especially in that stressful situation. I’m thinking about where does my arm go?  Where am I going to get locked up or pinned next, and the breathing part isn’t engrained yet so I lose that very quickly.”
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I am JMAC: One Women’s Story of Finding Fitness in Ann Arbor

“I remember Suino Sensei asking me what my first impressions were after my first lesson. I told him I felt really great about it, and he says ‘yeah I can already tell you’re going to like this, you’ve had a big geeky smile on your face this whole time’”. Just that one private lesson sealed the deal for Amber. She knew this was going to something she’d enjoy.

“Since then, I have found at JMAC the things that made me happy when I started lifting, but to a much greater extent. In the dojo, I can let go of everything else that’s happening in my life. It takes so much more of my mental focus when I’m there and there’s no room for anything else in my head, and I think that’s so therapeutic.  Read more!

Nihon Jujutsu, Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ, Gracie Jujitsu)! What does it all mean?

Jûjutsu, which generally refers to systems of unarmed combative techniques, is one of the oldest branches of Japanese martial arts. Images of fighters using jûjutsu techniques can be found in a variety of early historical records.

Nihon Jujutsu is a modern Japanese martial art that focuses on practical, efficient techniques as originally found in both ancient and contemporary martial arts. Its principles and techniques come from Japanese unarmed combat and self-defense techniques from pre-1945 judo and aiki-bujutsu, as well as taihojutsu (Japanese police immobilization and arresting methods). 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. 

Despite its name, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was originally based on the techniques of Kodokan Judo, a system created by Kano Jigoro. A student of Kano Sensei, Esai Maeda, later known as Conde Koma, visited Brazil, and his instruction formed the basis of today’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Learn more about the similarities and differences between Nihon Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiujitsu techniques and overall dojo environment are here!




Safe, Systematic, Supportive

Your coworker trains in karate. Your neighbor trains in judo.  Your cousin on the west coast goes on and on (and on) about jujutsu!  “Maybe I should try this jujutsu,” you think.  There are so many search results for jujutsu, it’s hard to know where to begin!   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?