Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Nicklaus Suino Sensei

Nicklaus Suino Sensei

Program Director

Suino Sensei didn't start out as a promising martial artist! He was a small child, often sick, and often talked his way into trouble. He grew up in a turbulent neighborhood, and fought his way home from school on many occasions. His parents, fearing for his safety and feeling that he could use more personal discipline, enrolled him in judo at the Ann Arbor YMCA in 1968. It was a decision that would shape the rest of young Nicklaus' life, leading to his position today as one of the foremost American experts on the truly Japanese budo experience.

He fell in love with judo instantly, and never looked back. In 1988, Suino-Sensei decided to see the homeland of Bushido. He sold his belongings, bought a plane ticket, and moved to Yokohama, Japan. Between 1988 and 1992, he practiced judo, jujutsu (jujitsu), iaido (swordsmanship), and kyudo (archery).  He studied iaido at the home dojo of the late Yamaguchi-Katsuo Sensei, one of the greatest of the WWII generation swordsmen. In 1989, he was appointed secretary to the Foreign Department of the International Martial Arts Federation, Tokyo HQ. He was four-time All-Tokyo forms champion in iaido at his rank level between 1989 and 1992, and represented the Kanto region in the All-Japan tournament in Kyoto in 1992...  Full Biography

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor John Gage Sensei

John Gage Sensei

Senior Instructor

John Gage Sensei is one of the world's foremost non-Japanese leaders in traditional, heritage martial arts. He is the current head of the Nihon Jujutsu system founded by the late Sato-Shizuya Sensei (1929 – 2011), and is the Program Director at the US Embassy Judo Club in Tokyo, Japan. A lifelong passion for history, and things from far away places, particularly the arts and culture of Japan, began at an early age for Gage Sensei. He started studying aikido at age seventeen and judo at nineteen.

In 1986, he moved to Japan to dedicate himself to traditional Japanese martial arts. Upon arriving in Tokyo, Japan in 1986, Gage-Sensei joined the US Embassy Judo Club, under the direction of Sato Shizuya Sensei. He has also studied extensively at the Aikido Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, under the direction of the famed Shioda Gozo Sensei (1915 – 1994), Aikido Meijin 10th Dan. Gage-Sensei spent many years honing his understanding of the Japanese martial arts. He joined the All Japan Judo Federation, coached judo at Japanese Junior high schools, traveled around the world as an assistant to Sato Sensei at martial arts seminars in Europe and... Full Biography

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Jeff Hauptman Sensei

Jeff Hauptman Sensei

Karate-do Instructor

Jeff began studying Uechi Ryu at the age of 16 and moved to Shorin-Ryu karate at 18 when he entered the University of Michigan. He received his black belt in Shorin-Ryu in 1995 and continued to study until 2003 when he started his family. Jeff returned to practice and teach karate when he joined JMAC in 2010 and has been a co-developer of the kid's class curriculum and format since the beginning. Jeff is the proud father of four past and present JMAC kid's class students and when he's not at the dojo he runs Oxford Company (oxfordcompanies.com) which he founded in 1998.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Daniel Holland Sensei

Daniel Holland Sensei


Dan Holland's martial arts career started in 1988 when he was seven years old. He began training in the Traditional Japanese Martial Arts in January of 1998, which led him to Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu Iaido, Kodokan Judo and Nihon Jujutsu (under Nicklaus Suino Sensei), along with Aiki-Jujutsu (taught by the late Jeff Friedlis Sensei). In May of 2004, he began training in Nei Jia, the Internal Family of Chinese Martial Arts.

From 2004 to 2009, Dan Holland was an owner and instructor of the Institute of Traditional Asian Martial Arts in East Lansing, MI. In November of 2009, he relocated to the Japanese Martial Arts Center, where he currently teaches Iaido, Nihon Jujutsu, Judo, and Martial Arts for kids. He frequently conducts Private Lessons and Seminars in the Mid-Michigan area on a wide range of subjects... Full Biography

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Nick Miller Sensei

Nick Miller Sensei


Nick Miller began studying Eishin Ryu Iaido with Suino Sensei in 2002. 11 years later, his career took him to California where he launched a small Iaido program at the Mountain View Aikido Center. Life and family brought him back to Michigan and JMAC in 2018, where he now teaches Iaido under Suino Sensei's direction. Outside the dojo, Nick currently works as an engineer in the semiconductor industry's clocking and timing sector

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Jon Spengler Sensei

Jon Spengler Sensei

Iaido & Jujutsu Instructor

Jon Spengler first trained with Nicklaus Suino Sensei as a teenager at the Institute of Traditional Asian Martial Arts.  After several years away, Jon restarted his pursuit of martial arts with the opening of the Japanese Martial Arts Center in 2006.  As part of the first group of students at the new dojo, Jon began studying iaido and soon added jujutsu.  Having been at JMAC from the start and earned black belts and joined the teaching ranks in both iaido and jujutsu, much of Jon's life centers around the dojo.  This is evident in how often Jon or members of his family are at JMAC.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Dana Jackson Sensei

Dana Jackson Sensei


Dana Jackson was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1978. At the age of 10 he began his martial arts training in Iki-Shin-Do, an obscure form of karate that branched off from the Shotokan style of karate. He trained with Sensei John Anderson for eight years, eventually being awarded the rank of nidan. He took a brief hiatus from martial arts while he attended school at Saginaw Valley State University where he played collegiate soccer. After several years of searching for a new karate dojo and never really being completely satisfied with what other schools had to offer, Jackson-Sensei decided to start looking at other martial arts. This eventually lead him to judo and the Japanese Martial Arts Center, where he began training with Suino Sensei in January of 2008. He has since earned several levels of black belt, currently hold the rank of yondan, and inspires JMAC students while teaching judo.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Mike Mancini Sensei

Mike Mancini Sensei


Mike began studying Nihon Jujutsu in 2007 under Suino Sensei at the Japanese Martial Arts Center.  He has since earned several levels of blackbelt and currently holds the rank of yondan.  Mike decided to start judo in the fall of 2018 and currently holds the rank of nidan.  He enjoys teaching Nihon Jujutsu classes and encouraging the ncxt generation of martial artists at JMAC.  He is currently employed at Ford Motor Company as a technical specialist in engine mapping.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Richard Monroe Sensei

Richard Monroe Sensei


Richard began training judo in May, 2014. Started helping with the kids judo program just a couple months after he started. He received his Shodan in judo in June of 2017, Nidan in 2018, and Sandan in 2021. Richard has also taken over running our kids judo program, added another kids class to the weekly schedule, and runs a regular grappling class during the week. Richard has also been doing Nihon Jujutsu for years and has received the rank of ikkyu. He has trained with Suino sensei in Karate and Iaido in varies seminars in the US and Canada.  

Richard regularly helps with tasks and day to day activities in the dojo.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Amber Cathey Sensei

Amber Cathey Sensei


Amber began training at JMAC in Nihon Jujutsu in 2017, and then soon after she joined the Judo program. She continued to train in both arts concurrently, reaching her current rank of nidan in both. Amber is also a newer student in Iaido, in which she currently holds a green belt level rank. Amber took on an instructor role in the Nihon Jujutsu program in 2023. She is immensely involved in JMAC events, and many other JMAC members have become part of her chosen family.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Beth Wiggert Sensei

Beth Wiggert Sensei

Assistant Instructor

Beth started Iaido in 2016, and upon getting her rokukyu in Iaido, started Karate  in 2017.

Beth finds martial arts to be not only wonderful exercise  and discipline, and the people of JMAC a family, but moving meditation, a path to self improvement, and the best way to quiet the monkey mind.

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Andrew Bossory

Andrew Bossory


Andrew began training at JMAC in 2012 training in the jujutsu program. He has expanded his training into all of the martial arts JMAC has to offer. He presently holds the ranks of nidan in jutusu and judo, ikkyu in karate, and sankyu in iaido. Andrew is currently the lead instructor in the Little Dragons program, which focuses on giving children from 5-7 a strong foundation in judo and karate, with high hopes of seeing them grow their martial arts skills into the advanced classes. As often described by Suino Sensei, Andrew is JMAC's resident minor league coach!

Japanese Martial Arts Instructor Stephen Morris Sensei

Stephen Morris Sensei

Emeritus Judo Instructor

Stephen Morris was born in Wyoming but came to Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a child and has been here through school, college, parenthood, and now, grandparenthood. Having traveled extensively as a young man, Morris returned home to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Education.  He also worked an assortment of jobs including auto mechanic, musician, and movie projectionist, before finding his true calling in teaching middle school.  He is particularly interested in exploring connections between good teaching in the classroom and good teaching in the martial arts.

Morris has been training and teaching Martial Arts for over 30 years.  He began as a student of traditional Okinawan Karatedo and within a few years was also training in Aikido and Judo. He is very gratified to be able to continue his study of Judo at the Japanese Martial Arts Center, a traditional dojo, and is eager to share that quest with other serious students of Budo.  He is certified to teach, coach, and referee Judo by the USJF and USJI... Full Biography