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How to Stay Motivated in Your Martial Arts Training

How to Stay Motivated in Your Martial Arts Training

Do you find yourself dragging your feet on the way to training sessions? Looking for any excuse to avoid working out?  Martial arts are an incredible journey that offers a unique blend of physical fitness, mental focus, and self-defense skills. But even the most enthusiastic student can experience dips in motivation.  Here are some tips to reignite your passion and stay committed to you...

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How to Deal with Competition Anxiety

How to Deal with Competition Anxiety

Are you feeling nervous about an upcoming competition? Does the idea of being watched while competing make your stomach twist? Competition anxiety is a common challenge faced by many. The pressure of performing well, the fear of failure, and the anticipation of facing skilled opponents can all contribute to anxiety and stress.  However, you can overcome these hurdles and compete at your best...

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Karate Techniques

Karate Techniques

Considering martial arts training? Want to study karate in Ann Arbor ? Karate is a disciplined practice that embodies the fusion of mind, body, and spirit.  Let's delve into the intricate world of Karate techniques, encompassing strikes, blocks, stances, and forms. Strikes: Precision and Power Striking techniques are central to the study of karate. Executed with unparalleled precision an...

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Kicking into Fitness: Get Fit with Karate

Kicking into Fitness: Get Fit with Karate

Do you hate going to a crowded gym for a workout?  Feel more motivated and driven when working in a group? Karate seamlessly blends fitness and fun. Karate is a martial art that not only sharpens your self-defense skills but offers a dynamic and engaging way to achieve and maintain fitness. The Fusion of Fitness and Martial Arts Karate, originating from Okinawa, Japan, has evolved into a glo...

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Character Development Curriculum Through Martial Arts

Character Development Curriculum Through Martial Arts

Are you looking for ways to get your kids away from screens? Do you want to help your child feel confident and capable? In a world filled with distractions, the importance of developing traits like concentration, confidence, and physical fitness in young minds cannot be overstated.  Beyond the physical techniques, martial arts are a powerful tool for kids and teens, laying the foundation for...

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Beyond Delusion: Building Authentic Confidence with Martial Arts

Beyond Delusion: Building Authentic Confidence with Martial Arts

Are you looking for ways to build genuine confidence?  Sick of being told, “fake it ‘til you make it?” In the quest for self-improvement, the wisdom of Alex Hormozi rings true: " Confidence without evidence is delusion. " Martial arts is a practical avenue for transforming mere confidence into authentic self-assurance.  Here's how practice in the dojo can...

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Classical vs. Modern Martial Arts: A Journey of Tradition, Honor, and Loyalty

Classical vs. Modern Martial Arts: A Journey of Tradition, Honor, and Loyalty

What are your goals as a martial artist? Want to learn ways to defend yourself? Are you looking to explore a fighting style rich with cultural history?  In martial arts, there is a stark contrast between the classical and modern approaches. These two paradigms diverge in their emphasis on tradition, honor, and practicality. The Essence of Classical Martial Arts Connection Lineage signifies t...

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How Martial Arts Fosters Conflict Resolution Skills

How Martial Arts Fosters Conflict Resolution Skills

Are you looking to study self-defense in Ann Arbor ? Do you want to learn how to resolve conflict? Want to be prepared to defend yourself? Everyone runs into conflict at some point. The best way to prevent or resolve it is to be prepared! Martial arts provides skills that can help you work through conflict and defend yourself. Observational Skills - Martial arts requires intense focus and has us ...

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How Martial Arts Can Increase Confidence in Kids and Teens

How Martial Arts Can Increase Confidence in Kids and Teens

Is your child stuck in their shell? Do you want to see them grow and flourish? Martial arts could be the answer! Martial arts can help your child grow physically and mentally, leading to increased confidence. Self-Improvement Martial arts is primarily an individual sport centered around self-improvement rather than winning or losing. With practice, your child may notice they can punch harder than...

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Why Attend Martial Arts Events Outside of Regular Practice?

Why Attend Martial Arts Events Outside of Regular Practice?

Looking to improve your martial arts skills? Want to get more invested in the martial arts community? Attending events outside of practice can have multiple benefits! Training camps, challenges, competitions, and classes from visiting instructors can help you: Meet New People and Build Relationships – Everyone can use more friends and role models! At events like The JMAC Crucible, you can m...

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The History of Striking Arts

The History of Striking Arts

Do you want to have strong kicks and punches? Are you looking for a competitive hobby? Fighting systems that use striking may be right for you! What is Striking?  Striking refers to stand-up fighting moves, like kicks, punches, palm strikes, and using the elbows and knees. Striking fighting techniques have been recorded since ancient Egypt and became popularized for competition in ancient Gr...

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The Different Paths Martial Artists Can Take

The Different Paths Martial Artists Can Take

What are your goals as a martial artist? How can you excel beyond being a student? Receiving a black belt isn’t the final goal in martial arts. There’s always room for improvement and growth! There are many different paths a martial artist can take to continue studying and keeping traditional martial arts alive. Here are a few of them: Remain a Student Not every student wants to be a ...

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What is Kiai and its Purpose?

What is Kiai and its Purpose?

Are you interested in martial arts? Have you heard the shouts martial artists make during practice? This shouting is called kiai and it is used in multiple martial arts. What is Kiai? Breaking down the word, ki means energy and ai means to harmonize. Put together, kiai means to focus or direct your energy. This energy can be released in a shout or can be silent.   A kiai shout is a quick rel...

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Why Athletes Should Train in Martial Arts

Why Athletes Should Train in Martial Arts

Are you an athlete? Are you looking for new ways to improve your performance? Athletes from nearly all sports can benefit from martial arts training. At JMAC, we offer karate, jujutsu, judo, and iaido, which all utilize physical and mental abilities that can improve your performance in your sport.  What Physical Abilities Does Martial Arts Improve? Training in martial arts can improve the fo...

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Inspirational Stories of Women in Martial Arts

Inspirational Stories of Women in Martial Arts

Looking for inspiration in the world of martial arts for women?  Want to learn more about women’s contributions to martial arts? Are you a woman interested in martial arts but not sure where to begin? It might surprise you to know that women and martial arts have always gone hand-in-hand. Although the most popular martial artists a typical person may think of might be men, women have b...

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Japanese Sword Fighting Arts

Japanese Sword Fighting Arts

Are you interested in broadening your study of martial arts to include sword arts?  Do you feel drawn to the grace and power of Japanese swordsmanship? Would you like to learn the proper way to use a bokken ? Japanese swordsmanship is an ancient art and discipline heralding back to the samurai of feudal Japan. Over the years, the art of swordsmanship grew into many different styles and schoo...

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Weapons in Martial Arts

Weapons in Martial Arts

Are you interested in ancient combat weapons? The bushi – occupational warriors in feudal Japan - used many weapons while fighting. So why do we see so few weapons in many martial arts dojos? The majority of weapons used in martial arts were used in “old style” martial arts, called koryu bujutsu . These martial arts were meant to be used in battles to protect the entire group ra...

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JMAC Supports Local Boxer Jasmine Hampton

JMAC Supports Local Boxer Jasmine Hampton

All fighting arts take physical strength, determination, and discipline. No matter the activity, we’re all connected by these principles! That’s why we’re happy to support Ann Arbor boxer Jasmine Hampton. Hampton is ranked the number one boxer in the United States in the 119 pound class and is an eleven-time National USA champion. Hampton’s ultimate goal is to make it to t...

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A Brief History of Grappling Arts

A Brief History of Grappling Arts

Do you want to increase your strength?  Are you looking for self-defense training?  Fighting systems that use grappling may be right for you!  What is Grappling? Grappling is a concept in combat sports that consist of grabbing and manipulating the opponent. Grappling moves include takedowns, throws, holds, and sweeps, but no striking moves like punching and kicking. Grappling works...

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Intro to Ukemi: Basic Martial Arts Falls

Intro to Ukemi: Basic Martial Arts Falls

Are you a beginner? Considering martial arts training? You’ll learn the basics first, which include stances, punches, and falling correctly. The art of falling in martial arts is called ukemi and there are many types of falls. The Basics When falling, it’s important to prevent a head injury. To prevent injury, keep your chin tucked to your chest and focus on something in front of you,...

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The History of the Gi

The History of the Gi

Are you curious about the history of martial arts?  Have you ever wondered why martial artists wear Gis?  Knowing the history allows you to have a deeper connection and understanding of the art you practice.  The Judogi, or Gi, is the first modern martial arts uniform. From concept to industry standard, the Gi has inspired many changes in the martial arts community. Origin Story Th...

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Why Older People Should Study Martial Arts

Why Older People Should Study Martial Arts

When you think of martial arts, you may imagine a dojo full of men in their 20s-30s. This isn’t the case! There are plenty of women and older people who study martial arts. Preconceived notions like this might inhibit older people from beginning martial arts training.  Here are some reasons you should start! Helps you stay physically fit – Older people can sometimes settle into a...

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How to be a Great Training Partner

How to be a Great Training Partner

Your dojo is more than a place to get a great workout. It’s a safe, respectful place to learn and thrive together – a place where character is developed and strengthened. But that doesn’t come from the uniform or the mat. It comes from the people, and everyone at the dojo plays a part.  Whether you’re young or not so young, new to martial arts, or an instructor, you c...

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How Can Martial Arts Help with Attention Disorders?

How Can Martial Arts Help with Attention Disorders?

Do you want to improve your focus, control, and concentration? Would more structured activities help your attention disorder? Martial arts may be able to help! While many resources for ADHD and other attention disorders may be targeted towards children, martial arts can help adults and children alike! Here are some ways martial arts can help you: Increasing Activity – Exercise not only help...

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What Are Internal and External Martial Arts?

What Are Internal and External Martial Arts?

Have you noticed some martial arts are physical and powerful, while others seem peaceful and introspective?  How can these differences between martial arts be categorized?  One way is to distinguish between internal and external, or hard and soft styles. The distinction between internal and external comes from how the arts are learned, while the distinction from hard and soft comes from...

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What Makes a Great Practice Sword?

What Makes a Great Practice Sword?

Are you interested in practicing iaido in Ann Arbor?   A little lost when it comes to swords?  In iaido, we use bokken, iaito , and shinken swords. A bokken is a wooden sword meant for beginners, and an iaito is a dull metal practice sword. Shinken translates to “real sword,” and has a sharp edge. At JMAC, we only allow advanced black belts to use sharp blades in group pract...

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How the Ranking System Works

How the Ranking System Works

Wondering what belt colors mean?  How can you keep improving beyond black belt?  The majority of martial arts use a colored belt system to show your rank. Legend has it that as people trained, their white belts got covered in sweat, blood, and stains, getting darker over time until eventually turning black. These belts weren’t allowed to be washed because it would “wash the ...

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The 3 Sections of Karate Training

The 3 Sections of Karate Training

Want to study karate in Ann Arbor?  What can you expect to learn?  Everything you’ll learn in karate can be sorted into three categories: kihon, kata, and kumite.     Kihon Kihon means “basics,” or “fundamentals,” and includes stances, strikes, punches, kicks, and blocks. These are fundamental to your success as a martial artist. By repeating...

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What to Expect When Beginning Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

What to Expect When Beginning Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

Thinking about starting martial arts in Ann Arbor ? Don’t know what to expect? Starting something new can make you feel uncertain and intimidated. This might be the case for new martial artists. You may feel intimidated by your talented sensei and dojo mates who will know more than you. New martial artists who succeed learn to work through this uncertainty and discomfort to become great at ...

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Seisan Kata’s Purpose, Practice, and History

Seisan Kata’s Purpose, Practice, and History

Are you interested in the history of martial arts? Want to learn more about kata ? Kata means “form” in Japanese. In martial arts, a kata is a set of choreographed movements used for practice. Seisan kata is a type of kata with its own distinct movements and is one of the oldest kata that is still taught today. Its history can be traced back to Okinawan karate in the 18-19th century.&...

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Why Anyone Can Practice Iaido

Why Anyone Can Practice Iaido

Are you interested in iaido? Don’t think you have the skills? From an outsider’s perspective, iaido might seem scary. People wielding deadly sharp swords all together in one room? Sounds like one accident away from disaster, right? In actuality, iaido is quite safe. You aren’t handed a katana on your first day. You start with a bokken – a wooden sword – to practice t...

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What is Nihon Jujitsu?

What is Nihon Jujitsu?

What will you learn in jujitsu from JMAC? How can jujitsu help you? Nihon jujitsu is a modern system of jujitsu (sometimes spelled “jujutsu” or “jiu-jitsu”) that focuses on using power and force to control an opponent. Created by Sato Shizuya after WWII, Nihon jujitsu uses techniques mixed from ancient and present-day martial arts, as well as Japanese self-defense methods....

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Martial Arts and Self Defense

Martial Arts and Self Defense

Are you looking for a practical form of martial arts? Do you want to learn how to defend yourself? There are many different styles of martial arts, so finding the right one for you is very important. Understanding what you’re looking for in a program can help make your journey more fulfilling. If you're interested in competing, judo might be the best choice. If you want to learn how to ...

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Cool Judo Throws for Kids!

Cool Judo Throws for Kids!

Do you like martial arts and want to learn some beginner moves? Intrigued by judo? Here are 4 simple throws that every beginner should learn: Seoi-nage – A forward throw where you throw the opponent over your arm. Put weight on one leg at the heel, spin forward, letting the other leg come back behind the pivoting leg, then with both hands, pull your opponent over you and onto the ground in ...

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What Makes a Good Karate School?

What Makes a Good Karate School?

Are you looking for a solid martial arts program for you or your child?  Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the dizzying number of schools out there? Selecting the right karate school is one of the most important steps in your martial arts journey. A good teacher aids your spiritual and physical well-being and promotes self-development, while a bad teacher can cause frustration and could ev...

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What are the Benefits of Kids Martial Arts?

What are the Benefits of Kids Martial Arts?

Are you looking for a fun, engaging activity for your child? Want something that will strengthen your child physically and mentally? If you answered “yes” to these questions, kids martial arts in Ann Arbor might be right for your child. Martial arts is much more than just fighting! It’s an activity that engages the mind, body, and spirit and aides in self-development. Here&rsquo...

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The Differences Between Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The Differences Between Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Do you want to learn self-defense? Interested in jujutsu? Unsure of which type? Despite having a similar name, jujutsu (sometimes spelled jujitsu or jiu-jitsu) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are two different fighting styles with their own origins, moves, and purposes. Origins Jujutsu ‒ Originating in Japan as one of the first martial arts, jujutsu came from samurai hand-to-hand combat. The idea was t...

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Improve Your Focus and Control with Iaido

Improve Your Focus and Control with Iaido

Do you want more control? Are you looking to be more centered? Want challenge your mind? All these needs can be met with one source: iaido. Iaido, or the art of Japanese swordsmanship, can provide you with a unique experience that improves your body, mind and spirit. What is Iaido?  Iaido is the practice of wielding a katana in a controlled, efficient way. The main actions include drawing th...

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Traditional Judo is a Path for Life and Wellness

Traditional Judo is a Path for Life and Wellness

All martial arts can help you build strength, balance, and endurance. However, the traditional practice of judo is unique among martial arts because of its emphasis on defense and control as opposed to attacking and conquering. When you begin the judo, you’re starting on a path to better health, confidence, and satisfaction. You’ll learn how to develop physical power re-direct your pa...

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The Benefits of Traditional Karate

The Benefits of Traditional Karate

  Have months of pandemic restrictions left you feeling out of shape, inside and out? Are you looking for some way to exercise your body and mind? Do you miss being part of something outside your home, but you’re still taking COVID precautions? Exercising your body and mind outside your home, in a supportive community, while maintaining pandemic precautions, might seem like a lot to as...

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Train Directly with Shimizu Sensei in Tokyo!

Train Directly with Shimizu Sensei in Tokyo!

Ready to train with an All Japan Champion?  Do you love karate? Is learning new detail and getting the information straight from the source important to you? Do you want to have a direct connection with an All Japan Champion? JMAC is incredibly lucky to have access to one of the greatest young karateka in Japan. Shimizu Shun-Sensei - 4th dan Shihan in Goju-Ryu Karate through the Nisseikai - ...

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What do Members Say About The JMAC18?

What do Members Say About The JMAC18?

Staying healthy is on everybody's mind these days. One of the best things you can do to stay healthy overall is exercise, but pandemic regulations make it difficult to find a gym or class you’re comfortable with that also provides a great workout. Maybe you’ve wondered: Where can I find a great fitness program I can do from home? Could martial arts classes be right for me? Or, How...

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JMAC Adapts Training for COVID Regulations

JMAC Adapts Training for COVID Regulations

Martial arts teaches us patience and respect, which are needed more than ever as the COVID pandemic continues. In respect for the latest COVID regulations and more importantly, the health of our members, JMAC has temporarily cancelled on-site group classes. That doesn’t mean we’re giving up! We’re committed to giving you great martial arts practice. The physical and mental healt...

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What Makes the JMAC18 a Great Bootcamp Workout?

Are you ready to get back to the gym now that the stay-at-home orders have been eased? Are you looking for a complete workout that builds strength and endurance? It is tough to find time for fitness between work, kids, and household chores! Have you considered a bootcamp workout? Not sure if it’s right for you? Given the right information, the right instructor, and a free class to boot (see...

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Staying the Course for the Greater Good

Staying the Course for the Greater Good

Who would have thought a virus could turn into such a controversial and politicized issue?  Even though the Governor's executive orders have been ruled unconstitutional, we are still bound by regulations and respect for the health and safety of others. We want to get back to business as normal, but for now we are still limited by: Washtenaw County advisory rulings Michigan Department of ...

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Ready for a Workout but Worried About COVID? Karate at JMAC is a Smart Option!

Ready for a Workout but Worried About COVID? Karate at JMAC is a Smart Option!

As we adjust to our governor’s Safe Start plan for gyms to safely re-open and sports to resume, we hear a lot of questions about the safety of resuming contact sports. Questions like: What do the Safe Start orders mean for my workout? How are gyms and dojos keeping members safe? And especially,  How do you practice martial arts while maintaining social distance? Karate may appear to be...

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Self-Improvement and Self-Defense in Ann Arbor

It’s been a long few months and we’ve all been through a lot. With all the uncertainty, it’s important to check in on the people you love – this includes checking in on yourself!  Self-care isn’t a luxury when times are tough. One of the best ways you can improve yourself and get a sense of relief and control is through martial arts. Participating in self-d...

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Keep Fit and Healthy at Home | Jujitsu Ann Arbor

Keep Fit and Healthy at Home | Jujitsu Ann Arbor

It’s a little strange to think that the COVID-19 lockdown began way back in March. As things gradually get back to normal, many of us are still spending a lot of time indoors. In addition to its many health benefits, exercise is also great for your mental health. Everyone knows this, but it’s easy to let this slip! Keep reading for some great information on staying motivated and healt...

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Japanese Jujutsu Classes in Ann Arbor

Japanese Jujutsu Classes in Ann Arbor

In 1988, armed with a master's degree in English and a few dollars, Nicklaus Suino set out for Tokyo. After a 14-hour flight, a 2-hour train ride, and a 20-minute ride in a friend’s Nissan, he arrived in time for dinner, a beer, and a long night’s sleep! ...

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Fitness Makes the Difference!

Fitness Makes the Difference!

Ever notice how some people just seem to be able to get more done, day in and day out? Do you have someone in your circle of friends who somehow stays more positive, whatever is going on around them? What could it be that helps some people stay happier, healthier, more productive and more driven? We’ve studied this, and one of the things that makes a real difference in the lives of real peo...

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Want to ENSURE Success for Your Kids?

Do you ever worry about the future for your kid? Do you ever feel like you just can’t do enough to help make sure your kid has the tools he or she needs to live a happy, prosperous life? Do you believe (like we do) that kids should not only have good schooling, but should have physical skills, the ability to focus, and some healthy discipline? Sometimes They Need to Learn from Others I&rsqu...

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Boot Camp Workout at JMAC

Boot Camp Workout at JMAC

Have you been looking for a boot camp-style workout? Are you the kind of person who needs a group to help keep you accountable?  Does an hour-long class seem too long? Would a quick, effective boot camp class help solve that for you? Bootcamp Exercises that Don’t Take Up Your Whole Day ...

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Women’s Martial Arts in Ann Arbor at Japanese Martial Arts Center

Women’s Martial Arts in Ann Arbor at Japanese Martial Arts Center

For a long time, there was a perception that karate or martial arts training was a bit of a “boys only” activity. Thankfully, that notion is fading! There’s been an increase over the years of women in martial arts . Shape did a nice article about why women should consider martial arts training. It can be a great way to improve your physical fitness, confidence, and focus. S...

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JMAC Celebrates 13 Years of Martial Arts Training in Ann Arbor!

Where were you thirteen years ago? We opened the doors to the Japanese Martial Arts Center in early June 2006. After years of training in Japan, traveling, and operating a dojo in East Lansing for 10 years, it was exciting to come home and offer authentic Japanese martial arts training in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Just recently we celebrated our 13th anniversary with an open house event showcasing our...

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4 Benefits of a Kids Karate Program

4 Benefits of a Kids Karate Program

Searching for the right program for kids karate near Ann Arbor? Finding the right martial arts program for your child is important. You want them to find an environment that’s encouraging but also offers an appropriate level of difficulty and discipline. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dojos out there that are designed to simply push your child up through the ranks, to get them the reward...

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Iaido Strength and Fitness Drills

Iaido Strength Training Drills for Men and Women Fitness Ann Arbor As we’ve discussed in our recent articles about Martial Arts Diet Tips and Nihon Jujutsu and Functional Fitness , martial arts training offers many terrific opportunities to improve your strength, overall fitness, and mental discipline that you can apply to your everyday life. Iaido (Japanese Swordsmanship) is an incredible ...

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Jujutsu - Perfect Self Defense for Women & Men

There are many self-defense systems that have been cobbled together from various martial arts styles. While these systems may be good at showing useful techniques, at Japanese Martial Arts Center, we feel it’s important to teach you not only technique but mindset.   Self-Defense for Women and Men At Japanese Martial Arts Center in Ann Arbor, we teach and train in Nihon Jujutsu. Similar...

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Jujutsu Ann Arbor - Functional Fitness for 2019

Jujutsu Ann Arbor - Functional Fitness for 2019

Start the Year Right with Perfect Functional Fitness – Nihon Jujutsu The new year is always packed with goals: “This is the year I’m going to drop those extra pounds.” “This is the year I’m going to eat right.” “This is the year I’m going to join a gym and get fit.”  Do you say that every January but by the time February rolls aroun...

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Japanese Martial Arts – Men and Women Fitness in Ann Arbor

Japanese Martial Arts – Men and Women Fitness in Ann Arbor

Everyone needs exercise. It’s imperative to get out there and move and get your heart rate up! Fitness doesn’t have to mean ripped muscles and a sculpted physique … although it can if that’s what you want. Getting movement into your daily routine as well as a balanced healthy diet that is right for you is key for men and women who want to improve their fitness. Where do y...

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Practice for life! Origins of Nihon Jujutsu

I'm afraid I'll get injured.  How do I find a martial art and dojo that offer a safe training environment instead of a fight club? Do I need a basic set of skills before I can learn a martial art? What's the difference between the different styles of jujutsu, (aka jujitsu, jiujitsu)? Safe, Systematic, Supportive Your coworker trains in karate. Your neighbor trains in judo.  ...

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Tomiki Aikido Foundations Right Here in Ann Arbor

Tomiki Aikido Foundations Right Here in Ann Arbor

Did you know you can improve your ability to apply your techniques through the study of martial arts other than your primary one? Wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity to integrate skills from other arts into your practice? Do you want to learn more about the common skillsets found in judo, aikido, and jujutsu? Foundations and Evolutions of Tomiki Aikido  "I'm having diff...

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

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

Did you know there’s an approach available to help you move beyond basic techniques to effective, free-flowing, real time application? Want to learn more about Tomiki Sensei’s Randori no Kata? The Missing Link  “I train several times a week, but continue to feel slow, tight, and mechanical during randori, or free practice.” Welcome to the club! Many of us feel this wa...

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Ann Arbor Aikido Seminar with Satoh Tadayuki-Sensei

Ann Arbor Aikido Seminar with Satoh Tadayuki-Sensei

2018 Spring Aikido, Judo, & Jujutsu Seminar March 16, 17, & 18, 2018 Are you ready to take your martial arts to the next level? Want to learn a set of skills to safely and systematically move from basic techniques to effective, free-flowing, real time application? Did you know there’s an approach to elevate your training that helps whether you’re involved in judo, jujutsu or a...

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The Mind is Upright

The Mind is Upright

The late Yamaguchi Katsuo Sensei, Iaido Meijin 10th Dan, wrote a forward to my first book The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship . He wrote, in part, this: The secret to iaido is a calm spirit. With a tranquil heart you put your hand on the hilt of your sword - in a split second your hand moves to cut down the opponent and resheath the sword - then return to your composed mind. A serene spirit must be...

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Martial Arts Training in the Land of the Living

Martial Arts Training in the Land of the Living

There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. - Thornton Wilder The well known American swordsman John Ray visited JMAC several years ago. It was a wonderful moment for me to meet someone who had lived an experience similar to my own ... moving to Japan, studying iaido for years, having success there, and returning to teach in t...

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Martial Arts and the Magic of Persistance

Martial Arts and the Magic of Persistance

Sometimes just sticking with a thing is enough to separate yourself from the crowd. If you've been in the traditional martial arts for any length of time, you've heard your teacher mention how many of the best aspects of training come only after years or decade of persistence. Sometimes it's about sticking with what you're doing even for a few years, and then taking time to reflec...

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Get Inspired Again in Martial Arts | Ann Arbor

Get Inspired Again in Martial Arts | Ann Arbor

Get Inspired Again! It's easy to fall into slothful habits and overeating. I've seen more than a few students disappear during the later part of the year, only to reappear in January carrying a few more pounds and a little shame because of the lost training time. I remember a teacher telling me years ago that "if you miss a week of training, it will take you three weeks to get back t...

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Visualize During Your Martial Arts Classes

Almost Nobody Does This! This week's suggestion is really, really important. It's different from the way almost everybody practices. In fact, almost everybody I've trained with or taught in 46 years who's mediocre or just "pretty good" at martial arts does this wrong, and almost everybody who's very good or exceptional has figured out how to do this well. So here it ...

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Finding a Martial Arts Role Model

Find a Role Model   We’ve been thinking a lot about how to get better, both in martial arts and in life. Here are some thoughts about finding and following a role model:   One shorter path to success is to follow someone who has already walked it. Find someone who has achieved what you hope to achieve. For many of you, this will be your Sensei (your “Master” in Tae Kwo...

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

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

It’s about the martial arts training, not the rank!   In nearly 50 years of martial arts training, competing, deep study, and teaching, I’ve seen it over and over. There IS a real difference between the exceptional martial artist and the average student. The exceptional martial artist keeps rank in its proper perspective.   They know that the momentary joy of getting a new b...

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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 t...

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

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

Is Judo effective when it comes to self-defense? Yes! But first you have to get good at it. Judo means "gentle way", not because it is an easy martial art, but because everyone can partake and benefit from training. Judo focuses on using efficiency and technique in overcoming an opponent, rather than brute strength. Judo was first established as an effective martial art when judoka domi...

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

Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu share an arsenal of effective, deadly chokehold techniques. These dominating submissions are popular in the military, MMA, and self-defense. The beauty of the chokehold is that it requires minimal amounts of force and provides leverage against bigger opponents. The similarities between the Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu chokeholds are no coincidence. At the turn of the ...

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The Age Martial Art Masters Started Training

The Age Martial Art Masters Started Training

Toshihiko Koga - 6 Judo Olympic champion. Kayla Harrison - 6 Olympic gold medalist 2012. Bruce Lee - 8 Martial arts film star and master. Chojun Miyagi - 9 Goju-ru Karate founder - blended Okinawan and Chinese styles.   Masahiko Kimura - 9 An arm lock is named after him because he broke Helio Gracie's arm. Judo master. Rika Usami - 10 Female Karate kata champion. Gichin Funakoshi - 11 Fo...

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

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

Consider your martial arts experience:     ⁃    Do you find yourself panicking during falls, joint locks, choke holds, testing, or randori (free practice)?     ⁃    Is your movement so tense and rigid that it is difficult to execute techniques?     ⁃    Do you ever feel so stressed that your breathing ...

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

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

Judo 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". Judoka 柔道家 means "judo practitioner". Although it traditionally refers to those of 4...

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Ann Arbor | Karate Words You Want to Know

Ann Arbor | Karate Words You Want to Know

Karate 空手 means "empty hand". It was invented in Okinawa, formerly the Ryukyu Islands, under the influence of Chinese martial arts. It was brought to the Japanese mainland with the intent of creating a systematic combat style. Karate focuses on strikes, such as punching and kicking. Karateka 空手家 means "a practitioner of karate". If you are a karate student, you are a...

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Ann Arbor | Martial Arts Etiquette

Ann Arbor | Martial Arts Etiquette

The purpose of etiquette in martial arts is to ensure the safety of those training and enhance the quality of training. How to Bow Standing (Shizentai) The heels are together, the back is straight, and the hands rest naturally at the sides of the body.   ...

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

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

History 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 ...

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

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

The Good Olympic gold medalist, Kayla Harrison, brought home gold from the Judo Grand Slam Tokyo. Claiming first place in women's under 78 kg, she upset the home crowd in Japan and became the first American judoka to take first place at this particular tournament. The European Judo Union (EJU) celebrated the 50 years that Judo has been in the Olympics. Judo's Olympic debut took place at T...

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

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

Consider the following words:   banana      vomit   Certain images come to mind. You can imagine the sweet, yellow fruit that is the banana. Perhaps even your memory was able to access the taste of the fruit. When you read the two words together, your mind began to make an uncomfortable association between the fruit and a sense of nausea.   Daniel Kahneman ...

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Martial Arts Fitness | How Martial Artists Around the World Eat

Martial Arts Fitness | How Martial Artists Around the World Eat

The diet of a martial artist impacts how he or she performs. From eating to gain strength to maintaining optimal health, diet is an integral part of martial arts fitness. Here's a quick presentation of what past and present martial artists eat: Shaolin Monks This diet is based on Buddhist concepts, such as simplicity and pacifism. What is eaten is not only to fuel the body at its essential le...

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Judo Fitness (Ann Arbor) - Combination Series 1

Judo is an excellent way to improve your physical and mental fitness.   In this video, Instructor Dana Jackson demonstrates some excellent Judo combos that can be used for randori , or competition fighting.   Video Key Points Timing : Notice his swift timing during the transitions between the throws.   Structure : Even if his first throw doesn't work, he has a strong structure ...

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

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

Andrea Derler is a powerhouse. She knows German and English, and has international experience in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.   During the day, she is a consultant associate for LEAD Institute and hosts leadership workshops through Washtenaw Community College. She is a PhD candidate in Economics, with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Development.  ...

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

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

What if you could live the life you’ve always wanted? Picture it. What does it look like? Are you living that life right now ? In a Huffington Post article on the “ Top 5 Regrets of the Dying ”, a nurse found that the most common regret was; “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” When you’re over 50...

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What is a Tenugui?

What is a Tenugui?

What is a Tenugui ? A tenugui is a piece of dyed cotton cloth.   The History of the Tenugui The tenugui was first used as an accessory for Shinto rituals during the Heian period (AD 794 – 1192).  It became popular during the Kamakura period (1192 – 1333). As cotton became more abundant, the tenugui became a staple in Japanese attire. It was commonly worn during the Edo perio...

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Differences in Japanese Martial Arts Names: From Aikido to Jujutsu

Differences in Japanese Martial Art Names   The Difference Between “Budō” and “Bujutsu” Budō bu war Translation: martial way, way of war dō way, path Bujutsu bu war Translation: science of war, martial craft jutsu technique Budō focuses a lot on a “way of life” or a path. The word tends to refer to the more philosophical aspect of martial arts.   ...

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

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

Did you know that across the globe 3-5% of martial artists go on to earn black belts? At the Japanese Martial Arts Center, the percent of people who have started training and become black belts is about 2%. That means that out of 100 people, 2 students made it to shodan! Ann Arbor University of Michigan graduate students stand a much higher chance of earning a PhD! Why the low percentage at JMAC?...

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Health Benefits of Martial Arts

Reasons Why You Should Take Advantage of Ann Arbor Martial Arts Programs What if I told you that there was a way to achieve the following characteristics? Become happy and relieve stress Lose weight Gain fast twitch muscles, flexibility, and strength Slow the aging process Join a community of healthy, well-balanced people Become more intelligent You probably think you’re being sold a pill. ...

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Martial Arts Ann Arbor

The Right Fit: Among the Best Martial Arts Ann Arbor Has to Offer Whether you're a seasoned martial artist or someone who's never been involved in martial arts, Ann Arbor provides many choices that are of high quality and integrity. It can be difficult to choose which program to start with when there's such a variety. Some questions that you might ask when picking a program are: &ldqu...

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