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.  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?

Safe! Train safely today so you can train tomorrow.  It can take years to gain competence in your art, so safe training is critical! You can learn a lot about the safety of a dojo by talking to the instructor(s), getting feedback from students, and observing a class or two.  Is the dojo clean? Does the instructor respect the students? Even the simplest technique can be dangerous if taught by an incompetent teacher. How about the students?  Are they helpful and friendly? Use your spidey-sense and gut instinct to discern the culture of the dojo.  How does it feel?  

Systematic! What is the focus of the art?  Is it all ground work?  Is it strikes and throws?  Is it both standing and groundwork?  It's important to ask when you visit the dojo.  Ask yourself, "Do I want to do all floor work or would I rather have a variety of skills in my toolkit?"  Since most fights begin standing a well-rounded set of skills could be the answer. Is there an organized progression within the art itself, or is it less standardized?  What is the progression of ranks?  Are there fees associated with testing?

Supportive! Approach is everything!  Are you seeking a traditional dojo or non-traditional dojo?  Traditional martial arts dojos offer a verifiable lineage in a recognized historical style; a respectful atmosphere; reasonable fees, and basic formalities. One reason many people seek out traditional martial arts is to get decorum and mutual respect. Martial artists who want to become leaders recognize the importance of the quiet confidence that only traditional martial arts training can instill.  Ask yourself, "what am I seeking from this training?"

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

The similarities and differences between Nihon Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiujitsu techniques and overall dojo environment are simplified below:

Nihon Jujutsu Brazilian Jiujitsu
1. Standing and groundwork 1. Groundwork
2. Formal 2. Informal
3. All Gi 3. Gi and No-Gi
4. Striking 4. No striking
5. Philosophical 5. Not always philosophical
6. More systematic progression 6. Less systematic progression
7. Traditional 7. Not always traditional
8. Japanese culture, clean, well lit 8. No Japanese culture

Nihon Jujutsu

  1. Standing and groundwork
  2. Formal
  3. All Gi
  4. Striking
  5. Philosophical
  6. More systematic progression
  7. Traditional
  8. Japanese culture, clean, well lit

Brazilian Jiujitsu

  1. Groundwork
  2. Informal
  3. Gi and No-Gi
  4. No striking
  5. Not always philosophical
  6. Less systematic progression
  7. Not always traditional
  8. No Japanese culture

More detail about history, techniques, and spelling can be found in this article.

The JMAC Ann Arbor Difference

Why train at JMAC? 

In a few words: JMAC is dedicated to expertise and helping you build extraordinary character. Our instructors are highly trained and motivated to help you learn. Our facility is beautiful and helps inspire you to look inside yourself and learn. Our sprung floor will help keep you healthy. Our dues rates are reasonable. Our location is easy to get to. We have ample, free parking. We offer time-tested methods for helping you improve yourself, body, mind, and spirit! Contact us today at to visit a class!

JMAC Approach

People who practice budo are members of a special group. They are seekers of truth, people who want something more from life than a paycheck and a nice home. They make unique contributions to their communities and to the world. They seek the true Japanese martial arts experience.

Here at JMAC, we make ourselves better through consistent, long-term practice. We like being in shape, we like having a mission of personal improvement, and we like knowing that we have a place where our instructors are also devoted to a lifetime of self-improvement. 

The ideal martial artist:

  • Sets high standards for him or herself.
  • Abides by a code of personal conduct.
  • Values sincerity and politeness.
  • Is loyal, honor-bound, and courageous.

Training the whole person:

We help train the whole person through the traditional techniques and philosophies of the Japanese martial arts, with the goal of developing healthy, confident members of society. We strive to:

  • Strengthen your body with time-tested skills.
  • Train your mind through the discipline of kata.
  • Forge your spirit with focused repetition.

An exceptional training environment:

Our students love to practice. You will find that class is always enjoyable because you learn in an atmosphere of integrity, mutual respect and dedication.

  • Your training is systematic and safe.
  • You benefit from Ann Arbor's only fully sprung martial arts floor!
  • The techniques you learn are dynamic and based on proper physical structure.
  • You learn effective self-defense in judo and jujutsu.

Do you want to get started on your mission of personal improvement?

  • Observe a Class: If you're interested in Japanese martial arts, we'd love to have you come watch a class. Call us at (734) 645-6441 to arrange a time to visit or to talk more about which martial art you want to try!
  • Introductory Lessons: Participate in two 30-minute private lessons with an expert instructor (you can take the free intros with a friend).
  • One Year Membership: Sign up and lock in your low dues rate for one year. Pay only your first 2 months dues to start.  
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: Try training at JMAC for two months. Discontinue your membership within 60 days if it's not for you!