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!

Women practicing karate in Ann Arbor

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) 720-0330 to arrange a time to visit or get your questions answered. If you’re more comfortable with email, you can reach us at

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