About Us

Jim Adkins Self Defense and Kung Fu Institute.



Traverse City Michigan and The World.

Voted Best Martial Arts Self Defense and Professional Growth Studio in Northern Michigan. American Kenpo, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Ninjutsu,

Master James R. Adkins holds a 9th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo under Grand Master Larry Tatum. Mr. Adkins has studied Kenpo systems, including, but not limited to, IKKA, NCKKA, LTKKA, and AKKA. Master Sifu Adkins holds Black Belts in Shaolin Kung Fu and Ninjutsu. An expert in Weapons and all forms of Hand to Hand Combat, Sifu is a Philosopher and a Student of Life. Master Adkins is the schools Master Instructor. He has been a Martial Artist for over 42 years, Teaching for more than 40 years.

Sifu holds Graduate Degrees from ASU including a degree in Philosophy.

Certified Life and Health Coach

Jim is a Husband, Father, grandfather, and teacher. Scholar and Philosopher

We are traditional and innovative in our ways of teaching and open-minded in the new way we see our arts.

We pride ourselves in the way we were taught and how we grow our Students. We are not a “McDojo” Who will stamp you into a mold, charge you for a test and pass you because you pay. We are NOT a bully factory either. Many of the schools I see today focused on the “Cage” do not have a real understanding of the totality that is TRUE MARTIAL ARTS. You are an individual and will be treated and taught as such.

Call now to set up your appointment  231-313-6900

Our system is based on Real Self Defense for Real Life situations, not the latest fad. We also pride ourselves on the personal growth that comes with learning a “True Martial Art”, from “Real Instructors” who have been there. Not just from books or videos. We don’t claim to be the “End All Be All” for everyone, In fact, not everyone will be accepted as a student. You must reach out and find the School that is right for you.

“Let me help you in your search”. “I would love the opportunity to meet you and talk further”. Please Call or Email us to set up your interview.

Thank You,

Grand Master James R. Adkins 9th degree black belt

Hall of fame member and world record holder.

Self Defense World Wide and our home Traverse City Michigan.

Self Defense means different things to different people. Here in Traverse City there are a few different choices for “Martial Arts” There are the “Sport Karate”  There are “Fad Classes”  Then there are the more focused Martial Art Classes 

American Kenpo has proven itself. It is a COMPLETE ALPHABET OF MOTION. The Teachings and concepts are tailored to the individual, ranging from the most basic to the most advanced.  This is why the Special forces and Police Departments, Advanced Martial Artist and Parents around the world look to Kenpo for there true Self Defense needs.

Shaolin Kung Fu is an art form like no other but ALL other martial art forms have used its teachings to grow their own paths. From the timeless classic Kung Fu Movies, the David Carradine series “Kung Fu” in the 1970’s to Jackie Chan, Jet Li and even the “Kung Fu Panda” Shaolin is held in high regard and with immense respect. The training methods of Shaolin Mind Body and Spirit resonate throughout the self-defense of Master Jim Adkins and his schools of Martial Arts. After over 28 years of Kung Fu practice in the States and time spent in China at the Shaolin Temple, Master Adkins earned his Discipleship and was accepted as a personal student of the Shaolin Abbot Shi YongXin by way and recommendation of Shi YanJian. Master Adkins was given the Shaolin Name Shi YanXiang, that roughly translates to 32nd generation Shaolin Disciple “Bringer of Success” or “Auspicious one”. This is a great honor

NINJA, Ninjutsu. Taught to the mountain people of IGA by a Shaolin Monk, Ninja have been known as skilled fighters for centuries. Weapons experts of every kind. Military around the world have used the tactics of the NINJA for hundreds of years. Masters of “THE SELF” Ninja try to avoid conflict whenever possible. Ninja pay very close attention to life and its movement.

“Ninja” added a dimension to my Kenpo with its weapon training and discovery of self, Philosophy, and avoidance techniques that many schools leave out, never learned or simply don’t understand”. Ninja skill sets offer a balance in the very powerful self-defense of my Kenpo.

Tai Chi: We practice and teach the YANG TAI CHI, WU DANG TAI CHI and CHEN TAI CHI with the Self defense applications and Weapons translations along with the details of the whole art. If You are looking to simply move the Tai Chi you will see benefits and almost anyone can walk you through a move.

We have a Tai Chi Exercise class you can join that will do just that teach you the moves and help you walk through them. If you are looking for the Whole Truth and deeper meanings of the Tai Chi, We have a class for you too.

Call now to find out more. 231-313-6900

“Life is sometimes more than breath and movement, yet very few pay attention to the heartbeat of the now”.

master Jim Adkins