Jim Adkins Self Defense and Kung Fu Institute




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,

Jim Adkins, 9th Degree Black Belt in American KenpoMaster 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.

Jim is a Husband, Father, a grandfather, Teacher and a Friend.

We are “Old School” in our ways of teaching respect and Self Discipline,  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. You are an individual and will be treated and taught as such.

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.

dojo-during-kenpo-classshaolin 157

Shaolin Kung Fu Taught at White Tiger Martial Arts

Shaolin Kung Fu is an art form like no other.

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 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.

The Real Ninjutsu

Ninjas Were Revered and Feared for Their Deadly Skills

NINJA or Ninjutsu, Has a great reputation of mystery.  That has never been more true than in the perception of the public today. Ninjutsu was 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 throughout the world have used the tactics of the NINJA for hundreds of years.

Masters of “THE SELF” Ninja tried to avoid conflict whenever possible.

Ninja pay very close attention to life and its movement. The Real Ninja of today walk among you much like the Ninja of old. Mostly goodhearted people who chose to live free and safe from those would otherwise choose to oppress their freedoms. Training only to protect their way of life Ninja skills were used to help protect their families and eventually others.

Moving beyond the need to keep to themselves, Ninja eventually had to venture out knowing sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Espionage, Reconnaissance, and Propaganda become the commonsense view of smarter warfare.

The Martial art of the ninja is a total self-awareness art and leads to a greater knowledge of your true intentions reasons and purpose for action.  Ninja, when added to the teachings in our Kenpo create a foundation for one of the most effective and complete self-defense systems around today. Jim Adkins Kenpo Karate Studios have blended and developed a system from there.

Integrating Ninjutsu with Other Arts

“Ninja added new dimensions to my Kenpo”.  “With its weapons training and discovery of self, Philosophy, and avoidance, my self-defense took on new directions”. “Ninja skill sets offer a balance in the very powerful self-defense of my Kenpo”.


We do not accept everyone into the NINJA program. If you feel this is your calling or something you would really like to explore further please contact me for an interview. I will be glad to talk to you further.

GM Jim Adkins

Jim Adkins Kenpo – Built for Self Defense


Jim Adkins Self Defense KenpoApplying self defense techniques taught globally right here in TC.

Self Defense means different things to different people. Seek out a qualified Instructor and sit down to discuss your goals and options. NEVER sign a contract on the first visit…

There are many options available to you, and many reasons people seek the martial arts. FADS, SPORT, SELF DEFENSE, LIFE GOALS, etc. You will not find ONE that will be an expert at all of the above. So, What do you want? Not Sure… Call me and set up an appointment. With my 40 + years experience I will help you make the right choice, Even if that choice is not me. Locally there are 2 other schools I trust will treat you right. They are more of the sport and fad types but the people are top notch. If you live outside our area, I can help you find a trusted and qualified mentor if you need. I have many friends around the world who are masters in their field. If I don’t know them, someone I know, will. 🙂

Then there are the more focused Martial Art Classes taught by true masters of the art….

American Kenpo Has Proven Itself to Be the Most Practical Self Defense Art From

Jim Adkins Kenpo is a COMPLETE ALPHABET OF MOTION. The Teachings and concepts are tailored to the individual, ranging from the most basic to the most advanced. “Jim Adkins Kenpo, Traverse City’s Personal Defense expert can help you discover your own path to personal self-defense. The first week you will learn a technique that you will be able to protect yourself with for the rest of your life. Jim’s expertise is one  of the many reasons Special forces, Police Departments, Advanced Martial Artist and Parents around the world look to Master Jim Adkins     

Jim Adkins is a 9th degree black belt student and friend of Grand Master Larry Tatum. Starting his Martial Arts Journey back in the early 1970’s, Jim Adkins has studied with many great masters of the arts. Sharpening the skills that worked best, Master Adkins has developed his own blend of the top Self Defense and Life Changing Arts around.

“Our focus here is not just how to physically move your self-defense.” “At Jim Adkins Kenpo Karate studios, we take all the best life coaching skills and help direct you to become the Best You, you can be”. We take great pride in what we do and know that the time you share with us is valuable time. We appreciate your dedication and will give you the respect and patience it takes to learn a life skill as important as this.


Hope to see you soon.

With Love and Peace.

Master Jim Adkins



As a USMC Veteran, My discipline and education is Very Important to me. Building Confidence and Staying healthy are my top priorities. That being said, In the almost 2 years i have had the HONOR and PRIVILEGE of learning from Master Sifu Jim Adkins and the other instructors and fellow students at White Tiger Martial Arts, I have grown exponentially in many ways that i was unable to grow in any other Martial Arts Style. I have spent almost 30 years practicing Various Martial Art systems such as American Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kune Do, Other Kenpo styles, and Some other temp college courses of Aikido, and Judo/Jujitsu. WHITE TIGER MARTIAL ARTS is by far the best fit for anyone looking to better themselves in any approach. Mental, Physical, philosophical, survival, preservation, Great health, Self Discipline, Sportsmanship, Unity, Fellowship, Teamwork, and growth. Master Sifu Jim Adkins in my opinion is the Greatest instructor and a True Master of the Martial Arts. He is the best of the best in my own opinion. May peace and tranquility be with you all. -OSS

~ Shane F

I have been a student of Master Sifu Adkins for over 20 years. Private lessons are geared towards each individual's needs and learning style. His classes are enlightening and engaging and I always leave with increased knowledge no matter how many times I have heard the subject matter. White Tiger Martial Arts is the school to join!

~ Nanci B

I am a Taekwondo Master (Certified, Kukkiwon 4th degree BB). Sifu Adkins is a Master Teacher of Teachers in the truest sense of the word. I can rant and rave about this man, but the only original phrase I can muster is this; He can truly hear the Grasshopper at your Feet. Do not deny yourself the privilege of his tutorage.

~ Daniel

I have known Master Adkins for many years. He is a fantastic role model for people of all ages. As for White Tiger Martial Arts, his dojo is one of the best. He has a genuine compassion for his students. He makes classes fun and engaging while making the hard task of learning new skills seem like a game. If you are looking for a fun, energetic, and exciting martial arts learning environment White Tiger Martial Arts is the place to be.

~ Brian R

Old school training where respect, discipline and self improvement are corner stones of this school along with a self defense system that gives the students the ability to defend themselves in today's world. Headed up by Grand Master Jim Adkins who has over three and a half decades of teaching experience, Mr. Adkins currently holds the rank of 9th degree black belt in American kenpo, a black belt in ninjutsu and a black sash in shaolin kung fu. The curriculum is as diverse as his students and Master Adkins is always available to assist his students with whatever difficulties they may face with their training or the day to day problems life throws their way. The lessons taught and learned are not just how to punch and kick but how to become a better more confident person with the ability to achieve any goal you choose to strive for. "The true goal of martial arts lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of one's character"

~ Craig V

I took my 7 yr old son to White Tiger for a couple years and it was the best experience we ever could have had. We will never forget the valuable life lessons he learned there, so much more than martial arts! This is the one and only place I would ever recommend for kids or adults to learn how to defend themselves and get fit. It's also very affordable.

~ Kelly V

You couldn't find a better place to study martial arts. The atmosphere is amazing and you find yourself in a family full of great people.

~ Makala

Jim Adkins is one of the best martial artists in the world, as well as a friend like none other I've met so far. You can trust him to have your best interests at heart. I've been a part of his school for the last nine years, and the amount of personal growth I have experienced in that time leaves me with the greatest gratitude for having found it.

~ Aeralus

White tiger martial arts has been the best thing that i have ever been apart of! This school feels like a family. With Master Sifu Jim Adkins instruction I and many others have obtained goals that i didnt even think possible. No matter what your reasons are for seeking out a martial arts school,this is the one to go to!!!

~ James T

I spent 3 years at White Tiger Martial Arts. It was an amazing time. Sifu Jim Adkins is highly qualified and one of the best men I have ever met in my life. He is caring, patient, and incredibly kind. He is a wonderful teacher for ages and skill levels. The family you gain through White Tiger is a family for life. I would highly recommend this dojo for anyone who wants to really learn the art of self-defense.

~ Laurn M

White Tiger is the best experience I've ever had, Master Sifu Jim Adkins is the best instructor you'll find when searching for a school. Going beyond punching hard or kicking fast, he teaches respect and morals and life lessons that have helped me and many other students he's had and has change for the better. The dojo becomes home and feels very welcoming, I'm glad I get to be a part of It all.

~ Austin F