Children and Teens

Traverse City’s Favorite Family Friendly Dojo


Call now to schedule your appointment 231-313-6900

Studies everywhere have shown that learning martial arts has many benefits for children and teens. The discipline and focus that are key in Kenpo and Kung-Fu filter into all aspects of a student’s life. Young children benefit from improving the connection between body and mind helping to improve dexterity and muscle control. Martial arts can even be therapeutic for children with some problem behaviors; it has been proven effective in aiding ADD and ADHD, teaching conflict resolution over fighting, and is a powerful tool in the fight against childhood obesity.


Traverse City Self Defense - Children Learning Martial Arts

Martial Arts Styles We Teach

Traverse City Self Defense instructors have over 40 years of direct teaching experience. We represent the best styles of martial arts for children and adults, and craft our curriculum around that. It is our goal to ensure that no child is left behind and provide a self paced, low pressure learning atmosphere.

Traverse City Self Defense - Jim Adkins Instructing Children

The Best Child Friendly Styles of Martial Arts

  • American Kenpo – Kenpo is known as an alphabet of movement. It focuses on effective techniques and precision without wasted movements. This makes for a great art to teach children, with practical moves and a focus on control.
  • Shaolin Kung Fu – Our Kung-Fu is based on traditional Shaolin and Wushu, which provides flexibility and a huge feeling of accomplishment for our young students.


Our Child Friendly Dojo

We know the struggle of being parents, and the worry of providing a safe environment for our children. Master Jim Adkins has spent decades teaching and working with children and teens. His teaching style is welcoming for children of all ages, and provides a supportive and positive framework for learning martial arts of Kenpo and Kung-Fu.

Affordable After School Classes

Any parent with a busy schedule knows that time and money are always limited. We worked with our student’s parents to find the best time for the classes and have tried to make attending our classes as convenient for our students and their families as possible. We provide affordable classes and have pride in the fact that nearly any parent can afford our martial arts classes. It’s just $200 for the first 3 months of your child’s classes, and that price INCLUDES a UNIFORM. After that, the normal cost is $100/month there are no hidden fees or expensive required equipment. We also offer family rates to help you save when more than 1 family member takes classes with us.


Traverse City Self Defense - Jim Adkins Demonstrating To Children


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