Martial Arts Michigan






Known in Brazil as “a arte suave” or “the gentle art”, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective form of realistic self-defense against a larger, stronger, more athletic attacker.

What makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so unique is that all the techniques are based on effective use of leverage and precise timing so that virtually anyone can use them, man or woman, regardless of their size or athletic ability.

Almost every other martial art is based on teaching its students to use their physical attributes, such as strength, speed and explosiveness to overwhelm and eventually defeat their opponent.  This strategy may work if you are fighting against someone that is your size or smaller than you, but against a larger, more athletic attacker, this will only put you in a situation where you will become exhausted much faster and/or put you in range to be knocked out.  Every time you get in range to punch or kick your opponent, they are in range to punch or kick you.  Although you may get lucky and knock your opponent out,  the risk of getting hit in the process by a larger,  more athletic opponent is too high. Thus,  making this a very unreliable strategy.

The strategy of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner is to use our perfected, leverage and timing based techniques that will exhaust our opponents and keep us out of range of taking damage, while at the same time, preserving our own energy until the opportunity arises to end the fight by using a joint lock or chokehold.

Due to its strategies and real world effectiveness, in 2002, the United States Army officially adopted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as its foundation for hand-to-hand combat with the publication of the MACP (Modern Army Combatives Program).  It is now the standard used by all branches of the Untied States Armed Forces.

BJJ Instructor in Michigan

Second Degree Black Belt Scott Zapczynski is the owner and head instructor of the Metro Detroit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. He is an officially certified BJJ Black Belt under world renowned BJJ legend, Ricardo De La Riva. Scott is a very experienced instructor having begun his BJJ training in 1997 and fortunate to have spent 4 months per year for nearly 10 years living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and training everyday at Master De La Riva’s academy in Copacabana.

This is where Scott honed his skills as a competitor and instructor having spent countless hours on the mats in Rio de Janeiro and many hours training privately with his Master and great friend Ricardo De La Riva. The knowledge, leadership, guidance, integrity, friendship and loyalty taught to him by Master De La Riva are what will be passed on to the students of the Metro Detroit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Scott is a full-time professional owner/instructor fully dedicated to helping the students of the academy. This is not just a part time job or hobby for him. Scott continues to increase his knowledge and skill by making regular trips to train in Brazil and also with Master De La Riva in the US, as he frequently travels here to visit his Black Belt instructors.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a never-ending journey of knowledge, skill and efficiency. One of the great things about BJJ is that every Black Belt started as a White Belt and had to encounter each experience, positive and frustrating, that you will encounter as you rise through the ranks from white to blue to purple to brown and finally to black belt and beyond. The Black Belt is just further down the path of that journey. The knowledge and experience of a qualified Black Belt instructor is invaluable for the guidance of the students just beginning and thoughout their journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

BJJ Michigan

MDBJJ EAST-Shelby Township Academy

Our Shelby Township academy provides the necessary training environment to safely and effectively train our students in all the programs that we offer.  Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training room is equipped with an 800 sqft. permanent seamless flooring system made up of 2″ thick athletic grade foam covered by an 18oz. smooth vinyl tarp and fully padded walls.  This area is completely padded for maximum safety that will prevent impact injuries while  allowing our students to train highly effective techniques  including groundfighting, takedowns and throws  without fear of injury.  Our seamless vinyl floor provides students peace of mind that they are always training on a hygienic surface free from mat disease and also no risk of  broken fingers or toes, both of which can be prevalent when training on interlocking “puzzle mats”.

Our 2400 sq ft. carpeted striking training area is fully equipped with everything our boxing and muay thai kickboxing students need to train including a plethora of heavy bags, muay thai bags, double end bags, mitts, thai pads, footwork stations, jump rope stations etc.

Spacious men’s and women’s lockerooms are available to MDBJJ members that include showers, private lockers, and sauna.

MDBJJ WEST-Rochester Hills Academy

1050 W. Hamlin Rd., Suite 200, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

Jiu Jitsu Rochester Hills

Jiu Jitsu Rochester Hills Michigan

self defense programs in michigan

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Our mission at the MDBJJ Academy is to teach our students the techniques, principles and strategies of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You will be taught how to always position yourself to maximize your leverage and control in any self-defense situation or competition. You will be taught how and when to apply your leverage and control to defend yourself against much larger , stronger, fully resisting attackers or opponents. Through this training, you will gain self discipline, self control, patience, focus, physical fitness and great confidence that will be applied not only on the mats in the academy but in every aspect of your life!


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