Michigan Bujinkan Dojo

The Michigan Bujinkan Dojo was founded in 1989. Its continuing mission allows the opportunity for Michigan students to study the authentic martial arts of Hatsumi Sensei's Bujinkan Dojo. The Michigan Bujinkan Dojo has provided intense and dedicated training to the students and residents of the Ann Arbor area for over thirty years.


The Michigan Bujinkan is currently headed by Michael Asuncion, 15th Dan Dai Shihan.

The Michigan Bujinkan closely follows the most recent teachings of the Bujinkan Honbu Dojoin Japan. Students of the Michigan Bujinkan Dojo study goshinjutsu, a mindful joining of both traditional techniques and modern applications for self-protection. Training consists of such practices as ground breakfalls androlling skills (ukemi), unarmed combat (taijutsu), and traditional weapons(buki). These skills include striking and kicking, grappling and throwing, and effective use of traditional and modern weapons. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu integrates these methods and allows for the natural and effortless adaptation to each self-protection situation. Some facets of Michigan Bujinkan training include:

Taijutsu: Unarmed Combat Including Dakentaijutsu (Striking), Jutaijutsu (Throwing and Grappling), and Taihenjutsu (Body Movement Skills)

Bojutsu: Stickand Long Staff skills with the Rokushakubo, Jo, Hanbo, Jutte, Tessen, and Eda Koppo
Kenjutsu: Sword Skills with the Tachi, Katana, Ninja To, and Tanto
Sojutsu, Naginata, and Bisento: Spear, Halberd, and Giant Battlefield Halberd Fighting
Shurikenjutsu: Throwing Blade Skills with the Senban Shuriken and Bo Shuriken
Kyoketsu Shoge and Kusarifundo: Hook, Rope, and Ring and Weighted Chain Techniques
Jissen Goshinjutsu/Shinken Gata: Real Fighting and Modern Self-Protection

Training at the Michigan Bujinkan Dojo is supportive and non-competitive, emphasizing relaxed but spirited and disciplined practice. Students of varying skill levels learn and train together; much encouragement is placed on the senpai/kohai (senior/junior) relationship. Most importantly, the dangerous nature of Bujinkan training necessitates the proper cultivation of the warrior spirit.The development of a righteous and courageous heart joined with combative skill is the primary focus of Michigan Bujinkan training.

Chief Instructors

Michael Z. Asuncion, Ph.D. (15th Dan Dai Shihan, “Genryû” 玄龍) started training in the Bujinkan martial arts in 1985. As the head instructor of the Michigan Bujinkan Dojo since 1994, he very frequently travels to Japan to continue his personal training with Hatsumi Massaki Sensei, Bujinkan Soke. Michael Asuncion is also a trusted,personal student of Nagase Hiroshi Sensei (15th Dan) of Nagareyama, Chiba-Ken Japan. He is grateful to Nagase Sensei for his kindness in the sharing of hisfeeling, experience, and teachings. The Michigan Bujinkan is a Nagase Shibu Dojo.

Michael Asuncion passed the 5th Dan sakki test from Soke in 1995. In August of 2006 he received the 15th Dan (Judan Ku-i 十段空位),the highest rank in the Bujinkan. His awards and recognitions also include the Bujinkan Gold Dragon Medal (2010), Bujinkan Shingitai Bufu Ikkan Menkyo (2011),and Yushuu Shihan Menkyo (2015), all awarded directly from Hatsumi sensei. Most recently, in September of 2017 he was awarded the Dai Shihan Menkyo recognizing him as a great master teacher in the Bujinkan.

He has a B.S. in Chemistry, B.S. in Asian Languages and Culture (Japanese), and a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Andrew Dempz (14th Dan Shihan) began his martial arts training in 1996 at the Michigan Bujinkan Dojo. He travels annually to Japan to train with Hatsumi Sensei and the Japanese Shihan. In July of 2014 Andrew Dempz received the 12th Dan.  Outside of training, he works as an ASE Master Certified automotive technician, enjoys playing music, riding motorcycles, and rock climbing, and has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Derek B. Arciniaga (13th Dan Shihan) began training in the Bujinkan martial arts under the instruction of Shihan Michael Asuncion in 1999 while attending the University of Michigan. In 2002 he relocated to Chiba-ken, Japan to train directly with Shihan Nagase Hiroshi and at the Honbu Dojo with Soke Hatsumi Masaaki. Upon returning to the United States in 2004 he resumed training at the Michigan Bujinkan Dojo. He manages business development and sales in automotive and mobility at Panasonic and returns to Japan multiple times annually for training and work.

Gary Ciarkowski (13th Dan Shihan)

Interested in joining Michigan Bujinkan?

Training information

The Michigan Bujinkan Dojo is located on the central campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Training is located in "Multipurpose Room B" of the Intramural Sports Building (IMSB).  The dojo is open to UM students and non-students alike (18 and over), but non-university affiliated members must purchase a "UM Facilities Users Pass" to enter the buildings. For questions about participation in the dojo please e-mail mzasuncion@hotmail.com.