Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nihon Goshin Aikido Level I Certified Instructor

We were pleased to present Bryan Winfree, Ni-Dan, with a Level 1 Instructor Certification in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido.  Bryan has been training and teaching at our academy for over 12 years and has been team-teaching with me every week for the last 3 years. He most certainly understands and upholds  our high standards when teaching our official curriculum.  He is a great example for students, a great leader on the mat and an exemplary martial artist.  I look forward to having Bryan as an instructor for many years to come.  Also, look out for him in Irmo!

Carter's Academy of Self-Defense - Irmo, South Carolina 

Our youth classes have been growing like crazy in Irmo, our Friday class is now full and Bryan Winfree wants to expand his teaching hours in the Irmo, SC area. These three things could not have come at a better time!  In January, 2014, we will be adding more Aikido classes on our schedule in Irmo.  Bryan has partnered with a long time friend and Karate training colleague, Nikki Knits.  Her dojo is located at 7960 Broad River Road. Adult, Youth and Women's Self-Defense classes will be held throughout the week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with more classes to be added.  Please check our website and facebook page for more information.   Aikido students and potential Aikido students can contact us at 803.546.6079 for more information.

Women's Self-Defense

We have been having a great time with all our Women's Self-Defense Classes, Seminars and Workshops.  We are conducting regular classes every Tuesday at 7:00pm in Lexington and Every Other Saturday at 12:30pm in Irmo.  Lauren Loftley, (Black-Belt in Ju-Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Completion of Gracie Combative's Course and a Richland County Sheriff's Deputy) assists me with this class.  Pretty Good Huh Ladies!

In this class, we cover the 15 most common attacks a female would face from a male attacker. And with the state of South Carolina ranking Number 1 in the country for WOMEN BEING MURDERED BY MEN, our communities can use all the self-defense instruction we can get.  Please visit us at or call me at 803.546.6079 for more information.  No experience is required and the first class is always free.

See you on the mats!

Sensei John Carter

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Master Cycle Coming September, 2013.

Beyond blue belt, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu consists of hundreds of advanced techniques organized into a clearly defined, systematic curriculum called the Master Cycle. The Master Cycle's unique structure simplifies the journey to black belt by organizing all of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu into seven positional chapters (Mount, Side Mount, Guard, Half Guard, Back Mount, Leg Locks, Standing), each of which is studied for several months before moving on to the next chapter. If you've achieved the rank of blue belt or higher, and you would like to continue on the path to black belt in a safe, structured, and friendly learning environment, the Master Cycle is for you!

Contact us for more information: 803.546.6079 or


Friday, September 27th at 6:00pm 
Carter's Academy of Self-Defense - Lexington, SC
Level 2 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center
RSVP: or 803.546.6079

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's been awhile since my last post. My academy has seen an extremely busy summer and fall and we are looking forward to a great holiday season and an even better 2013! We just completed our Rener Gracie Seminar Series at my academy which was a huge success. We had great support from our local students as well as students coming in from outside of South Carolina. I enjoyed meeting all of our out of town guests and look forward to staying connected with our new friends. As usual with Rener teaching, he covered very practical and effective techniques with precision and detail. Everyone enjoyed the seminars and the "Renergy" was definitely present. I appreciate him taking the time to come out to my academy and I look forward to seeing him again soon.

Me, Benjamin & Rener Gracie - December, 2012

We conducted two adult seminar sessions and a bullyproof session in the afternoon.  I appreciate all the help I received from my assistants and of those students who brought in fruit, water and especially Lisa's world famous spring rolls.

Rener Gracie Seminar - Lexington, SC 2012

All our self-defense programs are doing well.  Our youth and adult Nihon Goshin Aikido classes are well attended and students are progressing nicely.  We will be adjusting some of our classes for January, 2013 to accommodate the growth of our student body and the demand for additional training.  The Little Samurai classes are doing great and the kids are keeping me on my toes!  Our Youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes are growing every month and our Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Combatives classes are as busy as ever.  We will be hitting the Master Cycle Classes (blue-belt curriculum) hard starting January, 2013.  I want to congratulate all our students who made their Gracie Blue-Belts in 2012 and welcome each of you and many others to the Master Cycle!

Lastly, our Women's Self-Defense classes will be going into full gear. I will be conducting our bi-annual Free Women's Self-Defense Workshop on Saturday, December 8, 2012. We will be rolling out our 10-week, women-only group class that will address the most common attacks a female would face. Please see our website or Facebook page for class schedule and details.

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and has a great 2013!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you on the mats.

Sensei John Carter

Friday, April 13, 2012

Featured Gracie CTC, Women's Self-Defense Course, Nihon Goshin Aikido Online, Youth Summer Camp....Oh My!

It's been a busy 2012! Our academy has been full of positive energy, we've enjoyed well attended classes and have had many new student enrollments. Our academy was recently the featured Gracie Certified Training Center by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Headquarter's Academy. You can check out our video tour by clicking on the link below.

We also will be offering a much needed and very important Women's Self-Defense Course on Saturday, April 28th. It is currently full, but please contact us if you would like to attend. We could have a student or two cancel. We will also be offering another course in the Fall.  Make sure you visit our Facebook page and "like" us to keep updated on academy events.

Nihon Goshin Aikido Online is now live. All active Carter's Academy students receive free unlimited access to our online videos on our academy website (*Special Consideration Can Be Made For Non-Academy Students - Call or Email for Details). Instructional videos will include classical techniques, applications, strikes and more. See me at the academy for your username and password.

Lastly, our popular Youth Summer Camp is now scheduled and we are taking registrations. A great time will be had by all who are in attendance and no experience is required! We still have a few slots remaining, so please register early. To secure your spot, contact me at 803.546.6079 or at

See you on the mats!

Sensei John Carter

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

YOUTH SUMMER CAMP - June 25th through June 29th!

We just set the dates for our 2012 Youth Summer Camp. It will be Monday, June 25th - Friday, June 29th. Space is limited, so register early. I have included a few highlights below from last years camp. No experience necessary and this is open to all students as well as your siblings, friends and neighbors. See me at the academy for more information and to register. Flyer's and registration forms go out this week.

We just completed another successful summer camp. The kids and instructors all had a great time. Some of the activities during the camp included, "Bully Battles", Jiu-Jitsu Training, Japanese Calligraphy, Bullysafe and Stranger Awareness Discussions, Sensei Carter's Famous "Circle of Pain", an action packed grappling tournament, and good ole' fashion dodge ball. Needless to say we had a blast. We introduced a new activity called "Battle Sticks". This is where each kid got to take me on and battle it out with pugil sticks (the two ended staff). Of course the two ends are padded foam and the kids all wore protective gear. They certainly got in some nice shots.

I want to thank Matthew Palmer (Sienna's Dad) for coming by on Wednesday to teach as about Japanese culture. Everyone loved learning how to write in Japanese. Stay tuned for our Japanese Culture Night at the dojo where we will learn more about the Japanese traditions, make sushi, and have other activities.

We topped the camp off with the grappling tournament on the last day. The kids were excited all week for this event. We learned valuable ground-defense skills throughout the week that were put to the test during our tournament. All the kids showed, poise, character and good sportsmanship. It was very exciting to watch, coach and referee this activity. All the kids performed exceptionally well and appreciated the medals they earned. I was a very proud Sensei after all was said and done.

I want to thank all the kids and instructors for attending our camp and I look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Japanese Story Time

Fun with Jiu-Jitsu

Top Control
Proud Calligraphers

Bullyproof Lesson

Sensei making his point


Competitive Spirit

Japanese Calligraphy
Tournament Medals

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break Closings

We will be closed on Wednesday, April 4th through Tuesday, April 10th.

We will re-open on Wednesday April 11th at 5:00pm.

Have a safe spring break and a Happy Easter!

Sensei John Carter