Sunday, December 28, 2008

New 2009 NGA (Nihon Goshin Aikido) Fundamentals Course

Sensei John Carter of the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense of Columbia, South Carolina has designed an innovative, specialty course for students of all levels who are interested in learning and drilling fundamental self-defense techniques. This is an eight-week revolving course consisting of basic self-defense tactics. We will run this course in our group classes along side our standard curriculum of classical techniques, self-defense applications, weapons defenses and attack lines. This course will be rolled out on Monday, January 5th, 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Year End Message From Sensei Carter

We have had a wonderful year here at the Columbia, South Carolina dojo. We have seen tremendous growth in our youth, adult and specialty programs. Our student body is the best. Our students work hard, have great attitudes and love to learn. I have personally been edified by the commitment the students have to the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido as well as living true Budo or "way of the warrior".

We hosted two successful training camps this year as well as a fun and action packed summer camp for the youth. We also had three sho-dan candidates pass their tests this year. We were able to promote one this year, and will have a double black-belt ceremony in early 2009 for the other candidates. We will have at least three sho-dans testing for Ni-Dan (2nd degree black-belt) in 2009, which is very exciting for our school. We have a host of students who have completed general rank tests and will kick off the New Year with many more students who are currently preparing to test. We will add more specialty classes in 2009 as more students are interested in our grappling, sparring and weapons offerings. There will be other upcoming procedural and instructional updates, so stay tuned and watch for special announcements.

Our new location in Irmo is well established and classes are filling up. I will be considering expanding the class hours at that location. Additionally, our associate school in Spartanburg, SC is also doing well. The Spartanburg dojo owner, Sensei John Wyndham and I have worked through alot this year in regards to our dojo operations and we will complete this year on a tremendously positive note. 2009 will be a great year for learning and training at both our dojos. I want to say thanks to my friend Sensei John Wyndham. He and I have known each other and have trained together for 23 years. We came up the ranks together, helped each other achieve our Sho-Dan, Ni-Dan and San-Dan certifications. We support each other in running our dojos, teaching our students, and improving our own martial skills. Mr. Wyndham is a great friend and I wish him and his family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

To all the Columbia, South Carolina students and those who have moved away from Columbia recently, I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Looking forward to a great New Year!

Sensei John Carter

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Training Camp - Columbia, SC Dojo

We held another successful training camp on Saturday, October 25th, 2008. The training was held from 12:30 to 5:30 and followed by a dinner at the dojo at 6:00. Sensei John Wyndham covered reversals and recoveries from Nihon Goshin Aikido, Sensei John Carter and Jack Walker taught students how to integrate techniques from Nihon Goshin Aikido and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The camp finished up with Sensei Gary Shull teaching movement and striking principles from Kempo. We had students in attendance from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee totaling 40 participants. Everyone had a great time and we all learned much about all the Martial Arts represented. I appreciate those who travelled to our academy in support of our training camp and especially appreciate all the Columbia dojo students who helped with organizing the event. Our student body showed a warm and welcoming spirit to all our visitors. We look forward to hosting another camp soon.

Sensei John Carter

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Advanced Aikido Technique

This is a great video of advanced level execution of Aikido techniques. Before becoming famous for his movies, Steven Seagal was a highly respected and legitimate Aikido practitioner. As seen in this video, Aikido is an extremely effective martial art when learned, taught and applied in a realistic, practical manner. New students are not expected to perform at this level for some time.

At our academy we begin teaching the new student our Nihon Goshin Aikido Fundamentals Course. It is a basic self-defense course where we teach defenses against attacks such as arm grabs, chokes, pushes, punches and bear-hugs. We also teach the new students basic strikes such as a palm-heel, hammer-fist, elbows, and front kicks. We then slowly integrate the student into the more advanced application and execution of Aikido techniques. Enjoy the video!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Black-Belt Ceremony

We had a wonderful Black-Belt ceremony on Thursday, September 4th. There were 24 people in attendance to participate in this unique occasion. Sensei Carter spoke for about 15 minutes on the significance of this rank, what it means to be a black-belt, the importance of honor, and how to give back to the art that has given so much. Shortly after that, Dave Johnson was presented with his certificates and belt. It was a great opportunity for all in attendance to see first hand why we work so hard and require so much of ourselves at our academy. Traditionally, after the belt presentation, the new black-belt showcases their skills and abilities in a free-style self-defense attack line. Lastly, as a display of honor and humility, all the senior black belts in attendance step aside and invite our new black belt to formally fall out the class in the traditional Japanese fashion. It was a wonderful night.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congratulations to Our Newest Black-Belt

Congratulations are in order for Dave Johnson, our newest Sho-Dan (1st Degree Black-Belt). He recently passed his final of several grueling tests to achieve this important rank. We had a fantastic turn-out of 20 students to participate in the test. I was very pleased with the nature of attacks, the control, and attention to safety. Dave performed with honor, class and with a solid martial spirit. His test consisted of 140 attacks. The specific attacks evaluated during the test were punches, kicks, grips, knife, club, gun and multiple attackers defenses. We will be presenting his belt and certificate shortly in a special ceremony conducted by Sensei John Carter. Dave is the 11th Black-Belt who has been promoted by Sensei Carter out of the Columbia, SC dojo.

Congratulations Dave and Good Work Columbia, SC!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fall/Back-to-School Enrollment

We had a great summer and are gearing up for the Fall/Back-to-School crowd. Sessions have been full during the summer months and we do have some class limitations for new enrolling students. Potential students are encouraged to enroll early to secure their slot. Our enrollment package is $135.00 which includes the first month of classes, uniform and registration. We have youth and adult classes available in Lexington, SC and a youth program available in Irmo, SC. Our course structure breakdown is as follows:

Youth Martial Arts: Ages 5 to 7
Youth Aikido: Ages 8 to 12
Adult Aikido: Ages 12 and up
Self-Defense Fundamentals: Ages 12 and up

Please call or email Sensei Carter for class schedule and availability. Visit for more information.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sensei Carter Teaching Aikido in Irmo, SC

We will be expanding our classes in Irmo, SC. Sensei Carter, with 22 years of martial arts experience, will begin teaching a Friday Youth Martial Arts class at 6:00. The classes will kick off on Friday, August 8th. The current Monday class instructor, Mr. Tom Tuckey, will be team-teaching with Sensei Carter. The classes will be held at our partner martial arts school located at 10071 Broad River Road. Current space is limited, so register or transfer your membership to this class as soon as possible. For questions, contact Sensei Carter at 951.3559 or


Sensei John Carter

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Camp A Huge Success!

We just completed our Youth Summer Camp and everyone had a great time. We had 25 children in attendance and not only did we learn alot, but we developed teamwork, friendships, and participated in some fantastic activities. Our day started at 9:00, ended at 12:00, and lasted Monday through Friday. Our day went as follows:

1. Exercises
2. Martial Arts Class
3. Life Skills Lesson
4. Break and Snack
5. Activity 1
6. Activity 2
7. Dismissal

Our important life skill lessons were:

Knot tying - (square knot)
First Aid
Fire Safety
Stranger Awareness
Fourth of July Safety

The children were a pleasure to work with and all arrived at the dojo eager to learn and full of energy. We finished the camp off with two group pictures and everyone went home with an Aikido Academy of Self-Defense T-shirt. I want to thank my Adult and Junior Leaders who assisted with the camp, the parents who supported the camp, and of course all the campers. See you next summer!

Sensei John Carter

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Best Martial Arts Program for Children

We are pleased and proud to announce our academy was voted "Runner-Up" as The Best Martial Arts Program for Children in the June 2008 edition of Palmetto Parent Magazine. We have been working extremely hard in order to provide our students with an unique martial arts, fitness, and self-defense learning experience. We have wonderful members and great family support of our programs. I want to say thank you to all our assistant instructors and students who make our academy the best martial arts academy for youth and adults in the Columbia, SC area.

-Sensei John Carter

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Aikido Academy of Self-Defense Featured on WLTX NEWS 19

Our school was recently featured on WLTX News 19. We taught a corporate self-defense course at Verizon Wireless, and the news media covered our class. Below is a copy of the article. Tom Tuckey and Maxine Henry taught the class and did a great job. Thanks.

Moms, Wives, Sisters Learn to Fight Back

(Columbia) - The Verizon Wireless Call Center behind the Richland Mall partnered with The Aikido Academy to host a Self-defense class for everyone; but especially women. More than techniqes, women learned a mindset. "I can strike back and I will strike back; that's as much as what we try to emphasize in these classes," says Assistant Teacher Thomas Tuckey. For Evelyn Anderson it's about training her mind before an attacker strikes. "Last year there were a lot of incidents where people were coming into homes in my neighborhood," adds Anderson. But she doesn't just have herself to think of. "In the morning when my daughter and I were leaving I was terrified; If that happened to me what would I do and this came along and I said it was a good opportunity," adds Anderson. Evelyn isn't alone in the opportunity to fight back. Other moms, wives and younger sisters are learning too. Aikido Instructor Thomas Tuckey says the first line of defense is probably the last thing that comes mind: relaxing. "The natural reaction is to tense up, you become very easy to be picked up and thrown around," adds Tuckey. Kind of like picking up a young child while they're asleep, Tuckey says it's a whole lot harder when limbs are loose. The other quick trick are three strikes: palm-heel, elbow or knee strike."On one hand you can train for years on the other you can do some basic self - defense moves that can get you out of a very dangerous situation," Tuckey says. Tuckey says it's not about fighting but defending. "You want to defend yourself and leave; disengage."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Aikido Academy Training Camp, April 12th, 2008 - Columbia, S.C.

We completed our First Annual Training Camp this past Saturday April 12th, 2008. We had 35 people in attendance. Students from South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama were in attendance. The training, practice sessions and energy were all fantastic. We were privileged to be taught by four different instructors who all brought unique teaching styles and experiences to the sessions. Nihon Goshin Aikido, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Okinawan Kempo were represented. We finished the day off with a wonderful BBQ at the dojo. Everyone arrived with an "empty cup" ready to learn. We received positive feedback from the students right away and many suggested that we schedule another Training Camp as soon as possible. We will be holding another one in October of this year. Please check with your local sensei for announcements.
Sensei John Carter