Wednesday, September 30, 2009


At The Aikido Academy of Self-Defense, we specialize in practical, realistic and proven methods of self-defense. The program I would like to highlight is our BULLYSAFE program.

Many parents and youth who attend my academy report bullying in schools, neighborhoods and ball fields. What is more disturbing, is the percentage of youth who never report bullying to a parent or other trusted adult. Our BULLYSAFE program will provide you and your family with the tools to handle this unfortunate problem. We have four points of focus in this program:

1. Build Confidence: Having self-confidence is sometimes enough to stop a potential bully. If you learn to hold your head high and make eye contact, a bully may be less likely to see you as an easy target.

2. Improve Awareness: Establishing physical boundaries is an excellent method of staying out of a bad situation. Paying attention to your surroundings is a large percentage of preventing a potential attack.

3. Positive Channeling of Energy: As parents, we know how challenging it can be to find a positive, safe and professional activity in which to channel the energy of our youth. Our BULLYPROOF course combines, attention activities, self-defense drills, and physical exercise programs offering a great outlet for kids from all walks of life.

4. Prepare: As a last resort, you may find it necessary to use physical techniques to protect yourself. If a person invades your personal space, blocks your path to safety, or physically attacks, you may have to act.

Along with our self-defense program, we take pride in the personal development of our students. Throughout our lessons, we instill life skills such as Responsibility, Pride, Respect, Physical Wellness, Courtesy and Fair Play.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rank Revisions: Aikido Academy of Self-Defense - Columbia, South Carolina

At our academy, we work hard to constantly improve. Recently, we have revised and codified our ranking system which has proven to be extremely successful. The following is a basic description of each area of our curriculum.

Youth Program

Little Samurai: Ages 5 to 7
White Belt
Yellow Stripe
Blue Stripe
Green Stripe
Purple Stripe

Youth Aikido: Ages 8 to 12
Junior White Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Junior Yellow Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Junior Blue Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Junior Green Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Junior Purple Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido

Adult Program

NGA Fundamentals: Self-Defense Basics
White Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Yellow Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Blue Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Green Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Purple Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido
Brown Belt - Nihon Goshin Aikido and Jiu-Jitsu
Black Belt (1st Degree)- Nihon Goshin Aikido & Grappling Course
Black Belt (2nd Degree)-Nihon Goshin Aikido & Grappling Certification
Black Belt (3rd Degree) - Instructor Certifications

We look forward to not only improving our programs, but serving our student body and developing the knowledge base of our instructors. I am proud of the commitment level of all of our dojo members and instructors. It is an honor and privilege to teach each and every day at my academy.

Thanks for all the support.

Sensei John Carter

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar - July 26th

We just completed our 2009 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu seminar with guest instructor Pedro Valente, 5th degree black belt and chief instructor of Gracie Miami. We had a fantastic time over the weekend and learned a lot of great Jiu-Jitsu. Pedro demonstrated extremely useful self-defense techniques based on the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum passed down by Grandmaster Helio Gracie. His teaching style was well-received among all the practitioners in attendance. We were also privileged to have Carlos attend and assist Pedro over the weekend. I and all the participants appreciate Pedro and Carlos taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Columbia, SC to teach us.

Thanks for a great seminar,

Sensei John Carter

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Domestic Violence Prevention Course

The Aikido Academy of Self-Defense, Sanctity Inc., and Gunter's Chapel Baptist Church partnered on Friday, May 29th to provide a women's self-defense workshop. We had a wonderful group of attendees and appreciate the hospitality shown to us. We were able to teach extremely important, yet simple techniques anyone can use to defend themselves. We had 30 students in attendance and we all had a wonderful time.

I appreciate all that were involved in setting up this workshop and especially appreciate Dave Johnson who assisted me with the instruction.

Sensei Carter

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Camp

We are now taking registrations for both sessions of our popular Martial Arts Summer Camp. We conduct a fun, informative and action packed summer camp in June and July. Both sessions are already half-full, so please register early if you want to secure your spot. The camp hours are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Monday through Friday. The dates for the sessions are as follows:

Session 1: June 15th - June 19th

Session 2: July 20th - July 24th

Activities include:

Exercise and Fitness
Martial Arts
Bully Buster
Stranger Awareness
Practical Life Skills
Games and Activities

To register, find out more information, or request a flyer/registration form, please contact Sensei Carter at 803.951.3559 or at

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring 2009 Training Camp

We just concluded our Spring 2009 training camp. We had 45 people in attendance and had a fabulous day of training, teaching and camaraderie. I appreciate all the instructors who taught during our sessions. I especially appreciate the hard work and attentiveness of each and every student. Sensei Wyndham began our day with uras (reversals) of Nihon Goshin Aikido. I was next with how to better connect Nihon Goshin Aikido techniques one with another. Our third session was presented by Jack Walker in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He covered the closed guard, guard variations as well as offensive and defensive maneuvers from the guard. Lastly, Kyoshi Gary Shull taught us how to create small openings in order to create big openings. He also taught us very effective striking zones. We finished the afternoon with a wonderful dinner at the dojo.

I appreciate all the students who traveled from out of town to our dojo in Columbia, SC and those students who helped prior to and after the event. I especially want to thank Becky Wilkerson, Erin Courtney, and Reed Talbot for providing desserts.

I look forward to another training camp soon.

See you on the mats,

Sensei Carter

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Student Promotions

I want to take the opportunity to congratulate the following students on their recent promotion in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido.

John Lindley - Yon-Kyu
Jessie Knight - Yon-Kyu
Drew Beaty - Go-Kyu
Hunter Boyd - Go- Kyu
Kathryn Williams - Go-Kyu
Troy Sumpter - Go- Kyu
Ian MacLean - Go-Kyu
Wayne Pittman - Go-Kyu
Tim McNeal - Go-Kyu
Erick Boniface - Junior Green Belt
Johnny Clemens - Junior Green Belt
Carson Youngblood - Junior Blue Belt
Syd Miyasaki - Junior Blue Belt
Kyle Speagle - Junior Blue Belt

All our students are putting in outstanding effort with a great attitude. Great job and keep up the good work.

Sensei John Carter

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spring Training Camp

We are holding our Spring Training Camp on Saturday, April 18th. We will have instructors representing three martial arts at our Columbia, SC academy on Saturday afternoon from 12:30 to 5:30 followed by a dinner at the dojo at 6:00. Our training schedule is as follows.

Sensei John Wyndham: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Sensei John Carter: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Mr. Jack Walker: Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Kyoshi Gary Shull: Kempo

*Space is limited so register early*

We will be accepting early registrations. If you are interested in attending, contact Sensei John Carter of the Columbia, SC dojo at 803.951.3559 or at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Year - New Yudansha - Black Belt Presentation

2009 is starting out great. We are having heavy attendance in all classes with many new students joining our dojo. Our new curriculum programs have been rolled out and students are responding positively to our updated training methods. We had a recent double black-belt promotion with David Wilkerson and Jared O'Connor receiving their Sho-Dans. They both worked extremely hard and showed their personal character to be deserving of this honor. We had 30 people in attendance to participate in this special rank promotion. During the presention, I explained the meaning of "sho" and how it applies to our new black belts. David and Jared make the 12th and 13th black-belt out of the Columbia, SC dojo.

Congratulations and good work.

Sensei Carter