Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Seminar with Professor Pedro Valente

Me and Professor Pedro Valente - September, 2011
I recently attended yet another great seminar with Professor Pedro Valente in Columbia, South Carolina.  Valente Brothers Black Belt, Jack Walker, hosted Pedro over the weekend.  My son Benjamin was able to attend the Little Champs class on Saturday.  Pedro's session emphasis was on anti-bullying techniques.  He also taught the triangle choke using a great (and funny) story to help the kids remember the steps of the move. 

The adult session was held on Sunday from 11:00 to 2:00.  Professor Valente began the training with fundamental Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense strategy and philosophy.  He then went on to discuss stand-up technique and appropriate levels of use of force when defending oneself.  He showed a very nice standing technique to control the center space followed up by a standing submission once the aggressor insists on continuing forward.  He also showed a variation that would apply to a potential multiple attacker situation.  The ground techniques consisted of control and striking positions from the guard and the kimura from the standard omoplata (shoulder lock) position.

The highlight of the day was at the end of the seminar when Pedro discussed more Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Philosophy.  He talked to us about his "7", "5", "3" way of life.  Coming from a Traditional Japanese Martial Art Background such as Nihon Goshin Aikido, many of these topics were a refreshing review for me as I have discussed these topics often with my Nihon Goshin Aikido Sensei, colleagues and students.  I have included the philosophies below.

7 - Tenets of Bushido
Rectitude (義, gi)
Courage (勇, yū)
Benevolence (仁, jin)
Respect (礼, rei)
Honesty (誠, makoto)
Honor (名誉, meiyo)
Loyalty (忠義, chūgi)

5 - Way of Life
Positive Outlook

3 - Warrior Mindset
Zanshin - Remaining Mind
Mushin - Clear Mind
Fudoshin - Immovable Mind

Thanks again to Professor Pedro Valente for instructing us over the weekend.  I look forward to training with him again soon.

For more information about our Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Nihon Goshin Aikido and Youth Anti-Bullying programs, please feel free to come by our academy to watch a class or try one out for free.  We can be contacted direct at 803.546.6079, or at

My son Benjamin and Professor Pedro Valente

Triangle Choke and Pedro's "Story" to help kids remember each step.

Great Training.  Congratulations to those who were promoted!

Me and Pedro after the seminar.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Carter's Academy of Self-Defense Updates: Certified Nihon Goshin Aikido and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center

We have enjoyed a very busy Fall and look forward to continuing our growth as one of the best martial arts schools in the Columbia, SC area.  Our programs are extremely popular with our new and current students. 

Our 4-week intro has been a big hit with many of our new students.  The most successful piece of this program, is it allows them to easily transition into our Nihon Goshin Aikido and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum. 

Since I finalized my instructor certification in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the Jiu-Jitsu Combatives classes have been well attended. In addition, our Nihon Goshin Aikido classes have been averaging 18 to 20 students per class. Needless to say, I have been extremely busy with my teaching duties and loving every minute of it. We have a first class student body!

Now that school is back in session, the Youth Aikido and Youth Jiu-Jitsu classes have enjoyed very good and very steady attendance.  Also, my after-school programs in the public schools and after-school centers are filling up quickly and my private classes are also steady. 

Please be on the look out for our new upcoming Pee Wee program for 3 to 4 year olds. It will be a 30-minute class consisting of a balance of martial arts, agility skills, tumbling and play.  Early 2012 will be our target start date.

Lastly, our "Bring a Friend" classes have provided students with a great opportunity to share their hobby and passion with friends or family.

We will be revamping our testing routine at the academy.  As the academy grows to records student levels, this will be a much needed improvement. More details will be forthcoming.

Students who need a new uniform or would like to order academy t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, backpacks, etc. please see me or go to our online store at  Any student who is interested in ordering Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy fight gear, uniforms, gi patches, car decals, etc. also see me.  I will be making an order every few weeks and you will be able to save the sales tax and shipping cost.

We will be updating many of our signs, logos, website and facebook page and other marketing information.  Please be on the lookout.  We are excited about the fresh look and feel of our academy and martial art programs.

I want to thank all our students for the great attendance, positive energy while training and assistant instructor support.  I look forward to great fall and 2012.

Sensei Carter