John Carter, Owner and Head Instructor, has over 30 years experience in martial arts and self-defense training. He is a 5th Degree Black-Belt in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido and a Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Level 3 Instructor. Sensei Carter has additional training in Judo, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, Kempo and Tai Chi and continues his training and education in many martial arts.
Mr. Carter graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, is an Adjunct Professor at Newberry College and has completed the GST (Gracie Survival Tactics for Law Enforcement & Military) Level 1 Course. Additionally, he has conducted classes and courses for law enforcement professionals from Richland & Lexington County Sheriff's Departments, SC Highway Patrol, South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, SLED S.W.A.T. team members and private security personnel. Sensei Carter also provided martial arts and self-defense programs for The University of South Carolina, Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission, The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, Fort Jackson, The Girl Scouts Council of Columbia, SC, and numerous Richland and Lexington county school districts. Sensei Carter continues to conduct self-defense classes and courses for numerous women's groups, after-school programs, scouting organizations, church groups, civic organizations and corporations. Mr. Carter also donates his time and self-defense knowledge to support organizations such as "V-Day" - a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Sensei Carter has also been featured on WLTX Channel 19, WACH FOX 57, WIS TV Channel 10, and in the Lexington Dispatch as well as the Carolina Reporter giving practical self-defense advice, techniques and tips.
In January of 1997, he established The Aikido Academy of Self-Defense (Now Carter's Academy of Self-Defense) in Columbia, SC. Mr. Carter is the senior representative in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido in Columbia, SC and his dojo is one of only of few academies throughout the nation to offer instruction in this authentic martial art. His academy is also a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center authorized by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Headquarters in Torrance, California. Values such as honor, loyalty, respect, hard work, and fair play are found in his teaching methods.