Gerry Seymour, the Chief Instructor for the Self-Defense Academy of Western NC, is a Senior Instructor in Shojin-ryu, Nihon Goshin Aikido. He has studied Nihon Goshin Aikido since 1988, and was first certified as an instructor in 2003.
Growing up as a fan of martial arts movies, Mr. Seymour started his formal martial arts training in 1982, taking Karate lessons at the local YMCA. After a brief hiatus from training, he started again around 1984, studying Kodokan Judo and Shotokan Karate in separate classes under Mr. Jacobsohn, an experienced instructor who was also a professor at a local college. That combination of grappling and striking sparked in interest in becoming capable in both areas of martial arts. Mr. Seymour continued his training under Mr. Jacobsohn until the instructor moved to Jordan to teach.
Then, in 1987, Mr. Seymour first experienced Nihon Goshin Aikido when an instructor visited his high school Physical Education class to demonstrate the art. Seymour was immediately interested, and joined the school under that instructor – Mr. Steven Weber – the next year when he started college. Over the years, Seymour would have some short breaks from formal training due to his consulting career, and the school would change hands twice during his tenure there. Mr. Seymour’s primary instructors have included Mr. Joe Beckham and Mr. John Wyndham, training with the latter for more than 8 years.
Starting in 2005, while teaching at Mr. Wyndham’s school in Spartanburg, SC, Mr. Seymour began digging deeply into the teaching approach, principles, and curriculum of Nihon Goshin Aikido. This process continued when Seymour moved and began training on his own in NGA, while teaching self-defense seminars and private NGA lessons, and cross-training in other arts (including MMA-style training and Filipino arts) to sharpen his skills and deepen his understanding of self-defense and his primary art.
Between 2005 and 2015, Mr. Seymour continually tweaked his teaching approach and the curriculum he used for NGA. Eventually, to emphasize the principles he’d found most important to his development in NGA – and to better fit his updated teaching approach – Seymour revised the entire NGA curriculum, creating the Shojin-ryu style of Nihon Goshin Aikido. To keep the art of NGA – and particularly the Shojin-ryu style – flexible and adaptive, Mr. Seymour continues to update and revise the curriculum and approach he uses to better fit changes in how people are likely to use the art when defending themselves.
In addition to his extensive martial arts background, Seymour is an experienced management consultant and leadership expert. His consulting firm – Quantum Point consulting – focuses on helping business leaders solve the issues that reduce engagement and keep them and their people working late.