Kyoshi Roger Carpenter, 8th Dan, was born in London in 1945 and started karate training in 1964 at the Lyons Sports Club in Sudbury Hill, Wembley.
Originally he trained in the Wado-Ryu style and graded under the late Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki (1928-2011, 8th Dan). In 1967 he became the first karate teacher employed by the inner London County Council. In 1968, as Chief Instructor of his karate club in Greenford, he and his club switched to the Shotakan style with the KUGB under Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa, who was then 5th Dan.
In 1977 when Soke Kanazawa formed SKIF, Kyoshi Carpenter and his club moved to SKIF with him and Kyoshi became responsible for Soke Kanazawa’s schedule in the UK going forward. Initially with SKIEF (the European Federation) and then for his own UK organisation SKKIF. Kyoshi continues that same privilege on behalf of Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa.
All of his grades from 5th Kyu to present day have been from Soke Kanazawa, and he is now the most senior instructor in Europe both in terms of grade and time with SKIF. He is well known on the international karate circuits and at the Honbu Dojo of SKIF in Japan. In 2011 he was awarded the title “Kyoshi” by Hirokazu Kanazawa. In 2014 he celebrated 50 years of karate training and in 2016 was awarded his 8th dan.
Kyoshi (教士 in this case meaning a leader of martial arts) is the Chief Instructor and Chairman of SKKIF. As part of that role he undertakes bi-annual tours of all of the clubs in the association to instruct and maintain high technical standards as well as to conduct gradings. He teaches most weeks at his karate club in Lifton.
It has often been commented by karate practitioners that Kyoshi Carpenter does not promote himself enough; he instead prefers to let his karate speak for him. However the late Soke Kanazawa remarked in 2001 to a class of over 200 students; “If you want to know my style, ask Mr Carpenter.”
There can hardly be a higher accolade for a teacher of Shotokan karate.