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Senior Grandmaster S. George Pesare

Senior Grandmaster Pesare is a 10th degree Black Belt and is the undisputed founder of Kempo Karate in New England. The 10th degree Black Belt level is one of the highest achievements in the martial arts community and is at the Professorship level. SG Pesare began his martial arts career with Karazenpo-Go-Shinjutsu in 1958 with his instructor, Grandmaster Victor (Sonny) Gascon, one of the Kempo founders in America. Grandmaster Gascon has since retired, and given the responsibility of teaching the true Karazenpo-Go-Shinjutsu to SG George Pesare. Since then, Mr. Pesare continued his training in the following martial art disciplines:

These martial arts ratings were accompanied with college degrees in advertising and science.

Mr. Pesare has successfully fought in Karate and Judo competitions, and besides being active in competition himself, Mr. Pesare has also trained 2 World kickboxing Champions.

George Pesare has been featured in numerous martial arts journals including:

Recently, Mr. Pesare was voted into the New England Black Belt Hall of Fame. "A student who has trained in Kenpo Karate in New England was either taught by Mr. Pesare or one of his pupils, or one of his pupils' pupils..."

In the world of realistic self-defense, George Pesare has been a law enforcement officer for over 20 years. During his tenure with the Providence Sheriff's Department, he served as Training Officer and Range Master. During his tenure with the Kent County Sheriffs department, he also served as Training Officer and Range Master, teaching all aspects of firearms to Federal, State, and municipal agencies. Mr. Pesare is the coordinator of the National Rifle Associations' Annual Police Pistol Regional Championships. He is also a member of the coveted '1490' club. He is the 1994 Rhode Island State Police Pistol Champion, and is the Police Pistol Champion of the Prestigious Police Pistol Governors Twenty. Mr. Pesare is also the President and Rhode Island Match Director of the Rhode Island Police Pistol Combat League.


Grandmaster Roger Carpenter

Grandmaster Carpenter's 10th degree Black Belt is the first Black Belt and "First Knight" to have been awarded his Black Belt from the parent institute. Using the disciplines and knowledge he mastered from the Institute in Rhode Island, Mr. Carpenter founded the Kansas Karate Institute in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Carpenteris the Training Officer and Range Master for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department.

Mr. Carpenter's fighting record is unique:

Roger Carpenter is a retired (1997) sheriff's training officer and Rangemaster.  Roger Carpenter has spent the last 10 years (1997-2007) as an International Police Peacekeeper and Martial Arts trainer in Eastern Europe, including Bosnia and Kosovo, Africa, including Zimbabwe and Ghana, SE Asia, including East Timor and the Philippines, and the Middle East, including a recent three-year tour in Iraq.  Grandmaster Carpenter is slated to return for a fourth tour in Iraq in 2008.


Grandmaster Herb Paquette

Grandmaster Paquette (RI) holds the rank of 10th Degree Black Belt and 3rd Knight of the institute.  Mr. Paquette first began his training with Senior Grandmaster Pesare in 1969.  Senior Grandmaster George Pesare has designated Mr. Paquette to be the heir to his Kaito Gakko.  Mr. Paquette is a certified kickboxing official.  He has judged and refereed numerous full-contact kickboxing fights.  Mr. Paquette continues to be an instructor at George Pesare’s Kenpo Karate Institute. 

Mr. Paquette holds a Bachelor's Degree of Science from Roger Williams University and an Associate's Degree in Business Administration from R.I.J.C.  Mr. Paquette began his career with the East Providence Police Department on April 4, 1983 as a patrol officer.  During his career with the police department he served as a department range officer and later as the Supervisor of Firearms Training.  Mr. Paquette has risen through the ranks and was promoted to the rank of Chief of Police in January 2004. Mr. Paquette retired in May 2009.


Grandmaster Donna Vinbury

Ms. Vinbury is an 10th degree Black Belt and administrator of the Kaito Gakko. Donna is considered to hold the highest female Kenpo/Kempo practitioner rank in the world. Besides her regular training, she is active in all of Senior Grandmaster George Pesare's programs in the private sector. Among these, she is a certified blade fighter and blade-to-blade referee. Also, Ms. Vinbury is a KRANE official, and has judged numerous world title kickboxing fights. Ms. Vinbury has demonstrated her power kicking by simultaneously breaking 4 one-inch boards with a shin kick. Ms. Vinbury has received a Bachelor's Degree in Science and Nursing, and is board certified as a Registered Nurse. Most recently, Ms. Vinbury has choreographed fighting sequences in a 1999 performance of The Nutcracker at the Providence Performing Arts Center.


Grandmaster Armen Garo

Mr. Garo began his training with Grandmaster Pesare in 1977 and holds the rank of 9th Degree Grandmaster Black Belt. He fought professionally in the ring as a heavyweight and was the New England Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion from 1978 to 1983.  He was listed as Honorable Mention in the world ratings under the top ten fighters in the world in Official Karate Magazine (1982).  One of his only two losses came at the hands (and feet) of United States Heavyweight Champion "Big" John Jackson who was ranked the #3 kick boxer in the world. One of ESPN's most memorable breaking demonstrations was performed by Mr. Garo in a broadcast in 1981. He has been a police officer in the City of East Providence, RI since 1985 and currently works as a Shift Commander in the Uniformed Patrol Division holding the rank of Lieutenant. He has served as the Department's Use Of Force Instructor. He has also appeared in several national television commercials as well as the Oscar Award winning film "The Departed" and Showtime's Peabody Award winning "Brotherhood." Many remember him as the menacing Salvatore "Coco" Cogliano in the Final Episodes of the HBO Emmy Award winning "The Sopranos." His other work can be seen on www.imdb.com and at www.armengaro.com.  George Pesare is the only karate instructor Mr. Garo has trained under.


Grandmaster Vincent Pezzi

Mr. Pezzi is a 10th degree Black Belt who was ordered to active military duty shortly after his black belt test. He served 2 tours of duty, both in Vietnam and Cambodia, as a member of a special security group that performed covert intelligence gathering operations. Upon returning to the States Mr. Pezzi began a teaching career in the Providence School System. Mr. Pezzi has also taught karate in southern Rhode Island and at the parent institute throughout the years. Mr. Pezzi was a member of N.E.K.R.A., (New England Karate Referee Association), founded by Grandmaster George Pesare, and is also an official for the I.S.K.A. (International Sport Karate Association). Mr. Pezzi has fond memories of competing throughout New England, Canada and the southwest, and is thankful to Grandmaster George Pesare for his guidance and friendship throughout the years and for the privilege of being a part of the institute.


David Wigal

Mr. Wigal is an 9th degree Black Belt and has been Kansas Karate's competitive superstar, winning in full-contact karate matches and the Kansas Triple Crown in 1992. David has an Electrical Engineering Degree from Wichita State University, and an Emergency Medical Technician certification. David has also served as a U.S. Marshall's assistant. David is an FAA Coordinator with FlightSafety International. He works with the Federal Aviation Administration and various Foreign Aviation Regulatory Authorities to keep his company's flight simulators for Cessna business jets, up to certified standards. David is a certified Instructor in Mike Inay's system of Eskrima for knife defense, Sinawali/Dequerdas, pressure points, and baton systems.


Linda Jean Herzog

Ms Herzog had won numerous tournament events in NEW ENGLAND as well as KANSAS. She is a member of the UNITED STATES WOMEN TEAM CHAMPIONS, in which the Rhode Island team had won the Champions Trophy for 2 years. Ms. Herzog was a candidate for the prestigious Black Belt, and accepted the candidacy. She went through the grueling 3-day Black Belt test with great pressure from the then (all male) Black Belts to try to ensure that she would not complete her testing. Ms. Herzog passed the 3-day test and was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt. Ms. Herzog was the first woman to attain such rank at George Pesare's Kenpo Karate Institute. Ms Herzog is an 9th degree Black Belt and has served in the UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE as a special agent for dignitaries.


Shea Carpenter

Ms. Carpenter received her Black Belt 30 years after her father, Roger, received his. Ms. Carpenter received her Black Belt at the parent institute in Providence, Rhode Island. Shea Carpenter is an 9th degree Black Belt, making her first test in August 1994. She began training at the age of 6, under her father Roger at the Kansas Karate Institute. Ms. Carpenter won the Midwest Tough Man in 1993 and competed throughout the midwest through her early teens and young adult years. Ms. Carpenter graduated from Friends University in 2000 with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.  Ms. Carpenter has also been with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office for over 12 years.  Ms.  Carpenter is currently a detective involving all person crimes.  Ms. Carpenter is a single mom for two boys, Creighton, 20 years old and Chase, 10 years old.  Creighton is currently following in both mom and grandfather's footsteps, attending college full-time and attaining a brown belt at Kansas Karate Institute.  Ms. Carpenter is also a certified instructor in the Inayan system of Eskrima for Reactive Knife Defense, Pressure Sensitive Nerve Areas and baton systems.


Gilman Whiting

Mr. Whiting has been training with Senior Grandmaster George Pesare since the late 1980s. He is a 10th degree Black Belt at the Kaito Gakko "School of Schools." After earning a Bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island, he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army Special Forces (Patriot Missile System). While serving in Europe, he trained under Grandmaster Frankie Dow in Kung Fu and Master Pin Pin Su in Tai Chi Chuan, earning instructor ranks (Black Belt) in both. After the Gulf War, he returned to Rhode Island where he earned a Masters degree at Rhode Island College. Taking the advice of his Grandmaster, Whiting continued learning other “styles/systems and/or philosophies” since earning his Black Belt, which he says was “the most important education I’ve been fortunate enough to earn and live through. I never imagined that walking up those Branch Avenue steps would prepare me for the rest of my life.” He earned instructor ranks in Capoeira, a brown belt in Judo and a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, all while living in upstate New York and pursuing his graduate education. He went on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Purdue University in 2004. Currently (2007), Dr. Whiting is a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a father and husband, a Certified ACE Personal Fitness Trainer (American Council on Exercise), a published author, national presenter, and he works with special needs populations.


Sean Phinney

Sean Phinney is a 5th degree Black Belt. Mr. Phinney earned his credentials in the "Lions Den" of George Pesare's Kenpo Karate Institute. Mr. Phinney has been a student at Roger Carpenter's Kansas Karate Institute since November 11, 1988. Mr. Phinney's skills also extened to firearms, especially handguns. Mr. Phinney is an instructor in the Inayan Law Enforcement Training Organization Division for pressure points and reactive knife defense systems. Mr. Phinney's full-time employment is with York Int. as a Journeyman Tool and Die maker.


Laura Rauch

Laura Rauch is a student and 3rd degree Black Belt of Grandmaster Roger Carpenter's Kansas Karate Institute. Listed below are some of the accomplishments of Ms. Rauch.


Work Experience:

Events and stories covered as a photojournalist:

Countries traveled to for work include Bosnia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Cuba, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco and most of Western Europe Martial Arts. Ms. Rauch is ranked 3rd degree Black Belt under Roger Carpenter and competed in kickboxing under Roger Carpenter from 1992-1997. She is ranked first level in Inayan Eskrima under Mike Inay; Inayan law enforcement defense tactics; Instructor in Reactive Knife Defense and Pressure Sensitive Nerve Areas and is cCurrently training in Jiu Jitsu under Ultimate and Extreme fighting champion John Lewis, Gene Le Bell's first black belt.

Other Experiences: