William "Roe" CarterRokudan
William Monroe Carter,
usually known as Roe to his friends, is a 7th
Dan who has been on the U. S. Eastern Wado Ryu Board of
Directors since 1998. He has been practicing karate for
36 years in his hometown of Lewisburg, TN.
Mr. Roe Carter grew up in Lewisburg. His family ran the
local Chevrolet dealership. After attending Marshall
County High School and MTSU and settling in the
community, he became a member of a local Wado Ryu class
taught by Ray Cross and Don Hendrix. At that time they
were 4th Kyus who were allowed to teach classes under
the leadership of Jerry Potts, Ni Dan, of Columbia.
Eventually Mr. Cross and Mr. Hendrix became black belts
and ran the school as a karate club with membership dues
only. As an ardent student, Roe Carter became friends
with his instructors. Several years later in 1983, when
Don Hendrix moved to Athens, Alabama and Ray Cross
retired as a 4th Dan, Mr. Carter took over
the school as a Ni Dan.
While visiting Don Hendrix’s school in Athens and
serving as a guest instructor that spring, he met and
married one of Mr. Hendrix's students. Jenny Thompson
was working as a news anchor in Huntsville and commuting
to class in Athens. Three years later Mrs. Carter
received her black belt. Since that time she has been an
instructor in the Lewisburg Wado Ryu and is now a 6th
Dan. They have two children. Maria is a 3rd year student
at Auburn University's Harrison School of Pharmacy.
Bill Carter is a senior in computer science at Auburn
and a San Dan in karate.
Though karate has been an avocation rather than a
full-time job, Mr. Carter has been an enthusiastic
supporter of Wado Ryu through the years, attending as
many seminars as possible. Although not a regular on the
tournament circuit, in 1989 and 1990 Mr. Carter devoted
some extra time to competition as well. In 1989 he was
ranked 3rd in Executive Black Belt forms for
the Southeast Region of NASKA. In 1990 he was ranked 6th.
Otherwise, he has spent more time close to home. He
works as service and delivery manager for Coble
Furniture in Lewisburg. He is also a Deacon at First
Baptist Church where he and his wife are on the Audio
Visual Team which records services for television.
Mr. Carter loves the fitness, mental discipline, and art
of karate, but he also feels that one of the most
enjoyable aspects of running a martial arts school is
making friends with students. Anywhere he goes in the
community he encounters men and women who know him as
Sensei, many of whom he taught as youngsters. His senior
students are 6th Dans Jenny Carter and Barry Smotherman,
and 5th dans Steve Bass and Mike Burgess, but he enjoys
friendships with an ever-widening circle of black belts
and students. The experience of being on the Board of
Directors has been very rewarding in this way, with the
opportunity of being a part of that most important of
challenges for the student, the Black Belt Exam. Mr.
Carter says, “I look forward to each and every exam.
These students are the future of the U.S. Eastern Wado
Ryu. Who knows which students could be on the Board
themselves one day?” But, of all the benefits of being
in the Wado system, most particularly Mr. Carter says
that he treasures the privilege of knowing and working
out under Sensei Cecil Patterson, who was his friend and
mentor for 27 years.