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Roger B. Hamilton Sensei -



Autobiography: Never Quit (The Journey of a Million Miles)



Martial Arts Biography 

Sensei Roger B. Hamilton


Roger B. Hamilton is currently a 6th Degree, Master Black Belt, in the combined arts of Shotokan Karate and Goshi-Shun Jujitsu.  An accomplished and active black belt karate instructor and competitor, Sensei Hamilton has more than 30 years of Martial Arts training, and over 30 years of practical teaching experience.  Additionally, Mr. Hamilton is currently the Founder, owner and Chief Instructor of Hamilton Martial Arts Academy, LLC in Pitsburg, California. Additionally, Mr. Hamilton is The Bay Area Sales Manager for Give Something Back Corporation. Based in Oakland, CA GSB is a long standing business supplies company. Previously, Mr. Hamilton has held several high profile, executive management positions, such as: National Sales Manager for the Hertz Rent a Car Corporation. Mr. Hamilton has more than 35 years of professional business experience.  Along with his wife, Valrina and two sons Omar & Ali, he resides in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. 


Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Mr. Hamilton grew up in nearby Somerset.  The eldest and only son, in a family with four younger sisters.  Mr. Hamilton's life was beset by misfortune early on, when at 7 years old he contracted the severe respiratory illness, Tuberculosis and was hospitalized. Then at 9 years old, he lost his infant sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrone (SIDS); aka "Crib Death" and (in the same month) his father (along with 4 other men) drowned tragicically in a deep sea fishing accident. This was a tremendous loss to the Hamilton family. Mr. Hamilton quickly assumed more responsibility than most boys his age, yet he grew significantly from the experience. Having to learn independence and self reliance while growing up very quickly, Mr. Hamilton developed a passion for athletics.  He became a high school wrestling champion, who was awarded a four-year athletic scholarship to Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.  During his first year as a competitor at Morgan, Mr. Hamilton became the NCAA (MEAC) Mid East Atlantic Conference Champion in his weight class. After completing his studies at Morgan, Mr. Hamilton returned to New Jersey and began his professional business career. 

In April 1977, in Bound Brook, New Jersey, under the proficient instruction of Sensei Anthony Laws, 7th Degree Black Belt in the Japanese art of Isshinryu, Mr. Hamilton�s Karate training began.  Sensei Laws was a Master karate instructor, a very well respected business professional and an awe inspiring individual. Sensei Laws, a retired military officer and Army (Special Forces) hand-to-hand combat instructor, was also an accomplished Mechanical Engineer. An important note from his personal history: Originally from Hungary, Sensei Laws escaped under the cover of darkness from his homeland, during the bloody uprising of 1956. This prevailing sense of survival, passion and focus was evident in his karate instruction as well.  From the very first day of training, Mr. Hamilton became an enthusiastic and dedicated student of Sensei Laws.  He was a Green belt and progressing beautifully in Isshinryu karate, until the untimely demise of his beloved Sensei Laws. The �Laws Tiger Claw� Dojo (School) was ultimately closed.  The Senior Instructor (Sempai) of Sensei Laws was Mr. Rich Pierman, 3rd Degree Black Belt and the senior of five (5) instructors at the Laws Tiger Claw Dojo.  Mr. Pierman was also a New Jersey State Wrestling Champion, an accomplished Karate Competitor and an excellent Isshinryu instructor.  Sempai Pierman was very impressed by Mr. Hamilton's focus, ability and dedication to Isshinryu.

Sempai Pierman was so impressed with Mr. Hamilton that he recruited him as his one and only student; and traveling Martial Arts companion.  The two men began competing in and excelling at Martial Arts Tournament Competitions around the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. After visiting and training with several Karate schools in the area as guests, in February, 1979 the two settled at the �Tora Dojo�, in Plainfield, New Jersey.  The School�s Master Instructor was Sensei Wayne Ford, 5th Dan in the Korean art of Yun Mu Kwan.  (Sensei Ford began his Martial Arts studies in 1959, in New York City.  His instructor was then, 5th Degree Black Belt, Master Min Q. Pai).  Tora Dojo�s senior instructor (Sempai) was Mr. Michael Burrowes, 3rd Dan in the Japanese art of Shotokan Karate.  Together, Mr. Ford and Mr. Burrowes created the art of Shoto Kwan.  Shoto Kwan was an effective blending of their respective arts, involving upper and lower body efficiency. As time progressed, Mr. Hamilton became Tora Dojo�s singular, most passionate and dedicated student; and fiery tournament competitor.  Later, Tora Dojo�s scope was effectively enlarged when it became a member of the Goshi-Shun Karate Federation. Goshi-Shun karate was developed by Grandmaster William Wilson, 10th Degree Black Belt. (Mr. Wilson lived and studied in Japan, in the arts of Goshin-Kai karate, as well as Goju Ryu karate and Japanese Jujitsu.)  Goshi-Shun (Jujitsu), recognized as an effective close quarter Martial Art, where practical self defense is emphasized.  From this environment, Mr. Hamilton became a top-notch competitor and student instructor.  He earned his 1st Degree black belt in June, 1981.  (Currently, Mr. Ford and Mr. Burrowes are 8th Degree Grandmaster and 7th Degree Master respectively in the art of Goshi-Shun Jujitsu).

In February 1982 Mr. Hamilton relocated to Los Angeles, California.  Once settled in Los Angeles, he became the founder and instructor of the first ever (Alondra Karate & Health Club).  He began teaching children and young adults, ages 10-16 years old.  He expanded his classes to include adults shortly after.  In an effort to expand his horizons and improve his Martial Arts skills, Mr. Hamilton began training at Bruce Lee�s (Jeet Kun Do Academy) in Torrance, California.  The practical and self-defense oriented Academy consisted of teaching in the Philippine Arts of Escrima & Kali, Western Boxing and Chinese Wing Chun.  This school was presided over by the senior student of the inimitable Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto.  Sifu (Father/Teacher) Inosanto has been recognized as a premier instructor and Martial Artist by a variety of International martial arts magazines, systems and instructors. 

In preparation for continuing his Martial Arts tournament competition, Mr. Hamilton also visited and trained at the (BKF) Karate Federation School in South Central Los Angeles.  This school was presided over by the well-known Instructor, competitor and creator of the (Black Karate Federation), Sensei Steve Sanders-Muhammad. (BKF was the home of then Middleweight Kickboxing Champion, Alvin Prouder). 

His Martial Arts teaching and study were progressing well, until September 1982, when Mr. Hamilton was involved in a (serious traffic accident.)  As a pedestrian, he was struck by a speeding tow truck; which was towing a vehicle behind.  The truck barreled through a red traffic light, and Mr. Hamilton was thrown twenty (20) feet through the air and suffered extensive injuries.  After being told by Physicians that his Martial Arts career was surely over, Mr. Hamilton created his own accelerated Physical Therapy regimen (in conjunction with the slow, steady, standard Western physical therapy method provided by his Doctors).  This re-focus of energy and re-dedication to Martial Arts, ultimately brought him steadily back to physical health.  Evolved, after an intense six (6) month recovery, Mr. Hamilton was back to training at his pastime which had now become a pronounced, �Way of Life�.

In 1984 Mr. Hamilton relocated to San Francisco, California. Paralleled with his consistent professional growth as a Business Executive, he continued to pursue his martial arts passion by joining the (Rick Alemany Karate School) in the city of San Francisco.  Mr. Alemany, a.k.a. Sifu Alemany, then a 6th Dan and Internationally recognized competitor and instructor of champions in the art of Kempo Karate (as well as Escrima & Kali - Phillippine Island Stick Fighting arts).  Kempo is a fighting art with origins from China and the monks of the Shaolin. The English definition of Kempo is �Law of the Fist�.  Japanese �Kenpo� the parallel style of Karate, gained International recognition from Master Fred Parker of Hawaii.  Master Parker was also the Sensei to Elvis Presley. 

Sifu Alemany, a Karate World Champion and innovative karate personality, introduced Mr. Hamilton to a host of Local, Regional, National and World Championship competitors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, Sifu Alemany was the technical advisor in several Major Martial Arts Movies including: "Hard to Kill", starring James Kaan.  Mr. Alemany also appeared in these movies as an actor.

In 1985, Mr. Hamilton received a substantial enhancement to his professional sales and marketing career, he accepted a high-level promotion and Executive Sales Manager�s position in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Hamilton returned to the San Francisco Bay area after his commission to Chicago was concluded. In 1987 he began studying with Mr. Carroll Pegeron, a.k.a. Sensei Pegeron.  Sensei Pegeron was a 5th Dan in the style of (BKG) Beikoku Karate-Do Goyukai karate.  BKG is a direct derivative of Japanese Wado; originated in the USA by Master Isaac Henry of Northern New Jersey. Coincidentally, like Mr. Hamilton, Sensei Pegeron was originally from New Jersey.  By happenstance, the two men discovered that a common thread ran through their spiritual connection to the martial arts, as well as their life experience and industry contacts.  Sensei Pegeron, an accomplished National tournament and Professional Full-Contact Champion; and a decorated USMC, Viet Nam War Veteran. 

The two men trained fiercely together. Mr. Hamilton�s skills were significantly enhanced from their connection.  Shortly after beginning, they founded a small, teaching environment for select students at a local Health Club in San Rafael, California. 

In 1995 Mr. Hamilton took his training to a new level by thoroughly involving himself in a full-fledged boxing program, which has continued to the present.  He began his boxing studies by enrolling at (Kings Boxing Gym) in Oakland, California. (Proprietor: Charles King).   He received professional boxing and ring training from Trainer of Champions Mr. Rio Rosa.  Mr. Rosa is a 50 year plus boxing veteran who has worked with many Golden Gloves, local, regional, state and World Champions, including; James Page, former World Welterweight Champion. Mr. Rosa was also the trainer of Gina �Boom Boom� Guidi, the Women�s World Champion. 

 In an effort to return to his Shotokan roots, in 1997, Mr. Hamilton began training with internationally recognized 8th Dan and Master Instructor, Sensei Muhammad Ali Sharifi.  Sensei Sharifi, originally from Iran, began his studies in Baton Rouge, LA under Sensei Mikami, former Grand Champion of Japan; and is the proprietor and Chief Instructor of the Shotokan Karate Institute in Richmond, California. 

In May, 1993 Mr. Hamilton was married.  He and his wife, Valrina moved into their 1st home together in Richmond, California.  By September, 1997, the couple had two sons, Omar and Ali.  Initially, the two boys attended the public school system in El Cerrito, California.  Now, at 21 and 17 years old respective, both are Honor Students who attend College & High School in Contra Costa County, CA, where the family now resides.  Both Omar and Ali are heavily involved in training in the martial arts. They are recognized Regional and National Competitive Champions.  They are immersed in their training, as their father was before them.

 Mr. Hamilton has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and completed an autobiography entitled, "Never Quit" The Journey of a Million Miles.  The overwhelming message in his text is tenacity, perseverance, character and discipline.    Currently, Mr. Hamilton is the Owner and Chief Instructor of Hamilton Martial Arts Academy (HMA) in Pittsburg, CA.  Sensei Hamilton believes that Martial Arts will forevermore be a defined way of life for him, and it appears for his two sons; who relish being accomplished Champions. The Bushido code is one that governs his behavior, his work ethic and his loyalty.  Sensei Hamilton believes that through his giving, so shall he receive.   In defining Success, he quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote: 

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Sensei Roger B. Hamilton

Northern California 


07/2005 � 2nd Place (US OPEN World Championships) Orlando, FL

07/2005 � 1st Place (SAN FRANCISCO KARATE CHALLENGE) San Fran, CA


09/2005 � 1st Place (SUMMER RUMBLE GOLD CUP) San Francisco, CA

09/2005 � Grand Champion (SUMMER RUMBLE GOLD CUP) San Francisco, CA

09/2005 � 1st Place (SHOTOKAN FALL CLASSIC) San Francisco, CA

10/2005 � 1st Place (CALIFORNIA GOLD CUP CHALLENGE) San Francisco, CA


04/2005 � 1st Place (EXTREME MARTIAL ARTS CHALLENGE) Seaside, CA

05/2005 � 1st Place (DELGADO NAT�L KARATE TOURNAMENT) Oakland, CA

06/2005 � 3rdt Place (SHARK CITY NATIONALS TOURNAMENT) San Jose, CA

07/2005 � 1st Place (UNITY MARTIAL ARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS) Walnt Crk., CA

08/2005 � 1st Place (SUMMER SLAM CHAMPIONSHIPS) Albany, CA

07/2005 � 1st Place (BAY AREA SPORT KARATE OPEN) Alameda, CA


2005 � Competitor of the Year (California Gold Cup Circuit) San Francisco, CA

2005 � Overall Division Grand Champion (California Gold Cup Circuit) San Francisco, CA

2005 � Overall Division Championship Belt (Bay Area Sport Karate Assn.) Reno, NV


Continuous Competitor and Champion in Wrestling/Karate since 1969

- 40 + Years 

(3) Decades as a Student-Instructor-Competitor!!!

Sensei Hamilton was Inducted into the Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame in January, 2003 * Inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. May, 2008 * Inducted into the American Martial Arts Alliance, in October, 2008 * Inducted into the NFL Oakland Raiders Martial Arts Hall of Fame in October, 2009

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