Well done to UK Cypriot Sampson Sampson (centre in the photo) on being awarded a 9th dan from the World Judo Federation .
Sampson has been a student of judo for 50 years this year. Throughout his half-century in judo, he has continually and tirelessly dedicated himself to helping countless students learn and understand and develop our beautiful martial art. This grade is recognition for his dedication and contribution to the gentle way.
Sampson Sampson.is a judo coach with over 45 years experience during his career he has fought extensively across multiple federations within Great Britain and internationally as part of the Cypriot National Judo team – which he later helped coach for events such as the European Championships and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Sampson Sampson was born in Ormidia in Cyprus and came to the UK at an early age and attended Pakeman Primary School, Tollington Park School and City and East London College. At the age of 16 he was the youngest 3rd dan black belt in the world at the time.
Head instructor Sampson Sampson stands as Sobell’s longest standing student. Originally walking through their doors in 1974, Sampson quickly became a standout judoka and in a mere 12 months after first stepping on the tatami, he wrapped a 1st dan black belt around his waist. Two years later at the age of 16, he obtained the rank of 3rd dan. A fierce competitor, Sampson made a name for himself in the British judo community due to his excellence in tournaments, winning multiple national and international medals.
Together with his training partner at the time, Simon Mazullo, the duo were multiple time Kata champions of the BJC. During the height of his career, Sampson was approached by the Cypriot Judo Federation to train their Olympic team for the 1984 Olympics; and later went on to represent the Cypriot Judo Team himself.
Sampson achieved his 5th dan in 1992 at the age of 31, and was awarded his 6th dan by the BJC in 2005. Sampson is known for his unrivalled understanding of the finer dynamics of judo and his technical excellence ensures he enables every student who walks through his doors does not just practice judo, but truly understand how every element of it works.
Sampson has continued to teach at both national and international seminars throughout his career and his knowledge of judo is widely respected, a statement which is supported by the 30,000+ people who have subscribed to learn from his YouTube channel – Sampson Judo. Sampson was a former technical director of the BJC, however, in 2011 he and his team made the decision to form their own organisation, Judo For All UK, where he currently serves as its president. You can read more the move to JFAUK here. Since forming JFAUK, Sampson’s technical understanding of judo and his dedication to keeping traditional judo and its philosophies alive was noticed by the World Judo Federation (WJF) who invited Sampson and his team to join their global organisation.
His contribution to the development of judo at an international level was later recognised by the World Judo Federation and on November 3rd 2013 at the European Traditional Judo Championships held in Milan, Italy, the WJF awarded the rank of 8th Dan to Sampson. In 2018 Sampson was promoted to Chairman of the WJF Referee Committee and Vice Chairman of the WJF Technical Committee. As well as a judoka, Sampson also has experience as an MMA competitor and holds the grade of 3rd dan in JuJitsu, 2nd Dan in Kendo, 1st Dan in AIkido and 1st Dan in Shotokan Karate.
He also has a thriving you tube channel that teaches Judo
Below is the full statement from Jaime Casanova, President of the World Judo Federation.We are pleased to announce that WJF Technical Director, Sampson Sampson has been promoted to 9th Dan following a review of his service to our federation, and most importantly, to the world of judo as a whole.
Since joining the World Judo Federation in 2011, Sampson has proven to be an invaluable asset to our federation. Alongside many other high grades, he has helped to establish the traditional judo competition rules which have become a staple in our organisation and one of the many reasons that federations from around the globe feel compelled to join us. Sampson has also inspired countries such as Greece, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, South Africa and more to join the World Judo Federation through both his online presence as well as the events that he regularly runs in Europe underneath the WJF banner. Further to this, Sampson has also established a coaching curriculum that has been adopted by many countries, with the aim of assisting coaches, clubs and member federations to foster the development of judo in a constructive and effective way.
Going above and beyond to support the judo community, Sampson and his organisation, Judo For All UK (JFAUK) has regularly donated tatami to Greece in order to assist with the development of judo in their community. Thanks to his work, the community in Greece now have an abundance of tatami to use for the training, events and as well as for their outreach which supports disadvantaged members of society such as those suffering from substance addiction and those recently released from incarceration. He has continued to act selflessly in full adherence to Kano’s philosophy of Jita Kyoei – mutual prosperity.
Beyond the World Judo Federation, Sampson has become an influential figure in the wider judo community through both his regular seminars as well as his online platform which has amassed over 34,000 subscribers eager to learn from his experience. His continuous work to spread the word of judo via his platform is a true modern day expression of Kano’s own philosophies.
In addition to all of the above, one thing stands out above all else, which is Sampson’s skill on the tatami. His excellence in the technical understanding of judo is phenomenal, and all who have had the pleasure of sharing the mat with him can agree. We thank Sampson for his ongoing work in supporting and promoting traditional judo, and recognise his tireless work through this grade.
Jaime Casanova Martinez