Hanshi Alan Gibson 8th DanChief instructor
The Founder And Chief Instructor Of The Sama Organisation is Hanshi Alan Gibson – 8th Dan. With over 59 Years of experience, Hanshi is the Head Of the Organisation and all children in Sama East Sussex and Kent have to be graded before him. To Read more about Hanshi Gibson and the history of The Sama Organisation check out www.samaorganisation.co.uk
Hanshi born in 1947 in Govan, Glasgow Scotland.
My karate began late October 1959. I was 12 years old and after seeing a demonstration on television of a karate expert smash through a wooden door with his bare fists I thought to myself, how could he have such power and skill to do that. I wanted to be just like that karate man, to have that explosive power and skill. So off I went to find a karate club.
However, the accepted age for joining a karate club back then was around fourteen or fifteen so I had to pretend to be older.
Note: The only style of karate practised at that time in Scotland was Shotokan karate, a hard old school traditional Japanese style.
Note: Training back then was very basic, although much more brutal and physically than today. Because of this, there were no women or young children participating in karate at that time.
Having lived and trained in London I then moved down to Brighton around mid-1960.
It was there that I found a karate instructor called Sensei Joe Robinson who had the only full-time karate & judo dojo situated in a large damp basement room in Rock Place, Kemp Town.
Sensei Robinson was 6ft 2ins tall with a very large muscular frame. He was a World 8th Dan judo champion, a weightlifter, and in his youth became known as the tiger after winning the European wrestling champion. He was also a black belt in karate at the time under Wado-Ryu master Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki eventually achieving 5th Dan.
After a few years training at the Kemp Town Dojo, we moved to a larger one in Vine Street, Brighton. I trained under sensei Robinson for around 4 years, then in the early 1970s, I decided to open my own karate dojo in Brighton.
Although I now had my own dojo my quest for training and my thirst knowledge has always been far greater than teaching and I often commuted up to London to train at other martial art dojo’s.
It was when I was training at Meiji Suzuki’s dojo in Judd Street near Kings Cross that I heard one of his instructors, sensei Sfetas was moving to Brighton to start his own karate dojo at Hove Education College, Connought Road.
For me, it was another opportunity to train instead of teaching, so I was there the very first day. As a black belt in Shotokan karate with around 15 years training under my belt with experience of other styles of martial arts and had my own club, I was readily given the choice to wear my black belt in class. This is something that I have always declined to do when starting at a new dojo or style as I prefer to follow martial art tradition of starting from the very beginning and wearing a white belt out of etiquette and respect.