Shihan David Jacobs 7th DanAssistant chief instructor
Shihan Jacobs has now been training for over 40 years and is the Assistant Chief Instructor to the Organisation. Shihan still lives and teaches children and adults in Sama Worthing and has done for over 30 years.
Shihan is highly regarded by Hanshi as being one of the most powerful karate men around today. Promoting a true image to all those who meet him of what a real karate black belt should look like and stand for. SAMA Senior dan grades
Senior black belts of the SAMA Organisation understand that they are not going to receive their Dan grades doing a couple of hours of a test. SAMA instructors are vetted continuously throughout their term from their last grade. For example, if an instructor has 3 years to his next grade, then 3 years is how long their test is.
However, most of our black belts have done over 10 or 15 years of training and are still 1st and 2nd Dan’s. Many may think this is wrong, however, SAMA Organisation wants to keep the standards of our karate high. SAMA black belts have shown a strong commitment, perseverance and total loyalty as it was back in the old days when a 1st Dan black belt really meant something. Nowadays many karate groups hand out 1st, 2nd & 3dan grades like sweets along with having young chief instructors, at least our black belts understand that they are worthy of their belts.
After over four years of hard training 7 days a week sensei Jacobs was not told in advance he was to be graded for 4th
On a dark freezing cold and very frosty December morning Sensei Jacobs arrived on Hanshi’s doorstep at 6.00am without knowing what to expect and was then instructed to drive to a beach in Hove.
For people who don’t know where Hove is, it lies along-side of Brighton, East Sussex. At this point, Sensei remembered that 35 years ago Hanshi used to be taken by Japanese instructors for training in mid-winter in the sea and lochs in Scotland.
At around 6:30amn on a very dark, freezing cold icy morning, on an isolated beach stood Hanshi with his most senior student, Sensei David Jacobs. Hanshi said we both must prepare ourselves mentally for we are about to do battle with the English Channel. I have to impress that on that morning it was blowing a severe gale. Hanshi always believed in old-school training, that one should show by example and the reason why he decided to do the test along-side his senior student.
Stripped down to their karate trousers and black belts, they plunged themselves chest deep into the freezing icy waters to practice an hour test of karate training.
Staying on their feet from the powerful high crashing waves and the strong pull of undercurrents that kept dragging them, time and time again under the icy water was a test in-itself as both said later that it was physically and mentally exhausting.
A test like this in such severe weather conditions you could say was extremely dangerous, especially in with high waves, coldness and strong undercurrents. In hindsight, we could have drowned or swept out to sea. Some may think it was a crazy thing to do, however, if you really believe in old school martial arts, this is a challenge to one’s courage and inner spirit. Sometimes you have to put yourself up against brick walls, situations that to the majority of the public may seem dangerous.
Part of the exercise was to face up to our fears, even though Hanshi explained that although not a very good swimmer this test brings out the mental and physical side helping you to win the fight against the odds. Although the challenge was great the feeling afterwards was even greater
THE DAY SHIHAN WAS AWARDED HIS 6TH DAN BY HANSHI GIBSON
On the 9th December 2005, Shihan and Hanshi returned to the same place, on the same date the 9th of December, at the same time of 6.30am where Shihan last took his 4th Dan Black belt. Again it was that time of the year we both stood on a dark and very cold morning at the same deserted beach. Hanshi and Shihan are now facing each other sitting in seiza (traditional kneeling), Hanshi asks Shihan only two questions.
“Would you be willing to wait another year for this grade” – the answer came promptly back without any hesitation, ouss (yes) Hanshi.
“Are you prepared to follow me back into the sea again as before” – again the answer came back without any hesitation, ouss (yes) Hanshi.
As before Shihan’s showed his loyalty, spirit and commitment to his martial art and teacher. The award of 6th Dan was given and accepted.
We both then retraced our steps of the past by going once again back into the freezing sea. Going back many years later to the same place at that same time of day proved Shihan’s same determination and attitude to his karate and his respect towards Hanshi.