About Us

Our Story

Through nearly 40 years of controlled, organic growth under the watchful eye of David Jacobs (SHIHAN) 7th Dan Karate & 7th Dan Tai Chi Chuan, SAMA has expanded all over Sussex, as well as branched into Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Kent, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

SAMA is the largest independent group in the UK, with more than 10,000 members training in more than 500 locations. For more on SAMA’s history visit www.samaorganisation.co.uk

ll classes and gradings are Pay-As-You-Go, giving the student the flexibility to fit their training around their busy lifestyles and not be penalised for illness or injury, or family and work commitments.

SAMA Karate offers three distinct martial arts disciplines for the modern martial artist to experience and caters for all age ranges with Karate, American Cardio Kickboxing and Tai Chi Chaun Kung Fu.

We specialise in teaching Kids Karate, and have done since 1985, when our very first after school lesson was taught at The Vale School in Worthing.

Senior Leadership Team & Structure of SAMA.

Chief Instructor & Founder: Alan Gibson (HANSHI) 9th Dan, began training 60 years ago and opened SAMA in a small dojo in Brighton in 1978. He expanded and continued to teach in Brighton for twenty years until he passed many of his day to day classes to his son. He now leads the East Sussex & Kent areas.

Assistant Chief Instructor: David Jacobs (SHIHAN) 7th Dan, started SAMA in Brighton in the early 80s taught by Hanshi. In 1985 he moved to Worthing to expand SAMA and open his first schools which were instantly a success. More than 30 years later, Shihan is still teaching and training hard every day, an example to us all and leads the West Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire and Berkshire Areas. He is also founder of our SAMA Tai Chi Chuan Kung Fu system.

Grading Examiner: Tim Klus (KYOSHI) 6th Dan, Also started in Brighton in the early 80s along side Shihan. They got their Black Belts together and opened SAMA Worthing in 1985 and ever since has watched it expand. Renshi still teaches every day and at weekends travels further afield to many of the larger gradings. Together with his wife Shelly, they run the West Sussex Head Office.

Regional & Area Managers: Underneath the three Seniors above, are 5th Dan (RENSHI’s) & 4th Dan (SENSEI’s). Many of them run their own area’s, some having multiple areas and have teams of instructors working under them. All of them have at least 20 years experience and knowledge in SAMA. They are the highest rank within their individual areas.

Senior Instructors: These will hold the level of 4th or 3rd Dan and are known as Sensei. Many of them will be full time Instructors teaching over 300 students a week. They are a senior rank and will have at least 15 years experience or more in SAMA.

Area Instructors: Will hold the level of either 2nd Dan or 1st Dan and are known as Sempai. Many of them will also be full time Instructors teaching full timetables every week. 
2nd Dan Sempai (wearing a blue badge) will be the Senior Sempai and will have had around 10 years experience in SAMA, quite often they would have already produced their own black belt students. A 1st Dan Sempai (Wearing the red & gold badge) is a new, but fully qualified Instructor. They would have at least 5 years experience in SAMA and some may even teach full time working towards producing their own Black Belts.

Assistant Instructors: Mostly Back belts, but sometimes lower belts too. An assistant instructor acts like a Teaching assistant to the lead instructor helping the students in their classes and may even teach their own group. They may also be in training to become a full time Instructor.