Mika'il Sankofa

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Mika'il Sankofa
Personal information
Born (1963-12-10) 10 December 1963 (age 51)
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Sport Fencing

Mika'il Sankofa (born Michael Lofton; 10 December 1963 in Montgomery, Alabama) is a world recognized sabre fencer and coach. He competed in the individual and team sabre events at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.[1]


During his fencing career Mika'il Sankofa trained under Tanya Adamovich, Csaba Elthes, Peter Frohlich, Szabo Adrosh, Christian Bauer and Lazlo Szepesi.

A graduate of New York University with a BA in Economics, Sankofa is a former publicist who has worked for firms such as Ernst & Young, Grey Advertising, Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners and Shandwick International.

From 1990 - 2009, Sankofa served as co-founder, director of athletics and fencing coach for the Peter Westbrook Foundation.[2] He was responsible for running a year-round class for over 200 participants, including a number of elite-level athletes. Sankofa's students have included three NCAA champions, five national champions, six junior world team members, the 2005 Junior Olympic men's cadet and junior sabre champions, the 2005 Junior Olympic women's sabre champion and the 2005 National cadet men's sabre champion.

Sankofa also serves as head fencing coach at the United Nations International School as well as the head sabre coach at the Ross School's summer program in East Hampton, NY. He runs the Sankofa Sabre Camp in East Hampton, conducts clinics and does color commentary for fencing competitions around the country. In 2006, Sankofa received his Maestro’s degree with honors from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary.[3]

Sankofa served as the head coach for the Stevens Institute of Technology Men's fencing team 2005-09.

Sankofa served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Fencing at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[4] He currently owns and coaches at Thrust Fencing Academy - Nyack, New York. Thrust Fencing Academy is dedicated to enriching the lives of students age 5- Adult through the Olympic sport of fencing.


Sankofa had an outstanding career as a competitive sabre fencer. He was a member of the United States Olympic Team in 1984, 1988 and 1992, and reached the pinnacle of his sport when he captured U.S. national sabre championships in both 1991 and 1992.

He took part in the Pan-American Games as member of Sabre Team Silver in 1987 and 1991. In addition, Sankofa was a ten-time National Team Sabre Champion 1984, '85, '86, '87, '88, '90, '91, '92, '94, and '95.

Sankofa was also a four-time NCAA champion for the Violets – capturing the sabre title in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.[5] He is the only male fencer to ever win four NCAA individual championships.

Hall of Fame[edit]

In 1994, he was inducted into the NYU Sports Hall of Fame,[6] and in the summer of 2005, he was inducted into the United States Fencing Association Hall of Fame.[5]

Notable Students[edit]

Notable students include:

  • Michael Mills 2009 Junior World Team Member
                              2009 NAC Junior Sabre Champion 
  • Luther Clement 2008 NAC Senior Sabre Champion
  • Marty Williams, Jr 2008 US National Junior Sabre Champion
  • Dan Bak 2008 Junior Olympic Sabre Champion

2008 Junior World Team Member

  • Adrian Bak 2008 Junior World Team Member
  • Loweye Diedro 2008 Junior World Team Member
  • Ras Davidson 2006 Junior World Cadet Men’s Sabre Bronze Medalist
                              2005 Junior Olympic Sabre Champion (Cadet & Junior)
                              2004 US National Cadet Sabre Champion
                               2005, 2006, 2007 U.S. Junior World Team Member
  • Adam Crompton, 2003-2004 NCAA Men's Sabre Champion, 2003 Pan-American Sabre Team Champion.
  • Ras Davidson, 2005 National Cadet Men's Sabre Champion, 2005 Junior Olympic Cadet Sabre Champion, 2005 Junior Olympic Junior Sabre Champion.[7]
  • Ibitihaj Muhammad, 2005 Junior Olympic Junior Women's Sabre Champion.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mika'il Sankofa Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  2. ^ "Black Youth Study Under Olympian Peter Westbrook and Become Country's Top Fencers". Jet Online. 2004-08-23. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  3. ^ Hurt III, Harry (2007-04-21). "Adventures in a Gray Lamé Electrified Jacket". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  4. ^ Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com
  5. ^ a b "USFA Hall of Fame - Mika'il Sankofa". Fencing on Fairfield Avenue (Shreveport, LA). 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-06. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame New York University Athletics". New York University. 1995. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
    NOTE: Sankofa is listed under the name Michael Lofton
  7. ^ "Peter Westbrook Foundation’s Ras Davidson Wins Bronze Medal At Junior World Fencing Championships" (PDF). Peter Westbrook Foundation. 2006-04-12. Retrieved 2007-05-06. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Ibtihaj Muhammad Wins Junior National Saber Championship". CSTV. 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 

External links[edit]