10 December 1963 |
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
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.
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. 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, New York. He runs the Sankofa Sabre Camp  in East Hampton, conducts clinics and does color commentary for fencing competitions around the country.
Sankofa served as the head coach for the Stevens Institute of Technology men's fencing team 2005-09.
He currently owns and coaches at Thrust Fencing Academy in Nyack, New York. The academy is dedicated to enriching the lives of students age 5 to 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 US 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, in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995.
Sankofa was also a four-time NCAA champion for the Violets, capturing the sabre title in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. He is the only male fencer to ever win four NCAA individual championships.
Hall of Fame
Sankofa's notable students include:
- Adrian Bak - 2008 Junior World team member
- Dan Bak - 2008 Junior Olympic Sabre Champion; 2008 Junior World team member
- Luther Clement - 2008 NAC Senior Sabre Champion
- Adam Crompton - 2003-2004 NCAA Men's Sabre Champion, 2003 Pan-American Sabre Team Champion
- 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 US Junior World team member; 2005 National Cadet Men's Sabre Champion; 2005 Junior Olympic Cadet Sabre Champion; 2005 Junior Olympic Junior Sabre Champion
- Loweye Diedro - 2008 Junior World team member
- Michael Mills - 2009 Junior World team member; 2009 NAC Junior Sabre Champion
- Ibitihaj Muhammad - 2005 Junior Olympic Junior Women's Sabre Champion,, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist (team) 
- Marty Williams, Jr. - 2008 US National Junior Sabre Champion
- "Mika'il Sankofa Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
- "Black Youth Study Under Olympian Peter Westbrook and Become Country's Top Fencers". Jet Online. 2004-08-23. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- Sankofa Sabre Camp
- Hurt III, Harry (2007-04-21). "Adventures in a Gray Lamé Electrified Jacket". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
- Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com Archived August 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "USFA Hall of Fame - Mika'il Sankofa". Fencing on Fairfield Avenue (Shreveport, LA). 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-06.[dead link]
- "Hall of Fame New York University Athletics". New York University. 1995. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
NOTE: Sankofa is listed under the name Michael Lofton.
- "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]
- "Ibtihaj Muhammad Wins Junior National Saber Championship". CSTV. 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2007-05-06.