Full Name of Dojo: Olusegun David Akinola
Karate Style: Shotokan
Years of Active Practice: >35 Years
Current Positions: Technical Director of Nigerian Association of Shotokan Karate (NASK) and Chairman Youth/Schools Sports Committee, Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN).
At the risk of appearing corporately immodest, NASK regards Sensei Olusegun Akinola (i.e Sensei Segun) as her flagship and most outstanding product to date. His extraordinary career, adorned with a plethora of accomplishments, prominently distinguishes him in Nigeria’s karate circles and amongst its elite (past and present).
From the core disciplines of the sport (i.e Kumite and Kata where he routinely dominated, excelled and held sway in his weight class in and outside of Nigeria) to the more administrative function of tournament officiating, Sensei Segun has continued to demonstrate great mettle as he is today one of Africa’s highest-graded referees (i.e World Karate Federation (WKF) Kata judge “A” and Kumite judge “B” as well as Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) grade “A” referee for Kata and Kumite ) frequently judging and referring at numerous prestigious international Shotokan karate events.
He is respected in Africa and from the number of referring invitations he is inundated with, from different international Karate bodies, is holding his own quite commendably and gradually becoming more and more respected at the world level.
With an extremely calm persona, Sensei Segun’s signature characteristic was this uncommon ability to transform on queue and almost in an instant, from his naturally humble and introverted self into this fierce some, ultra-focused, consummate competitor that he was.
With a mind akin to that of a chess grandmaster he read/preempted the opposition very accurately almost all the time, and being nearly always many mental steps ahead of them, would usually draw on what was a seemingly inexhaustible pool of strategic fighting options, this endless repertoire of combinations, which he would then proceed to execute with such great technical proficiency that left a visual appeal which usually “transcendentally Sensei Segun is a most outstanding role model in Nigerian Karate, he continues to motivate a lot of youngster coming through the ranks and remains today a powerful guiding light, mentor and reference point amongst Nigerian karateka for total commitment to training and the passionate pursuit of excellence in karate practice.
To move from mere frustrating conjecture and hope for even a slight insight into the uniqueness of this Sensei we know and simply prefer to call “Segun”(a short form of his original name “Olusegun”), we will do well to briefly consider his peculiar background. Born in May 1971 to the family of Mr Samuel Akinola and Mrs S.B Akinola Segun was accustomed to discipline from an earlier age.
His father actually wore two very impressive hats representing the most unlikely combination of callings as he was a very distinguished soldier, rising to the enviable position of Brigadier General and head of Military intelligence and also a highly respected Clergyman in the Anglican community in Nigeria(as he was vicar of the Archbishop Vining Memorial Anglican Church Ikeja, Lagos).
So given the non-negotiability of moral and personal discipline demanded by his strong Christian family and the strong direct influence of his very principled father, we begin to relate to Seguns rare commitment and dedication to the most challenging karate training regimens in his unwavering pursuit of Shotokan karate excellence.
Beyond his background, Segun comes with an ultra-impressive cache of unbelievable natural talent and exceptional technical ability which the aforementioned family stability has greatly helped horn into the appealing classical masterpiece that is today.
Furthermore, Segun was equally very blessed to have been exposed quite early to proper karate training as indeed when he started karate back in 1987 there were so many dojo’s runs by uncertified instructors and took either providential good fortune or an exercise in uncommon due diligence to find a worthwhile dojo of an acceptable standard. Segun was fortunate to have joined the Shotokan Karate international Nigeria Federal (SKINF), which later changed its name in 1994 to the Nigerian Association of Shotokan Karate (NASK), under the leadership of Sensei Goby Oredola who was the chief instructor and Sensei Alfred Ohimain as an assistant instructor who has to this day only been associated with the pursuit of excellent karate practice in Nigeria.
Next, Segun has exemplified “personal self-development” as he has always availed himself of every opportunity to learn, train and better himself in every area of karate.
His passion observed in the tenacity of his dojo and private training found expression in competitions which he ravenously sought out all the time and participated in within and outside the country. At great personal financing cost, Segun would repeatedly travel overseas to participate in seminars, observe or compete in tournaments, review new trends in karate practice or take various refereeing examinations.
He would then come back home to unselfishly impart his experience on those back home. There is therefore no one in Nigerian Karate today, irrespective of style, to whom Segun is unknown or has not affected positively in one way or another. With Segun, it has not been so much because of his well-documented accomplishments and skillset as it is because of his heart, as routinely demonstrated in his general accessibility, his availability and continual desire-to
teach as many as are willing to learn from him.
Segun Akinola is currently ranked 7th Dan by the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) and with Sensei Alfred Ohimain is Nigeria’s highest authentically ranked Karate instructors and his personal accomplishments are listed below and tell his story, need we say more: