Professor Sam S. Luke

Professor Sam S. Luke was born May 7, 1914, inHonolulu.  He lived his boyhood in “Hell’s Half-acre,” reputedly the toughest neighborhood inHonolulu.  Because of the gangster atmosphere of his neighborhood, he spent a lot of time running from trouble.  This helped him later when he became a varsity letterman in track atPunahouSchool.

In 1941 Professor Luke joined Professor Okazaki’s dojo in order to learn self-defense to protect himself from the neighborhood bullies.  Unfortunately, the attack onPearl Harboron December 7, 1941, derailed Professor Luke’s study with Professor Okazaki.

In 1943 Professor Luke joined Bing Fai Lau’s dojo.  In 1947 Professor Luke received his shodan, and a year later replaced Sigfried Kufferath as the assistant at Bing Fai Lau’s dojo on Keheka Lane.

Professor Luke did not limit his instruction to just his dojo.  He was chief jujitsu instructor at theKamehamehaSchoolfor Boys from 1949 to 1954.  He also served as Chief Instructor at Punahou School from 1955 to 1957.  While he did those things, he ran the Mikilua Dojo in Nanakuli.  In 1950 he was appointed chair of the AAU judo committee. He held that position for the seven years.

Professor Luke was elected president of the American Jujitsu Institute in 1951.  He was re-elected president every year until 1956.  Meanwhile in April 1953, Professor Luke served as the coach for the Hawaiian team at the first AAU Judo Championship.  The Hawaiian team went on to capture their first and only national title at that event.

     In 1964 Professor Luke was again elected president of the A.J.I.  He remained in the post for the next eleven years.  During his second tenure as president, He established the A.J.I as an international organization by establishing member dojos in Canada, Guam, Japan, and the mainland United   States.  Professor Luke was unanimously voted a Professor of the Institution by the A.J.I. on August 3, 1973.

Away from the mat, Professor Luke was secretary of the Republican party of Hawaii for fifteen years, vice-president of the Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club, President of the Mikilua Improvement Club, President of Aliamanu Community Organization for twenty years, and President of the Aiea Ballroom Dance Club.  He spent much of his life working for service organizations aroundHawaii.  In the later parts of his life, he was honored as the Outstanding Senior Citizen of Honolulu in 1982 and was appointed a Living Treasure by the City ofHonolulu.  He participated in so many service organizations that to list them all would take more space than this website could afford.

In May 1984, Professor Luke was promoted to Judan by the A.J.I., the first such promotion for the organization.

Professor Sam S. Luke died in February 1988 at the age of seventy-three.  He is survived by six children, fourteen grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.  He spent his life in the service of others, which is perhaps the noblest venture a person can undertake.