Sam Houston Allred, born on Oct. 27, 1935, "unofficially" started his martial arts training in the fourth grade, when one of his Father's friends who had been in the military taught him some jiu jitsu tricks, which quickly earned him a reputation in school as being a judo man--judo was the nearest to an "in" thing for the martial arts in the U.S. in those days. Unlike his predecessors on the Kajukenbo family tree, Allred grew up during the depression of the 30's in an economically average family...not on back streets nor in tough neighborhoods; although he had more than his share of street fights due to a "warped temperment" until he "matured” (in his 50's). His success in the martial arts grew from accomplishments rather than from his fighting skills.
When a judo school actually opened in Lubbock, Texas, Allred joined. His judo team traveled all over Texas competing in tournaments, but in those days there were weren't many. Allred (pictured on left, 1953) was promoted to 1st degree black belt after he won a tournament in Ft. Worth in 1954. He continued his study of judo through the following years as he graduated from college with a BA degree in 1958 and MA degree in 1963.
In 1959 he started the first public school judo club in the United States in Albuquerque, N.M., where he taught science. In the early 60´s while attending one of Albuquerque's 1st karate tournaments, a wall divider began to fall toward the spectators. Allred put up his hands to stop its fall, but the man next to him did an upward block to stop it. Allred asked the man if he was a karateka and the reply was "yes." They spent the next hour visiting, and the "karateka" finally invited Allred to attend one of the classes that he was conducting at Kirtland Air Force Base. He attended in his judo gi and begin training.
That was Allred's first "dose" of the old-style truly rough training methods of Kajukenbo, and the "karateka" was Kajukenbo pioneer Donald K. Nahoolewa (pictured on right). Nahoolewa had trained directly with, Sijo Adriano Emperado, and Prof. Aleju Reyes. It was Prof. Reyes, one of Sijo Emperado's original black belts, who promoted Nahoolewa to black belt rank. Sijo Emperado is considered the founder of Kajukenbo, making Nahoolewa a rare 3nd generation Kajukenbo black belt and Allred 4th generation.
Allred trained with Don Nahoolewa for the required four years to earn black belt in Kajukenbo. In 1969 he was promoted to 4th degree in Judo through the American Judo Association. In 1992 the entire Board of Directors of Kajukenbo's governing body at the time, the International Kajukenbo Association, promoted him to 6th degree black belt, and in 2001 the Board of Directors of the American Kajukembo Association elected him for promotion to Senior Master 9th degree red belt.
Due to the work that he did with Judo and Karate in the Albuquerque Public Schools, Allred received a number national awards, became known, and was therefore able to get top U.S. competitors to come to Albuquerque to participate in yearly karate tournaments. The young public school members of Allred's clubs learned how to conduct the tournaments and ran them extremely efficiently. This concept has now been integrated into the Mexico City Kajukenbo practitioners, who conduct national level yearly seminars.
The "National Black Belt Karate Grand Championships"(picture on left..Bill Wallace and Fred Wren competing before an overflow crowd) and the "Central North American Karate Championships," were usually on all lists of U.S. top-ten tournaments. Allred condicted the first MMA-Full Contact-KickBoxing events in the Southwestern United States (1971 Black Belt Magazine) -- (Albuquerque News 1971).. All money from these events went to travel expenses for members of Allred's judo-karate clubs. Except for royalties on his books, Allred has never received money for his martial arts activities. During his students' summer vacations, Allred planned and set-up free training tours for his students to such places as New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, London, Rome, Paris, San Francisco, Denver, and of course, Mexico City and Acapulco. By this time, there were six branch clubs, all within the Albuquerque Public Schools. Allred's outstanding student, Gerald Chavez (kicking on right, in London during a training tour), also helped conduct them. Now a 9th Degree Grand Master and a PhD, Chavez teaches Kajukembo in Albuquerque and is keeping the Thunderbird Kajukenbo Association very much alive and active. Many began their lifetimes in the martial arts via the Thunderbird organization including now Grand Masters Martín Aragón and Mike Blea, who often visit with Allred in Mexico City and help with Seminars. Six of Allred's former students are now Grand Masters in Kajukenbo.
During his time in the martial arts, Allred (picture on right) was elected to the Black Belt Hall of Fame as "Man of the Year." He received the Optimist of the Year award from Albuquerque's Optimist Clubs. He received "Official Karate" magazine's Contribution to the Martial Arts award and was in the Who's Who of the Martial Arts. He was affiliated with the American Karate Black Belt Association, the International Kajukenbo Association, the United States Judo Association, and the Kodokan. He was Regional Director for the AKBBA, delegate to the National Karate Conference for the A.A.U. and on the first National Executive Committee for A.A.U. Karate. He was News Editor for "American Judoman" magazine, on the full-time staff of "Black Belt" magazine, and technical advisor for "Professional Karate" magazine. To Allred, his most important and longest-lasting two accomplishments were the organizing of Thunderbird Kajukenbo Activities, inc. and turning the organization over to now Grand Master Gerald Chavez.
On the death of his friend Bruce Lee, Allred was contracted to go to Los Angeles to interview Bruce's students and friends for the first official biography of Lee. While there he joined karateka friends in doing stunt work and helping choreograph fight scenes for movies.
In 1973 Allred dropped out of his active participation in the martial arts
And took a job as weekend T.V.
weathercaster at Ch. 4 in Albuquerque. Being a
former science and meteorology teacher, his T.V. weathercasting caught on
quickly, and very soon he was offered other weathercasting jobs. He moved from
to do television weathercasting at Ch. 7 (ABC) in Washington D.C. From
there he worked as the lead T.V. weathercaster at NBC in Denver and for NBC
in San Francisco. In 1984 he returned
to Denver to do "Science with Sam" for CBS, a series of one-minutes
science spots that were syndicated nationally.
In the late 70's, during a visit with Sam in the studio of N.B.C.-TV in Denver, Chuck Norris did a promotion for Sam. It was never shown on the air because the station's management thought Chuck wasn't qualified to promote a weatherman, but you can see it now, because Chuck IS qualified to "promote" a friend as a karateman, which he does, and which may be seen HERE.
In 1985 Allred bought houses in Acapulco and Mexico City and retired, living part time in both places. During the time he has lived in Mexico, he has become the "Father of Kajukenbo" in Mexico and the founder of "Jukensa". Kajukenbo is growing in Mexico, and the word "Kajukenbo" is registered in México by Allred as a trade name to protect the art from unauthorized usage.
Also during this time Allred has accumulated what is probably the most important art collection of Mexico's last Grand Master Artist and Revolutionary Muralist, Alfredo Zalce, who died in 2003 at age 95.
In addition, he has developed and runs this web site and has written seven published books, one of which was co-authored by GM Chavez and another with the Mexican black belt students of O-Sifu Sadoc Sierra as models. The books are all in Spanish, and are based on Kajukenbo.
In 2006 Allred established Jukensa Kajukenbo's first "Hall of Fame" and designed trophies for Hall of Famers in the image of his instructor, Alii Don Nahoolewa. In March of 2006, he was promoted to Kajukenbo's highest rank, that of "Grand Master".
At the turn of the century, Allred began inviting friends who are top judo and karate exponents to Mexico to present open seminars. His Kajukenbo leader in Mexico, O-Sifu Sadoc Sierra and students, attended to the detailed arrangements and worked to obtain participants. The seminar activities are still conducted yearly.
In 2008, after a seminar featuring both Bill Wallace and Al Dacascos, Allred announced his retirement from work (not from an advisory capacity) in the martial arts, feeling secure that O-Sifu Sadoc Sierra and his students would further develop and grow Jukensa Kajukenbo and continue arranging exceptional seminars in first-class locations.
In 2010 while attending a Kajukembo seminar in Albuquerque, Allred was awarded a Senior Grand Master certification and a Gold Belt award (see below) by the leadership
of the American Kajukembo Association, for his contributions to the martial arts. Many of his former students were in attendance at the Seminar and dinner, which encompassed
Allred's 75th birthday. Being several days with them for the first time in many years made for Allred's best birthday ever!