Former world champion and sportsperson of the year, Samson Muripo has reached masters status after successfully undergoing a grueling grading process in India yesterday.

Formerly referred to as Sensei Samson Muripo, Zimbabwe’s former world champion is now referred to as Shihan after acquiring masters’ status.

The Zimbabwe’s karate maestro now holds a 5th Dan black belt, a level that now sees him being among the few Zimbabwean karatekas to attain Shihan status.

Muripo is among the most influential martial artists to come out of Zimbabwe after becoming the first African world champion following a victory in Osaka, Japan in 2009.

In 2013, Muripo was voted the Zimbabwean sports person of the year after he was crowned champion in the heavyweight category of the 2013 Sokyokushin Cup karate international tournament in Shangai, China.

The same year, Muripo was a silver medalist in the superheavyweight category of the 2013 Sokyokushin Cup International Karate Tournament.

Due to his feats on the international stage, Muripo has greatly influenced and inspired budding karatekas to pursue martial arts, often assuming the role of team leader for junior teams.