At the age of 7, with the odds stacked against her, nunchuck prodigy and Eccaia Sampson earned her spot for the first time on WKC Team Canada. This provided her the opportunity to compete in her first WKC Worlds Orlando Florida, while simultaneously training and testing for her blackbelt. She did it again in 2018. This time claiming 2 Canadian Championships and affording her the opportunity to compete in WKC Ireland.
On May 18, 2019 for the third year in a row and with another Canadian Championship added to the list of her youthful accomplishments, she qualified once more and will be representing WKC Team Canada at the upcoming WKC Worlds 2019 being held in Niagara Falls, NY this coming November.
Eccaia has always been driven and focused as it pertains to her martial arts career and its that focus, drive, determination, along with her love for the nunchucks, that first caught KT Tunstall’s attention in 2018.
“My vision for the video was to create a mirror between a young, crazy-talented, bold little girl, and link that burgeoning energy to a band of warrior women,” KT Tunstall said in her Rolling Stone interview https://www.rollingstone.com/m
Eccaia was asked to star in KT’s video “Human Being” which was released in North America the day after she returned home to London, ON from WKC Worlds Ireland November 2018 and within 6 months has garnered more than 81K views.
If you were to ask Eccaia if she feels crazy-talented or bold, she would probably respond humbly with a shrug and smile. Her goal with her martial arts has never been to attract attention, but to do what she loves and serve as an example for other girls who feel that “it can’t be done” – whatever that is for them – because they are a girl.
2017 marked her first large audience and stage performance, where she was privileged to perform with the Barenaked Ladies in Brantford On. It was in that moment, with fear coursing through her veins as the audience looked on, that she realized the importance of what she was doing. Showing up. In spite of her young age, tiny size and gender she was going to give it all she had with the hope of inspiring other girls to do the same.
Her desire to shatter stereotypes and empower girls impacted by bullying, subjugation or violence led her to co-create The #PLEDGEPINK Project with her Mother Penny L Sampson in 2018. The #PLEDGEPINK Project is an initiative dedicated to providing empowering video’s, information and merchandise with the goal of helping to forge an empowered future for girls globally.
Eccaia’s commitment to martial arts and to shattering stereotypes is palpable. While she continues to increase her skill sets with the assistance of her 3 Coaches, including Sifu Julian Shamuon (Hotshot Athletic Martial Arts), Danny Etkin (Team Paul Mitchell), Alina Olivera (Cheerstrike Royals), adding in a Performance Coach was essential.
In addition to physically training 5-6 days per week on various aspects of martial arts performance, tumbling, conditioning and tournaments, Eccaia is also a member of the Pulse Performance Team led by Master Emerson Wong (Scarborough).
Because of her chosen life path, plus school, life stresses, societal expectation and her personal philanthropic investments Eccaia’s nervous system is consistently taxed with stress, anxiety, adrenaline. Our bodies are quite remarkable and do create coping mechanisms to handle the load however, not always to our benefit.
Mental health is a serious concern and for good reason.
With her Performance Coach Sandy Dow’s guidance, Eccaia is learning and utilizing a new set of skills designed to support her in managing those stresses in a healthy way. At the same time building a toolkit to enhance her performance whenever she feels the need.
When you are driven, determined and dedicated plus, have support systems in place, all things seemingly impossible suddenly become…possible including, being ready for WKC Worlds 2019.