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Page 7

Taken from an interview on the Karate history of Nicholas B Adamou
By Steave Austin 5thDan

Please note that all information
was correct at time of publishing.

Copyright 2006 N.B. Adamou

N. Adamou 7thDan at the 5th IFSK Annual Shotokan Karate Workshop in Calcutta, India, 1996.

Steve Austin
You said there were three demonstrations, what about the third one, how did this go?

Nick Adamou
The third demonstration was at Poplar Town Hall, but I'm pretty sure I didn't go to this one. If I did, I really can't remember anything about it.

S.A.
So what happened to the four JKA sensei once the demonstrations were over?

N.A.
They all went with Dr. Bell to Liverpool for about a week I think and then they came back to London from where sensei Kase, Enoeda and Shirai went to South Africa for six months to teach. Enoeda sensei returned to England and instructed in Liverpool and the North of England. I can't remember exactly when this was but it may have been immediately after the six months stay in South Africa.

S.A.
And what about Kanazawa sensei?

N.A.
Well, Kanazawa sensei stayed on in London for one year as an instructor of the BKF after Dr. Bell secured a work permit for him which would last up to March 1966 and, during this year he made regular visits to other BKF dojos around the UK.

S.A.
So, am I right in thinking Nick that, from the time when you started karate in December 1964, up to the time when Kanazawa sensei started to instruct within the BKF, in May 1965, some five months in total, you didn't take any gradings?

N.A.
Yes, that's absolutely right. My first grading was held on either the 28th or 29th July 1965 at the Lyndurst Hall in Kentish Town under Kanazawa sensei and my brother and I went from white to yellow belt 7th Kyu. Pauline Laville (now Pauline Bhindra), who had started karate one or two months earlier than myself and Chris, went from white to green belt 6th Kyu and Mick Randall and Mick Peachey who were nine months my senior, received purple belt 5th Kyu. Ray Fuller did exceptionally well by going straight to temporary 4th Kyu.

S.A.
Did Dr. Bell organise any courses for the BKF students now that Kanazawa sensei was in the UK for the coming year?

N.A.
Yes, Kanazawa sensei instructed on two courses. The first of these, which I didn't attend, was held in Chigwell around the end of August 1965. However, I did attend the week long course that was held the following week at Lilleshall, in Shropshire.

S.A.
Could you describe in detail everything relating to the course?

N.A.
The first of the two hour classes started at 5.30am or 6.00am in the morning and, before the class commenced, Kanazawa sensei led all of us in a run around the grounds of the complex in our Gi's. Before we could get onto the grass to start the run, there was an area of gravel that had to be traversed which, when I gingerly walked across it, felt like pins and needles in the soles of my feet. I hated running because it used to trigger off my Asthma but, as I didn't want to be seen as a coward, I never mentioned this. Luckily, I never had any Asthma attacks on these morning runs, which was quite strange. During the run, and at certain selected moments, Kanazawa sensei would shout out one, two, three, four all the way up to ten in Japanese, i.e. "ichi, ni, san, shi" and so on and he, along with the rest of us would perform Choku-zuki (straight punch) to his count whilst we were running. On the tenth punch we all kiai'd. I was always at the end of the line or amongst the last to finish.

After the run, we would file into the dojo, line up and then, after doing some warming and limbering up exercises, the normal karate class would start.

These early morning classes were a shock to my entire system as I hated getting up early in the morning nearly as much as I hated running. However, I have to say that I really felt physically and mentally brilliant afterwards. It was wonderful to meet up with other karate-ka including, Andy Sherry, Steve Cattle and Alan Smith who also attended the course. Apart from the karate techniques which Kanazawa sensei explained and demonstrated so brilliantly, he also showed the importance of using the stomach or 'Hara' when practicing karate. To highlight this in one of the classes, he stood in Shiko-Dachi, stance and then asked one of the larger built students to run at him in the same way that Sumo wrestlers start their bouts. Starting his run from around five foot away and accelerating to maximum speed, the student simply bounced off of him as if he had hit a wall whilst Kanazawa sensei never moved and seemed absolutely solid.

Continued on page 8...

Page 7

 

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Copyright 2012 N.B. Adamou