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Page 10

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

Steve Austin
You mentioned earlier that Enoeda sensei would sometimes instruct alongside Kanazawa sensei, did any other JKA instructors come to visit the London dojos also?

Nick Adamou
Oh yes, during this period, and because of Kanazawa sensei's fame and reputation in Japan, Hawaii and Europe, other Japanese JKA instructors would come to visit the honbu dojo (headquarters) in order to train and assist in classes taught by him. These would include the following sensei: Kase, Shirai, Myazaki, Nagai, Takahashi and Sumi. On rare occasions we would have the privilege to see short but spectacular impromptu displays of free fighting when they would pair up and demonstrate their favourite fighting techniques, including Kanazawa sensei performing his famous Yoko-Tobi-Geri or flying side thrust kick. This certainly was the golden era for British karate in my opinion, and how lucky I was to have been taught by these great masters.

S.A.
With films such as James Bond 007, 'Pink Panther' with Kato films and television programs like The Avengers that made people more aware of Martial Arts at that time, did Kanazawa sensei ever get invited to show karate and meet any of the stars who appeared in these?

N.A.
Yes, John Chisholm, who was one of the grades senior to myself, worked at Elstree Studios and invited Peter Sellers to come to watch a Karate demonstration given by Sensei's Kanazawa and Enoeda. The usual loyal group of students including myself had to perform in a 'mini' Karate class taken by them. Afterwards, Peter Sellers was asked if he would be the Hon/Sec of the KUGB but he was unable to do this.

S.A.
Did any other celebrities come to see karate demonstrations which were given by Kanazawa sensei or Enoeda sensei?

N.A.
Yes, Lee Marvin and John Cassavetes were working on the film 'The Dirty Dozen'. So John invited the two film stars to watch a Karate demonstration of free style sparring and kata which was put on by sensei's Kanazawa and Enoeda at the Chiswick dojo which John had recently opened up. Along with some of the Chiswick dojo members, I as a purple belt and the usual group of loyal students participated in this demonstration by performing basic techniques. The two film stars, watched in amazement as the demonstration ended with Kanazawa sensei breaking a four inch block of Obeche wood with a reverse punch. After the demonstration, I made my way down the corridor to get changed and suddenly, Lee Marvin came around the corner and towards me in the opposite direction. As we passed each other, I asked him what he thought of sensei's Kanazawa and Enoeda's demonstration. In that deep, gruff voice he answered. "It's Zen. It's just pure Zen".

S.A.
You mentioned that you attended the BKF Lilleshall one week course in Shropshire as a white belt. Were there any other courses held during Kanazawa sensei's stay in the UK?

N.A.
Yes. There was a one week course held in Colourcoats, on the north-east coast of England which was given by Kanazawa Sensei and Enoeda sensei. Mick Randall and I met up with Jack Johnson in London and were driven all the way there in his car. Michael and Jack were brown belts and I was a purple belt. My brother Chris was supposed to come along also but that morning was quite sick with a migraine and therefore couldn't join us.

S.A.
When was the first KUGB Summer Course held at Crystal Palace?

N.A.
I can't really remember, but I know that I attended the first of these and was perhaps a 3rd kyu brown belt. I attended most if not all of these Crystal Palace courses until around the grade of 3rd Dan

S.A.
Who instructed on these Crystal Palace courses and how long were the classes?

N.A.
Usually, the following sensei instructed: Kase, Kanazawa, Enoeda, Shirai, Kong, Asano, Kato, Nagai, Takahashi, and Sumi. On one of the Crystal Palace courses, the Chief Instructor and head of the JKA, Masatoshi Nakayama Sensei instructed and of course this was very special. As far as the classes were concerned, there was a morning and evening class and each one lasted for three hours. When the first of these week long courses was to be held, I remember Kanazawa sensei explaining to us, his London students that, the first day will seem impossible. The next day your muscles will start to hurt and you will be very stiff and feel incredibly tired. On the third day, you will feel that you can't move your body at all and want to give up. On the fourth day you will feel a bit stronger, looser and healthier with more stamina. On the fifth day your body will feel as it did when you started the course but, you will be so much stronger, looser, faster and healthier. When you finally have to go home, you will find it very strange and miss all the hard training. I can only say from my own personal experience of these that the above was exactly true for me.

Page 10

 

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