Mick, Chris and yourself were all 2nd Dans
at this time I believe when were you all invited to attempt the grade of
This was in 1973, when Kanazawa sensei formed Shotokan
Karate International (SKI), we graded to Sandan,
once again under Kanazawa sensei and Asano sensei within SKI.
One of my older students told me that she remembers seeing the tail end of
a television program called 'Nationwide' in which Kanazawa sensei was
performing some karate defence and counter attacks to several other
karate-ka. Do you have any idea what this might have been about and could
you possibly throw any light on this Nick?
Oh yes, this was in 1974 when Kanazawa Sensei, Asano sensei and Kato sensei
along with myself, my brother, Mick Randall, Eddie Whitcher
and Steve Cattle appeared on the popular, 6pm television news program
hosted by Sue Lawley called 'Nationwide'. As far
as I could understand at the time, Kanazawa sensei wanted to show that the
slow, graceful & health promoting moves of T'ai
Chi have a self- defence application similar to karate techniques and that
these self-defence applications would become evident when performed at
speed. Anyway, Kanazawa sensei, who was facing us, lined us up in a semi
circle as we stood in Shiko-Dachi stance. We all
began to perform a very slow and gentle energising exercise called
After going through these moves very slowly we suddenly started to attack
him at maximum speed from left to right. I was the last to attack using a
head height roundhouse kick. Instantly, the 'Master' dropped to the floor
counter attacking with a roundhouse kick to my lower abdomen after which he
threw me to the floor. If you blinked you would have missed it, he was so
fast. Incidentally, this was the first time that I had heard about T'ai Chi or Chi-Gung and it wasn't until around 1976,
that Kanazawa sensei first demonstrated a T'ai
Chi kata and began to teach us small sections of
it at the Winchmore - Hill dojo.
Am I right in thinking that this was the same year in which you
established 'The Harrow School of Shotokan
Karate' at the Harrow Leisure Centre and also, wrote 'Karate Basics for
Beginners'. I mention your book as I distinctly remember seeing the words:
'Copyright © N.B.ADAMOU 1974' written in white print at the bottom of the first
page which was completely red Nick?
Yes that's quite right. It was at this time, in 1974 when I wrote 'Karate
Basics For Beginners'. Mick Randall took photos of me performing the moves
which lead up to the completion of a particular technique. These were taken
in the clubhouse, which was where we did much of our own private training.
The photos of Kanazawa sensei performing the final, completed technique
were also taken by Mick Randall in his flat, the night before Kanazawa
sensei and those who I've mentioned above appeared on 'Nationwide'. I then
went on to print, publish and promote the book myself. In answer to the
first part of your question, yes, it was also in 1974 that I established
the Harrow School of Shotokan Karate at the
Harrow Leisure Centre. This was the first karate club to be established
there, as the centre had just been built and opened up to the public.
Classes were held on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and the manager
was Keith Remfrey, the Olympic Judo silver
And in 1978 you were graded to Yondan (4th Dan)
Yes, in 1978 Mick Randall and I were asked to attempt our Yondan (4th Dan) under Kanazawa Sensei and Asano
sensei, and were both successful.
When Mick Randall and the many other high grade instructors left SKI to
form, English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA),
you remained in SKI. Why was this?
It's quite simple really. I never felt mature enough or that I had learnt
enough in order to leave Kanazawa sensei and therefore SKI. But I
completely understood why Mick left and I respect him totally for all that
he did within the KUGB and SKI and for all the help and support he gave to
the many Japanese that came to stay with him in his flat and later on, at
his house. When he left SKI, I felt as if I had lost a member of my own
family. I was quite devastated.