And what about those other students that started before you and who
were senior to you?
All I can say is that most of them had either stopped doing karate or had
left SKI by 1978 which was a great pity for karate.
So, with Mick Randall having left SKI in 1978, am I right in
thinking that you were the highest graded UK instructor within Kanazawa
Yes, that's correct.
Where there any other changes because of this?
As far as I can remember just before Mick Randall and the other high grade
instructors left the SKI, Mick Randall and I and perhaps one or two others
were going to be allowed to conduct the kyu gradings when Kanazawa sensei was not in the country.
Therefore, when I remained in SKI I was allowed to carry out Kyu (junior) grade examinations on his behalf and this
was the first time that he had authorised a non-Japanese instructor within
the UK to oversee such gradings. I also organised
many of his visits, having to correspond with all the instructors in my Kenshin group of SKI clubs in the south of England and
also with Jim Hardy in Scotland, Tim Heart in Ireland, Mr. Blanchard in
France, Mr. Arsenvic in Denmark and various other
heads of karate groups in Europe and Africa. I continued to do this until
1988. Whenever he came to this country, my phone never stopped ringing, such was the man's popularity.
You mentioned the word 'Kenshin' when you spoke
about your group of clubs within SKI. Does this name have any significance
Nick and who was in your Kenshin group?
Well, as students joined my karate club at the Harrow Leisure Centre and
trained under myself and on the courses that I arranged for Kanazawa
sensei, they would inevitably reach the level of Shodan
(1st Dan black belt) over a period of three to four years. Some of these
students went on to start their own clubs whilst still coming to train
under myself within SKI at my dojo at the Harrow Leisure Centre. Kanazawa
sensei suggested that, in between his visits to the U.K. I would visit
these clubs for courses and gradings and those
clubs became part of my group of clubs which he named 'Kenshin'.
There were four clubs that
became part of my Kenshin group that were run by
students that had started as complete beginners under myself when I was Yondan (1978 SKI 4th Dan). These were the Greenford
club run by John and Brenda Wise; the Northwick Park Hospital club, which I
believe was run by Rosalind Rust and Stephen Hpa;
the Chorley Wood Club run by Dr. Robert Anderson; and the Temple Fortune
Karate club run by Ivor Anderson. There were also
other instructors who had not started karate as beginners under me, but who
had decided to join their club to my Kenshin
group after having attended one of the many Kenshin
SKI courses that I had organised for Kanazawa sensei. Those clubs and
instructors were, Tony Sasso
in Aylesbury, Manuel Tresperdene in Camberly, Fransico Espinoza
of the Europa Karate Club in Watford, the
Worthing SKI club run by Sue Langford, Andy Hibberd's
club in Richmond and David Jones in Newbury all became part of my Kenshin group within SKI
You also co-authored 'Kanazawa's Karate' with Kanazawa sensei didn't
Yes I did, in late 1977 I wrote the manuscript for this book which I
presented to Kanazawa sensei when he arrived in the UK. After having
consulted with Kanazawa sensei on various technical and factual details,
the book was published in 1981 as "Kanazawa's Karate" and was
re-titled "The Dynamic Power of Karate" later on.
You said earlier on that, Kanazawa sensei performed a T'ai
Chi kata in the Winchmore
- Hill dojo, in 1976 I think it was. When did he
start to introduce T'ai Chi into the many courses
that you organised for him Nick?
I believe this must have been around 1979 at a course which Kanazawa sensei
suggested I organise at the Michael Sobell Sports
Centre in Hornsey, London. Whilst in the process of organising the planned
course, I had a phone call from the person who was acting as the agent for
the T'ai Chi master, Mr. Chu who asked whether it
might be possible for Master Chu to demonstrate T'ai
Chi on Kanazawa sensei's course. This was a very strange coincidence as
this was the first time that Kanazawa sensei had planned to teach T'ai Chi on one of his courses and no one else would
have known about it. Anyway, I immediately phoned Kanazawa sensei in Japan
and explained my conversation with Master Chu's agent. A meeting was
organised at my flat in Muswell-Hill for Master
Chu, his agent, Kanazawa sensei and myself which
was set for when Kanazawa sensei would arrive in the UK, three weeks before
the planned course.