I was deeply saddened and shocked when I heard the tragic news that Michael (Mick) Randall had passed away.
The first time I saw Mick was in 1964 when, as a purple belt he was training in a class alongside Eddie Witcher, Ray Fuller, Mick Peachey and others in one of Dr.Vernon Bell’s British Karate Federation (BKF) London dojos, which I’d been invited to visit before starting karate.
Mick’s deeply thoughtful, sensitive and humble personality combined with his incredible serious and hard working attitude whilst training served to create speed, power and an artistic beauty in all his techniques and I had the greatest respect for him. As a white belt I would sometimes dare to approach him to ask how I should perform this or that technique.
In 1965, Kanazawa sensei became the resident instructor in the BKF and over the next three years Mick along with Eddie Witcher, Mick Peachey, William Mannion my brother Chris and myself would follow Kanazawa sensei from dojo to dojo to train under him as much as possible. In fact, Kanazawa sensei would call all of us the Seven Samurai.
Mick and myself became good friends and for me this friendship reached it’s highest point when we used to train together at the ‘Club House’ in Southgate, when we were 2nd and 3rd Dan level. We’d get there at around 10.00am and after warming up and stretching we’d perform thirty of every technique with speed and power, then go through all the kata and kumite that we knew at the time and then work on the kick bag to perform thirty Mae-
We both looked at each other in silent amazement and then exploded into such intense laughter which went on for about five minutes resulting in us both having stomach cramps. We very quickly became addicted to what we felt was this Tuesday afternoon musical insanity which served as a kind of therapy for the intense three hour training that we would always put ourselves through.
After having trained at the clubhouse, we’d then go off in the evening to the Winchmore-
Whilst Mick and myself were training like this continually on a twice weekly basis at the clubhouse, and at our other clubs throughout the week with Chris, we also had the great privilege to train on regular, intense weekend courses under Asano Sensei and then every three to six months under both Kanazawa sensei and Asano sensei. Those really were the days.
Even though Mick and I have travelled along our own different paths over the years, there has not been a single day that has gone by in which I haven’t thought about him and all the wonderful experiences we shared. Nothing can ever replace these memories and the smile of joy it brings to me each day.
Mick, you are still alive and well in my thoughts and mind.
Nicholas B. Adamou
From left to right
Nick Adamou; Chris Adamou; Kanazawa sensei; Mick Randall
Winchmore Hill Dojo 1972
A Tribute to Mick Randall
Nick and MIck
International Association of Shotokan Karate (IASK)
Copyright © 2021 N B Adamou