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Page 2

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

Form left to right; N. Adamou 2ndDan,
C. Adamou 2ndDan, H. Kanazawa 6thDan,
M. Randell 2ndDan. At the Winchmore Hill dojo

Steve Austin
Yes, that is very strange!! So Nick, I assume you went back to the library to find out whether the librarian had come up with any clubs?

Nick Adamou
Yes. She told me that there was only one organisation in the whole of the United Kingdom and this was the British Karate-do Federation (BKF) which was headed by its founder, Dr. V.C.F. Bell. I therefore kept all the relevant details regarding the BKF and immediately began to read the book.

S.A.
Were you able to learn any karate from the book?

N.A.
Well, as I imagined that all the information in the book was only for qualified practitioners of the art, I didn't even consider that I might be able to attempt this.

S.A.
I see. Anyway, you went to Greece in July. Did you enjoy the holiday? I imagine you must have had a great time there?

N.A.
Oh yes. It was wonderful. What was especially nice was the journey. Train from Liverpool Street Station to Immingham, then a seven hour boat trip to the Hook of Holland. From there we spent two days and nights by train travelling through Holland, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia (as it was called at the time) and then all the way down the length of Greece to Athens. I remember a gigantic, orange, neon sign which read 'BELGRADE' as the train came into this city. We were all exhausted and hardly able to keep our eyes open as the train finally wound its way into Athens at around 11.00pm at night. Then, suddenly, as we rounded another corner, the Parthenon came into view, all lit up in ever changing colours. Absolutely beautiful. Quite breathtaking.

S.A.
I assume that you returned to England in September time. Did you contact the BKF on your return?

N.A.
Well, David and I began the journey back on our own, stopping off in Salzburg for a day and then Vienna where we met up with my parents who were holidaying with my mother's relations there. Chris stayed on in Greece a little longer in order to visit Corinth and Mykonos.
From Vienna, David and I returned to England at about the middle of September.
I didn't contact the BKF on my return as I knew that if I started karate I'd obviously have to pay for the lessons and, to pay for them I'd have to have a job. I therefore spent about three weeks searching for a suitable job which, after having just spent two years at college, the word 'suitable' just didn't fit into the equation and this was nigh on impossible. I loved science and all subjects connected with science and would have loved to have studied astronomy or astrophysics in order to become an Astronomer. Whilst Physics and Chemistry were not too much of a problem for me, maths was my big, weak point. So I had to face up to reality and weigh up the options. Go back to college for another year in the hope that my maths would improve, and thereby forfeit any chance of doing karate or, get a job in order to pay for the lessons.

S.A.
I can only assume that you did in fact get a job.

N.A.
Yes, with a company called 'E & E Kaye Electricals' in Edmonton which I managed to endure for about six weeks. It was around this time also, about the middle of October, that my brother and I contacted the BKF and had actually spoken to Dr. Bell on the telephone which I found to be quite a daunting experience. On many occasions it seemed as if it was going to be impossible to ever join the BKF and start karate.

S.A.
What happened after this?

N.A.
Well, with regard to finding another job, I decided to work in London in order to earn more money and joined a solicitors company as a clerk in Lincoln Inn Fields called "Woolley Tyler and Bury". By the middle of November, when I had settled in to the new job, Chris and I had been invited by Dr. Bell to observe our first karate lesson at a dojo in Kentish Town which I believe was at the Prince of Wales Baths. This would also be our first meeting with Dr. Bell which, just like the telephone conversation, proved to be quite daunting. Training in that karate class were, Eddie Whitcher, Robert Williams, Mick (Michael) Randall, Mick Peachey, Brian Harper and Roy Merrick.

Page 2

 

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Copyright 2012 N.B. Adamou